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Information for Researchers No. 79 | 17 October 2022
Open Science as Part of Research Culture

Positioning of the DFG with differentiated consideration of potential and challenges

The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) published its positioning titled “Open Science as Part of Research Culture” today. In it, the DFG considers open science as the transformation of scientific practices and processes that are established or designed to make research results openly accessible for the long term, thereby ensuring an increased uptake of these results by researchers and other stakeholders. The DFG regards open science to be a key part of the overarching discourse on research culture. In addition to knowledge gain, open science can also facilitate quality assurance processes and promote reproducibility and replicability, and therefore be a component of good research practice.

In its position paper on open science, the DFG expresses its support of further development of open science principles and practices based on a differentiated consideration of the potential and the challenges of open science from the point of view of research and scholarship. The opportunities that open science opens up for research include an improvement of research processes, creation of transparency in order to avoid replication crises, promotion of research cooperation and not least the facilitation of innovation. However, the DFG believes that a comprehensive implementation of open science is also associated with certain risks: adverse side effects, such as price increases in the publication sector or the dependency of research on large corporations, might be overlooked. Furthermore, there is the risk of a problematic development of incentive systems that focus on public perception rather than research quality.

Digital and infrastructural sovereignty of research should be given high priority when establishing a structure for open science. After all, openness does not automatically prevent the increasing commercialisation of research practice (i. e. of publications, research data, software and digital tools). This is why the DFG suggests in its positioning on open science that research institutions and bodies should be involved in the governance of infrastructures, to enable researchers and scholars to ensure that open science will develop in a way that is conductive to research.

The paper “Open Science as Part of Research Culture” bundles existing positions of the DFG on open science in a reference document. It was drawn up at DFG Head Office by decision of the Extended Executive Board and adopted by the Executive Committee in September 2022. In its role as self-governing body for research in Germany, the DFG will continue to shape the general conditions that are necessary to allow for the open science concept to be implemented in a future-oriented manner.

Further Information

Go to the DFG’s positioning on open science:

Programme contacts at the DFG Head Office:

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