Scientific knowledge belongs to humanity
Tampere University wants to make scientific discoveries more open. In order to reach this goal, the university is working on means to make research results and data more readily and openly available.
This spring, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC) are assessing the maturity of the culture of open science in the Finnish higher education institutions. Both Tampere University of Technology and the University of Tampere, which merged and became Tampere University in 2019, reached the second highest level 4 in the previous assessment. The new Tampere University is aiming for the highest level 5 within the end of the current agreement period with the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2020.
The assessment focuses on the status of open science in the university strategy and other documents that guide the university’s operations, and on the promotion of and support for open science the university provides. In the first phase, information is mapped on the university’s website after which the university will answer an institution-specific questionnaire.
The outlines and action programmes on open science adopted last year provide a good basis. However, cultural changes require much communication, training and practical support. The first task is to invest in the visibility and availability of these guidelines and on the prominence of open science on the website more broadly.
“Our aim is to reach the highest level in this respect and we are working hard to reach this goal,” says Seppo Parkkila, professor of anatomy, who chaired the preparatory work in 2018.
Above all, open science means that research results and data are published for as wide an audience as possible without any restrictions. When information is openly available, researchers’ work reaches a wider audience and makes networking easier.
“Open science is rewarding in itself. If researchers publish research results and materials openly, they receive more citations and recognition. This serves both the scientific community and the researchers,” Parkkila says.
Researchers are encouraged to publish their results on public fora as much as possible. Publications that are behind paywalls only reach a small audience.
Increasing openness also means that researchers participate in the public debate more actively than before. The public debate on research and research results and making data publicly available are academic merits that are taken into account for example in the recruitment of personnel.
“The world is changing and information is spreading increasingly fast. There is still much to do, but I believe that open science is the way of the future. It is worthwhile for us all to be involved,” Parkkila says.