Open science

The Netherlands endorses the European aim of making the results of publicly funded research accessible to all. Examples include providing open access to publications and ensuring that research data are ‘FAIR’ (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable). The free sharing of scientific insights is an important principle of scientific practice and an important driver for the development of new knowledge and innovations.

Within the European Union, it has been agreed that open science should become the standard in scientific research, and this practice is already becoming more commonplace within the knowledge sector. This does not mean, however, that all international partners also practice open science. Moreover, there may be legitimate reasons to protect some research results and to make them public only in part, if at all. These include privacy, national security, intellectual property and commercial reasons.

It is important to consider whether research at your own institution involves such aspects and, if so, what agreements can be made with international partners. For example, agreements can be made regarding the extent to which data is to be shared or only viewed (data visiting). Making sound agreements with regard to these aspects in advance can prevent tension from arising later in the process between the desire for maximum openness and taking protective measures.