Open Science

Change management is a very important topic for many organisations, especially if they aim for progress and excellence. Whereas managing change in the corporate world is very common and many excellent management books are devoted to this topic and various tried-and-tested methods are employed globally, change management in the conservative world of academia remains difficult to implement. How did CEITEC approach this issue? What steps had to be taken to drive the necessary change?

The first prerequisite for institutional change is the strong commitment of the management, followed by a realistic plan with SMART goals and constant monitoring of the progress. In 2017, CEITEC started with a revision of its own open science policies as a consortium member of the ORION project. To demonstrate the importance of the topic, the institute issued new the Director´s Measure on Research Data Policy and appointed an employee dedicated to research data management issues. CEITEC was aware that it is crucial to integrate this new agenda of open science across several relevant departments and so made it a key priority. The open science agenda is of permanent consideration for CEITEC, and not limited to the lifespan of the project. Another important task was to ensure relevant training not only for the new research data manager, but also for researchers of all levels. A new e-learning course on open science has been developed and is available to researchers, students and the general public as well. The course has been customized to reflect the national and instructional specifics to be more appealing and relevant to the local target group.

CEITEC MU is an independent university institute belonging to a bigger entity – Masaryk University. It was therefore clear that the change must also spill over to the university. CEITEC called for the establishment of the working group that was tasked with drafting the new open science strategy for the entire Masaryk University. The new strategy is already being implemented and researchers all over the university are receiving effective support in the areas of open access and research data management. There is now new staff dedicated to open science issues also on the university level, including regular training for the staff, as well as for the researchers and students. ORION´s leader of WP2 (Analysis and Benchmarking) Pavla Foltynova from CEITEC became the coordinator of science-technology-medicine research fields at the university level, thanks also to the expertise gained during the ORION project. This role enables her to further push the open science agenda and to share her knowledge in the area of open science.

A strategic and tactical approach to communication is critical to inspiring researchers to embrace open science, but also for managing expectations, soliciting feedback and keeping everyone informed. Communication is at the forefront of CEITEC´s change management towards open science. CEITEC started with two-way awareness campaigns incorporated in the open science workshops for scientists, determining the desire for open science based on conversations with key stakeholders such as PhD students, postdocs, as well as senior scientists. CEITEC has devoted an entire chapter to open science in every issue of the monthly CEITEC Newsletter, and has a devoted open science page on the main CEITEC website to demonstrate that open science is an important topic on the institutional agenda. Open science and knowledge sharing are now among the six core values of the institute, which have been defined in the newly approved institutional strategy.

CEITEC´s efforts do not end on the institutional or university level. CEITEC is an active member in the national open access initiative and coordinated the national survey on open access. Furthermore, Pavla Foltynova from CEITEC was selected as a member of EOSC Task Force Research Careers, Recognition, and Credit, which enables her to influence open science policies on the European level. Regular monitoring of open science activities is also not being underestimated. CEITEC´s Research and Innovations Support Department is preparing a yearly status report for the CEITEC MU management that provides a detailed overview of the current status of open science at CEITEC MU, in the Czech Republic, but also compares the situation to an international benchmark. The ORION project, with its well-defined goals and pro-active open science experts and advocates, clearly helped CEITEC to boost the much-needed institutional change towards more open science!