The Ombudsperson participated in UNESCO Regional Consultation

On the 24th of September, UNESCO organized an Eastern European Regional Consultation on the Recommendation on Open Science. It was attended by a wide range of stakeholders from Eastern Europe, including academia (especially library staff), policy makers and other representatives. About 150 participants participated in the Regional Consultation.

During the Regional Consultation, the stakeholders shared experiences of different countries at both national and institutional levels. During the open discussion, a lot of attention was paid to the search for indicators of scientific activity. It was proposed to include qualitative indicators of Open Science, modify the evaluation models of scientific activity, develop systems for the promotion of Open Science. It has been noted that Eastern European countries have made progress in promoting open access to scientific publications, but the research data management infrastructure and citizen science are poorly developed. The Ombudswoman Loreta Tauginienė emphasized that in Eastern European countries public involvement in research is taking place, but due to linguistic differences it is difficult to trace it and it does not receive an appropriate reward. She also drew attention to potential ethical challenges in conducting research involving the public as an equal researcher.

The Office has recently completed a project funded by the COST program Citizen Science to Promote Creativity, Scientific Literacy, and Innovation Throughout Europe, which played special attention to public involvement in research. An open access book funded by this project will be published later this year, which also analyses the ethical challenges of informed consent.

In order to further delve into this issue, the Office launches a project funded by Erasmus+ program Bridging Integrity in Higher Education, Business and Society. This project plans to develop guidelines for ensuring research ethics of citizen science.