Overnight, COVID-19 heightens the need for Open Science

31st March 2020News, Open Access, Open Data, Open Science

As Europe and the rest of the world grapple with the many health, economic, societal and cultural challenges of this very trying and unprecedented time of the Coronavirus pandemic, SPARC Europe is keen to support our community, as well as the wider public, in any way that we can.

There are two ways we believe we can use our voice and platform to do this at present: by advocating for Open Access to research and by helping the public stay abreast of key writing and open research resources being produced today connecting the current pandemic with the cause for Open Access and Open Science.

First, as teams of researchers globally, sprint toward developing an effective vaccine against COVID-19; as physicians, policymakers, and politicians look to evidence-based studies to help guide critical decisions — we wish to emphasize how the need for immediate access to any and all relevant, published research is crucial. 

This crisis has undoubtedly shone a light on just how critical the implications of Open can be to society. 

While SPARC Europe consistently has been working on making Open the default, the current crisis is only quickening our resolve. We suspect that many within our community feel the same. Which leads to the second action we are taking.

As many of us find ourselves working from home — possibly with fewer responsibilities to fill hours that just a few weeks ago seemed too few —  we would like to suggest some pertinent reading. Scores of blog posts and articles which demonstrate the value of Open at this time are being written. 

We have curated a small collection for you here. Our hope is that they collectively provide concrete ideas and renewed inspiration for accelerating our advance toward Open once the current crisis has passed. 

We have also written an article that is both a call to action and an examination of the COVID-19 response through an Open Access and Open Science, lens. We look at how progress to date has influenced the global response, and also, how the current situation is bringing into stark relief what still must be done, emphasising that we cannot return to business-as-usual once this current crisis passes.


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