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The values and principles of Open Science

Open Science represents the proper conduct of scientific research. By opening up the entire process of generating and disseminating scientific knowledge, it enhances the quality of science through reviews and updates.

Open Science directly addresses issues like the reproducibility crisis and offers solutions to improve the integrity of scientific work. Additionally, Open Science serves as a remedy to the problem of restricted access to scientific information due to paywalls, ensuring that knowledge is widely accessible. 

It aligns with the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrines the right of all to partake in scientific progress and its benefits. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam embraces Open Science and endorses five core principles: transparency, reproducibility, collaboration, collective benefit and equity. 

Open Science values and principles at VU Amsterdam

  • Transparency

    We advocate for transparency in the creation and dissemination of scientific knowledge to foster a responsible and trustworthy academic environment. 

    Scientific knowledge encompasses a broad spectrum, including educational resources, research hypotheses, protocols, data, software, hardware, publications, and the processes underlying them. Transparency is a core principle of Open Science, setting the foundation for its fundamental values. 

    To address the delicate balance between transparency and considerations such as intellectual property rights, privacy regulations, and knowledge safety, we endorse the principle that research outputs and processes should be "as open as possible, but as closed as necessary." We hold that all scientific work should adhere to the FAIR principles, ensuring that it is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.

  • Reproducibility

    We believe in the importance of making our scientific work verifiable and reproducible. 

    Embracing greater transparency in the scientific process and its outcomes paves the way for innovative forms of review, reproducibility (repeating the same analysis with the same data by a different analyst), replicability (achieving similar findings using new data), and the potential for material reuse. This critical examination of results and their underlying components allows for the verification of claims and the safeguarding of the work's integrity. 

    These components foster trust in scientific knowledge, providing a solid foundation for subsequent research. This, in turn, elevates the quality of research and education while expediting scientific progress.

  • Collaboration

    We believe in the power of collaboration, extending not only within academia but also into broader spheres, as it significantly enriches both our research and educational endeavours. 

    By ensuring that the processes and outcomes of knowledge production are accessible and can be put to meaningful use, we unlock platforms for interaction, collaboration, and active participation, involving both academic peers and societal stakeholders. 

    Our commitment extends to the importance of engaging with society on matters such as the selection of research topics, academic work, and their connection to addressing real-world challenges. This engagement takes shape through effective means, including science communication and the active involvement of citizens in the scientific process, like citizen science. 

  • Collective Benefit

    Our belief is that scientific knowledge should ultimately serve the greater good. To ensure this, we place great importance on the critical assessment of financial models related to scholarly infrastructure, copyright (and its retention), and the open licensing of scientific work. 

    There is a need to be vigilant about the potential risks associated with growing dependence on commercial or foreign providers and their terms of use throughout the research life cycle. This underscores the necessity of seeking open alternatives for digital services and advocating for regulatory measures that promote fairness and accessibility in the dissemination of knowledge.

  • Equity

    We hold the conviction that the academic realm should embody inclusivity, diversity, and equity. It must offer equal opportunities for all to engage with, benefit from, contribute to, and learn from the scientific process. 

    Achieving this necessitates the establishment of transparent and inclusive academic environments and extends the commitment to inclusivity beyond academia.

Do you have questions about Open Science at VU Amsterdam?

Feel free to contact us!


Open Science Coordinator Sander Bosch
Community Manager Lena Karvovskaya