Building peace in the minds of men and women

Open Science

UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO at its 41st session, in November 2021.


At the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference (2019), 193 Members States tasked the Organization with the development of an international standard-setting instrument on Open Science in the form of a UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science to be adopted by Member States in 2021.

The Recommendation was expected to define shared values and principles for Open Science, and identify concrete measures on Open Access and Open Data, with proposals to bring citizens closer to science and commitments to facilitate the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge around the world. The Recommendation was developed through a regionally balanced, multistakeholder, inclusive and transparent consultation process.

UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science complements the 2017 Recommendation on Science and Scientific Research. It also builds upon the UNESCO Strategy on Open Access to Scientific Information and Research and the new UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources.

UNESCO Recommendations are legal instruments in which “the General Conference formulates principles and norms for the international regulation of any particular question and invites Member States to take whatever legislative or other steps may be required in conformity with the constitutional practice of each State and the nature of the question under consideration to apply the principles and norms aforesaid within their respective territories”. Emanating from the Organization's supreme governing body and hence possessing great authority, recommendations are intended to influence the development of national laws and practices.

Draft text of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

Following the consensus reached during the intergovernmental meeting of experts held from 6 to 11 May 2021, the Draft text of the Recommendation was put forward for adoption by UNESCO’s General Conference during its 41st session in November 2021:
English | Français | Español | Русский | العربية | 中文


Comments on the first draft of the Recommendation on Open Science

As per the Circular letter CL/4333, UNESCO Member States were invited to provide their comments on the first draft of the Recommendation on Open Science by 31 December 2020.

  • African Publishers Network (APNET): Document
  • All European Academies (ALLEA): Document
  • Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC): Document
  • Brock University, Lisette Vasseur: Document
  • Citizen science & Open science community of practice (CSGP): Document
  • Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO): Document
  • cOAlition S: Document
  • Committee on Data (CODATA) : Document
  • Creative commons (CC): Document
  • European Council of Doctoral Candidates and Junior Researchers (Eurodoc): Document
  • Federation Mondiale des Travailleurs Scientifiques (FMTS) : Document | Message
  • German Rectors' Conference (HRK): Document
  • International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA): Document
  • International Science Council (ISC): Report
  • Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER): Document
  • National Young Academies & Global Young Academy (NYA & GYA): Document
  • Open Science MOOC: Document
  • Open Scholarship Initiative (OSI) : Document
  • Public Library of Science (PLOS) : Document
  • Publishers for Progress : Document
  • Science for democracy and Associazione Luca Coscioni: Document
  • Syndicat national de l'édition (SNE): Document
  • Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, Europe (SPARC Europe) : Document
  • Snesup_SNCS: Document
  • Syndicat National des Chercheurs Scientifiques – Fédération Syndicale Unitaire (SNCS-FSU): Document
  • International Association of STM Publishers (STM): Document
  • World Federation of Scientific Wokers (WFSW): Document | Message
  • UNESCO Chair in community-Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education: Message | Report of the World Virtual Indigenous Circle on Open Science and the Decolonization of Knowledge
  • Michael Bon: Document
  • Tatiane Pacanaro Trinca: Message
  • Verena Heise: Document | Message

Inputs to the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

In addition to the inputs received though the multistakeholder global and regional consultations, the following inputs were provided by UNESCO Open Science Partners and other and other relevant entities.

The ideas and opinions expressed in the following papers are those of the authors; they are not those of UNESCO and do not commit the Organization.