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
1,309 Mr. Michael Wohlgemuth SLUB Dresden
1,308 Dr. Katharina Markgraf TUM
1,307 Ms. Susanne Schaub University of Basel
1,306 Dr. Johannes Waßmer Osaka University
1,305 Mr. Christian Harders Fachhochschule Erfurt
1,304 Mr. Benjamin Harders Universität Kassel
1,303 Dr. Christof Schöch Trier University
1,302 Dr. Nadine Richter FH Dortmund
1,301 Mr. Leon Krings Universität Hildesheim
1,300 Mr. Josef Fruchtl University of Amsterdam Department of Philosophy
1,299 Mr. Deniz Kaya University of Stuttgart
1,298 Ms. Veerle Fraeters University of Antwerp
1,297 Ms. Davide M Proserpio Università degli studi di Milano
1,296 Dr. Paola Galimberti
1,295 Ms. Jacqueline Huber University of Zurich
1,294 Ms. Anne Madden
1,293 Ms. Laura Graf Technical University of Munich
1,292 Dr. Hugues Abriel University of Bern, Switzerland
1,291 Mr. Bastian Welke Hannover Medical School
1,290 Dr. Jef Ausloos University of Amsterdam
1,289 Dr. Philipp Girr University of York
1,288 Dr. Thomas Schultze-Gerlach Queen's University Belfast
1,287 Mr. Moritz Bald Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
1,286 Dr. Roman Stengelin MPI EVA
1,285 Dr. Juliette Schaafsma Tilburg University
1,284 Dr. Sebastian Schindler University of Münster
1,283 Mr. Emir Efendic Maastricht University
1,282 Dr. Tom Johnstone Swinburne University of Technology
1,281 Dr. Hendrik Buschmeier Bielefeld University
1,280 Dr. Stephanie Lichtenfeld University of Hamburg
1,279 Ms. Martina-Christine Koschwitz Bernhard-Nocht-Institut für Tropenmedizin
1,278 Ms. Silke Gotthardt ZBMED Köln
1,277 Ms. Nicole Brune
1,276 Ms. Fiona Faye University of Kassel
1,275 Mr. Maik Schmiedeler
1,274 Dr. Boris Brühmann University of Freiburg
1,273 Dr. Dennis Mischke Ada Lovelace Center for Digital Humanities
1,272 Mr. Timo Steyer Steyer University Library Braunschweig
1,271 Ms. Johannes von Vacano ULB Bonn / FID Romanistik
1,270 Dr. Jan Horstmann Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
1,269 Ms. Sonja Klein Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST
1,268 Ms. Vanessa Kaiser University and Research Hospital Freiburg, Germany
1,267 Ms. Elli Zey Goethe University Frankfurt
1,266 Ms. Lucia Cikovska University of Vienna
1,265 Ms. Beth Evans Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
1,264 Dr. Allison Langham-Putrow
1,263 Ms. Stefaniya Kamenova University of Oslo
1,262 Mr. Jan Melissen ZHdK
1,261 Mr. Emmanuel Trizac Université Paris-Saclay
1,260 Ms. Rafiq Bodalal University of Benghazi