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Global Thinking. ON-MERRIT recommendations for maximising equity in open and responsible research

Cole, Nicki Lisa; Reichmann, Stefan; Ross-Hellauer, Tony

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    <subfield code="a">&lt;p&gt;Open and responsible research has the potential to profoundly alter the who, what,&amp;nbsp;why, when and how of knowledge-creation. Yet it is not a destiny. The ways we&amp;nbsp;implement change today will have long-lasting consequences for the kind of open&amp;nbsp;and responsible research ecosystem we inhabit tomorrow. For that future to be one&amp;nbsp;more equitable than today&amp;rsquo;s world, critical consideration must be given to the ways in&amp;nbsp;which agendas of openness are shaped by those in positions of power and privilege,&amp;nbsp;and might hence reflect or even reinforce global dynamics of inequity.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/p&gt;

&lt;p&gt;ON-MERRIT is an EC-funded project to investigate dynamics of cumulative&amp;nbsp;advantage and threats to equity in the transition to Open Research and Responsible&amp;nbsp;Research &amp;amp; Innovation (RRI) across a range of stakeholder categories (in particular&amp;nbsp;for those at the periphery) and multiple dimensions of Open Research, as well as its&amp;nbsp;interfaces with industry and policy. Our results found many areas of concern, from&amp;nbsp;which we identified four key areas of risk:&lt;/p&gt;

	&lt;li&gt;Resource-intensity of Open Research: Putting open and responsible research into&amp;nbsp;practice requires considerable resources (including infrastructures, services, and&amp;nbsp;training). The structural inequalities that exist within institutions, regions and nations,&amp;nbsp;and on a global scale, create structural advantages for well-resourced actors and&amp;nbsp;structural disadvantages for less-resourced actors, in terms of capacity and ability to&amp;nbsp;engage in these practices.&lt;/li&gt;
	&lt;li&gt;Article-processing charges and the stratification of Open Access publishing: The&amp;nbsp;article processing charge (APC)&amp;nbsp; model within Open Access publishing seems to&amp;nbsp;discriminate against those with limited resources (especially those from less-resourced&amp;nbsp;regions and institutions). These facts seem to be having effects of&amp;nbsp;stratification in terms of who publishes where.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/li&gt;
	&lt;li&gt;Societal inclusion in research and policy-making: Open and responsible research&amp;nbsp;processes take place within broader social systems where inequalities continue to&amp;nbsp;structure access and privilege certain actors while others are&amp;nbsp;disadvantaged. Despite&amp;nbsp;laudable aims of equity, inclusion and diversity in open and responsible research, the&amp;nbsp;most marginalised, vulnerable, and poor remain mostly excluded.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/li&gt;
	&lt;li&gt;Reform of reward and recognition: Institutional processes for reward and recognition&amp;nbsp;not only do not&amp;nbsp;sufficiently&amp;nbsp;support the uptake of open and responsible research, but&amp;nbsp;often get in the way of them. This disadvantages those who wish to take up these&amp;nbsp;practices (putting early-career researchers especially at risk).&lt;/li&gt;
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