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Open Science & Research Services: Open Science

What is Open Science/Research?

"Open science is the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods. In a nutshell, open science is transparent and accessible knowledge that is shared and developed through collaborative networks" (Vicente-Sáez and Martínez-Fuentes, 2018, The Open Science Training Handbook.)

Open science, or used interchangeably for open research encompasses the following:

  • Open methods
  • FAIR data
  • Open codes
  • Open access
  • Open educational resources
  • Open infrastructures

"What is Open Science?" by the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Why Open Science/Research?

Open Science/Research helps to increase rigour, accountability, and reproducibility for research. It is based on the principles of inclusion, fairness, equity, and sharing, and ultimately seeks to change the way research is done, who is involved and how it is valued.

Global Movements

UNESCO's Recommendation on Open Science

The UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science was adopted by Member States in November 2021. Recommendations include:

  • promoting  a  common  understanding  of  open  science,  associated  benefits and challenges, as well as diverse paths to open science;
  • developing an enabling policy environment for open science;
  • investing in open science infrastructures and services;
  • investing  in  human  resources,  training,  education,  digital  literacy  and capacity building for open science;
  • fostering a culture of open science and aligning incentives for open science;
  • promoting  innovative  approaches  for  open  science  at  different  stages of the scientific process;  
  • promoting international and multi-stakeholder cooperation in the context of open science and with view to reducing digital,  technological and knowledge gaps.

                                   Open science - Wikipedia

Diagram from Wikipedia 'Pillars of the Open Science according to UNESCO's 2021 Open Science recommendation'

The European Union has adopted open science as the official framework for research in higher education (EU Open Science Policy). It is believed that open science will lead to research that is:

  • More reliable: responsible, reproducible research
  • More efficient: collaborate, co-design, co-create
  • More accessible: open access to publications; FAIR data
  • More relevant to society: public engagement

In January 2021, the OECD Council adopted a revised Recommendation on access to Research Data from Public Funding. The expanded scope covers research data, metadata, algorithms, workflows, models, and software (including code).

How to Engage in Open Science/Research?

There are various channels or tools with which the research community can engage in open science at various stages of the research lifecycle:

Kramer, Bianca, & Bosman, Jeroen. (2018, January). Rainbow of open science practices. Zenodo. 

Learning about Open Science/Research

Tools and Platforms

Code collaboration and project management

Collaborative writing and publishing