Promoting Open Science and Software at Utrecht University and the UMC Utrecht

End report of the Open Statistical Software SIG

As of January 2024, and after several years of successful interdisciplinary collaboration, the Special Interest Group (SIG) Open Statistical Software JASP and R has ceased to exist. Though the SIG has been dissolved, its legacy lives on in the adoption of open statistical software at Utrecht University and the UMC Utrecht. The impact of the SIG can be seen in the continued commitment to open science, and in the lasting contributions of its members to the development and use of open statistical software.


The Open Statistical Software Special Interest Group (SIG) was founded with a clear mission: to promote the use of open statistical software for education and research at Utrecht University and the UMC Utrecht. The SIG emphasized the principles of openness, highlighting the importance of free and extendable software. Focusing on two main branches, the SIG aimed to foster a community around teaching using JASP and the creation of publicly available software in the form of R packages and JASP modules.

Branches and Activities

  1. **Teaching Using JASP:**
    The SIG aimed to facilitate the exchange of experiences among educators using JASP for statistics courses. Participants discussed innovative teaching methods and shared insights on using JASP in substantial courses, such as those in psychology or medicine. The emphasis was on promoting open science by sharing data, codes, and analysis results through .JASP files.
  2. **Making Software Publicly Available:**
    Encouraging the development of open software, the SIG provided a platform for participants to share experiences in creating and maintaining R packages and JASP modules. The focus was on fostering a culture of openness and collaboration in software development.


Over the course of its existence, the Open Statistical Software SIG contributed to the implementation of open statistical software across Utrecht University the UMC Utrecht. Some key accomplishments include:

  • **Educational Impact:** The SIG facilitated the integration of JASP into statistical courses in the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, contributing to an enriched learning experience for students. By promoting open science practices, educators enhanced the transparency and reproducibility of statistical analyses.
  • **Software Development Community:** The SIG played a role in establishing a community of developers committed to creating and sharing open-source statistical software. Through tutorials, presentations, and discussions, members gained insights into software development, thereby contributing to the creation of R packages and JASP modules.
  • **Knowledge Exchange:** Regular meetings, featuring tutorials, presentations, and Q&A sessions, provided a platform for knowledge exchange among participants. The SIG served as a hub for discussing open science practices, presenting new developments, and addressing challenges in using and developing open statistical software.