The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science has been unanimously adopted by its member states in November 2021. The Recommendation includes the recognition of the role of software, source code and software infrastructure as key parts of Open Science.
The UNESCO Recommendation sets an international standard for Open Science, defining shared values and principles, and identifying concrete measures for the regulation of Open Access and Open Data.
The Recommendation was formally adopted in its entirety by the General Conference of UNESCO at its 41st session in November. All 193 UNESCO member states should take steps to apply the principles laid out.
This is the first time that the importance of software has been recognised in the role of Open Science by UNESCO. Previous Recommendations in this area have focussed on Open Access and Open Data, but haven’t included open source software.
Neil Chue Hong, SSI Director, said:
“This is a fantastic recognition of the key part that software plays in open science, and reinforces the recommendation from the OECD earlier this year recognising that re-use and value of data can depend on the availability of relevant metadata, algorithms, code, and software. Making software FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) will increase our ability to advance research.”