When Open Knowledge International began, there was little awareness of the concept of ‘open data’ in science and research, or of open and free access to research papers. Most research publications were on paper or locked up behind digital controls, accessible only to universities and institutions which paid expensive subscriptions, and inaccessible to almost everyone else.

Today open data and open access have become a default requirement for several major funding bodies (like the UK’s Jisc), leading journals (like those from BioMedCentral) and universities. Open data is now a familiar and well-used term amongst research funders and those involved in research and science policy, and is acknowledged as a necessity for science to be reproducible and high quality.

Open Knowledge International is one of the main organisations globally responsible for this shift, through initiatives like our Panton Principles, our Panton Fellows, our Working Group on Open Data in Science, our events and targeted engagement with key actors such as governments in Europe, the US and elsewhere, and supra-national organizations such as the EC.