Apr 04

Open Science Conference

Activities data
Europe Building, Amsterdam

Open Science is a key priority of the Dutch Presidency. The Netherlands is committed to open access to scientific publications and the best possible re-use of research data, and it would like to accelerate the transition this requires.

Photographer: Marcel Molle

Open Science

Open Science involves transitioning from a system in which it is difficult to access and locate the results of scientific research to one that openly distributes results to all kinds of end users, such as researchers, knowledge institutions, companies, patient organisations, teachers, students, farmers and members of the public.

There are many initiatives and activities in the field of Open Science. In and of themselves, however, they cannot bring about the changes that are needed. By working together, joining forces and setting priorities for action, the Netherlands hopes to genuinely accelerate the transition to Open Science, especially in terms of open access to scientific articles that are published internationally and the optimal, responsible re-use of scientific data.

At European level, an Open Science Agenda is being developed which will set out areas of specific action agreed by the European Commission and member states. Preparations are also under way to set up an Open Science Policy Platform that will be tasked with fleshing out the agenda.

Goals and target groups

At this Presidency conference member states and stakeholders can emphasise the importance of this transition. They will also launch the Open Science Policy Platform and draft a joint action agenda. The invitees will include politicians and officials, and stakeholders from Europe, such as researchers, publishers, representatives of universities and research organisations, and organisations and companies that support research. In addition, there will be an explicit focus on new users of scientific information.

The idea is to share the findings of this conference with stakeholders, the Open Science Policy Platform and the European Ministers for research and innovation at the meeting of the Competitiveness Council being held in Brussels on 26 and 27 May 2016.


On 4 April the State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science, Sander Dekker, will welcome participants to the Presidency Conference on Open Science. During the conference, European Commissioner Carlos Moedas will share his views on the importance of a joint approach to open science in Europe.

In a panel discussion later in the day, a number of European officials will discuss ways of speeding up the culture shift and transition, how to bridge the gap between academia and society by sharing research findings in new ways, and how to work together, as member states, stakeholders and experts, to achieve these aims. At the end of the day Commissioner Moedas will launch the Open Science Policy Platform, and an informal visit and conference dinner will be held at Science Center NEMO. Watch it live via the live stream

On 5 April the focus will be on drafting the Amsterdam action agenda. This will be done in five break-out sessions (see below for details). In addition, informal discussions will be held on subjects including text and data mining, training and skills and research data management.

Break out Sessions

I Impact

Evaluation of research(ers) mainly focuses on numbers of publications and citations. This practice provides insufficient incentives for researchers to share their knowledge with society and businesses. Consequently, the societal impact of science is suboptimal. What to do? Give more value to this in evaluations. How? By developing and implementing goals, indicators and metrics for societal impact in academic evaluation systems worldwide. In this session we will contribute to the action plan with help of relevant stakeholders: government, universities, funders, researchers, publishers and other service providers.

II Involvement

“The key actors in the transition to Open Science are ultimately the researchers and their communities. Their motivation and active participation to share their data and publications is a sine qua non for transforming the scholarly communication system. Top-down approaches enforcing open access and data sharing need to be complemented by involvement from researchers themselves. What motivates researchers to share their research outputs as publications, data and software? What new initiatives and opportunities for sharing results increase the involvement of researchers? How to make sure that the rules for sharing, such as with respect to data management, are perceived as useful by different research disciplines and not as just another demand in order to get projects funded?"

III Infrastructures for Publications and Data

The current infrastructure for storing, curating and sharing and re-using research output is a relatively new infrastructure. Several successful projects and organisations have provided pieces of the open science infrastructure puzzle. At this stage the existing infrastructure would benefit from the creation of funding and business models, governance models and additional coordination. This is the case for different sorts of research output.
Although the infrastructure for supporting open access publications and the infrastructure for supporting research data show similar needs, the maturity and complexity of the infrastructures and the possible solutions vary greatly.
Therefore we organize two parallel sessions in the Open Science conference in April; one on research data infrastructure and one on open access publication infrastructure. Both aiming to contribute to the action plan. Main questions in these sessions will be: What are the most promising scenario’s for a sustainable open access infrastructure (for publications and data) to be developed in Europe?

IV Innovation

“Open innovation is about involving far more actors in the innovation process, from researchers, to entrepreneurs, to users, to governments and civil society, etc. Research and innovation must take a long term perspective and not be trapped by the past. And we must make sure that each one of our actions brings in new entrants, young researchers, dynamic entrepreneurs, and people who have never been involved in European research and innovation”  European Commissioner Carlos Moedas.

During the Innovation session we will present a draft Action Plan on Innovation in Open Science. Our focus is on fostering innovative initiatives in shaping scholarly communication and in bringing new users into the Open Science equation to increase societal impact. The items on the action plan will be illustrated by several short pitches and activities. We will call upon the ideas of participants for enhancements.

V Information

In order to bring together and accelerate initiatives by stakeholders, member states and the European Commission, there is a need for greater information-sharing at European level. For instance, what targets do the various member states have for achieving open access, and how do they intend to put them into practice? Information is already being collated and disseminated at various levels in the field. A structured, open and European approach can give fresh impetus to a better and more efficient exchange of information. There need to be clear agreements on the principles of information-sharing. This will enable the parties in the field to take targeted information-sharing a step further, with the full support of the member states. In the Information session, a contribution will be drafted for the action agenda, based on the agreed principles for information-sharing.

Participation and registration

At the moment, the conference is fully booked, and there is a waiting list. If you are interested in taking part but have not yet received a response, please contact the organisers by sending an e-mail to . If you are on the waiting list and a place becomes available, you will be informed no later than 11 March. You will then have a few days’ time to register. If you have already received an invitation, please complete the registration process no later than 15 March. Only individuals with an EUNL badge whose registration has been approved will be admitted, irrespective of their role at the conference.


Admission to the conference is free of charge. Participants must cover their own travel and accommodation costs.