Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - English


Open science is a collective term for various efforts aimed at improving the accessibility, comprehensibility and reusability of scientific results in the broadest sense, not only targeted to the scientific community, but also to a broader, non-scientific public (Lasser et al. 2022).

Open science is currently broadly being pushed as a science policy goal that is expected to lead to improvements in science and in the relationship between science and society. For example, the European Commission has integrated an open science policy into its Horizon Europe program (European Union 2021), and in Germany, DFG funding programs support open access publications (DFG-Ausschuss für Wissenschaftliche Bibliotheken und Informationssysteme 2022; Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft 2020). For the Berlin research area specifically, the Berlin Senate has formulated the goal of creating open access to digital knowledge resources for all (Senat von Berlin 2015). The Berlin University Alliance (BUA) has also put the expansion of open science on its own agenda, and a strategy for open science is being developed at BUA as part of the OpenX initiative (Berlin University Alliance 2023).

The Berlin Science Survey project investigates the change of research culture and research practices in the Berlin research area from the perspective of science studies. It thus also serves as accompanying research for the BUA measures and attempts to make intended and unintended effects of political control visible. 

The basic evaluation of the Berlin Science Survey has already shown that open science is highly valued by scientists in the Berlin research area, but that its prioritization in everyday scientific practice lags behind somewhat (Lüdtke and Ambrasat 2022a, and Fig. 15 below).

For the focus report on open science, the following in-depth questions can be asked:

How widespread are the individual open science practices already in the Berlin research area? What differences can be identified in the degree of their implementation? How do researchers themselves assess the expansion of open science? What hopes and fears are attached to this topic? Finally, what problems and difficulties hamper the implementation of open science and do scientists need support for the implementation?

This report answers precisely these questions using data from the Berlin Science Survey (Lüdtke and Ambrasat 2022b). For this purpose, 1,098 questionnaires from scientists and scholars from the Berlin research area, who were surveyed in the winter semester 2021/22, were evaluated. The focus of the evaluation is on the practices, attitudes and discourses on the topic of open science.

For all sub-topics, the differences between the status groups on the one hand and the subject groups on the other hand are illuminated and interpreted in particular. These two important structural variables are intended to tap the diversity of the scientific community. The hierarchical division of status positions into professors, postdocs and predocs not only determines the employment relationship and the career position, but to a large extent, the position is also associated with a specific portfolio of tasks and the role in research and teaching. Furthermore, it is an indicator for the scientific experience and the resources of a researcher, such as time, money and power.

The second central structural variable is the classification by subject groups. The analyses here were differentiated according to the following fields: humanities, social sciences, life sciences, natural sciences and engineering sciences. The field affiliation shapes the researchers through routine work processes, institutional conditions and, not least, through a subject-specific understanding of science and scientificity. However, even within a research field there are sometimes very large differences in concrete working and research conditions, which means that differences between field groups only provide (initial) indications of the diversity of research contexts.

The introduction, implementation and reflection of open science practices thus occurs in a diverse research environment. This report attempts to account for this diversity, focusing on the perspectives of researchers.

The open science focus report can also be downloaded here.