According to the present Dutch coalition agreement (2017-2021) open science will become the standard in scientific research. The strategic plan of Utrecht University also includes the ambition to be in the forefront of open science. But what is open science again and wat happened in 2018, that is to change the landscape of academic research in 2019 forever?
What is open science?
Open science is based on the principle that scientists and scholars share their research process and research results as openly as possible, making them available to everyone. This way scientists create transparency and strengthen the scientific and social impact of academic research.
The open science movement began among the researchers themselves. They are aiming at an open science model based on the idea that society will in this way benefit the most from research. On the other hand, open science more and more often becomes a condition that scientists are obliged to meet. For instance, research funders may set demands regarding the publication form or the open sharing of research data.
There is no doubt that moving towards more open forms of science is a clear trend. What questions were discussed in 2018? We have singled out five major developments:
Open Science Programme & Utrecht University Platform
In September 2018 the Executive Board approved the start of the Open Science Programme of Utrecht University. The UU Open Science Programme focuses on five topics:
- Open access
- FAIR & open data
- Open software
- Outreach and public engagement
- Rewards and incentives
To find out more about the scope and targets of the programme, please read the most recent version of the Open Science Programme.
All faculty deans view open science as a current theme and support the plan. The Open Science Programme is directed by an Open Science Platform. Frank Miedema is chair of this platform. Anja Smit will act as secretary. Their initial focus will be on further structuring the programme and setting the course of the programme heading for 2021.
As of 1 January 2020 all publicly funded scientific articles must be published Open Access. This is the heart of Plan S that cOAlition S, an international group of research funders, including the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) announced in September 2018. This plan speeds up open access publications, bringing the free accessibility of scientific research results a step closer.
Plan S led to a discussion among columnists. It started with a column by biochemist and emeritus professor Martijn Katan in the Dutch newspaper NRC in which he questioned open access journals and their quality. Others responded, for instance Frank Miedema in DUB, the Utrecht University news site.
As a result of the publication of an implementation guideline for Plan S, with the explicit request for feedback, the University Library organized a discussion meeting on 17 December. In this meeting Plan S and its implementation were discussed. Researchers expressed their concerns: