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Open Science at Utrecht University

Open Science Programme 2018-2020

An Open Science Programme for Utrecht University

Utrecht University aims to be at the forefront of open science. Therefore the Executive Board has launched the Utrecht University Open Science Programme. A programme that aims to stimulate and facilitate researchers to put open science into practice.

The Open Science Programme is directed by an Open Science Platform which includes members of the entire UU research community. Frank Miedema is chair of this platform. Anja Smit has been appointed as Secretary. Their initial focus will be on further structuring the programme and setting the course of the programme heading for 2021. All faculty deans view open science as a major theme and support the plan.

Five key topics

The scope of a programme on open science could potentially be very broad. To add focus the UU Open Science Programme is centered around the following five topics:

  • Open access
  • FAIR & open data
  • Open software
  • Outreach and public engagement
  • Rewards and incentives

University ambition

Utrecht University wants to promote open science as part of its promise to make science more open and even more reliable, efficient and relevant to society. To follow up on the ambition formulated in the strategic plan, the rector commissioned a task force, supported by a university library work group, to draft an Open Science Programme for the period 2018-2020.

The most recent draft version 0.9 (PDF) can be read here.

The Open Science Programme is not a top-down exercise. It should be made clear what is expected of researchers as a group (not as individuals) and leave room for each group to determine its own pacing and priorities. It is important to stay away of thinking in terms of organizational lines, faculties for instance. Instead the focus is on how research is organized in strategic themes, interdisciplinary research projects, knowledge hubs etc.

No framing

The programme has looked into national and international developments, but is aware that it should not frame open science by rules and policy. Intrinsic motivation is science itself, not policy or guidelines. Open science is an inevitable result of ongoing developments in technology and society as a whole and in science specifically. Open science promotes accountability, replicability, integrity and openness.