On 1 September 2022, the second national Open Science Festival 2022 took place at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. WUR researchers and Library staff took part in this lively event. Information specialists Chantal Hukkelhoven and Joost Albers share their take-home messages.
Open Science should become the norm
The national Open Science Festival 2022 was very well attended. The place was packed with people from different organisations – Open Science is clearly spreading out from the universities towards applied science and society. The Dutch government supports this wholeheartedly in different endeavours, including The National Programme Open Science (NPOS).
“Open Science should become the norm”, stated Robbert Dijkgraaf, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science and keynote speaker at the festival.
Tweet translation: We want to make academic work freely and easily accessible. We also want to stimulate dialogue between researchers, lecturers and society. Open Science should become the norm. Together we take Open Science a step further.
At WUR we're making Open Science the norm, both top-down through the WUR Open Science and Education programme and bottom-up through the independent Open Science Community Wageningen. By the way, you too can easily become a member of this community!
The importance of Open Science training
To make Open Science the norm, the festival speakers and participants generally
felt that we need to train everybody: researchers and students and train-the-trainers. We also need to educate supervisors and perhaps even policy makers.
The WUR Open Science and Education programme has several programme lines with training and education possibilities. These will be expanded through the new programme line ‘Open Science Skills’. Furthermore, the Open Science Community Wageningen frequently organises events and seminars.
Towards an ethical and sustainable open Publishing ecosystem
One of the festival's ‘talks of the town’ was the recent statement from the US government that from 2026 onward federally funded research needs to become freely available without delay. The main US governmental changes include the following:
- New federal policies cover peer-reviewed publications AND data
- No embargo period, both for publications and data
- All new federal policies are green: they require deposit in designated open repositories in a machine-readable format. Open Access publication with the publisher is not sufficient and not needed.
Festival participants were curious about how the statement will be implemented in practice. Whatever the conditions may be, open publication and data platforms and (open) peer review will become more important. For a closer look at open peer review, please read this WUR blog post.
The human factor is key
The human factor is key in the transition toward Open Science. At WUR we have several Open Science communities, including the community of data stewards.
The national current agenda to transition to Open Science by 2030 stresses the need to “build a professional community of data stewards”. By doing so data stewards can exchange experiences and ideas, and learn from one another. At the festival, Universities of the Netherlands (UNL) presented an update on the job classification profile (universitair functie-ordeningssysteem, UFO) for data stewards to further professionalise data stewardship. This provides a clear overview of the roles, tasks and competences of a data steward, and supports organisations in implementing data stewardship.
WUR might use this profile to reformulate the role of data steward and task description. From a career perspective, WUR is also exploring what the UFO-profile means for data stewards in terms of Recognition and Rewards.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have ideas or if you would like to include Open Science principles and practices in your research and/or course. You can email your ideas and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.