GENDERACTION: Enhancing the gender dimension of Open Science and Open Innovation policies

The GENDERACTION (GENDer equality in the ERA Community To Innovate policy implementatiON) project examines ways of strengthening gender issues in Open Science (OS) and Open Innovation (OI) policies and of research with a gender dimension. Focusing on selected aspects of OS/OI policies and practices, the project has found that most analyses and policy documents adopt a gender blind approach. The report argues that considering gender issues in the development of OS/OI policies could have a positive impact on the promotion of gender equality goals and the elimination of gender biases. As such, the report should be considered as a first exploration of such inter-linkages with a view to contributing to increased synergies between these two ERA policy priorities.

The project proposes a number of recommendations for key stakeholders in OS/OI and gender policy design, implementation, and monitoring to facilitate and support gender equality at national as well as European and international level. 


  • The European Commission and national policy-makers must continue to address ERA Priority 4: Gender equality and gender mainstreaming in research.
  • Awareness must be raised in the OS/OI policy and research community about the relevance of gender and the ways in which OS/OI can mitigate gender inequality and bias.
  • Further studies examining gender issues in OS/OI -with a special focus on open peer review, altmetrics, open software and open innovation- are needed to develop evidence-based and socially responsible policies.
  • The European Commission should support this effort and lead by example, by providing sex-disaggregating data on the adoption of open access practices in the next editions of She Figures.
  • European and national authorities collecting data on patents and inventions are encouraged to provide sector-, country-, and sex-disaggregated data.
  • The European Commission, its Open Science Policy Platform Expert Group, and other stakeholders in research assessment, are encouraged to explore how/if using new metrics impacts male and female researchers across disciplines and career stages differently.
  • RPOs and RFOs are encouraged to adopt multi-dimensional evaluation criteria that enhance openness and transparency, and contribute to mitigating gender bias in research assessment/evaluation procedures.
  • Authorities and organisations at European and national level funding innovation projects should ensure that these integrate sex/gender analyses where appropriate and further gender diversity.
  • RPOs and RFOs are encouraged to examine how open access practices are adopted by men and women to identify whether OS/OI may continue to perpetuate gender differences in publications and evaluation.
  • RPOs should encourage sharing preprints on gender research and those with a gender dimension.
  • Researchers are encouraged to adopt the FAIR management of sex and gender data.
  • Stakeholders founding participatory innovation projects should build a (gender-)diverse team.
  • Stakeholders founding participatory innovation projects should ensure the integration of sex/gender analyses to guarantee that innovative processes benefit all of society.



GENDERACTION is a Horizon 2020 project building an innovative policy community for the implementation of gender equality and gender mainstreaming in ERA, by setting up a network of national representatives from EU Member States and associated countries to foster policy coordination, best practice exchange, and mutual learning.

For more information, see the project website:

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