Welcome to the Open Science Community Nijmegen

The Open Science Community Nijmegen (OSCN) is a community of scholars and other academics devoted to the development and adoption of open science practices. OSCN enhances inter-faculty and inter-institute collaboration by building a network of scholars across the Nijmegen campus, including the Radboud University, Radboud University Medical Center, Max Planck Institute and Hogeschool Arnhem Nijmegen in the nearby future. Through the OSCN network, scholars can help, motivate and support each other to adopt open science practices. 

OSCN was founded in 2019, after the successful launch of several open science communities across The Netherlands. OSCN is part of the network of Open Science Communities the Netherlands (OSC-NL) consisting of 13 Dutch local communities and the International Network of Open Science and Scholarship Communities that includes 35 local communities representing 18 countries in 5 continents (as of March 2024).

In the past, OSCN has organised events, workshops and discussion sessions on research data management, pre-registration, open access publishing, GitHub, research integrity and recognition & rewards. It also organized a ReproducibiliTea journal club. After going through some internal reorganisation in 2022, the OSCN is back in action since 2023, with a stronger focus on community building in Nijmegen. 

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What is open science (open scholarship)?

There is no single definition of «open science» that would cover the variety of principles and practices associated with it, however, the following definition from the Open Science Training Handbook provides a useful starting point:

Open Science is the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods.

Examples of «open science practices» therefore include, among other, the practice of conducting preregistered studies (i.e. full transparency w.r.t. planned and conducted analyses), sharing research data and resources (e.g. computer code) required to reproduce empirical results, transparency in evaluation of scientific work (e.g. open peer review), ensuring free access to published work, etc.

Open Science as a default

In OSCN, we do not distinguish «open» science from «traditional» science («Open science is just science done right», the slogan goes) as many of the practices briefly outlined in the preceeding paragraph are best viewed as desirable default scientific behaviours. The course of the technological and global sociopolitical developments in the recent decades (e.g. the rise of the world wide web) has considerably reshaped the way science can be and is conducted. Academic communities, however, have not yet fully cought up with the developments and possibilities offered to the extent that such disconnect can reasonably be thought to undermine the quality, credibility, and public image of scientific work.

Why a local community?

The challenge remains how to implement the agreed upon principles and how to set up the desired default practices and to ensure active academic workers in local communities receive training to engage in these practices without a significant overhead that would impede their core research. This is where the goals and activities of the OSCN come in.