pixel NOVA alongside YERUN in the European project that wants to promote science as a public good  | Universidade NOVA de Lisboa

NOVA alongside YERUN in the European project that wants to promote science as a public good 

That is the challenge of OPUS - Open Universal Science: reform the assessment of research towards a system that incentivises researchers to practice open science If sharing knowledge is everyone's right, then funding policies must also recognise it    


It is an issue that, admittedly, received a strong push after a pandemic that forced researchers from all over the world to work together, looking for a solution – in this case, a vaccine that would fight the effects of a very particular coronavirus. Now, knowledge sharing is already seen as a citizens' right and demands more than mere recommendations, a bit like what happened a few years ago with gender equality policies, which are now mandatorily included in institutions' strategic plans.    

The UNESCO recommendation in favour of open science, approved in November 2021, took the missing step by signalling that "open science increases collaborations and sharing of scientific information for the benefit of science and society"; "opens processes of creation, evaluation and communication of scientific knowledge to actors in society" and "makes multilingual scientific knowledge available, making it accessible and reusable for all".    

Before that, in 2019, the EUA - European University Association had already conducted a survey to assess the state of the art of research evaluation in European HEIs. An assessment made from another sign of the times that goes by the name of the digital revolution, for some years now rapidly and profoundly changing the way science is conducted.  The EUA agenda defined for 2025 also underlined that "Open Science goes hand in hand with good scientific practice".  

It is, therefore, in this scenario that the OPUS project (an acronym for Open Universal Science), of which NOVA is part (as well as YERUN itself among other 16 partners), has come to life, to encourage higher education institutions and funding organizations entities responsible for funding to promote and value those who share scientific knowledge in an open network - providing publications, resources and access to databases.     

«NOVA is proud to be one of the pilot organisations that will set up and monitor interventions to reform the research assessment system. It will be challenging to motivate researchers and show them why sharing is so important nowadays and how that will benefit their work.» 

Isabel Nunes, Vice-rector of NOVA University Lisbon 

After the launch session held in the Canary Islands in September, the challenge is, over the next 3 years, to find the best way to reform the research evaluation system and encourage researchers to adopt Open Science practices: providing open access to research outputs, early and open sharing of research, participation in open peer-review, measures to ensure reproducibility of results, and involving citizens, civil society, and end-users in the co-creation of research and innovation agendas and content. 

At the end of the project, it will then be possible to recommend policies that promote the sharing of scientific knowledge and bring it closer to the people.