LIBER Endorses the European Open Science Cloud Declaration

Posted: 18-09-2017 Topics: Open Science Strategy

LIBER has endorsed the principles of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Declaration on Open Science and believes that its 400+ research library members across Europe have a strong role to play in enabling Open Science.

Download our full statement on the EOSC Declaration (PDF), or read it below.

LIBER, the Association of European Research Libraries, supports Open Science for contributing to an increased dissemination, reproducibility and application of research results, and to the acceleration of new knowledge generation through data-driven innovation.

LIBER has placed Open Science at the heart of its 2018-2022 Strategy and aims to position libraries as enablers of Open Science, making Open the default standard for research practice in Europe and beyond.

LIBER involves more than 400 research libraries across Europe in the process of implementing Open Science — locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Libraries already operate services for data curation, documentation and preservation, data storage and data policies, and foster the application of FAIR principles on campus.

By facilitating the communication and data exchange between researchers, IT Service providers and research offices, libraries are also optimally placed to help bridge the ‘last mile’ between local researchers and Open Science initiatives outside of universities and research institutions.

In these activities, LIBER actively promotes the principles of academic freedom, builds on the self-organizing capacity of the research system and recommends to carefully consider the strategy of the institution hosting the library, research funders and national stakeholders.

The libraries’ role in Open Science is firmly grounded in their existing operations and longstanding traditions:

  • The societal obligation to make knowledge available to all;
  • The mission to be a sustainable place for knowledge, where generations of researchers find reliable reference;
  • The culture of collaboratively organizing a global scheme for knowledge discovery, access and
    sustainable preservation;
  • The experience to locally operate large, digital enterprise systems for knowledge circulation
    over decades and network them up to a global scale;
  • The commitment to engage in personal interactions with people ‘on the ground’ in order to
    support high-quality services.

LIBER welcomes the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) as a main driver in the process of implementing Open Science in Europe. LIBER endorses the EOSC Declaration in its principles and specifically commits to align LIBER activities with the EOSC in the following areas:

  1. Data Culture, Skills, Data Stewardship & Data Management Plans – LIBER is committed to empowering local libraries and helping them to build their capacity as a place where data are appropriately curated both while research is being conducted and after it is completed. LIBER will continue to support libraries to deliver local training and train-the-trainer activities for data management, and consider Data Stewards as employees. LIBER’s Scientific Information Infrastructures Working Group is delivering recommendations, workshops and webinars to further develop the skills of librarians and raise awareness. A widely-spread service in libraries is the local support of Data Management Plans.
  2. Open Access by Default – LIBER is committed to further the role of libraries as the main provider of content for research to reach maximum Open Access and extend the established system of content provision to become a system of data provision. Content is the main normative and already established entry point for researchers to find information relevant for research and thereby can service as the optimal starting point to provide data discovery services. LIBER has a working group on Open Access and publishes recommendations such as ‘5 Principles for Open Access Negotiations With Publishers’.
  3. Rewards & Incentives – LIBER is committed to foster best practice and standardization for research information and metadata for Open Science so that new rewards and incentives for Open Science can be established. LIBER has a Metrics Working Group and publishes reports.
  4. FAIR Data Governance, FAIR Principles, Standards & Implementation – LIBER is committed to FAIR Principles as laid out in the LIBER Strategy 2018-2022 and to act as facilitator of implementing standards, building on the capacity of the library system to adhere to them, develop them in international bodies, and apply them in enterprise and international systems in the long-term. More specifically, libraries can provide reliable metadata needed for citation. They can do this, for example, through their strong involvement in DataCite and by building a semantic layer that enables the development of common data catalogues. LIBER, on behalf of its libraries, is committed to continued active engagement in policy development and stakeholder involvement for FAIR data at a European level, and to assisting the European Commission in bringing it to national and local levels.
  5. Legal Aspects – LIBER is committed to continued active participation in copyright and other legal activities to reduce barriers and address legal uncertainty. LIBER’s Copyright Working Group works on position statements and open letters, and regularly speaks to European policy makers about the copyright issues affecting libraries and their users.
  6. Research Data Repositories, Accreditation/Certification – LIBER is committed to continue fostering the further development of research data repositories, building on the experience of libraries to operate institutional repositories. LIBER can also help libraries to achieve certification in national and international networks, for example by supporting
    initiatives that validate compliance with metadata standards and technical protocols.
  7. Legacy – LIBER is committed to respect and curate its societal role to make knowledge available to all and endorses the principle to build existing building blocks (such as libraries) rather than constructing unnecessarily complex new infrastructures.
  8. Governance & Funding – LIBER is committed to actively and continuously participate in governance processes as a reliable partner with existing structures, particularly focusing on long term sustainability. LIBER is specifically prepared to participate in the preparation for a co-funding mechanism to carefully consider the existing and new additional roles of libraries in Open Science and society at large.

In conclusion, LIBER is committed to actively participate in the further development of the EOSC, which will critically depend on the specific implications each individual point mentioned in the EOSC declaration will have on research libraries in general and individually.

In its role as a representative of more than 400 European research libraries from over 40 countries, LIBER is prepared to carry specific implementation plans to its constituent libraries
and to help develop an efficient and inclusive European system for Open Science. LIBER supports inclusiveness and acknowledges diversity in this system and recommends considering the large as well as the small activities that contribute excellent research, as exemplified in the document ‘Addressing the Gaps: Recommendations for Supporting the Long Tail of Research Data’.

For More Information: Contact LIBER President Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen or Wolfram Horstmann, head of LIBER’s Scholarly Communication & Research Infrastructures Steering Committee, with questions about this statement.

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