12 May 2017 | Category: Incentives, Open Access, Open Science, Research Data

WUR and the National Plan Open Science

By Jacquelijn Ringersma

Jacquelijn is the Coordinator Research Data Management of th...

On May 29th, there will be a first national meeting for researchers on Open Science. The meeting will take place in the Aula of TU Delft and will be a great opportunity for researchers to respond to the objectives and ambitions in the National Plan Open Science. In this blog, we tell you more about the origin of the National Plan, and why Wageningen University & Research researchers might want to become involved in the discussion.

Origin of the NPOS

Open Science is a key priority for the (demissionary​) Dutch State Secretary Sander Dekker of Education, Culture and Science. It is largely recognized that the transition to Open Science is ongoing. In April 2016, under the Dutch EU presidency, Sander Dekker organized a large EU Conference on Open Science which resulted in a ‘Call for Action on Open Science’. This was approved by the EU ministers for research and innovation at the Competitiveness Council on May 27, 2016.

Further national effort initiative by the State Secretary resulted in February 2017 in the signing of the National Plan Open Science (NPOS) by ten important key players in the Dutch Scientific network (among them NWO, KNAW and VSNU). The NPOS is based on a set of starting points, the main one being the recognition that Open Science (OS) offers major advantages for both science and society; it improves the quality of science and at the same time increases the innovation strength of the Netherlands.

Four Key Objectives

The NPOS has four key objectives:

  1. 100% Open-access publishing by 2020 (in the Netherlands).
  2. Optimisation of research data for re-use
  3. Recognition and rewards
  4. Promotion and support

Let’s consider how WUR is realising these four objectives.

100% Open Access Publishing

The leading principle behind this ambition is that all publicly funded research must become available to the public. Although we are still far from the 100% ambition, at Wageningen University & Research we already work hard to achieve a transition. The VSNU has made Open Access deals with some of the major journal publishers, enabling you to publish open access with discounts or even for free. The Library can advise you on how to publish OA within the deals. For this we developed a OA Journal Browser, in which it is easy to find journals, deals, and explanations of the deal. Where this is not enough, we facilitate Green Open Access in the Wageningen Staff Publications. You find our information on OA on our Library pages.

Optimisation of research data for re-use

Availability and re-use of research data are the two major bullet points of this objective. The FAIR data principles are leading. Within Wageningen University & Research, all PhD students and University Chair groups make a Research Data Management Plan (DMP). Recently, it was felt by an RDM Working Group chaired by the Dean of Science, that a DMP is not enough. New policy, which will require data storage and archiving according to the FAIR principles, is now being developed. With this new policy, Wageningen University & Research will make a significant move towards implementing the NPOS. The policy will probably become effective in the fall of 2017. We will keep you posted.

Recognition and rewards

The NPOS recognizes that Open Science can only become a success when it will form a part of the evaluation and reward processes for researchers and research groups. In an earlier blogpost on this blog we also suggested this incentive. To facilitate a (future) reward system, we started registering data sets in the WUR output registration system Pure. With this service, it will be easy to show how many data sets you published and archived and how these relate to your publications.

The recognition key-objective also involves rewarding RDM in project proposals. NWO and the EU stimulate that RDMPs are part of project proposals, and how the FAIR principles are applied.

If you would like to know more about registration of your datasets or would like to get support in writing your Data Management Paragraph in your project proposal, please contact our Data Librarians.

Promotion and support

The NPOS is aware that researchers require support in the transition towards Open Science. We in the Library also acknowledge this. So we can assist you where and when you need this. See our Open Access pages or check the Data Management Support Hub for support on RDM. Or read the special issue of our Library newsletter about Open Science.

We are also happy to give you more information during one of your group meetings.

At the the first meeting on the National Plan Open Science in Delft researchers from different fields and different institutions will resent cases in which opening up scientific practice made a difference, but also the hurdles they came across. If you would like to attend this meeting, you can register for the event at the OS web pages.


By Jacquelijn Ringersma

Jacquelijn is the Coordinator Research Data Management of the Wageningen Competence Centre. She works closely together with the Data Management Support team of the Library, IT and DML services.

Research Data Management (RDM) has had her interest since 2005, when she started working for the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, where RDM was an almost natural part of the academic workflow. From 2011 till 2018 she was the head of the Digital Production Centre of WUR Library. From that time she has contributed to the development of RDM policy and support within WUR.

Jacquelijn is the chair of the Working Group engagement of the National Coordination Point on RDM and a member of the Special Interest Group Agricultural Data of the RDA (Research Data Alliance).

All self respecting research institutes should advocate for FAIR data. Their libraries and IT services should support this to the max.

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