Year of Open Science
May 1, 2024

Reflections on a Year of Open Science (video)

The Center for Open Science hosted a conference in collaboration with NASA to showcase work stemming from the Year of Open Science.

By Templeton Staff

On January 11, 2023, the U.S. White House declared 2023 to be the Year of Open Science (YOS).

Open science is an approach to conducting research that promotes transparency, equitability, collaboration, inclusivity, and access. This means sharing publications, data, samples, and software freely, so that anyone can access and build upon existing knowledge. It also involves including and crediting more contributors to research.

The Center for Open Science (COS), in collaboration with NASA, hosted a culminating conference in spring 2024, to spotlight the outcomes, coalition-building efforts, and ongoing work stemming from YOS. The event aimed to unite YOS participating organizations, U.S. federal agencies, funders, international policymakers, universities, and research institutions for knowledge exchange and the sharing of recommendations to advance open science policies and practices.

Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF) sees Open Research as essential for maximizing the benefit of the research it funds by increasing its visibility, accessibility, and usability. Under the umbrella of the Open Research Funders Group, TWCF was proud to be a participating organization in YOS.

Watch the following videos courtesy of COS for highlights from the YOS.

Reflections on a year of open science

Key Takeaways:

Achievements Realized & Where to Next

In the opening session, “Reflections on a Year of Open Science: Initiatives and Achievements Realized and Where to Next,” Chelle Gentemann, Open Science Program Scientist at NASA, said: 

“Improving how we work together is essential to how we advance science and technology and this is why we are choosing to rapidly advance the adoption of open science. This is why we are asking scientists to change — not because it is easy, but because it is hard. Because this goal  — making science open — will benefit humanity, will benefit science, and will lead to new discoveries. Because this challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win. Because science is for everyone and we need every solution, and every solver. As the saying goes, ‘to change everything we need everyone’. What this moment calls for is a mosaic of voices, the full spectrum of ideas and insights on how we can turn things around.”

Gentemann highlighted some of NASA’s recent activities to promote open science. These include support for open science software, data visualization tools, and cloud computing. NASA also implemented a new scientific information policy, SPD-41A, which includes requirements for open science activities. Proposals to NASA now must include an open science and data management plan. Another significant effort was the development of NASA’s Open Science 101 curriculum, created to build open science skills among researchers, students and the broader community.

Tools & Resources:

NASA’s Open Science 101 Curriculum is a 5-module curriculum designed to equip researchers, students and citizen scientists with the knowledge and skills to navigate the principles and practices of open science, including developing an open science and data management plan. When you complete this curriculum, you will get an Open Science Digital Badge which can be linked to your ORCID.

“Science belongs to everybody.” 

Maryam Zarinhalam, White House Office of Science & Technology Policy

Maryam Zarinhalam, Assistant Director for Public Access and Research Policy at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) shared the official definition of open science for use across the U.S. government: The principle and practice of making research products and processes available to all, while respecting diverse cultures, maintaining security and privacy, and fostering collaborations, reproducibility, and equity. She says: “Science belongs to everybody. Open science is an opportunity to think about how we approach science. So, we are thinking about it, not just about sharing at the end of the research lifecycle, but creating opportunities for on-ramps and bridges and engagement throughout the research lifecycle. We are really involving communities across the country and the world in this process of doing science and research.” She emphasized that it's important for open science enterprises to respect diverse cultures and instill a sense of curiosity and humility among participants.

Advancing open science aligns with the principle of “science as a human right,” says Ana Persic, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Program Specialist for Science Technology and Innovation Policies and Open Science. She emphasizes that “to have open science really work and reach its potential, it has to be global.” 

The White House’s YOS declaration follows the global commitment to open science made by United Nations member states through the adoption of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science in late 2021. The UNESCO recommendation stresses values such as diversity, inclusiveness, quality, collective benefit, fairness, and equity, framing open science as a public good and a human right. Reaching the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals requires “science that is more participative and more connected to societal needs,” Persic says. Openness should be considered “not just in terms of scientific publications that are more accessible to the audience” but also for “scientific processes becoming more transparent and more accessible to citizens more broadly.” Persic shares that since the adoption of the recommendation, significant progress has been made, including the development of standards, toolkits, and checklists to monitor, measure and advance open science. The global community has embraced the recommendation, with countries working to develop holistic open science policies, especially in Africa, where many regional strategies are emerging.

Tools & Resources:

The UNESCO open science toolkit is a collection of resources (guides, policy briefs, factsheets and indexes) designed to support implementation of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science. It includes resources such as:

UNESCO is working on future resources like intellectual property rights and open science and overcoming challenges to the implementation of open science. 

The opening session was moderated by Lisa Cuevas Shaw, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, COS, and Alison Parker, Senior Program Associate with the Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars


Grassroots efforts “have the opportunity to enable transformative and long-lasting change.”

Daniela Saderi, PREreview

Grassroot initiatives and communities are critical in increasing adoption of open science. These bring in more diverse perspectives and help normalize open science practices. Grassroots efforts “have the opportunity to enable transformative and long-lasting change,” says Daniela Saderi, co-Founder and Executive Director at PREreview

While top-down actions, e.g. policy development and research assessment reforms, are important for advancing open science, community-driven, bottom-up initiatives play a critical role in increasing the adoption of open science practices. They bring together more diverse perspectives and ideas, empowering individuals to actively drive and lead the cultural change in their communities. This panel discussion explores the pivotal roles of grassroots open science communities in broadening participation and fostering collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity within research. Panelists representing 4 initiatives in different areas of open science share insights, challenges, and successes in advancing open science principles from the ground up. 

Watch The Critical Roles of Grassroots Initiatives and Communities in Increasing Adoption of Open Science. The session features Jacob Green (OSPO++), Nick Halper (neuromatch), Brianna Johns (Gathering for Open Science Hardware), and Daniela Saderi (PREreview), with moderator Emmy Tsang (Invest in Open Infrastructure).

Advances in Research Evaluation

Responsible assessment "requires a collaborative systems approach that addresses the underlying culture infrastructure and conditions of the entire scholarly ecosystem.”

Haley Hazlett, Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)

Research Evaluation

Ten years after the publication of the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), the movement to reform research assessment is accelerating and maturing internationally. This session is focused on Advances in Research Evaluation: Large Scale Efforts in the US and Worldwide

“Research assessment is very closely tied to research culture,” says Haley Hazlett, Program Manager at DORA. “It's really a systems problem that impacts everyone solving these types of challenges. It requires a collaborative systems approach that addresses the underlying culture infrastructure and conditions of the entire scholarly ecosystem.”

Emerging from the work of the National Academies of Science and Engineering "Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Scholarship," the Higher Education Leadership for Open Science (HELIOS Open) initiative is bringing together leaders from top colleges and universities in the U.S. to advance rewards and recognition for engaging in open scholarship practices.

Internationally, the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) is likewise leading the charge to focus research evaluation on qualitative judgments that avoid overreliance on problematic metrics and recognizes diverse research contributions across the research lifecycle. 

Moderated by COS co-founder and Executive Director Brian Nosek, this session brings together representatives from HELIOS Open, CoARA, and DORA in a discussion about research evaluation in the U.S. and global contexts, highlighting the complementary roles of the initiatives. The conversation also addresses gaps in the research evaluation landscape to surface areas where action is needed to bring research evaluation reforms to fruition. Eva Méndez (CoARA), Caitlin Carter (HELIOS), and Haley Hazlett (DORA) are the speakers.

More Reflections from the Year of Open Science

More about this topic

Browse TWCF-funded projects related to advancing open research.