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
518 Mr. Andreas Völter KIT-Bibliothek Karlsruhe
517 Dr. Ruben Garcia-Hernandez Bavarian Academy of Sciences
516 Ms. Nicole Bössel
515 Ms. Franziska Schäfer University of Mannheim
514 Dr. Mario Annunziato University of Salerno
513 Mr. Daniel Weinert
512 Dr. Jagadish Naik Dr. VishwNth Karad MIT World Peace University, Pune
511 Mr. Florian Wieland FU-Berlin
510 Mr. Gerhard Bissels University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons
509 Dr. Annett Schröter Friedrich Schiller University Jena
508 Dr. Falk Reckling
507 Dr. Vanessa Hannesschläger German Literature Archive Marbach
506 Dr. Jochen Johannsen Siegen University Library
505 Dr. Elisabeth Huber University of Bremen
504 Ms. Konstanze Söllner Universitätsbibliothek Erlangen-Nürnberg
503 Ms. Gisela Glaeser
502 Ms. Tonka Stoyanova Universitätsbibliothek Erlangen-Nürnberg
501 Ms. Josephine Thoß TU Dresden
500 Dr. Federico Corberi University of Salerno
499 Dr. Joachim Meier Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
498 Mrs. Katharina Emig Hochschule Darmstadt
497 Mr. Michael Münzing Bibliothek der Hochschule Darmstadt
496 Ms. Monika Kreutzer Hochschul- und Landesbibliothek RheinMain
495 Dr. Sebastian Herwig
494 Dr. Christina Riesenweber Freie Universität Berlin
493 Mr. Thomas Hapke
492 Dr. Sarah Dellmann Universitätsbibliothek Kassel - Landesbibliothek und Murhardsche Bibliothek der Stadt Kassel
491 Mr. Arvid Deppe Universität Kassel
490 Ms. Andrea Brandstätter Vienna University Library
489 Mr. Jürgen Plieninger Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Tübingen
488 Mr. Wolfram Seidler Vienna University Libraries and Archive Services
487 Dr. Veronika Diem Technische Universität München
486 Ms. Sven-Thomas Graupner TU Dresden
485 Dr. Joachim Eberhardt Lippische Landesbibliothek (Detmold)
484 Ms. Sabine Buroh
483 Mr. Henning Krause Forschungsstrom
482 Ms. Beate Rajski Hamburg University of Technology
481 Mr. Martin Dönike Universität Halle-Wittenberg
480 Mr. Hans Bauer Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies
479 Ms. Agnes Geißelmann Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
478 Ms. Johannes Schubert Universität Kassel
477 Mr. Hannes Bajohr
476 Dr. Jean-Claude GUÉDON Université de Montréal
475 Ms. Kathrin Woyowd
474 Dr. Andreas Geißner Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Darmstadt
473 Dr. Simone Kibler Universitätsbibliothek Braunschweig
472 Ms. Kaitlin Thaney Invest in Open Infrastructure
471 Mr. Joachim Dinter Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin
470 Dr. Sinziana Paltineanu
469 Mr. A. Mulondo