Open Science as a Service: Status and future potential from a German non-university research institution perspective

Authorea was used to write this article for the BOBCATSSS 2016 symposium in Lyon, France (January 27-29 2016).
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Aspects of Open Access and Open Data, summarised as Open Science, are moving forward concerning an implementation of service infrastructures at German non-university research institutions. Open Science gives research findings back to society and can improve science by addressing a broader community. It increases collaboration and can lead to a higher recognition of scientists. However, preparing content for virtual research environments can be time consuming – uncertainty exists, for instance about ownership, reputation and awareness of open content-based research output (publications, data sets, collaborative platforms etc.). Service departments such as data departments and libraries can help to overcome these reservations towards Open Science by providing relevant information and tools to facilitate Open Access and Open Data publishing.
The Leibniz Association (applied sciences) with its working groups is a pioneer in terms of Open Access for Leibniz institutes. Promoting free exchange of research results according to the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, outcomes of the Leibniz activities are the Open Access repository LeibnizOpen, an Open Access policy template for institutional policies as far as a central financed publication fund.
This paper shows the Open Science situation in Germany in addition to the mentioned efforts at the Leibniz Association institutions such as the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF). ZALF explores ecosystems in agricultural landscapes and the development of ecologically and economically justifiable land use systems. Its library, publication management and data management department consult researchers about Open Access publishing with open review as well as data registration on the institutional open data repository. Internal workflows therefore support the paradigm shift towards a sharing of scientific information and resources.

Keywords: Open Access, Open Data, Open Science, Leibniz Association, non-university research institution, service departments


Open Science is understood as open access to scientific information with its products, such as literature, data and software (The Royal Society, 2012). This emerging paradigm shift includes ideas about the future of science within the digital age itself and changes in a scholarly value-added process. To face uncertainty, for instance about ownership, reputation and awareness of open content-based research, considerable advantages need to be displayed within a research community.

Benefits are for instance faster communication of research findings and a higher visibility, an effective quality control and long-term availability of research outputs (Arbeitsgruppe Open Access der Schwerpunktinitiative Digitale Information der Allianz der deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen; Fournier 2012 Arbeitsgruppe Open Access der Schwerpunktinitiative Digitale Information der Allianz der deutschen Wissenschaftsorganisationen, 2012). The Concordat On Open Research Data of 2015 mentions "economic growth, increased resource efficiency, securing public support for research funding and increasing public trust in research" as further benefits.

Researchers are individuals who might respond more to reasons like higher citation rates (