Open Science

Open Science & Education

Open Science is a more open and collaborative way to conduct, publish and evaluate scientific research and educational resources. Striving for more collaboration, reuse of knowledge and transparency, not only between researchers, teachers and their disciplines, but also with society as a whole, is central to the Open movement.

The Open principles can be extended to many different aspects of WUR. Here we will focus on Open Science and Open Education. WUR strives to make Open Science & Education standard practice.

WUR’s approach to research and education in the Open Era

In the past several years, the Dutch government together with research and funding organizations has made progress towards open science through a collaborative national programme Open Science NL. The mission of Open Science NL is to establish open science as the norm in the Netherlands by 2033. The foundation is derived on the National Plan Open Science (NPOS). This national programme stimulates and accelerates the transition from closed to Open Science.

WUR has wholeheartedly embraced Open Science by establishing the Open Science and Education (OSE) Programme. By using open science principles, WUR employees can increase their scientific impact, bring scientific knowledge to society, and provide solutions to societal challenges. That is why the OSE programme will help to overcome difficulties that WUR employees may encounter and facilitate the solutions.

At WUR, we consider open science an important European and national development, which will have implications for WUR. In the coming years, we will continue to contribute to open science by increasingly making it our standard practice in our research and education. In this endeavour, our researchers and teachers are key. We will facilitate and support our researchers and teachers with guidelines, tools, resources and best practices of open access publications, FAIR data and shared educational resources. As such, we open science to each other, to other academics and to the wider public.
Arthur Mol, Rector Magnificus and Vice President of Wageningen University & Research and Chair of the WUR OSE Steering Committee

Four OSE topics

4 OSE-topics

WUR OSE Programme facilitates and stimulates its researchers and teachers to put open science and open education into standard practice. The four main domains of the OSE Programme are:

  1. Open Access & Open Scholarly Communication
  2. FAIR data
  3. Citizen Science
  4. Open Education

1. Open Access

Open Access to publications allows WUR to share our knowledge with the world and to become cited more often. Following the national goals, WUR aims to publish its research results Open Access (WUR Open Access policy). To help researchers select quality Open Access journals, WUR developed the WUR Journal Browser in 2018. This and our national Open Access agreements with all major publishers will help us achieve our goal of 100% Open Access for peer-reviewed articles. In 2019, 69% of the peer-reviewed publications led by WUR researchers were Open Access. This percentage rose to 92% in 2022. WUR articles published through closed access will be publicly available through the WUR Repository (Research@WUR). Our future goal is to publicly share not only peer-reviewed articles but all kinds of WUR research output, via through Research@WUR.

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2. FAIR research data

WUR has an ambition for research data to become Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) by 2025. A vision and guidelines on how to share research data (“As open as possible and as closed as necessary”) are already available. The Wageningen Data Competence Centre and an emerging WUR data stewardship network play a crucial role in helping researchers to share their data and to fulfil the requirements of both national and international policies and research funders.  

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3. Citizen Science

A key ambition of WUR is to serve the public good and improve the quality of life. Through Citizen Science we can meaningfully connect science and society around common matters of interest and concern. On the one hand, Citizen Science provides an opportunity to strengthen public trust in science by helping citizens better understand science and by supporting them in their pursuit of a more sustainable way of living. On the other hand, science can benefit from citizens’ first-hand experience with the issues and from their capacity to contribute to research.  

In 2020, an online WUR community was created to exchange good practices and improve skills for Citizen Science research to enhance the quality of our projects and to create opportunities for new ones. In 2021, we developed a WUR Citizen Science portal to help our researchers better co-create with citizens and policy makers.

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4. Open Education

Open Education aims at sharing and re-using high-quality educational practices and educational resources for everyone, independent of time, place and costs. ‘Open’ allows not just sharing and access, but the freedom to modify and use materials, information and networks so education can be personalized to individual users or changed for diverse audiences. At WUR we aim to open our educational
resources as much as possible. We collect our educational materials in our Library for Learning. This internal portal/database is linked to the national database for open educational resources edusources to obtain a larger audience for our resources.

Proconditions and policy

Recognition and rewards

To enablethe transition to Open Science,efforts of the research community should be accordinglyrecognized andrewarded. The system of recognition and rewards can be transformed only if it is tackled in collaboration with other institutionsconsidering both the national and internationalcontext. A WUR working committee, led bytheDean of Education,is currently elaborating an Academic Career Framework where team science,more diverse career paths, quantity versus quality of research results, and open science are addressed. This includes a proposal on how to adapt the presentassessment criteriafor WUR researchers, teachers and research groups.

Open Science Community Wageningen (OSC-W)

The Open Science community of Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and associated research institutes is a bottom-up community introducing and fostering open science practices.

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Open Science Stories

What are the benefits and challenges and what is needed to bring about the open science culture change at WUR? Researchers tell you about their experience with Open Science.