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
1,122 Ms. Sonja Thielen University of Konstanz
1,121 Dr. Tobias hecker Bielefeld University
1,120 Dr. Sergey Shevchenko Tokarevsky IP NAN of Ukraine, ret., now independent researcher
1,119 Ms. Rabea Müller ZB MED - Information Centre for Life Sciences
1,118 Dr. Eric Sieverts Retired
1,117 Ms. Roberto Caso Università di Trento
1,116 Ms. helga Hartmann-Kaul
1,115 Dr. Günter Ollenschläger Medical Faculty, University of Cologne, Germany
1,114 Mr. Jörg Fischer
1,113 Dr. Ingmar Hosenfeld University of Koblenz and Landau
1,112 Dr. Melanie Steffens University of Koblenz and Landau
1,111 Ms. Hannah Lönneker Eberhard Karls University Tübingen
1,110 Dr. Guido Gendolla University of Geneva
1,109 Dr. Catriona Seth University of Oxford
1,108 Dr. Sylvain Ribault IPhT Saclay
1,107 Mr. Lorenz Stradtner Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität
1,106 Dr. Susanne Bruckmüller Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg
1,105 Mr. Jonas Cleve Freie Universität Berlin
1,104 Mx. Leonard/Janis König Freie Universität Berlin
1,103 Mr. Feliks Vdovichenko FU Berlin
1,102 Mr. Tim Hemig
1,101 Ms. Martina Conti PHSZ
1,100 Ms. Georg Gittler Universität Wien
1,099 Ms. Adina von Malm Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
1,098 Ms. Britta Dumser Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
1,097 Mr. Valentin Pickel Freie Universität Berlin
1,096 Dr. Simon Maier Medical Center - University of Freiburg
1,095 Mr. Philip Oppermann Lund University
1,094 Mr. Andrzej Sawiniec
1,093 Dr. Aleya Flechsenhar Ludwig-Maximilian-Universität München
1,092 Dr. Frank Wilhelm Paris Lodron University Salzburg
1,091 Dr. Jenny Wagner University of Hamburg
1,090 Mr. Christian Winterhalter Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
1,089 Ms. Magdalena Hirsch WZB Berlin Social Science Center
1,088 Mr. Giacomo Lanza Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)
1,087 Dr. Paula Krüger Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts
1,086 Ms. Lea Hochgatterer University of Graz
1,085 Dr. Tobias Rosefeldt HU Berlin
1,084 Dr. Thomas Müller Universität Konstanz
1,083 Dr. Geert Keil Humboldt-Universität Berlin
1,082 Ms. Susanne Goettker FernUniversität in Hagen / Universitätsbibliothek
1,081 Ms. Maria Pflüger University of Potsdam
1,080 Ms. Brunhilde Schumann-Schmid Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
1,079 Mr. Sven Iwainsky TU Chemnitz
1,078 Ms. Katharina Steinhöfel TU Chemnitz
1,077 Ms. Marie-Luise Förster TU Chemnitz
1,076 Dr. Karolina Nieberle Durham University
1,075 Ms. Sarah Lang
1,074 Dr. Vladislav Nachev Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
1,073 Ms. Xenia Neugebauer Universität Hildesheim