Barcelona Declaration – OPERAS Announcement

We are very pleased to announce that OPERAS has become a supporting member of the Barcelona Declaration. The Declaration supports and enhances the role of open research information as a key component for making science policy decisions, complementing research evaluations and achieving open science through open and transparent information.

There are four core commitments that highlight the various positive effects and directions of Open Research Information:

  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.

The four commitments reveal the pillars on which the signatories and supporters must continue working on: 

See copyright information at the end of this post.

Pillar 1 – Openness – prioritise the use of open research information wherever possible to assess and evaluate individuals or institutions, to maintain the momentum of sharing information as openly as possible, and, of course, to inform decision-making. Open science has always recognised the limitations of openness, whether due to sensitive data or other types of limitations, but this should not discourage communities from continuing to produce research in an open way. Infrastructures offer a variety of solutions to achieve this progress.

Pillar 2 – Interoperability – This pillar is aimed at platforms, whether they are publishers producing metadata for publications or institutions using a current research information system (CRIS) to share their metadata as widely as possible in a standardised way.

Pillar 3 – Sustainability – This pillar focuses on the many challenges that open infrastructures can face in terms of financial stability and how to maintain a healthy pace of development through community participation and engagement. OPERAS also embodies and supports the Principles of Open Scholarly Infrastructure.

Pillar 4 – Transition – The final commitment aims to address perhaps the most fundamental challenge in this Declaration: how to transition from reliance on closed/proprietary sources to open research information. While there are open sources and infrastructures that openly share research information, this is by no means the norm. Many institutions are naturally connected to closed sources and still rely on them for decision-making and evaluation. This declaration and the final commitment highlight the need for a coalition to create initiatives that will enable the transition to open research information.

Open Research Information: the OPERAS view

It is our view that this declaration aligns itself with the idea and fundamental principle that scientific knowledge owes to be free, to be shared and to be scrutinised in order to further enhance our understanding of our societies and to keep advancing the record and archive of human knowledge.

See copyright information at the end of this post.

Openness and transparency of information has other benefits: it restores integrity and trust to the scientific enterprise, and we wholeheartedly support activities that lead us back to increasing the integrity of the scientific record. Open research information also has room for improvement. Open is not by default a guarantee of quality, but it provides us with an opportunity to improve the information through visibility and accessibility.

Supporting the Declaration therefore means working to improve the veracity, accuracy, and quality of the metadata that enable the unhindered dissemination of scientific knowledge. Ultimately, by making research information open, indexed, and accessed, regardless of budget or geographical location, the conditions for equitable and non-discriminatory access to research information are being created.

See copyright information at the end of this post.

Karina Batthayány’s statement points to some fundamental benefits for the SSH domain: open research information can lead to a more diverse publishing ecosystem (bibliodiversity), a diversity of formats, and inclusivity of languages (see also the 2021 White Paper by OPERAS Multilingualism Special Interest Group). Let’s continue to enable local research to be widely shared and celebrated. 

Becoming a supporter of this declaration is not only a nod to the past of OPERAS and our activities so far, but also a commitment to how we see ourselves moving forward.



Author: Fotis Mystakopoulos

Reviewers: Yannick Legre, Karla Avanço, Suzanne Dumouchel 

Note: All images have been sourced from: Barcelona Declaration website. C. 2024 Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Cite this blog post
Fotis Mystakopoulos (2024, May 24). Barcelona Declaration – OPERAS Announcement. OPERAS. Retrieved June 24, 2024, from

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