A new report by the YUFE University Alliance's YUFERING project promotes good practices of open science.
Promoting open science is a key science policy objective in the European Union. Also in Finland, efforts are actively being made to promote open science.
One key obstacle in promoting open science has been that researchers are not rewarded for openness when applying for academic positions. Thus, researchers do not have sufficient incentives, for instance, for the opening of research data, which is time-consuming. In addition, it is unclear how open science could in practice be acknowledged, e.g., in recruitment, and what issues should be considered in such cases.
The YUFE Open Science Model and guidelines for researchers' evaluation, recently published by the YUFE University Alliance's YUFERING project, addresses this current theme. The UEF was responsible for completing the report. The work package is led by Professor Eva Mendez of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.
Good practices in researcher assessment that acknowledge Open Science
Extensive material was compiled for the report, which included responsible researcher assessment statements and reports that acknowledged open science. In addition, experts and researchers responsible for personnel policies and research evaluation practices at YUFE universities were interviewed for the report.
Based on the data, the report compiles a set of good practices following the principles of open science for consideration in researcher assessment at YUFE universities.
For example, it is important to recognize and promote researchers' diverse contributions to open science. Opportunities to open research and teaching depend on the academic field, the research methods used in research, and the research data. The ways in which researchers from different fields and career stages promote open science differ.
Although open science has long been a science policy goal, there is still a need for investment in the competence of teachers, researchers, and experts in open science (for example YUFE's DIOSI project).
When assessing merits in open science, not only concrete outputs, such as open publications and open research materials, should be acknowledged, but also the opening of research and teaching processes. Openness of the research process includes, for instance, involving citizens or stakeholders in research.
The criteria, materials, and methods used in the assessment should be transparent.
Open Science as part of YUFE's Academic Assessment Portfolio
One concrete output of the YUFERING project is the portfolio model, which is intended to diversify researcher assessment, e.g., in recruitment situations. Open science is an essential part of the portfolio. In the portfolio, the researcher is asked to reflect on his/her own achievements in open science and visions for the future. In addition, the researcher can highlight his/her tangible achievements in the field of open science.