Poster Open Access

A Student Initiative for Open Science

Franziska Nippold; Marla Dressel

In recent years, an increasing number of Open Science initiatives have emerged that are accessible to anyone, but mainly target researchers. We believe that students are overlooked within the Open Science movement and do not receive adequate education on many of the Open Science practices. For example, many students do not know about the replication crisis or that some research is questionable. In turn, this may have consequences on how they will conduct their own research in the future. Our initiative feels the urge to spread Open Science within the student community. To realize this goal, we started a student organization that promotes Open Science and emphasizes its applicability directly to students.

We are Data Sharing. We are Open Access.
We are Reproducibility.
We are Open Science, from students for students.

We aim to promote Open Science by organizing lectures, debates, and workshops (e.g., how to pre-register a bachelor/master thesis). As such, we inform students how Open Science might be able to solve issues within research and how they can engage. Additionally, we educate students on why the current way to do science is not the way forward (e.g. panel discussions). We want to strongly emphasize the students' perspective on the applicability of Open Science to their life as a student. We believe that by creating awareness at an early stage of their career, we will be able to improve research practices in science in the long run. Besides, Open Science might not only be valuable within their studies (e.g. thesis) - and when pursuing a career in academia - but also when being confronted with research after their studies (e.g, when interpreting other’s work).

Our initiative is unique and innovative by solely focusing on the engagement of students. Continuous support and increased interest from students even outside our university has motivated us to encourage students to start a SIOS at their own university. To help motivated students get started, we wrote a Step-by-Step guide that describes how our organization was established and gives advice on how to structure and manage a student initiative around the topic of Open Science. Within the manual, we also included a COVID- 19 crisis management section where we give tips on how to keep an initiative alive in times of online meetings and closed faculties. For the Step-by-Step guide, we have just received a grant by Berkeley University that will fund distributing the project to different universities.

In the spirit of evaluating our own effectiveness, we further aim to design studies measuring the impact of our Step-by-Step guide and initiative. This will help guide our decisions in how to further promote Open Science practices among students by better understanding what students actually need. Besides our annual introductory lectures to Open Science, our plans for the following year include the following projects: Taking part in the Open Science festival, inviting lecturers on the topic of power analysis, writing a blogpost on the experiences with supervisors with poor academic integrity, organizing an introductory workshop on Bayesian statistics, and many more.

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