Four Utrecht projects receive Open Science impulse

Brand new NWO Scholarship to stimulate open access publishing

Typing hands with a laptop
Open access publishing

From an Open Science escape room to an open-source toolbox: four Utrecht projects in the field of Open Science will receive a financial impulse of up to 50,000 euros. The projects focus on innovative ways of open access publishing, sharing FAIR data and software or projects that contribute to the culture change needed to realize open science.

More recognition and appreciation of open science

With the Open Science Fund, the Dutch research council NWO wants to boost the recognition and appreciation of open science practices by supporting projects of researchers who are - or want to be - frontrunners in this movement. Part of the assessment was therefore also the open science track record of the applicants, which counted for 10%.

Open Science is also becoming increasingly important at Utrecht University. Rector Henk Kummeling: "Open Science is crucial for a university to flourish in the 21st century, to make progress and to take its responsibility in society in the most optimal way. The system in which scientists currently find themselves - with its pressure to publish and excessive competition - does not fit with Open Science. The search for other ways of working and of recognizing and valuing is complex, but desperately needed."

Open Science at Utrecht University

The awarded Open Science projects

Fair Metrics for FAIR Software

Dr. Anna-Lena Lamprecht, Assistant Professor of Intelligent Software Systems

Open Science implies that all research resources, including software, should be FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable). To this end, it is necessary to assess the "FAIRness" of software. Measurable criteria of FAIRness are crucial to encourage cultural change in accordance with Open Science ideals. In this project, Lamprecht and her research group will evaluate measurable criteria of software FAIRness, with a focus on their contribution to cultural change. Lamprecht will then develop recommendations for the use of measurable FAIRness criteria and automated assessment tools. This will enable transparent FAIRness assessment and encourage software development researchers from all disciplines to create "FAIRer" software.

A metaDAta Publication Toolbox (ADAPT): An open-source toolbox to bridge the gap between research communities and data repositories

Prof. Martyn Drury, Professor of Earth Sciences

Researchers are publishing more and more data in archives and data repositories. In doing so, it is important that the right descriptive search terms (metadata) are added so that data can be easily found and reused. While data repositories offer the ability to add general metadata, they are often less suitable for including discipline-specific metadata schemes developed by international research communities. Drury and his team propose the development of an open-source package that helps both researchers and data managers in assigning discipline-specific and internationally understood metadata to a dataset to be published. This will significantly increase the capacity for future reuse of data.

Open Science Escape Room (OSER)

Dr. Anita Eerland, Assistant Professor of Language, Literature and Communication

In order to start a real cultural change within science, it is crucial to involve as many scientists as possible. Although the number of Open Science initiatives is increasing rapidly, few of these initiatives target scientists with limited experience or affinity with Open Science. This group is of course the hardest to reach and motivate, but is also necessary to make Open Science the 'new normal'. The project by Eerland and colleagues wants to use an online escape room to introduce these scientists to different aspects of Open Science and to involve them in the discussion about the implementation of Open Science.

FAIR-Battery Knowledgebase Sanli Faez, Assistant Professor in Nanophotonics

The energy transition that is required to combat climate change requires an unprecedentedly rapid shift to sustainable electrification over the next decade. In particular, the development of innovative technology for energy generation and especially energy storage is urgent. No technology can be developed and scaled up in such a short time without decentralized open innovation and rapid knowledge dissemination. The project proposed by Faez and colleagues creates a common ""knowledge pool" and builds and trains an expert community to enable rapid global development of open hardware batteries, specifically focused on sustainable electrochemical batteries; redox-flow batteries based on local renewable resources.

For more information on Utrecht University's Open Science programme and the Recognition and rewards track, see the website.