[For the German version of this newsletter, please use the button at the top right to change the language.]

To sign up for this newsletter: Please go to the German version of this newsletter via the button at the top right by changing the language to “Deutsch” – here you can then enter your name and email-address to sign up for the newsletter.


Past issues of this newsletter can be found in our archive.

Helmholtz Open Science Newsletter of December 15, 2021

Dear colleagues,

This is the 89th Helmholtz Open Science Newsletter brought to you by the Helmholtz Open Science Office in German as well as in English. With this newsletter, we provide you with a regular overview of the most important open science developments.

You can find the current newsletter and the newsletter archive on the Helmholtz Open Science Office website.

We appreciate you forwarding this newsletter to anyone interested.

For more information on the topic of open science: The internal mailing list os-pro-helmholtz “Helmholtz Open Science Professionals” supports members of the Helmholtz Association who are interested in open science topics, such as open access, open research data and open research software. In addition to information on current developments, practical discussions and information exchanges are facilitated. You can register for the mailing list here. (Please note: This list is only available for employees of the Helmholtz Association).

1. A Standard for Open Science: UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

At the end of November 2021, the UNESCO member states adopted their "Recommendation on Open Science". This now provides a common standard for defining open science. The Recommendation also makes suggestions for the further promotion of open science as a basis for excellent science. To this end, the following fields of action are addressed and further elaborated:

  • Promoting a common understanding of open science, associated benefits and challenges, as well as diverse paths to open science

  • Developing an enabling policy environment for open science

  • Investing in open science infrastructures and services

  • Investing in human resources, training, education, digital literacy and capacity building for open science

  • Fostering a culture of open science and aligning incentives for open science

  • Promoting innovative approaches for open science at different stages of the scientific process

  • Promoting international and multi-stakeholder cooperation in the context of open science and with a view to reducing digital, technological, and knowledge gaps

With the adoption of the Recommendation, further implementation in the member states is recommended.

2. International Science Council Votes for Reform of Scientific Publishing

The International Science Council (ISC), a non-governmental organization representing more than 200 scientific organizations from the natural and social sciences worldwide, voted by a large majority in October 2021 to reform the scientific publishing system. The adopted resolution calls for the further development of the scholarly publishing system based on eight principles previously developed by ISC members in a discussion process and published in the report "Opening the record of science: making scholarly publishing work for science in the digital era."

These principles include implementing universal open access to scholarly publications and the underlying data, and licensing them with free licenses for reuse, including for text and data mining. Geoffrey Boulton, Member of the ISC Governing Board and Chair of the ISC’s project on the Future of Scientific Publishing, said: "The endorsement of these fundamental principles demonstrates that the diverse calls for reform of scholarly publishing are reaching critical mass and intensity." At the same time, in a statement of its own, the organization of European academies of sciences and humanities ALLEA (All European Academies) pointed towards unequal structures in academia that are reinforced by the current publication system.

3. Coalition Agreement: Open Science is on the Agenda

The current coalition agreement between SPD, the Greens, and FDP negotiates, among other aspects, the digital modernization of Germany. More openness is expected from public administration, science and, to a certain extent also, business. The combination of digitization and openness is intended to serve as a tool for achieving a broad range of goals, such as accelerating the performance of science, the innovativeness of the economy or democratizing access to data. In the scientific community, such a "cultural change" is currently particularly associated with open science. The coalition agreement states: "We want to strengthen open access and open science”. The coalition announces a research data law, a science-friendly copyright law, and open access as a standard for research publications, as well as a renewal of the commitment to building up the NFDI and the EOSC.

4. DPG Position Paper on the Future of Scientific Publishing

On November 13, 2021, the Board of Directors of the German Physical Society (DPG) adopted a "Position Paper on the Future of Scientific Publishing", in which the society clearly commits itself to open-science-based, i.e., open and science-driven, publication infrastructures. According to the paper, researchers should assume more decision-making authority and responsibility, especially with regard to the career-relevant evaluation of research results. In addition, demands are formulated for the design of open access publication models and for ensuring cost and data transparency for publishers. Reforms should ensure that the entry threshold for new players and models in the publishing sector is lowered in order to counteract monopolization tendencies.

5. Open Access Monitor Reports with Data for the Years 2018 to 2020 Available

In December 2021, the Open Access Monitor (OAM) has provided all major scientific institutions in Germany with publication reports on their publication volumes. The OAM team of the Central Library of Forschungszentrum Jülich supports the institutions in their open access activities by sending out the OAM reports. The analyses in these reports encourage the discussion of the transformation of scientific publishing towards open access. With its new interface, the OAM offers numerous additional filtering and clustering options as well as an expanded chart selection for the institution’s own publication analyses (see also Newsletter 87).

6. Save the Date: Helmholtz Open Science Practice Forum Research Data Management

Research data management (RDM) is a relevant topic at all Helmholtz Centers. To share best practices and to foster the RDM community within the Association, the Helmholtz Open Science Office will host the first "Helmholtz Open Science Practive Forum Research Data Management", online, on February 3, 2022, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. In this Helmholtz-internal forum, different approaches from Helmholtz Centers to organize RDM will be presented as examples. In addition, the focus will be placed on concrete service offerings regarding RDM. Furthermore, networking activities with external actors, e.g., in the context of NFDI, EOSC, or RDA, will be highlighted. The practical forum is designed to provide sufficient time for discussion, as community building is a key concern of the event.

Further information and the registration for employees of the Helmholtz Association can be found on the event website.

7. Review: 61st and 62nd Helmholtz Open Science Online Seminars

On October 27, 2021, the 61st Helmholtz Open Science Online Seminar "Open Access Publishing – Zooming in on Copyright and CC Licenses" took place, on the occasion of the International Open Access Week 2021 (see Newsletter 88). Our colleague from the Helmholtz Open Science Office, Christoph Bruch, gave an overview of open science publishing basics and then zoomed in on the topics of copyright – especially concerning the writing and publication process – as well as Creative Commons licenses. A particular focus was on the question of how to make use of these licenses to “free” one’s own research to successfully engage in open science. The slides of the presentation can be downloaded here. For more information, please see the event’s page.

On December 9, 2021, the 62nd Helmholtz Open Science Online Seminar "The IPCC FAIR Data Guidelines from the perspective of the IPCC Data Distribution Centre (DDC)" took place. Martina Stockhause from the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ) reported on the sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Martina Stockhause described the tasks of the IPCC Data Distribution Centre (DDC), in particular the DDC partner DKRZ, and its contribution to the implementation of the FAIR Data Guidelines. DKRZ has been operating the DDC reference data archive for IPCC climate model data since 1997. The slides of the presentation can be downloaded here. For more information, please see the event’s page.

8. Review: German Reproducibility Day

To further raise awareness of the topic of reproducibility among scientists, the German Reproducibility Network (GRN) organized the first German Reproducibility Day on November 16, 2021 (Save-the-Date). Among the founding members of GRN are the Helmholtz Open Science Office and the incubator platform Helmholtz AI (more here).

The goal of the English-language online event was to discuss the role of the network of local and topic-specific initiatives and to set impulses for the further development of GRN as well as to introduce the GRN to a broad public. Marcus Munafo from the UK-RN was invited to open the event with his keynote on the experiences of the UK-RN. Afterwards, members of the network reported on best practices from their respective scientific disciplines. In the following panel session, representatives of the German Research Foundation (DFG), the publisher PLOS, the Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Freie Universität Berlin, among others, exchanged ideas. On behalf of the GRN, the Helmholtz Open Science Office would like to thank all participants and speakers for their participation.

9. Review: ORCID DE Online Seminar on “Persistent Identifier in Publication and Affiliation Policies”

The project ORCID DE – the Helmholtz Open Science Office is one of the project partners – organized an online seminar on the topic of “Persistent Identifier in publication and affiliation policies” on December 7, 2021 (Save-the-Date, in German). The event examined the use of persistent identifiers, such as ORCID iD and ROR ID, in the policies of research facilities. After an introduction to the concept, structure, and necessity of such policies, the existing policies from Technische Universität Berlin, Technische Universität Braunschweig, and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin were presented as best practice examples (Documentation, in German). The animate participation of more than 230 people demonstrates the great interest in this topic, which will be taken up again in the project.

10. Review: 2nd Helmholtz Open Science Forum on “Helmholtz in the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI)”

To promote the dialogue on the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) in the Helmholtz Association, the Helmholtz Open Science Office hosted a second digital Open Science Forum on December 8, 2021 under the motto "Helmholtz in the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI)". The Helmholtz Centers are actively involved in the process of setting up the NFDI – as applicants and participants of the consortia and as members of the NFDI e.V. association, which was founded in 2020.

A report from the NFDI Directorate was followed by contributions from the Helmholtz Incubator Platforms HMC and HIFIS and of the newly founded EOSC Task Forces on interactions with the NFDI. Furthermore, insights into the interaction between NFDI and the Helmholtz research programs as well as on the integration of the Helmholtz Association into the NFDI association structure were presented.

This event is the second Helmholtz Open Science Forum on the NFDI; a first event was held in January 2021. The Helmholtz Open Science Office will continue to actively promote and support the dialogue on the NFDI within the Helmholtz Association.

11. NFDI und GAIA-X: “FAIR Data Spaces” Launched

The BMBF-funded project “FAIR Data Spaces” aims to strengthen the networking of National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) and GAIA-X. The networking of data infrastructures from business and science is indispensable for strengthening Europe as a business and science location. Networking at the national level is a first step. Ultimately, data spaces must be developed on a European level and globally in such a way that they meet the different ethical, legal, and technical standards and that they remain or become capable of interaction.

12. Citation of Software Code Enabled

Since August 2021, the citation of software code is enabled for platforms, such as GitHub, Zenodo, GitLab, Zotero, and JabRef. The launch of this new feature is intended to address the need and desire of developers worldwide to be able to accurately cite their software code and receive credit for it. Using the Citation File Format, developers can now create a file that contains information about how others should cite their work. In addition, the online initialization service cffinit was developed to assist researchers and developers in creating the citation file. 

The format has been developed by Jurriaan Spaaks of the Dutch eScience Center and the German developer Stephan Druskat of DLR who is also active in de-RSE e. V. Further information can be found here.

13. Season's Greetings

The Helmholtz Open Science Office team wishes you Happy Holidays and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

With best wishes from Roland Bertelmann, Christoph Bruch, Lea Maria Ferguson, Janina Richter, Heinz Pampel, Antonia Schrader, Paul Schultze-Motel and Nina Weisweiler.

You can find our digital holiday greeting card on our website.

Recommended Reading

Impulse of the Helmholtz Open Science Office Published: Open Science and Digital Transformation Go Hand in Hand

Open science uses the potential of digitization to promote the accessibility and re-use of scientific products and thus to promote sustainability, reproducibility and ultimately excellence in scientific work. As a plea for effective adaptation to the changing circumstances in academia and optimal use of the newly arised opportunities, the Helmholtz Open Science Office has published an impulse entitled "Open Science and Digital Transformation Go Hand in Hand." Download the paper (in German).

Claesen, A., Gomes, S., Tuerlinckx, F., & Vanpaemel, W. (2021). Comparing dream to reality: An assessment of adherence of the first generation of preregistered studies. Royal Society Open Science, 8(10), 211037. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.211037

Howat, A. M., & Clark, J. (2021). Converting Access Microbiology to an open research platform: Community survey results. Access Microbiology, 3(9), 000272. https://doi.org/10.1099/acmi.0.000272

Klump, J., Lehnert, K., Ulbricht, D., Devaraju, A., Elger, K., Fleischer, D., Ramdeen, S., & Wyborn, L. (2021). Towards globally unique identification of physical samples: Governance and technical implementation of the IGSN Global Sample Number. Data Science Journal, 20(1), 33. https://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2021-033

Mittermaier, B. (2021). Die Rolle des Open Access Monitor Deutschland bei der Antragstellung im DFG-Förderprogramm „Open-Access-Publikationskosten“. O-Bib. Das Offene Bibliotheksjournal / Herausgeber VDB8(4), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.5282/o-bib/5731

Mittermaier, B. (2021). Transformationsverträge – Stairway to Heaven oder Highway to Hell? 027.7 Zeitschrift für Bibliothekskultur, 8(2). https://doi.org/10.21428/1bfadeb6.d80f0652

Pinhasi, R., Hölbling, L., & Kromp, B. (2021). Austrian Transition to Open Access: A collaborative approach. Insights, 34(1), 25. https://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.561

Rauber, A., Gößwein, B., Zwölf, C. M., Schubert, C., Wörister, F., Duncan, J., Flicker, K., Zettsu, K., Meixner, K., McIntosh, L. D., Jenkyns, R., Pröll, S., Miksa, T., & Parsons, M. A. (2021). Precisely and persistently identifying and citing arbitrary subsets of dynamic data. Harvard Data Science Review, 3(4). https://doi.org/10.1162/99608f92.be565013

Schmidt, R., Curry, S., & Hatch, A. (2021). Creating SPACE to evolve academic assessment. eLife, 10, e70929. https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.70929

Stoy, L., Morais, R., Berghmans, S., & Gaillard, V. (2021). The new university Open Access checklist. A practical guide on implementation. Report. European University Association. https://www.eua.eu/resources/publications/986:the-new-university-open-access-checklist.html


The Helmholtz Open Science Newsletter is published by the Helmholtz Open Science Office.

Editorial staff: Roland Bertelmann, Dr. Christoph Bruch, Lea Maria Ferguson, Dr. Heinz Pampel, Dr. Janina Richter, Antonia C. Schrader, Dr. Paul Schultze-Motel, and Nina Weisweiler.

Contact: open-science@helmholtz.de

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Should you wish to end your subscription to this newsletter, please send an email to paul.schultze-motel@os.helmholtz.de.


The content of this newsletter is licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 4.0. You are permitted to reuse and distribute the contents of this newsletter provided that you follow the license conditions and provide proper attribution.