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
1,291 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
1,259 Dr. Jadranka Stojanovski University of Zadar
1,258 Dr. Inga Patarcic MDC Berlin
1,257 Dr. Tobias Winnerling Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
1,256 Mr. Florian Cech Centre for Informatics and Society, TU Wien
1,255 Ms. Zoé Kergomard University of Zurich
1,254 Ms. Anita Eppelin Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB), University of Applied Sciences Potsdam
1,253 Ms. Laurenz Kern Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin
1,252 Dr. Simeon Vidolov University College Dublin
1,251 Ms. Bettina Kunz University of Zurich, Institute of Education
1,250 Ms. Simon Luger University of Zurich, Institute of Education
1,249 Ms. Meret Stöckli University of Zurich
1,248 Dr. Johannes Huber Technical University of Applied Sciences Rosenheim/Germany
1,247 Ms. Agnes Leyrer University of Vienna
1,246 Dr. Cordula Hölig University of Hamburg
1,245 Ms. Mareike Christina Harms Buss Copenhagen Business School
1,244 Ms. Sünje Johanna Pamp
1,243 Mr. Max Festenstein Durham University
1,242 Mr. Nicholas Reed Imperial College London