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FOSTER Open Science Learning Objectives

Grigorov, Ivo; Carvalho, Jose; Ball, David; Bjørnshauge, Lars; Cancillieri, Matthew; Davidson, Joy; Dazy, Andre; Donnelly, Martin; Franck, Gwen; Hjubers, Leon; Jones, Sarah; Knoth, Peter; Kuchma, Iryna; Melero, Reme; North, Dan; Orth, Astrid; Pontika, Nancy; Reilly, Susan; Rodrigues, Eloy; Schmidt, Birgitt; Swan, Alma


This brief outlines simplified Open Science Learning Objectives for the main stakeholders in the Research Ecosystem. Learning Objectives are structured by Open Science Topics according to a functional Open Science Taxonomy (Pontica et al., 2015), that accompany the main responsibilities of each stakeholders along the Research Lifecycle.

The ultimate objective is to support the integration of Open Science best practices into the daily routine of performing and supporting research, to underpin implementation of Horizon 2020 Mandate on Access to Scientific Information, and augment the “societal impact” and uptake of research, for the benefit of all stakeholders in the knowledge creation process (ultimately underpinning “co-creation”).

Specific Learning Objectives are structured in increasing level of competence, frequently ending with successful integration of Open Science best practices in the daily research routine, facilitating self-assessment of the personal workflow.

The Learning Objectives can provide a backbone for a structured learning plan for Doctoral Schools with the ambition to train future researchers in optimizing their societal impact, alongside research excellence training, as well as preparing graduates for new and emerging research impact measures and criteria. Support with relevant training content will be provided in parallel through the FOSTER Portal and accompanying e-Learning and self-learning modules.

The brief draws on FP7 FOSTER Work Packages 2 Content, WP3 Portal (Open Science Taxonomy, and learning portal infrastructure) and WP4 Training (Deliverable D4.5 Training ToolKit).



The political drive for Open Science from the funding agency (EC[1]) point of view is mainly Return On Investment (ROI), ethics (taxpayer access to public funded research), and stimulating Open Innovation[2] through free-flow of ideas in order to boost economic growth through transfer of knowledge to the knowledge-based Small/Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The Open Science community of advocates and practitioners a diverse one, spanning the full breadth of research disciplines, as well as a range of stakeholders with various vested interests and roles in the research process.

The cumulative effect is that there is a rich diversity of strong reasons for and against making “Open Science” the default setting in the research process.

Consultation by FP7 FOSTER of 90 researchers from various disciplines (Fig. 1; attendees of the EuroScience Open Forum, Copenhagen 2014[1]) lists reasons in favour: ethics, return on investment, societal impact, transparency, rigor and reproducibility; and objections: national security, patient data, confidential data, patent exploitation [2].

Although most are valid, it is beyond the scope of FP7 FOSTER to provide the definitive summary of training content, or learning objectives, in order to address such a diversity of discipline-specific cases, and arguments.

The objective of this document is to support the implementation of the Horizon 2020 Mandate, and focus on research data and knowledge at the time of generation, by:


(1) reducing the arguments in favour of adopting Open Science practices to those lowest common denominators that are most Target-centric and discipline-agnostic and offer the highest scalling capacity beyond the lifetime of FP7 FOSTER,

(2) listing the minimal competencies per Target Group required to comply with the Horizon 2020 Mandate and fully capitalize on Open Science potential, in the form of modular Learning Objectives, with gradually increasing level of understanding, and

(3) support these Learning Objectives with minimum critical (not exhaustive!) content (WP2 Content Mapping), e-infrastructure (WP3 Portal) and actual Training ToolKit & HelpDesk support (WP4 Training).

The document is based on significant feedback from attendees and organizers of FP7 FOSTER Calendar of Training Events throughout 2014 and 2015, that informs the formulation of the learning objectives below [3].


[1] Thorhauge, Thomas et al., 2014. Should Science Always be OPEN?, DOI 10.5281/zenodo.10658

[2] Guidelines on Data Management in Horizon 2020

[3] FOSTER Events


[1] EC Open Science Agenda

[2] ERA of Innovation

Acknowledgements: The document was greatly enriched by constructive comments and critiques from John Smith (European University Association), Peter Kraker (Know-Center/Graz University of Technology), Nina Qvistgaard (DTU-Aqua Graduate School of Aquatic Sciences), Nina Rathlev Andersen (DTU Learning Lab), Gretchen Repaski (Un Helsinki, Doctoral Programme in Biomedicine), Daniel Mietchen (National Institute of Health, USA).
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