Participants at the closing event

Sum­mer School Open Science

Working scientifically, and doing it right - this was the motto of the Summer School "Open Science", which recently celebrated its premiere at the University of Innsbruck. Together, the 22 participants took a critical look at scientific practice and dealt with open science practices.

From July 3 to 7, 2023, for the first time the Summer School "Open Science" took place at the University of Innsbruck. With 22 participants from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, the format was a great success. The training program was initiated by Felix Holzmeister, PhD, Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics.

In recent years - across many scientific disciplines - increasing concerns have been raised about the reliability of scientific evidence: Many studies have proven to be unreproducible. Questionable research practices, along with their consequences, have been highlighted, and cases of blatant data falsification have been uncovered. This is precisely where Open Science comes in, providing solutions to make "good scientific practices" the standard.

"One promising way to bring about a change in the research culture is to sensitize researchers to the benefits and normative necessity of Open Science at the very beginning of their academic careers," says Holzmeister, the scientific director of the Summer School.

The goal of the continuing education program was to create awareness of "good scientific practices" (preregistration, open data, transparency, etc.). This can not only nip many of the problems in the bud, but also accelerate the scientific discovery process.

During the Summer School, participants explored the latest developments in the Open Science movement. They learned how open science practices can be applied and integrated into their own research. The exchange with other young scientists about their own experiences is extremely valuable.

"We are lucky to have researchers who are actively involved in the open science movement. Not only by conducting research on the topic and setting a good example, but also by offering teaching formats such as the Summer School and integrating Open Science into university teaching," says Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Janette Walde, Dean of Studies at the Faculty of Economics and Statistics.

At a joint closing event, the participants concluded the 5-day education program. Bernhard Fügenschuh, Vice Rector for Teaching and Students, who attended the event, congratulatee the young scientists. "The Summer School was an important step for the University of Innsbruck to strengthen its role in the Open Science movement and to make science more transparent, inclusive and reliable", affirms Fügenschuh.

The University of Innsbruck is aware of the importance of Open Science for the future of science and, by offering this continuing education program, is fulfilling its own guideline to "ensure good scientific practice at the University of Innsbruck".

Encouraged by the positive response of this pilot project, the format will also be offered in the years to come.

(Felix Holzmeister/Doris Oberkofler)

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