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Challenges of Open Science Policies for public health research: the case of Fiocruz, Brazil

Published onJun 13, 2023
Challenges of Open Science Policies for public health research: the case of Fiocruz, Brazil

Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) is a Brazilian institution of health science and technology, created 122 years ago. Its purpose is to produce and share knowledge and technology to strengthen the Brazilian Unified Health System. In the past decade, Fiocruz expanded its Open Science policies directed to the scientific community and the entire society. Such strategies aim at promoting public trust in the relevance of health research for the dynamics of innovation, the population’s quality of life, and the reduction of social inequalities. The promotion of Open Science at Fiocruz involves five main strategies. The first one is the collective construction of institutional policies – as the “Policy on Open Access to Knowledge” (2014), “Guidelines for Open Educational Resources” (2019) and “Policy on Management, Sharing and Opening of Data for Research” (2020) – with broad participation of Fiocruz’s community. The second is the creation of collegiate governance instances to coordinate the implementation of policies and follow-up the results. The third is the adoption of capacitation strategies for Open Science, involving the promotion of workshops and the design and delivery of courses on the theme for internal and external public, with emphasis on post-graduate students. The fourth is the investment in infrastructure and instruments for the concretisation of practices in Open Science, as repositories of research production and data. The fifth is the insertion in the Open Government Partnership, in articulation with other public agencies. To conclude, the expansion and consolidation of policies for Open Science requires political-institutional priority and the adoption of coordinated initiatives. Such a movement is crucial to meet public health demands in a global perspective, considering the importance of connecting data, information and knowledge produced internally and externally. Fiocruz has an active role in the Open Science movement in Brazil and it can contribute to the expansion of the debate, to changes in the organizational mode of making science and to the pursuit of equity in the development of and access to the outcomes of public health research.

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