Open Science

Universities and research institutes worldwide are working on the realisation of "Open Science; Maastricht University (UM) is one of them. UM endorses the principles of Open Science, offering its academics support to put these principles into practice and make science "as open as possible, as closed as necessary". In this way, we strengthen ties with our communities and improve our relationships on many levels, from regional to international and from citizens to professionals. Open Science can contribute to making science more visible, in the broadest sense of the word.

Open Science in Maastricht

Open Science Policy

What exactly is Open Science?

Open Science is a new approach to scientific research. Its aim is to strengthen collaboration, both between individual researchers and between other parties and scientists. Open Science makes research more transparent, controllable, faster, more efficient, reproducible and more sustainable. The idea is that civil society organisations, patient organisations, companies and other organisations can all benefit from easy access to scientific research.

The following themes are important spearheads in UM's Open Science policy:

  • FAIR data use; if possible, research data must be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. UM wants to be fully FAIR by 2023.
  • Open Access; this refers to a broad international academic movement promoting free online access to scientific information, such as publications and data. In this model, the author pays, not the reader. UM wants all publications to be ‘open access’ by 2020.
  • Recognising and rewarding scientists in a different way; currently, scientists are usually judged by the number of scientific papers they have published 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 (more information on this topic can be found here). 

    Changing our system for recognising and rewarding is crucial for bringing about the transition to Open Science.

  • Public engagement; involving society in drawing up research questions, conducting research and communicating the results. Specific examples are citizen science, in which citizens actively participate in the collection of data for scientific research (e.g. the National Horticultural Census); and crowdsourcing, in which citizens are involved in processing of research data (e.g. via Zooniverse).

  • Open Educational Resources (OER)

  • FAIR software: making software code accessible so that it can be used or further developed by other researchers.

  • Preregistration

Open if possible, closed if necessary
Drawn up at the request of the Netherlands deputy minister of Education, Culture and Science, the National Plan Open Science has the support of Dutch universities and other parties. The plan aims to help implement the country’s ambitious Open Science policy.

 Also download the UM Open Science policy   

What can researchers do?

Open Science – it’s basically a matter of doing it. Researchers who want some help on how to apply open science practices can contact advisers within their faculty via the following portals.

Open Science is above all a matter of actually doing it. It can be applied in all research phases (e.g. open pre-registration in the preparatory phase, applying citizen science in data collection, publishing open access after the research is completed). Researchers who want some help on how to apply open science practices can contact advisers within their faculty via the following portals.

The Research Data Management portal supports UM researchers making their data FAIR. Information about Open Access publishing can be found on the Open Access page of the Maastricht University Library. The Maastricht Platform for Community-Engaged Research (MPCER) focuses on involving society in research.

For general questions or comments about Open Science, please contact our Open Science Librarian: Marielle Prevoo.

Scientists not only want to reach colleagues with their research, but also, for example, policy makers or interest groups. That is why Open Science is so important. As Rector Magnificus of this university, I fully support this movement, just like the scientists who are committed to it.  

Prof. dr. Rianne Letschert


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