GenR is changing how it runs theme and having them ongoing as well as opening up to the Open Science community for theme suggestions. New themes that are already allocated for 2019/20 are ‘Innovation: The Open Science Dividend’ and ‘A Publishing Utopia’.

New theme scheduling

  • GenR themes will now run in parallel with an initial cluster of articles at the start of each theme. 
  • We are making this change to be able to support more open science communities.

Open to suggestions

We’re open to theme suggestions and will be canvassing the community for input on a regular basis. We’ll maintain a list of proposed themes that have been set by the editorial and keep a slot open for new themes to come in.

If you’re interested in pitching a theme or have an idea you want to talk over please take into account these key thoughts that drive the GenR editorial:

  • we take a needs based approach to researchers,
  • GenR is about European Open Science as part of a global knowledge network,
  • championing open science communities, 
  • we use the term ‘research’ in Generation Research to be inclusive as possible, meaning: open science, open scholarship, and researchers inside and outside of academia, and
  • that open science is about a meshed digital and social transformation of scholarship.

Contact GenR editorial büro: DM @Gen_R_ or email 

New GenR Themes

1. Innovation: The Open Science Dividend A GenR Theme


How can open science benefit society at large?

In this theme we will examine a number of open science areas and projects aimed at bringing tangible benefits through new R&D practices to the public at large. 

To give examples of the types of open science practice we will be looking at here are a couple of exemplar initiatives: Libre Space developing micro satellites for democratizing space use and keeping the space technology open, and then in the area of medicine and health care systems with initiatives like Open Source Malaria looking to drive disease control. 

There is a push from academia for Open Science and Open Access to improve science and scholarship, both of which have proven benefits. In addition there is a pull from outside of academia where there are demands for academia to open up from a wide variety of sectors embracing digital transformation — who are using ideas related to knowledge economies and open innovation. 

In these areas of interfacing academia and a variety of publics as either professionals or the wider public we will be looking for new models for improving knowledge transfer, as well as wider and deeper participation.

There is an open call to contribute (November 2019) and you can find out more at the links below. Any questions or comments please DM @Gen_R_ or email 



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2. Open Science and a Publishing Utopia A GenR Theme


What are the current developments that will lead to a utopian free circulation of knowledge?

Utopia is the vision of an ideal future state of the world. A criticism of such utopias is that they serve as unattainable fictions, always just out of reach. But this is not the case with Open Science and publishing and for once the future is within our grasp. A future where there could be global Open Access, much wider participation in scholarship. and a techstack for open data and semantic workflows. 

In this theme the idea is to look at what this future publishing world could look like and how would we the benefits from frictionless and interoperable publishing systems. The example benefits of putting humanity’s knowledge to work are to improve research replication rates in research to ensure better rates of drug discovery, or to tackle climate change where OA rates are still at less than 30%. (Tai and Robinson 2018)  

The building blocks for future publishing are in place — preprints, open peer review, OA mandates, etc. —  and the appetite for change is there, especially from a globally expanding higher education student readership who are excluded from humanity’s knowledge as borne out by Joe Karaganis’ MIT Press OA book ‘Shadow Libraries’, which looks at how huge swaths of the population are failed by our current publishing systems and are left with no other option than to take matters into their own hands.

There is an open call to contribute (November 2019) and you can find out more at the links below. Any questions or comments please DM @Gen_R_ or email 


Tai, Travis C., and James P. W. Robinson. ‘Enhancing Climate Change Research With Open Science’. Frontiers in Environmental Science 6 (2018).



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