Stop Tracking Science

The major academic publishers have made collection and trading of data about the research interests of individuals, groups and research institutions their new business model. Data about your scientific activities are collected in real time across the research workflow. The publishers take notes and sell the knowledge about you to third parties. This business model is in direct opposition to academic freedom. We have to stand up against these corporations!

Stop Tracking Science!

A fundamental transformation is currently changing scholarly publishing to the detriment of science and society. After the commercialization and ensuing development of a dominant oligopoly of a few major publishers, another expropriation of scholarship is now on the agenda: the switch from selling content to trading data. Scientific publishers are becoming data trading platforms. Under the distracting cover of public open access negotiations, science is secretly being threatened to become just another data analytics business

Acquiring start-ups covering the entire research workflow, the major publishers have already started to collect data on research fields and research processes and now more and more on individual scientists as well. To do this, they deploy various trackers, audience tools and web analytics tools at various points in the research workflow, not only when we visit their servers, but also when we use their research tools. They are even attempting to persuade libraries to install trackers inside university networks: the research behavior of all of us is being recorded in real time. The data obtained are traded, e.g., to sell emerging research trends or to inform governments about dissident intellectuals. At the same time, all of this is a rapidly growing area of ​​business driving the development of new monopolies in the scientific publishing industry. Knowledge belongs less and less to the society that finances it.

Our demands 

The current development towards science tracking violates fundamental rights and the integrity of an open knowledge society. We demand: 

  1. Corporate tracking of academics must stop and can no longer be the subject of negotiations between research institutions and publishers.
  2. Open standards in scholarly communication must take precedence over solutions that promote monopolies of knowledge and provider lock-in.
  3. All actors in science governance must redesign their decision-making and evaluation instruments and overcome their fixation on bibliometric indicators.

To comply with these demands research institutions must sign the Declaration of Research Assessment (DORA) or an equivalent commitment and immediately stop all payments to and negotiations with companies that track researchers for commercial gain and/or do not provide open standards on research (meta-)data preventing provider lock-in. Funders must make institutions that do not comply ineligible for funding.

  • Prof. Dr. Björn Brembs, Universität Regensburg
  • Prof. Dr. Anne Baillot, Le Mans Université
  • Prof. Dr. Konrad Förstner, ZB MED – Information Centre for Life Sciences / Technische Hochschule Köln
  • Prof. Dr. Dagmar Freist, Universität Oldenburg
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Hanenberg, Universidade Católica Portuguesa
  • Lambert Heller, TIB – German National Library of Science and Technology
  • Prof. Dr. Philippe Huneman, IHPST, CNRS, Paris
  • Dr. Peter Kraker, Open Knowledge Maps, Wien
  • Dr. Danny Kingsley, Australian National University
  • Prof. Dr. Dariusz Komorowski, Uniwersytet Wrocław
  • Prof. Dr. Gerhard Lauer, Universität Basel
  • Prof. Dr. Anne Mangen, Universitetet i Stavanger
  • Prof. Dr. Claudia Müller-Birn, Freie Universität Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Felix Schönbrodt, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
  • Dr. Renke Siems, Reutlingen
  • Dr. Mike Taylor, University of Bristol
  • Prof. Mark Wilson, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Most recent signees
475 Ms. Kathrin Woyowd
474 Dr. Andreas Geißner Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Darmstadt
473 Dr. Simone Kibler Universitätsbibliothek Braunschweig
472 Ms. Kaitlin Thaney Invest in Open Infrastructure
471 Mr. Joachim Dinter Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin
470 Dr. Sinziana Paltineanu
469 Mr. A. Mulondo
468 Mrs. Louise Rumpf Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
467 Ms. Ulrike Ostrzinski ZB MED - Information Centre for Life Sciences
466 Ms. Steffi Grimm Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
465 Mr. Oliver Roth Bibliothek der Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin
464 Dr. Andreas Degkwitz Humboldt University Berlin
463 Ms. Maike Neufend Open-Access-Büro Berlin / Freie Universität Berlin
462 Dr. Jens Helmert Technische Universität Dresden
461 Ms. Maxi Kindling Open-Access-Büro Berlin (FU Berlin) / IBI (HU Berlin)
460 Dr. Sebastian Pannasch Technische Universität Dresden
459 Dr. Jasmin Schmitz ZB MED
458 Ms. Josephine Hartwig SLUB Dresden
457 Ms. Antje Theise Universitätsbibliothek Rostock
456 Dr. Antje Kellersohn Universitätsbibliothek Freiburg
455 Dr. Miriam Bernard TU Berlin
454 Ms. Katrin Schneider UB Potsdam
453 Ms. Claudia Heilmann Bayerisches Landesamt für Statistik / Bibliothek
452 Dr. Julia Dickel TiHo Hannover
451 Dr. Kathrin Klein Universitätsklinikum Essen
450 Mr. Ingo Rohlfing University of Cologne
449 Ms. Kathrin Grummich Cochrane Deutschland
448 Dr. Martin Mayer Hochschul- und Landesbibliothek RheinMain
447 Dr. Andreas Knüpfer Technische Universität Dresden
446 Mr. Yannik Hein PTB
445 Dr. Kathrin Ganz
444 Dr. Stephan Dressler Berlin
443 Dr. Marie Farge CNRS and ENS Paris
442 Dr. Steffen Seitz Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
441 Ms. Joana Pereira University of Freiburg
440 Dr. Martin Czaske Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)
439 Mr. Marcelo Jaime Los Alamos National Laboratory
438 Dr. Nora Meyne Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
437 Mr. Leonhard Dobusch University of Innsbruck
436 Mr. Benjamin Angerer University of Osnabrück
435 Dr. Claudia Swart Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
434 Dr. Christof Schöch Trier University, Germany
433 Ms. Corinna Kührt Technische Universität Dresden
432 Ms. Josephine Zerna Dresden Technical University
431 Mr. Marvin Rust Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
430 Ms. Kerstin Heinecke Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
429 Ms. Achim Ilchmann Technische Universtität Ilmenau
428 Ms. Franziska Mauter Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
427 Mr. Felix Heitmann Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
426 Dr. Peter Micke Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt