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UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

UNESCO published the first international framework on Open Science.

Graphic: book with science symbols above


For the first time, a universal definition

Until today, there was no universal definition of Open Science and standards existed only at regional, national, or institutional levels. In adopting the Recommendation, 193 countries have agreed to abide by common standards for open science. By rallying behind a set of shared values and guiding principles, they have adopted a common roadmap.

The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science sets ambitious international standards for the development of instruments on Open Science to be adopted by the Member States. To fulfil this objective, the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference (2019) promoted a series of preliminary studies and consultations with public surveys and inputs from multistakeholder global and regional consultations, from partners and other Open Science actors and entities, and from Member States.

Member States are encouraged to prioritize seven areas in their implementation of the Recommendation:

  • promoting a common understanding of open science and its associated benefits and challenges, as well as the diverse paths to open science
  • developing an enabling policy environment for open science
  • investing in infrastructure and services which contribute to open science
  • investing in training, education, digital literacy and capacity-building, to enable researchers and other stakeholders to participate in open science
  • fostering a culture of open science and aligning incentives for open science
  • promoting innovative approaches to open science at different stages of the scientific process
  • promoting international and multistakeholder co-operation in the context of open science with a view to reducing digital, technological and knowledge gaps

Full Recommendation for download

Further information


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