Policy on open science sharpened

The University of Vaasa has renewed its policy on open science. The policy is based on the new strategy of the university, which states that the university is committed to the principles of open science.

– Responsible open science is an essential part of our scientific activities. Open science supports the dissemination and impact of scientific research within the scientific community and throughout society, says Dean Helinä Saarela, the chair of the University of Vaasa open science steering group that did the preparatory work for the policy.

Open science covers scientific publications, research materials, research methods and research culture, among other things. Open publication of research results and materials increases the visibility and impact of research.

The guidelines of open science are strongly reflected in Finland's national guidelines.

– Finland emphasises open science in order to highlight our scientific activities internationally. However, the responsibility for implementation of open science remains with the organisations. That is why our university wants to play its part in this important work, says Minna Martikainen, Vice Rector of Research.

Universities are not alone in shifting the operational culture of science towards transparency. Besides universities, universities of applied science, research institutes, libraries and archives, also funders of research have begun to speak more strongly for open science.

– Research funders, like the Academy of Finland, insist that the research they have funded is made openly available, recounts Saarela.

Osuva and open access as means of open publishing

From now on, the University of Vaasa requires its researchers to publish openly whenever possible. Researchers can use Osuva, the open publication archive of the university, to parallel publish their scientific publications and publish in open-access publication channels. Open access means that the publication is online, accessible and available for free. The open publication archive Osuva is also used to publish all doctoral dissertations, licentiate theses, bachelor's and master’s theses from the university.

Hybrid open-access publishing is also possible as an interim solution toward full open-access publishing. The so-called hybrid journals are subscription journals of large commercial scientific publishers from which you can buy open access to individual articles. The university will set aside funds to cover costs related to publishing and openness.

The university encourages its researchers to communicate about their research more extensively than just the traditional publishing channels, for example in professional publications or on social media. Researchers should also obtain an international ORCID researcher identifier that helps identify their scientific activities and increase their visibility.

Openness of research materials encouraged

The University of Vaasa encourages its researchers to publish openly their research materials and methods following the international FAIR principles of open science (that is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable).

– When opening research materials, it is important to consider the confidentiality, privacy and data security of the material. Also, laws, decrees and agreements affect the opening of research materials, says Virpi Juppo, vice-director of Research Services and Graduate School.

The university also encourages the opening up of research methods. National services are utilised in the publication and long-term storage of materials.

Partnerships and campus renewal support openness

The University of Vaasa is active in international and national research and education networks and partnerships. The ongoing renewal of the campus brings together academics, companies and other partners. All of this promotes the openness of the research infrastructure and, thus, the realisation of open science.

The university takes the perspectives of open science into account in building the career paths of researchers and assessing researcher merits. In addition to open science, the university supports and develops the openness and accessibility of learning and learning materials.

At the University of Vaasa, a researcher does not have to think alone about how to best implement open science. Both the university and the academic library Tritonia offer researchers support and training on open science.

– The policy alone is not enough. It needs good implementation. In the open science committee, we are currently preparing an action plan. The plan covers the schedule, targets, topics, as well as responsibilities and actors for the various areas of open science. The action plan also includes concrete indicators for monitoring the progress of open science at the University of Vaasa, describes Juppo.

Further information

Chair of the Open Science Committee, Dean Helinä Saarela, tel. +358 29 449 8507, helina.saarela@uwasa.fi
Vice-Director, Research Services and Graduate School Virpi Juppo, tel. +358 29 4498111, virpi.juppo@uwasa.fi
Vice-Rector for Research Minna Martikainen, tel. +358 29 449 8611, minna.martikainen@uwasa.fi