Keynote Speech: Sándor Soós 

Keynote Speaker - Sándor Soós 

Date: Wednesday 5th July, 13:15 AM – 14:00 PM   

Room: CEU Auditorium

Chair: Lars Burman, Uppsala University Library, Sweden

Speaker: Sándor Soós, Head of the Department for Science Policy and Scientometrics at the Library and Information Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary 

Title: The complex interactions between Open Science and the world of research metrics galore 


Open Science (OS) has long been characterised as an umbrella term encompassing a handful of different strands in scientific and policy discourses, such as the infrastructure school with a focus on the technological—instrumental environment enabling OS, or the democratic school concerned with the access to and sharing of scholarly knowledge (Fecher & Friesike 2014). Together with all its versatile and particular forms of appearance, the central concepts of OS—such as transparency, accessibility, accountability—have positioned it as a major subject of science—society relationships, invoking much more than just the study of scientific communication. This is perhaps best reflected in the strand called the measurement school, aiming at the identification of the social/societal impact of research mostly through the utilisation of altmetrics (“next generation metrics”, Wilsdon et al. 2017). At the same time, proponents of this approach have been propagating a reconsidered application of conventional bibliometric instruments that facilitates the transition to open science (“responsible metrics”, ibid.). 

The main aim of this talk is to make a case for two closely intertwined claims. First that, despite the general and growing scepticism against quantitative assessments, a more complex contribution to the benefit of OS can be obtained from metrics or, rather, quantitative science studies, than is usually assumed. Second that “next generation” and “responsible” measurement should favour scientific impact over societal impact within the open science ecosystem in order to pave the way for desired relationships with the rest of society. In doing so, three recent phenomena will be briefly analysed. (1) The OA-metrics employed in publicly available and proprietary rankings and “research intelligence”, (2) the typical methodology for assessing the impacts of open science, especially concerning altmetrics, be it societal or scientific and (3) the role of non-typical metrics in facing an emerging crisis of publication strategies that would fit with the OA-transition goals, especially in the CEE countries, due to the increasingly negative assessment of major OA-publishers (such as the MDPI). These prototypic examples are to demonstrate that the “metrics approach” should go way beyond simple assessments with simple indicators – to the benefit of Open Science. 

Fecher, B., & Friesike, S. (2014). Open science: one term, five schools of thought. In Opening science: The evolving guide on how the internet is changing research, collaboration and scholarly publishing, Springer Open, 17-47. 

Wilsdon, J. R., Bar-Ilan, J., Frodeman, R., Lex, E., Peters, I., & Wouters, P. (2017). Next-generation metrics: Responsible metrics and evaluation for open science. Report of the European Commission Expert Group on Altmetrics, pp. 22. 

53rd LIBER Annual Conference