• Open science

The Open Science mission

Open Science is a movement to make scientific research data available and directly accessible to any interested party. By increasing transparency and enabling access to important knowledge, scientific progress can be improved in both quality and speed, while proving fair and equal access to important sources of scientific data. It encompasses practices such as publishing in open access journals or providing funding to pay for open access fees, encouraging scientists to practice open science by using electronic lab notebooks, and making it easier to publish and communicate peer-reviewed scientific knowledge. While there are exceptions to what can be shared as a result of legal restrictions (e.g. personal patient data and patentable research), most research data are perfect candidates for sharing and provide a rich source of knowledge that has yet to reach its full potential.

 Open Science principles

Maastricht University endorses the principles of Open Science and offers its academics support to put these principles into practice to make science "as open as possible, as closed as necessary". The Open Science umbrella covers topics such as:

  • FAIR data use: Whenever possible, research data must be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.
  • Open Access: Promoting free online access to scientific information, such as publications and data. In this model, the author pays, not the reader.
  • Recognizing and rewarding scientists in a different way: Scientists are usually judged by their publication output and the research grants they have acquired. Open Science also stands for recognition and appreciation of other issues such as educational activities, leadership qualities and social impact.

Open Science in MERLN

MERLN is adopting these principles as well and Dennie Hebels, one of our project leaders, takes part in our faculty‚Äôs Open Science Community as an Open Science Ambassador to spread knowledge on Open Science, answer questions, and give advice. Within MERLN, he has developed a data management strategy based on the use of electronic lab journals and data organization basics. The goal of this is not only to make it easier for researchers to find and organize their data, it also documents research results according to current data management requirements from funding agencies and makes it easier to share data according to the FAIR guidelines.

Open Access publishing

Open Access publishing goes hand in hand with the principles of Open Science and MERLN strives to make as many publications as possible freely accessible for other researchers around the world. In our Publications overview, these papers are designated with the Open Access symbol.

Enabling free access to papers is only the first step in Open Science. In order to make our science truly open, wherever possible, we aim to make the research data accessible as well. These data may be included with the papers themselves in the form of supplementary data, but we also deposit data in freely accessible data repositories such as Dataverse.