In relationship with the EU procedure and with strategic topics of the call afore mentioned, the overall objectives of the Forum are to co-ordinate and network research, not to be involved in research activities.
In the Forum, a specific attention is going to be given to the following topics :
a) publishing business models,
b) archiving paradigms,
c) bibliometric indicators,
d) the peer review system and research excellence
e) impact of scientific dissemination, publications (peer-reviewed or not), archiving, on the evolution of scientific careers.
but without excluding any new topic that may emerge from open debates in the Forum.
Since we are dealing with a co-ordination and networking action process, our objectives are not related to topics but to the co-ordination process per se :
1) To provide an inclusive platform with a proactive networking effort adapted to each constituency. . Most of the debates so far concerning Scientific Information dissemination have been quite specialized. There are separate debates on Scientific Publishing, Scientific Archiving ( preprints, postprints ), Scientific Preservation etc... that are attended mostly by experts with little communication between them. Even more general debates on Scientific Information dissemination are mostly attended by specialized stakeholders : many publishers, quite a few librarians, some managers from research agencies, very few working scientists ( and mostly researchers from social sciences whose field of research includes dissemination of sciences within society ). There are too few government representatives, too few representatives of the overall business community as well as Civil Society.
Therefore a major objective is to provide a most inclusive and neutral platform for a debate on scientific information dissemination , involving all concerned stakeholders, even those than were not usually associated to the debate until now, according the overall goal of the FP7 Science in Society program, within a proactive community building and networking effort adapted to each constituency.
2) To raise awareness. The importance of Scientific Information dissemination is not enough appreciated by policy makers and by all stakeholder. It is mostly felt as a technical problem concerning only the Scientific Community. so it necessary to raise awareness among all stakeholders with an emphasis on national and international policy-makers about its societal and economical importance.
3) To facilitate collaboration and interface not only between researchers but also with policy-makers. It is quite crucial to stimulate research on Scientific Information Dissemination and to provide research groups, in particular those coming from EU support actions, with a place where they can present conclusions, so that they may not only interface with one another but also with policy-makers. The Forum should edit a green paper. and a white paper. When consensus cannot be reached, the recommendations from the various stakeholders groups will be listed inclusively online with hyperlinks to the various stakeholder group sites. The green paper. and a white paper. constitute the knowledge base of the Forum.
4)To facilitate the involvement of working scientists. It is essential to consult and to allow working scientists to express their opinions and suggestions, as they are the very source of scientific information. Their input is required, in order to fully understand and assess the relationship between scientific dissemination and careers, the relationship with research excellence, ethics, and knowledge sharing between scientists and with other stakeholders. It would help to exchange and disseminate good practices originating from various scientific fields, with possible adaptations. The Forum should be proactive to help them have a voice in the debate.
5)To empower a development agenda. Stakeholders from the other side of the digital and scientific divide are often neglected on the overall scientific information debate and it is necessary to empower all stakeholders ( Governments, Scientists, Business, Civil Society,... ) from developing and emergent countries to bring their visions and recommendations.
6 )To bridge the communication gap. More often than most, technical professionals ( publishers, archivists, librarians, etc.. ) are in a self-constructed ivory towers, holding specialized meetings, making arcane research whose conclusions are little known. One should bridge the existing communication gap between them and the rest of concerned stakeholders.
7)To bring a worldwide perspective. Strangely enough at the era of globalization, because of history, the debate stay often limited to the western world: Europe and North America. It is necessary bring the debate within the necessary worldwide perspective; including well established contributor such as Japan and Australia, scientific powerhouses such as China and India, and the urgent needs of developing countries in Africa, Asia, and South America and the Pacific. The implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society provides a splendid opportunity not to miss.
8)To reach out the media, the public, young women and men. There is communication deficit between the scientific world and the general public, probably because because of lack communication with the media, both traditional and news ones on the internet. A proactive reaching effort should be made to help them participate to, and be informed of the Forum. As scientific education is lacking appeal to new generations in Europe, probably because Scientific Information is so separated from the other media, it necessary to interact directly with prospective science students and young people as a recognized constituency in the debate in the Forum, while being more attractive and open to women in order to bridge the gender divide.
9) To create a self-sustainable Forum. Although it should be defined more as a overall ambition rather than a specific objective, one goal of the project is to create a self-sustainable platform for debate and discussion concerning scientific information dissemination, that would continue to exist after the EU project has ended. The EU project should be seen as a way to kick start a long term process, Partners are going to look for other financial resources to allow the Forum to continue its mission.
One positive consequence is that it would induce more stakeholders to invest resources with the project, if they believe that the Forum is more than a limited three years long process. In turn, this would contribute to the success of the medium-term FP7 project.