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
640 Ms. Juliane Thomas Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
639 Ms. Sara Claassen
638 Mr. Ramin Yahyapour GWDG, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
637 Ms. Pauline Kiel Universität Osnabrück
636 Dr. Peter Murray-Rust University of Cambridge
635 Ms. Ortrun Mittelsten Scheid
633 Ms. Mira Kratzenstein RWTH
632 Ms. Jan-Gabriel Dobroschke Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
631 Dr. Helge Knüttel University of Regensburg
630 Ms. Elke Roesner ZB MED - Information Centre for Life Science
629 Ms. Ulla Ditzfeld
628 Mx. Lisa Burscheidt Uni Münster
627 Ms. Constanze Wegerle OVGU Magdeburg
626 Ms. Lea Greene
625 Ms. Sandra Stops kbs|Die Akademie für Gesundheitsberufe am St. Kamillus GmbH
624 Ms. Antje Hortig
623 Ms. Sabine Jastrow GLG
622 Mr. Alexander Messerschmid Isar-Amper-Klinikum München-Ost
621 Ms. Christine Mieck
620 Dr. Marc von Gernler Universität Bern
619 Mr. Thomas Nordhausen Institute for Health and Nursing Science
618 Ms. Mara Mosbacher Otto-von-Guericke-Universität
617 Ms. Elisabeth Tiedke Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg
616 Ms. Judith Bomba Otto von Guericke Universität Magdeburg
615 Mr. Jonas Schulze Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
614 Ms. Fienne-Elisa Beckmann Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
613 Mr. Robert Lirenz Otto von Guericke Universität Magdeburg
612 Mr. Torsten Uebelhoer Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg
611 Ms. Brigitte Helmers-Weber Universität Osnabrück
610 Mr. Julian Mader Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
609 Ms. Julia Kunz
608 Ms. Denise Jais
607 Mrs. Theresa Bärwolff Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
606 Ms. Anneke Henningsen Universität Hildesheim
605 Ms. Melissa Streicher Stiftung Universität Hildesheim
604 Ms. Isabell Edelhaeuser Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden - Rossendorf
603 Ms. Miriam Meyer
602 Ms. Anna Tieftrunk Universität Mannheim
601 Dr. Gabriel Viehhauser University of Stuttgart
600 Ms. Dorothee Haase
599 Ms. Mareike Meyer Universität Hildesheim
598 Ms. Shai Vopel University of Osnabrück
597 Ms. Carlotta Albert
596 Ms. Muriel Fiedlschuster Universität Osnabrück
595 Ms. Krista Bisoke Bergische Universität Wuppertal
594 Miss. Jana Lisanne Metzner
593 Mr. Viktor Michnev Stiftung Universitaet Hildesheim
592 Ms. Anonymous Anonymous Universität Osnabrück
591 Ms. Miriam Smolny Uni Osnabrück