U.S academic leaders join forces for open scholarship

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Leaders from 65 U.S. colleges and universities are joining forces to advance the principles and practices of open scholarship, in an effort to make scholarly outputs more transparent and beneficial to a broader community.

The partnership aims to ensure that as many students, faculty, practitioners, policy makers, and community members as possible have access to, and a voice in, research and scholarship.

The Higher Education Leadership Initiative for Open Scholarship, known as HELIOS, is a cohort of colleges and universities formed to create collective action to advance open scholarship across their campuses. HELIOS takes place within the larger context of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science.

Greg Tananbaum, secretariat of the National Academies’ Roundtable and director of Open Research Funders Group, a network of funders committed to the open sharing of research outputs, said: 'HELIOS represents the most promising, ambitious attempt to align higher education practices with open scholarship values. Colleges and universities can make it easier and more rewarding for students, faculty, and staff to engage in open scholarship activities like data sharing and self-archiving their papers. HELIOS is an important collective step in that direction.'

HELIOS members have agreed to commit a high-level presidential representative to work with other institutions to develop actionable incentives, resources, and infrastructure that broadens access to research and scholarship. Leaders will also work with relevant units on their campuses to champion open scholarship policies and programs and to support internal stakeholders in establishing appropriate milestones, communications channels, infrastructure, supports, resources, and accountability mechanisms. HELIOS members will meet regularly as a community of practice to identify areas of shared interest and possible collaboration, to discuss success and challenges, and to develop guidance for other institutions.

'We believe HELIOS will accelerate the adoption of open scholarship by engaging senior leaders across higher education to collaborate on areas of shared interest such as hiring, training, and tenure practices,' said Geeta Swamy, strategic lead for HELIOS and Duke University Associate Vice President for Research and Vice Dean for Scientific Integrity. 'Collective action and ongoing dialog can help identify best practices, as well as areas ripe for institutional cooperation.'

HELIOS is co-chaired by Arizona State University President Michael Crow, Benedict College President Rosalyn Artis, and Johns Hopkins University President Ron Daniels. The project is supported by grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the John Templeton Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and Templeton World Charity Foundation. Members are due to meet imminently kick off the work. Learn more about HELIOS and find a full list of members at heliosopen.org.

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