TORCH Developed Action List to Promote Open Science Practices
The TORCH work package aiming to mainstream Open Science practices compared policies across CHARM-EU partners to identify strengths and weaknesses related to the pillars of Open Science. An action list with directly implementable procedures was also developed to support a more innovative Europe by advancing the democratization of scientific knowledge.
Formed by five research-based universities promoting a challenge-driven, transformative agenda to reconcile humanity with the planet, CHARM-EU’s TORCH project is building up the Alliance’s research and innovation dimension. The cross-cutting principles and transformational modules identified to support the transdisciplinary and intercultural vision of TORCH encompass several specific objectives, and one of these is the circulation and dissemination of scientific knowledge through Open Science.
As CHARM-EU is committed to make Open Science one of the main paradigms of scientific research in Europe, the Alliance chose to focus on policies, practices and capacities related to Open Science in its work package titled Mainstreaming of comprehensive Open Science practices (WP6). The Working Paper published by WP6 contains some of the results of these efforts: a summary of the Comparative CHARM-EU Open Science Report, the gap analysis carried out on the basis of the Open Science Survey Scope and a detailed Action list with specific recommendations to further improve and propagate Open Science practices.
The methodology of the Open Science Survey Scope
In order to collect information about the existing Open Science practices of the project partners, TORCH WP6 members developed the methodology of the Open Science Survey Scope. The survey was customised to collect information from each partner university on institutional and faculty levels using ratings and free-text survey responses.
Besides exploring how the university leadership mandates and advocates Open Science policies, the sections of the survey were designed to monitor the Eight Pillars of Open Science: the future of scholarly publishing; FAIR data management; the European Open Science Cloud; education and skills; recognition and rewards; next-generation metrics; research integrity and public participation in research (citizen science). In addition to these pillars, the survey was completed with questions about institutional resources and data collection as well as a section aimed at identifying the factors that prevent the transition to Open Science.
A comparative analysis was essential due to the considerable existing differences between the partners: while some institutions and their national policies have Open Science principles, processes and data management plans in place, or they have developed best practices and researchers’ awareness, others may have only recently embarked on this path.
Based on the ratings and free-text survey responses received from the members of the Alliance, the TORCH WP6 team employed the methodology of gap analysis in order to map existing open science practices, highlight the gaps between the current state of affairs and target goals as well as to identify deficiencies that have to be addressed. On the basis of this analysis, they also developed a list of recommended actions to further improve and propagate each pillar of Open Science.
A list of concrete actions for promoting Open Science practices
The proposed actions – that you can discover below with the help of an interactive graphic – contain a number of best practices as well as directly implementable procedures to promote Open Science. Along with the experiences and strategies shared in the report, these practices and procedures could serve the members of the alliance as well as other stakeholders by providing an opportunity to learn from each other and decrease local barriers to mainstreaming Open Science in their respective research communities.
Comparing existing practices at project partners through the Open Science Survey Scope was an important step in identifying the strengths and weaknesses related to the pillars of Open Science. Partner institutions now have the chance to focus their efforts on the areas that need to be developed. Furthermore, they are also able to find inspiration from the shared local best practices and experiences that could be informative to all those interested stakeholders that wish to accelerate the progress of making Open Science mainstream practice among researchers and institutions.
TORCH WP6: Open Science Survey and Gap Analysis – Working paper. 2022. https://www.charm-eu.eu/sites/default/files/2022-07/TORCH%20Working%20Paper%20-%20Open%20Science%20Report.pdf
TORCH WP1: Kick-Off Meeting Report. 2021. https://www.charm-eu.eu/sites/default/files/2022-03/D1.1%20-%20Kick-Off%20Meeting%20Report.pdf