OSC-NL Knowledge exchange day on February 2nd, 2024

On February 2nd, 2024, OSC-NL hosted a knowledge exchange day to kick off the year. Due to the growing awareness that the communities are crucial in the transition to OS, we now also had funding to organise this day and other network events. Representatives from seven Open Science Communities attended the event to connect, socialise, and formulate a strategic plan to engage their respective local communities. A strategic approach to engagement has become especially important now that the generous NWO impulse fund for each of the local communities has started to flow, giving us the opportunity to grow and professionalise like never before. However, the central question on this day of knowledge sharing remained: How exactly can we achieve these goals?

To professionalise OSC-NL and the work of local community managers, we focused on three central points in our discussions:

  1. Professionalisation of local community managers. OSC-NL offers a limited number of spots for community engagement training, which will be available to community managers from OSCs across the Netherlands in autumn. Furthermore, broader workshops based on the OSC Incubator Program will be offered at the individual locations.
  2. Professionalisation of the OSC-NL core team. We shared ideas on the role of the OSC-NL core team within the network of OSCs in the Netherlands. This involved determining concrete tasks the core team should undertake, identifying the most pressing issues within the network the core team can address, and drafting strategies to effectively support individual communities to ensure their success.
  3. Professionalisation of the brand of OSC-NL and the OSC-NL website. OSC-NL is currently undergoing a rebranding process. The goal of this rebranding is to ensure inclusivity for all its members and to communicate more effectively our goals, strategies, and events. Stay tuned for updates on this initiative!

In addition to the professionalisation of OSC-NL, we also discussed current challenges considered important for individual OSCs. These were (1) education on open science (i.e., how can we bridge the gap between OSCs and educators and engage students in our communities?), (2) the engagement of local stakeholders (i.e., how can we reach university executive boards, to collaborate on long-term strategies for open science within universities?), and (3) the cultivation of a vibrant and active interdisciplinary community (i.e., which events facilitate engagement and the formation of workgroups?).

The meeting served as a brainstorming session to identify future tasks, but we only began to address a fraction of the questions at hand. However, it did establish a starting point for future work sprints on these topics, for instance, at the approaching 5-day Open Science Retreat in Schoorl in March.

Looking back at the past five years, we are very proud of what we achieved with OSC-NL: OSCs active in all 12 university cities with over 2000 members, ready to put Open Science to practise. With the financial impuls for OSC-NL, we are ready to take OSC-NL to the next level!  

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