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Coimbra Group signs the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information

16 April 2024

Two months after taking the decision to join the conversation on Open Science, we are proud to announce that the Coimbra Group is among the initial signatories of the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information. Led by the vision of its Executive Board and Rectors’ Advisory Group, the Coimbra Group aims to coordinate efforts with other leading organisations to promote systemic transformations in the research sector. Several Coimbra Group member universities have also expressed their support to the Declaration already.

The full text of the Barcelona Declaration and list of signatories can be found on barcelona-declaration.org.

Open research information must be the new norm

The research information landscape requires fundamental change. The signatories of the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information commit to taking a lead in transforming the way research information[1] 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.

Today, over 30 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.


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.

Support the transition to open research information

To reach the tipping point in the transition from closed to open research information, more concerted action is needed. We therefore call on all organizations that carry out, fund, and evaluate research to support the transition to open research information and to sign 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 group met in Barcelona in November 2023 in a workshop hosted by SIRIS Foundation. The preparation of the Declaration was coordinated by Bianca Kramer (Sesame Open Science), Cameron Neylon (Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative, Curtin University), and Ludo Waltman (Centre for Science and Technology Studies, Leiden University).

Contact details

Organizations that would like to know more about the Declaration or that wish to sign the Declaration are welcome to reach out to contact@barcelona-declaration.org.

[1]Definition of research information

By research information we mean information (sometimes referred to as metadata) relating to the conduct and communication of research. This includes, but is not limited to, (1) bibliographic metadata such as titles, abstracts, references, author data, affiliation data, and data on publication venues, (2) metadata on research software, research data, samples, and instruments, (3) information on funding and grants, and (4) information on organizations and research contributors. Research information is located in systems such as bibliographic databases, software archives, data repositories, and current research information systems.