Although Open Science is an issue currently being discussed by policy-makers in Germany and at EU level, there is a lack of drive to implement it in practice. In the context of the Open Science Fellows Program initiated by Wikimedia Deutschland and the Stifterverband in 2016, young academics have joined forces and, working in accordance with the principles of Open Science, have drawn up five points that need to be implemented in policy and research in order to make full use of the advantages it offers: the Berlin Appeal for Open Science. They call for the basic conditions for Open Science to be further improved in a bid to promote the cultural transition towards more openness in science. Only then can the possibilities offered by Open Science be fully exploited, enabling us to advance as a knowledge society.
Openly published research results and methods foster scientific exchange and can create the basis for new research projects. The innovation potential for science and business is enormous, and yet there is still a long way to go with regard to the implementation of Open Science. Ten early career researchers from the Open Science Fellows Program have spent five months learning the principles of Open Science and applying them to their individual research. As the programme came to an end, they teamed up with their mentors to draw up the Berlin Appeal for Open Science. Laid down in five recommendations for action, they highlight how scientific institutions can help to advance and promote Open Science:
Five recommendations for action for scientific institutions
- Open research policy: scientific institutions are called upon to make clear their commitment to Open Science.
- Personnel entrenchment: scientific institutions are called upon to nominate Open Science Officers.
- Promotion via human resources policy: appointment committees are called upon to state open research and teaching as a prerequisite in job advertisements.
- Recognition in teaching: scientific institutions involved in teaching are called upon to reward the additional effort related to Open Science.
- Recognition in research: faculties and/or institutions are called upon to confer awards in recognition of the practice of Open Science (with or without prize money).
The Open Science Fellows Program enters its next phase: applications now possible
In its very first year of existence, the Open Science Fellows Program, launched in 2016, succeeded in bringing together scientific research and teaching practice with the possibilities offered by Open Science. The Berlin Appeal is an important element for the future. In a bid to promote the knowledge and practice of Open Science, early career researchers from different disciplines also have the opportunity in 2017 to practise applying Open Science in their research activities. The Open Science Fellows Program will enter its next phase in autumn 2017: applications for one of the 20 scholarships are welcome from 9 June. This year, the Volkswagen Foundation has joined Wikimedia Deutschland and the Stifterverband, supporting the programme as a new partner.
The Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) – German National Library of Science and Technology is involved in the programme as a scientific partner offering qualification programmes. Additional partners include the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, the Center for Digital Systems (CeDis) of Freie Universität Berlin, and the Göttingen State and University Library (SUB).
More information about the Open Science Fellows Program: www.wikimedia.de/fellowprogramm