About the report

The new report titled “Enabling open science and societal engagement in research” was just published. Last month, the report, written Richard Owen, was made available by the Publications Office of the European Union and is openly accessible.

You can download the report here.

The report focuses on Open Science and societal engagement in Research and Innovation. The document essentially presents findsings and recommendations from a workshop held on 1 July 2021 by the European Commission DG Research and Innovation and the European Research Executive Agency. The workshop was attended by several beneficiaries of the Science with and for Society (SwafS) Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) institutional change portfolio of projects funded under H2020 programme, as well as the initial group of European University Alliances under the European Universities Initiative that received funding under the SwafS programme. During the workshop, attendees had the chance to explore jointly how the concept and practices of open science and societal engagement can be fully upscaled and be transformed into a new institutional reality within the European Research Performing and Funding Organisations (RPFOs) and universities.

The five key recommendations

A major part of the report emphasises the importance of reforming European universities’ . The three logics refer to: (i) the “ivory tower” (i.e., universities as independent agents that produce knowledge); (ii) the “utilitarian university: (i.e., the universities as agents of performing applied research to meet policy goals); and (iii) the “managed bureaucracy” (i.e., the universities as a bureaucratic organisation that pursues efficiency and effectiveness).

To reshape the dynamics between the three logics and the premises of Open Science, the workshop has come up with five key recommendations, that are documented in the report:

  • Revise and reform the criteria, metrics, and processes supporting researchers’ recruitment and career progression, in order to reward Open Science practices
  • Institutionalise Open Science in universities as a long term project for which leadership and coordination must be provided by EU and national policymakers
  • Ensure continuous revision of indicators, measures, and processes deployed in a project so as to secure that these include assessment and evaluation of Open Science practices
  • Improve criteria, metrics, and methods that underpin research proposal evaluation processes made by the European Commission and national research funding bodies
  • Reform the university ranking system so as to ensure that it includes criteria, metrics, and methods for Open Science


In the report, there is a section about examples of SwafS projects dedicated to implementing Responsible Research and Innovation in Research Funding and Performing Organisations. INCENTIVE is featured as a paradigmatic project that strives for establishing Citizen Science Hubs and seeks to deliver guidance for European and international research institutes on how to create and operate their own hubs.