During a two-day inaugural Global Summit on Merit Review held in Washington last May — which was organised by the US National Science Foundation (NSF) at the request of the White House Office of Science & Technology (OSTP) — a new organisation called the Global Research Council (GRC) came into being.
Explaining the rationale for the new organisation, NSF Director Subra Suresh said, “This global summit is the first step toward a more unified approach to the scientific process. Science can rise above economic and cultural differences to help develop trust and clear the path for agreements in other areas. Global scientific collaboration expands the pool of knowledge that belongs to everyone and serves as a tool to improve health, security and opportunity throughout the world. Good science anywhere is good for science everywhere.”
The first initiative of the GRC was to publish a Merit Review Statement. Released at the end of the Washington summit, this outlines a set of principles for assessing funding applications, including the need to provide expert assessment, transparency, impartiality, appropriateness, and confidentiality, as well as integrity and ethical consideration.
But for Open Access (OA) advocates, a more interesting outcome of the Washington summit was the news that the GRC had decided to take up the issue of OA. As a result, at a second summit — to be held in Berlin at the end of May with representatives from around 70 research agencies — GRC will release consensus statements on both merit review and OA.
But what exactly is GRC, how will it be funded, what is its remit, and what precisely are its aspirations so far as Open Access is concerned?
To find out more I conducted an interview with Johannes Fournier, who works for the German Research Foundation (DFG).
Fournier is Program Director for the Scientific Library Services and Information Systems group, the unit within DFG’s head office which looks after information infrastructure and Open Access. As host of the upcoming GRC annual meeting, the DFG has taken the lead on the issue of OA, and Fournier took part in all the regional conferences that have been held in preparation for the May event.
Fournier is also assisting the GRC’s International Steering Committee in developing an action plan on Open Access.
If you wish to read the interview with Johannes Fournier, please click on the link below.
I am publishing the interview under the CC BY-NC-ND licence. As such, you are free to copy and distribute it as you wish, so long as you credit me as the author, do not alter or transform the text, and do not use it for any commercial purpose.
To read the interview (as a PDF file) click HERE.