Join us! Community curation for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Join us! Community curation for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Sustainable Development Goals

At the heart of the United Nations’ ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These represent a call for action from both developed and developing countries in a global partnership to end poverty and improve health and education for all. The SDGs strive to promote economic growth and development in a way that tackles climate change and preserves biodiversity in our oceans and forests. Increasingly, the academic and publishing communities are coming together to support and promote these ambitious goals. The COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the urgency of awareness and action. ScienceOpen is stepping up. 

SDGs on ScienceOpen

ScienceOpen has created a series of Collections around the SDGs to promote the goals and celebrate the researchers working towards reaching them. Each Collection is programmed to compile article records with the keyword “SDG’#‘” or “Sustainable Development Goals”. Since keywords are user-generated, any researcher can join in! These Collections are highlighted in the shortcut search menus and via banners on all relevant content within the ScienceOpen discovery environment – now nearly 70 million records. They build on the excellent work being done by serveral of our partners including Emerald Group Publishing and University College London (UCL). Emerald has worked with ScienceOpen to create four collections that support different themes of the SDGs such as Healthier Lives and Responsible Management. UCL has created a series of collections containing UCL affiliated research supporting each SDG. You can get an overview of this project by exploring the Super Collection: UCL and the UN Sustainable Development Goals which contains over 50,000 records by UCL-affiliated researchers.

The ‘UN Sustainable Development Goals on ScienceOpen’ Super Collection

SDG Keywords 

Many researchers are actively researching solutions to move the world closer to achieving these goals. One easy way to signal to readers (and search engines!) that this work is relevant for a particular goal is to mention that goal in the keywords of the publication – and many researchers and publishers are already doing so. Researchers use the keywords “Sustainable Development Goals”, “SDG1” or “SDG1: No poverty” for example. The ScienceOpen discovery engine then automatically adds those articles to the appropriate SDG collection. We strongly encourage all publishers to support their authors and editors by adding SDG keywords. 

On ScienceOpen, we also allow researchers to add keywords to any of their publications on the platform. It is quick and easy to add an SDG keyword to your earlier works and have them added to the Collection – here are the instructions in four easy steps. On ScienceOpen you can also add a lay summary, disciplines, a catchy image or link to your data set to increase the visibility of your work. Now you can also join in this community curation project to promote the UN SDGs. Together we can find solutions faster! 

For example, if you are performing research that supports SDG 1: No Poverty, you can add the keyword “SDG1” to your article record, and it will be automatically added to the ScienceOpen SDG 1: No Poverty Collection.

Inspired by the SDG Publishers Compact, Metadata2020 and Force11 

This project is in part inspired by the SDG Publishers Compact, launched at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2020 to encourage action on the SDGs during the Decade of Action (2020-2030). Academic publishers have a wide range of resources to increase awareness and promote change. By working together with the research community, the publishing industry can make a crucial difference in our move towards a sustainable future. ScienceOpen is happy to be a signatory of the SDG Publishers Compact, and we encourage all of our publisher partners to do the same. 

This project is further inspired by the Metadata2020 Sustainable Development Goals campaign. At ScienceOpen we also believe that open metadata will help us reach the Sustainable Development Goals faster, so we started to look for concrete ways to get started. ScienceOpen was an active member of Metadata2020 over the past years and is also a signatory of the Metadata2020 Pledge. 

Richer metadata fuels discovery and innovation. Connected metadata bridges the gaps between systems and communities. Reusable, open metadata eliminates duplication of effort. When we settle for inadequate metadata, none of this is possible and everyone suffers as a consequence. 

The ‘Why’ of Metadata 2020 

We thought about using keywords because of an initiative for persistent identifiers for research resources supported by Force11. The Resource Identification Initiative encouraged researchers to add the Research Resource Identifiers (RRIDs) to an article as keywords or part of the publicly available metadata so that it will be more discoverable than text buried in the methods section of a PDF or behind a paywall. 

Take Action! 

Support ScienceOpen with this project and promote your work by adding SDGs to your keywords. Spread the word and get your colleagues, institutes, editors, journals and publishers involved. You can find more information and instructions about how to add keywords to your article records in the For Researchers About Page. If you have any further questions about how you can get involved as a researcher or publisher, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the ScienceOpen team at 

10 thoughts on “Join us! Community curation for the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”

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