Open research information must be the new norm

Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information has been launched

The research information landscape requires fundamental change. The signatories of the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information, launched on April 16, 2024, commit to taking a lead in transforming the way research information is used and produced. Openness of information about the conduct and communication of research must be the new norm.

Too often, decision making in science is based on closed research information.

Research information is locked inside proprietary infrastructures, run by for-profit providers that impose severe restrictions on the use and reuse of the information.

Errors, gaps, and biases in closed research information are difficult to expose and even more difficult to fix. Indicators and analytics derived from this information lack transparency and reproducibility.

Decisions about the careers of researchers, about the future of research organizations, and ultimately about the way science serves the whole of humanity, depend on these black-box indicators and analytics.

The Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information

The Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information was prepared by a group of over 25 research information experts, representing organizations that carry out, fund, and evaluate research, as well as organizations that provide research information infrastructures.

The preparation of the Declaration was coordinated by RoRI Co-Chair Ludo Waltman (Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University), Bianca Kramer (Sesame Open Science), and Cameron Neylon (Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative, Curtin University).

Over 50 organizations are committing to making openness of research information the norm.

Open research information enables science policy decisions to be made based on transparent evidence and inclusive data. It enables information used in research evaluations to be accessible and auditable by those being assessed, and it enables the global movement toward open science to be supported by information that is fully open and transparent.

A number of research funders have already signed the Declaration. This includes the national research funders in the Netherlands (the Dutch Research Council – NWO and ZonMw) and France (French National Research Agency – ANR) as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in the US.

By signing the Barcelona Declaration, NWO, a partner of RoRI, makes a commitment “to use open (meta)data … for policy evaluation and assessment”.

Leiden University’s Centre for Science and Technology Studies, one of RoRI’s scientific partners, has announced that within the next few years, all its work will be “fully based on open research information”.

RoRI is deeply committed to open research practices, including open sharing of data.

Whenever possible, we will make use of open research information in our research projects. We encourage our partners to consider signing the Barcelona Declaration.

The full list of signatories of the Barcelona Declaration can be found here.


The signatories of the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information make the following commitments:

  1. We will make openness the default for the research information we use and produce;
  2. We will work with services and systems that support and enable open research information;
  3. We will support the sustainability of infrastructures for open research information;
  4. We will support collective action to accelerate the transition to openness of research information.

The full text of the Barcelona Declaration can be found on

Organizations that would like to know more about the Declaration or that wish to sign the Declaration are welcome to reach out to