Embedding open research in institutional practices

Making open research principles the norm at the high education institutional level will enhance the credibility and impact of academic research. Find out about the activities and resources offered by the Open Science Center of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.
Embedding open research in institutional practices
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The LMU Open Science Center

As an interdisciplinary grassroots initiative launched in 2017, the Open Science Center (OSC) of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich aims to institutionalise open science principles through (i) providing research methodology training, (ii) building a community of practice, and (iii) supporting meta-research projects. This network of 100+ individual members, 15 institutional members, and 500+ community members (mailing list subscribers) has been directed by  Prof. Dr. Felix Schönbrodt since 2017 and managed by a full-time coordinator, Dr. Malika Ihle, since 2022.

Research Training and Community building 2017-2027

A key way to support researchers in adopting open research practices is to offer hands-on workshops delivered by other researchers who have developed that expertise. Since 2022, we offer around 50 hours of training per year, with early-career researchers constituting the bulk of our audience. Participants show great appreciation for the permanent accessibility of the training material (e.g. online self-paced tutorials), the practical knowledgeability of their peer instructors, and an inclusive and effective hybrid format organisation allowing us to welcome LMU members from any part of the campus and researchers from other organisations. 

OSC members also run a number of grassroots initiatives for several years such as open science initiatives in specific disciplines, special interest groups (e.g., hacky hour), and reading clubs (e.g. reproducibilitea journal club). Such community building activities are crucial to propagate norms. 

Looking ahead, the Volkswagen foundation is providing financial support to the OSC’s project “From local to systemic implementation: Embedding open research in institutional practices” in order to implement two key programmes in 2025–2027: 

The “Switch-to-Open” programme will assist research groups in transitioning from closed to open research workflows by guiding them through (self-)learning resources, creating a standard open research practice guide tailored to the group, and agreeing on an implementation plan. The switched research group will then present their work at a departmental seminar to inspire other groups to adopt or adapt their open research practice guide.

The second programme, a “Train-the-Trainer” programme, will  focus on training researchers how to teach open research practices within their discipline. 

  • To facilitate and coordinate these pioneering initiatives, the OSC is seeking to appoint another Scientific Coordinator, starting January 2025. It is possible to apply until the 15 July. Visit the LMU site for more information.
  • To join our community and be notified of our events, you can visit our website, subscribe to our mailing list, and/or follow us on social media (Bluesky, LinkedIn, Mastodon).

Open Science Summer School 2024

The LMU Open Science Center organises yearly summer schools (material links: 2022, 2023, 2024) in order to provide early career researchers the knowledge and skills to make their research more transparent, credible, and reproducible. At the Open Science Summer School 2024, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about reproducible aspects of their research such as designing studies and statistical plans with preregistrations and data simulation, creating reproducible workflows through programming with version control of scripts, and sharing findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) data and code.

The summer school offers public lectures, panel discussions, hands-on workshops and networking opportunities. This year, the hybrid Open Science Summer School is organised in collaboration with the Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) and takes place in the MPDL premises in Munich and online from 9–3 of September 2024. 

Diagram representing the facets of open research at LMU.
The facets of open research at LMU. Image credit to Open Science Center (OSC) of LMU.

Top image by the Open Science Center of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich.

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