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
1,362 Dr. Eva Méndez Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
1,361 Dr. Lukas Röseler Münster Center for Open Science
1,360 Ms. Esther Preuschhof TU Chemnitz
1,359 Dr. Christina Pfeuffer Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
1,358 Mr. Andrew Pfannkuche University of Luxembourg
1,357 Dr. Carsten Orwat Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
1,356 Dr. Alina Wernick University of Helsinki
1,355 Ms. Jascha Bareis Institute of Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis
1,354 Ms. Jessica Denke Muhlenberg College
1,353 Mr. Patrick Hochstenbach Ghent University
1,352 Dr. Isabell Klawonn Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research
1,351 Ms. Marion Powilleit Society for the Advancement of Applied Computer Science
1,350 Dr. Dr. Steffen M. Diebold
1,349 Dr. Moritz Mähr University of Bern
1,348 Mr. Benjamin Gagl University of Cologne
1,347 Ms. Maram-Maria Salah University of Vienna
1,346 Mr. Jörg Panzer University for Applied Sciences Kaiserslauern, Germany
1,345 Mr. Italo Vignoli The Document Foundation
1,344 Ms. Alexa Färber University of Vienna
1,343 Ms. Ann Fuchs Universität Bern
1,342 Mr. Sergius Kodera Institu für Philosophie, Universität Wien
1,341 Mr. Leon Skoba Helmut-Schmidt-Universität / Universität der Bundeswehr Hamburg
1,340 Ms. Hannah Nilles
1,339 Miss. Chloe Taylor-Jackson
1,338 Dr. Sabine Grenz University of Vienna
1,337 Dr. Renate Burri Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften
1,336 Ms. Werner Seibt Austrian Academy of Sciences
1,335 Dr. Martin Roland Austrian Academy of Sciences
1,334 Mr. Johannes Koder Austrian Academy of Sciences
1,333 Dr. Klaus Belke Austrian Academy of Sciences
1,332 Dr. Leena Mari Peltomaa Austrian Academy of Sciences, IMAFO, Division of Byzantine Research
1,331 Dr. Veronika Wieser Austrian Academy of Sciences
1,330 Dr. Eirini Afentoulidou Austrian Academy of Sciences
1,329 Dr. Joost Holthuis University of Osnabrueck
1,328 Ms. Anna Echterhölter University of Vienna
1,327 Dr. Claudia Rapp University of Vienna
1,326 Mr. Rico Pohling Technical University of Chemnitz
1,325 Mx. University of Antwerp Department of Literature University of Antwerp | Department of Literature
1,324 Ms. Su Sonia Herring DiploFoundation
1,322 Dr. Joachim Kimmerle Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien & University of Tübingen
1,321 Ms. Sophie R Universität Würzburg
1,320 Ms. Lara Behrmann University Hospital Bonn
1,319 Dr. Mario Pagliaro CNR
1,318 Dr. Pascal Vaillant Université Paris 13
1,317 Mr. Stephan Boesiger Universität Basel
1,316 Mr. Khaeruddin Kiramang IAIN Bone
1,315 Dr. Björn Schembera University of Stuttgart
1,314 Ms. Julia Rone University of Cambridge
1,313 Dr. Zotian Elsa LaSSA