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
219 Ms. Kathrin Bauer Freie Universität Berlin
218 Ms. Elisabet Birgisdottir University of Reykjavik
217 Dr. Arnošt Štanzel Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
216 Dr. Martin Faßnacht University Library Tübingen
215 Ms. Christine Schneider Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg
214 Dr. Bettina Brand Forschungszentrum Borstel, Leibniz Lungenzentrum
213 Ms. Arianna Boldi Università di Torino
212 Dr. Mihai Varga FU Berlin
211 Dr. Florian Pargent LMU Munich
210 Dr. Moritz Hinsch Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
209 Mr. Raphaël Grolimund Haute école de gestion Genève
208 Dr. R. Muralikrishnan Max Planck Insitute for Empirical Aesthetics
207 Dr. Sabine Schmolinsky Universität Erfurt
206 Dr. Ralf Ohlhoff Albert-Ludwigs-Universitaet Freiburg
205 Dr. Rainer Thiel Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
204 Dr. Michael Dick Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg
203 Dr. Thomas Sandkühler Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin
202 Ms. Huong Pham LMU Munich
201 Dr. Marie Huber Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
200 Dr. Christoph Bernhardt IRS Erkner
199 Dr. Thomas Mergel Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
198 Dr. Cornelia Horn Martin-Luther Universität
197 Mr. Joachim Grage Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
196 Mr. Heinz-Günther Nesselrath Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
195 Mr. Christoph Schubert FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg
194 Dr. Franziska Meifort Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
193 Dr. Dietmar von Reeken Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
192 Dr. Michael Sommer Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg
191 Dr. Luc Boruta Thunken
190 Ms Clarissa Zwarg Technical University of Munich
189 Ms Melissa Hehnen LMU Munich
188 Dr. Mojtaba Salem Technical University of Munich
187 Ms Claudia Dämmig UB Freiberg
186 Dr. Steophanie Lichtenfeld Durham University
185 Ms Qun Wang lmu
184 Mr Sascha Lauer Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz | University Library
183 Dr. Michael Hansen UB Mainz
182 Dr. Ulf Steinberg Technical University of Munich
181 Ms Amal AlZahmi Ludwig Maximilians University
180 Ms Verena Loidl Ludwig-Maximilans University Munich
179 Mr Philippe Joly Freie Universität Berlin
178 Dr. Sabine Rauchmann Universität Hamburg
177 Mr Prof. Dr. Achim Oßwald TH Köln - Institute of Information Science
176 Mr Bastiaan Franssen Robert Koch-Institut (Berlin) / Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm)
175 Ms Oliver Raaz Freie Universität Berlin
174 Mr Peter Brettschneider University of Konstanz
173 Ms Elisabeth Dr. meyer-Renschhausen Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Soziologie der -
172 Mr Prof. Dr. Hermann Rösch TH Köln
171 Ms Antje Herklotz Hochschule Reutlingen
170 Dr. Barbara Göbel Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz