What is open science?

Frequently asked questions

What is open science?

Open science is an umbrella term for a movement which aims to promote open operations models in science and research. Open science has become an internationally significant way to promote science, research and the effects and impact of science and research.

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How does openness relate to science and research?

Opennes is a central principle in science and research. It democratises science by:

  • making it possible for a larger number of researchers to carry out research
  • ensuring that decision-makers and citizens have access to research-based information
  • providing opportunities for non-scientists to participate in producing research-based information (citizen science) 

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Haven't science and research always been open?

Openness and transparency have always been part of responsible science and research and one of its core values. However, certain current scientific practices are in conflict with the principles of open science and research. For example, publishing research results mainly in peer-reviewed scientific journals can advance researchers' careers, even though few have access to these publications.

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What does openness in science and research mean in practice?

One of the main objectives is the widest possible availability of research outputs. Open access is ensured by using licenses that support openness. Research outputs include:

  • research data
  • research methods
  • research publications (e.g. articles and monographs) and other materials that present research results
  • materials that introduce research outputs to a wider audience, e.g. educational resources 

However, open science and research doesn't aim only for open access to research outputs, but for a process of change in the entire research culture. Openness in science and research can mean, for example, a more open and transparent research evaluation or the involvement of the rest of society in the conduct of research through citizen science or industry collaboration. The debate on what open science and research means is in constant development.

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What are the central themes in open science?

Open science is a broad topic that covers several areas. At the National Coordination of Open Science, open science is divided into four areas:

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