Open Science in the Helmholtz Association

The process of digitalization provides science with the chance to transform the handling of data, information, and knowledge; in the Helmholtz Association, the term open science, which outlines this cultural change in the scientific way of working and communication, is defined as follows: 

“The open – meaning impeded by as little financial, technical, and legal obstacles as possible – access to scientific results such as publications, research data, and research software expands transparency in academia, improves quality assurance procedures, and through improved supply of information increases the productivity of academia. Open science thus always also serves the improvement of good scientific practice. Furthermore, open science fosters knowledge transfer into society, economy, and politics.”

The mission of the Helmholtz Open Science Office is to promote the cultural change towards open science. The office, established by the Helmholtz Association in 2005, sees itself as a service provider that supports the community in shaping the cultural change towards open science. The Helmholtz Open Science Office is a partner of all stakeholders involved in this process within Helmholtz.

Guided by the motto "Enabling open science practices in Helmholtz!" the Helmholtz Open Science Office works within the Association and promotes the visibility of Helmholtz on a national as well as international level within the context of Open Science in the spirit of the Helmholtz mission.

The Helmholtz Association was one of the initial signatories of the „Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities“ in 2003. This commitment towards open access was then formally approved by its Assembly of Members in 2004 with the decision on the implementation of the „Berlin Declaration“. Further policies and position papers specify the Open Science Strategy of the Helmholtz Association. 

Implementing Open Science

In order to promote open science in the Helmholtz Centers, the Helmholtz Open Science Office promotes dialogue with stakeholders in science and administration and service facilities such as libraries, data centres, and computer centers. Regular workshops, talks, discussions, and publications provide information on opportunities and challenges of open science. Further information…

The following four core themes shape the activities of the Helmholtz Open Science Office: 

Open Access

Open access signifies the open access to scientific textual publications. With regard to scientific articles, a distinction is made between Open Access Green and Open Access Gold. 

Further information...

Open Research Data 

The access to open research data and the re-use of research data are key issues for the Helmholtz Centers that are operating major international equipment and digital information infrastructures. The Helmholtz Association plays a leading role in the field of open research data. The Helmholtz Open Science Office promotes the dialogue among the various scientific disciplines within the Helmholtz Association. Further information...

Open Research Software 

With the advancing digitalization of science, the number of software solutions that emerge at the Helmholtz Centers and that are used to gain scientific knowledge is increasing. Accessibility and reusability of scientific results are required under the heading of open science; this can, in many disciplines, only be ensured if research software is made openly accessible in addition to the respective research data. The Helmholtz Open Science Office is addressing this challenge under the heading of open research software. Further information...

National and International Network

Implementing Open Science requires global scientific cooperation; the Helmholtz Open Science Office thus works together with stakeholders outside the Helmholtz Association. The Helmholtz Open Science Office represents the Association in committees on a national and international level; i. a. in the committees of the Priority Initiative “Digital Information” of the Alliance of German Science Organizations, the international Research Data Alliance (RDA), the German Initiative for Network Information (DINI) or the European Association of Research and Technology Organizations (EARTO). In addition, participation in third-party funded projects is used to represent interests. Further information…