Open Science is a concept that encompasses all academic disciplines and aspects of scholarly activities. The underlying intention is to provide access to research results and processes without constraints in the form of technological, financial, legal or other barriers, making these freely available to the various interested parties in general. This will facilitate social participation in the knowledge generation process. Open Science practices promote the accessibility and availability, the subsequent use and the transparency of the results of academic endeavor. They foster advances in knowledge creation and reinforce the credibility of the research process. Open Science also includes the general public in research processes and ensures that the results of research are intelligible for everyone.
Open Science at JGU
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) regards the visibility and traceability of research results as an essential prerequisite for excellent science and is committed to the Open Access concept. JGU published its own Open Access Policy already in 2012. The university also supports the relevant national and international projects and strategies designed to provide free access to academic and scientific knowledge. Joining many other research institutions, funding organizations, expert associations, and other scientific organizations, JGU signed the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities in 2013. In 2016, JGU was also one of the first German universities to join the Open Access 2020 initiative (OA2020) that pursues the large-scale implementation of free online access to and largely unrestricted use and re-use of scholarly research articles.
Moreover, JGU places considerable emphasis on making research data open and available. Several years ago, it produced a guideline on how to treat research data (for download, in German). JGU welcomes the publication of research data in (specialist) open access repositories. Advice on this is provided by the Research Data Experts team of JGU. The university is also a member of several consortia of the German National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI).
JGU's commitment to Open Science has already resulted in numerous activities and related outcomes, including Gutenberg Open Science, the Open Access repository of the university, and has led to the financing of open access publication costs from the university’s publication fund and the provision of transformative agreements (web page in German) for the members of JGU. The latter enable reading access to journals and at the same time regulate open access publishing in them. Furthermore, JGU organizes frequent information and outreach events and actively motivates its early-career researchers to employ Open Science practices as part of their everyday work ethic. Members of JGU's Institute of Psychology have established the Mainz Open Science Initiative (web page in German).
Together with its partners in the Rhine-Main Universities (RMU) alliance, JGU will be hosting the second Open Science Festival in 2024. This festival is designed as an ongoing series of national events and is held at different science institutions in Germany every year. Its motto is "Meet, Share, Inspire, Care!" and during the event international panels discuss current trends in the realm of Open Science while various workshops provide the opportunity to exchange views and generate new ideas.
The FORTHEM Alliance also assists students and early career researchers in integrating the full array of Open Science-related aspects into their own research activities by organizing various programs on this very topic.