The university is going to pursue open science. Tilburg University scientists who want to participate can join the Open Science Network.
Science must become more transparent, the open science movement proclaims. Scientific publications must be freely available to everyone everywhere, just like the data on which publications are based. Lectures and other educational material can also be made publicly accessible online. That’s good for society, says Hylke Annema, head of the Research Support department. “Academia should not be an ivory tower, since our work here is paid for with tax money. We must try to get knowledge into society, so that everyone, no matter how smart you are or where you live, can have access to scientific insights. Civilians benefit from that, but companies and other organizations as well. In addition, it reflects positively on the university and on our researchers and lecturers.”
There are also some important advantages from a scientific point of view, Annema says. “The academic world isn’t very open. Researchers often keep data to themselves, fearing that others will run off with it. But building on existing knowledge and bringing knowledge together can lead to advancements in science.” And it also makes science more transparent. If researchers openly define their methods at the start of a research project, for example, fraud can be countered.
To make scientists at Tilburg University familiar with open science and to support them, the university has adopted open science in its strategic plan for the years 2018-2021 and funds have been made available. Since the start of this year, Annema has been setting up activities to promote open science at Tilburg University. “We want to do different things, such as experimenting with the self-publishing of journals, making educational material such as readers openly accessible, and establishing a network.”
This network, the Tilburg University Open Science Network, brings together scientists from different faculties. “That way, they can share knowledge about open science and take it back with them to their own work environment.” Young scientists – PhD candidates, postdocs and lecturers – are the main focus. They still have long careers ahead of them, and, according to Annema, they are eager to start working with open science. Which is good, since open science should not be provided by Annema from his office in the library, but carried out by scientists themselves.
Next week, on Thursday 17 March from 10.30h until 12.00h, Hylke Annema will host a kick-off meeting for the network together with Chris Hartgerink of the Tilburg School of Behavioral Sciences (TSB). Around twenty researchers from different faculties, mostly PhD candidates, have already registered for the kick-off event. Those who are interested in attending the meeting can register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The location is yet to be announced.