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Open science

Open science, libraries, and the SDGs

UNESCO (See UNESCO: Open Access to Scientific Information) has committed to making open access one of the central supporting agendas to attain the 17 Sustainable development goals (SDGs) that were adopted by the United Nations in 2015. Open science movement embraces openness, FAIRness, equality, inclusiveness, and cooperation as the fundamental values in fostering sustainable social and economic development. It aims to ensure free, universal, open accessibility to information, publications, data, and educational resources as one of the crucial conditions to achieve global knowledge societies and attain the SDGs.

Libraries worldwide play a key role in championing open science initiatives. By enthusiastically and earnestly promoting open science, Hanken library also endeavours to build an open-access digital library for all, as a step towards attaining the SDGs.

See the section below on how open science contributes to achieving certain SDGs.

How open science contributes to achieving the SDGs?

SDGs   various open science logos


Pictures: Innovation Platform France-Canada

Open access logoSciELO in Perspective




Here is a list on the contribution of open science to attaining certain SDGs:



Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

  • Open education leads to inclusive and equitable quality education, and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all (UNESCO 2019).
  • Open access and open data ensure universal free access to research outputs, which greatly facilitates and improves learning and teaching.



Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 

  • Open access to publications, data and educational resources is fundamentally non-discriminatory for all, and broadens and deepens social discussions and policy development in gender-related issues (Mamtora and Pandey, 2018).
  • Open scholarship culture promotes responsible research evaluation, emphasizing equality in the selection of criteria, methods, evaluation evidence, and experts, and ensuring non-discrimination in terms of gender equality or impartiality (Working group for responsible evaluation of a researcher, 2020).



Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

  • Open science practices and infrastructures promote and enable innovation, dynamic research, and economic cooperation between research and industry (UNESCO, 2021).
  • Open access and open data speed up the adoption of research findings, and facilitate trans-sectoral dialogue, capacity building, and creation of innovations.
  • Open access and open data improve data verifiability and research reproducibility, which not only democratizes and empowers science, but also ensures and improves the reliability of scientific outputs’ application in industry and society.
  • Open education encourages inclusion and innovation in the use of learning materials and digital learning environments, and creates new types of more open, independent, flexible, and innovative learning practices (Inamorato dos Santos, 2019).  



Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries

  • Open science possesses the transformative potential for reducing the existing inequalities in science, technology, and innovation (STI) (UNESCO, 2021). 
  • Open access to publications, data and educational resources fulfils the absolute need to remove restrictions and barriers to disseminate information and knowledge to all, irrespective of geographic location and financial status of institutions and individuals (UNESCO, 2015). 
  • Open access and open data ensure that research is accessible to all including readers in developing countries with limited resources, which smooths out differences between various countries’ research institutions, and benefits the whole research community as well as business sectors and the general public. 
  • Open education aims to widen access and participation to everyone, making learning accessible, abundant, and customisable for all at all levels of education, regardless of their situation in life and place of residence (Inamorato dos Santos et al., 2016).  



Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

  • Open access increases accessibility and transparency of research outputs, thus prevents duplication and redundancy of research conducting, and saves time, costs, and recourses.
  • Open data decreases duplication costs in collecting, creating, and transferring data and scientific materials (UNESCO, 2021).
  • Open education provides teachers great opportunities to use existing teaching materials, saving them time and expenses compared to creating one’s own materials from the very beginning.



Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

  • Open access and open data increase awareness and discussion for transparent reporting on publicly funded projects, and increase opportunities for training and skill development (Mamtora and Pandey, 2018).
  • Open scholarship culture promotes open and responsible evaluation of researchers and teachers, emphasizing transparency, integrity, fairness, diversity, and equality in the whole evaluation process within each organization and institution (Working group for responsible evaluation of a researcher, 2020).



Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

  • Open access to publications, data and educational resources improves knowledge sharing, policy dialogue, and scientific communication, and facilitates disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration and partnerships for sustainable development, both within the scientific community and in the wider social circle.
  • Citizen science promotes the general public’s participation in and complementary contribution to scientific research and knowledge production, not as the subjects of the research but as the authors and producers of it (Fritz, 2019). It reinforces societal trust in science, and facilitates communication and partnerships between science and society.


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