Open Scholarship

What is Open Scholarship?

Open practices

Open Scholarship is an umbrella term for an approach that aims to make research and education accessible, reproducible, and freely available to people within and outside of academics.

Open Access Logo

Diversity & collaboration

Open Scholarship practices include sharing data and research tools, open peer-review, publishing open access, uploading preprints and (meta) research about scientific methods, pre-registration and replication research.

The idea of “Eight Pillars” is adapted from the European Commission and also promoted by LERU’s roadmap to Open Science. OSCG has adapted these pillars  so they fit into our local context.

The Eight Pillars of Open Scholarship

Open Publishing seeks to grant free and open online access to academic information. Initially, the Open Access movement focused mainly on journal articles and the business model of journals themselves, giving rise to open access journals. However, the broader concept of Open Publishing includes other valuable research outputs such as monographs, data or code.

Open infrastructure is the narrower sets of services, protocols, standards and software that can empower communities to collectively build the systems and infrastructures that deliver new improved collective benefits without restrictions, and for a healthy global interrelated infrastructure system. Source


FAIR data is all about reuse of data and emphasizes the ability of computers to find and use data and other research outputs (such as code). The FAIR Principles insist that all data be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Resuable.

Open Scholarship and Research Integrity go hand in hand. Open Scholarship aims to promote transparency and reproducibility of results and increase and widen the diffusion of knowledge. In order to maximize the benefits of Open Scholarship, there are several ethical, legal and social challenges.

Researchers advance in their career through assessment and this is the key factor to ensure that Open Scholarship becomes mainstream. Funders and policy makers like the European Commission are reviewing the current mechanisms for recruitment, career progression and access to research funding grants and add mechanisms to reward researchers for adhering to Open Scholarship principles. This Pillar is closely linked with Responsible Metrics

Whilst bibliometric indicators can be a useful source of information when used responsibly, they are very narrow and limited measures and should not be used in isolation. The question of how to use metrics in a responsible way has been discussed intensively in the academic community and it is now time that learnings are implemented into practice.

Combining a wide range or “basket” of contextualised metrics across a range of appropriate dimensions can help to supplement or inform expert, qualitative peer review and assessment. A broad range of outputs and activities should be recognised as part of any research evaluation process, not just publications.

Many institutions are signing Responsible Metrics statements such as DORA that commit to current good practice and act as a guide for future activities.

Open Scholarship believes that everyone worldwide should have free online access to high-quality educational material. Open Educational Resources are a way to enable that.

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are educational materials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone and available under a license that allows users to use, remix, improve and redistribute. Sharing ideas and resources and collaborating on projects as part of a community is key to the Open Education movement.

It is in the spirit of Open Scholarship to allow society to reap all potential benefits of research. Therefore, making research outputs available to everyone is just one step . We should also engage with potential users, funders and contributors to research, and with people whose lives may be affected by it. 

This calls for activities to raise interest in research, to include citizens and communities in setting research priorities, to engage them with the research process, to translate outcomes for a non-scholarly public and to participate in public debate.

One strand of engaging with the public is Citizen Science where the public actively  participates in scientific projects. Many supporters see Citizen Science as a way to “democratise science”.