Meet Dominique Rijshouwer

In this section, UU staff members from the Open Science community introduce themselves. This time, the new research assistant of the Open Science programme, Dominique Rijshouwer. 

Who is Dominique Rijshouwer?

I am the research/management assistant of the Open Science programme. In terms of research, I am mainly involved in the Open Science Monitor, the biennual questionnaire on how developments in the field of Open Science are perceived by employees of UU and UMCU. Recently, the first report based on this questionnaire was published, which discusses our findings. Visit our Zenodo Community for the report and related documents. We are currently working on the new version of the questionnaire, which will be distributed in the spring of 2022, it is looking quite promising already! Additionally, I support the programme team by keeping track of correspondence, scheduling appointments, organising events, and thinking along wherever I can.

How did you get involved in Open Science?

During my psychology bachelor’s at UU, I was first confronted with the systematic problems in science. I learned about the replication crisis, about paywalls, about work pressure and intimidation. I always saw science as something pure, not infallible but certainly fair. Reality turned out to be rather different. During my research master's in Social and Health Psychology, I took an interest in gender inequality and stereotypes. I saw many parallels with what bothered me in science. As I explored further, I developed a passion for understanding and changing outdated social systems. When I graduated last year, I knew I wanted to actively contribute to improving such systems and cultures, either through research, policy or hands-on communication. My current position provides me with insights into what has already been achieved in the field of Open Science here in Utrecht (which is a lot!), and where we can accomplish even more (through the OS Monitor). I am learning a lot, and this way I hope to find out how I can best contribute to an honest, open, and inclusive science.

What would you like to draw attention to specifically in the context of Open Science?

Something I care deeply about is social safety and inclusiveness. I think it is important that there is room for everyone's opinion, perspective, and possible concerns. Open Science provides this space, and I hope that everyone feels safe to speak up so that together we can work towards an academic environment that is pleasant and safe for everyone. I hope that we can continue to have open and inclusive discussions, and that people feel empowered by the emphasis on community, dialogue and transparency within Open Science, as opposed to an old system of status, competition, and (sometimes arbitrary) assessment criteria.

What are you personally proud of in relation to Open Science?

What I am proud of is how Open Science, thanks to an enormous community, has grown from an ideal to a reality in just a few years. When as a student, I expressed my concerns, I never dreamed that in a relatively short period of time, such vast developments would be made. I feel strengthened by the movement, and have regained my faith in science. I am extremely proud that our Utrecht University is a strong advocate of Open Science and an inspiration to other people and organisations.

I am always open to a cup of coffee and a discussion on the future of science (