Washington Update

NASEM Roundtable Updated on Stakeholders’ Progress Towards Open Science

By: Yvette Seger
Wednesday, December 21, 2022
On December 5, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science convened to hear updates from stakeholders including institutions of higher education, scholarly societies, federal agencies, and funders. Throughout the discussion, stakeholders were asked to consider how they could foster cross-sector collaboration in support of open scholarship.

The agenda kicked off with an update from representatives of the Higher Education Leadership Initiative for Open Science (HELIOS), a cohort of more than 80 colleges and universities working collectively to foster open scholarship. To achieve this, HELIOS has organized its efforts into four work streams: institutional and departmental policy; open scholarship good practices; shared open scholarship infrastructure; and cross sector alignment. In addition, HELIOS prioritizes engagement of diverse voices in open scholarship initiatives.

Earlier in the year, the roundtable identified the need to engage scholarly societies and professional societies as key stakeholders in the open scholarship conversation. This led to the formation of the Alliance for Open Scholarship, a cohort of 12 scholarly societies, including FASEB. While the group is early in its efforts, presenters highlighted opportunities to unique and cross-sector collaborations to further open scholarship.

The panel of federal funders noted the opportunity to use the recent memorandum issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) that implemented a timeline for federal agencies to update public access policies to ensure free, immediate, and equitable access to federally funded research. Updated plans for the larger agencies are due to OSTP by mid-February. Representatives from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) highlighted the agency’s plans to feature 2023 as the Year of Open Science as part of Transform to Open Science (TOPS), the agency’s five-year, $40 million mission to accelerate adoption of open science.

A key challenge linking the sessions on federal agencies and private funders was the question, “Who will absorb the costs of open science?” Throughout their presentations, representatives from funders highlighted the need for clarity regarding the outputs that constitute open scholarship, and incentives funders can and have used to promote and reinforce these behaviors among their grantees.

The next public meeting of the roundtable will be in June 2023.