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What is Open Scholarship?

Open Scholarship is an umbrella term for a wide range of Open practices. Definitions can be tricky but the following (adapted from Foster and Trinity) is a good attempt:  

Open Scholarship is the practice of research, education and knowledge exchange in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research publications, data, lab notes and other scholarly processes and works are properly and ethically managed and evaluated and, unless restricted for justifiable reasons, are freely available to all levels of society under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the work and its underlying data and methods. 

Open Scholarship, Open Science or Open Research? Open Terminology

Depending on where you first heard of about Open practices you might get puzzled when you hear terms like Open Scholarship, Open Science or Open Research being mentioned. Are they different or mean the same?  The first thing to note is that they are used in different contexts and by different stakeholders. The good news is that the terms agree on definitions of Openness with only minor nuances to be aware of.

Open Scholarship

Open Scholarship is the broadest term to include all Open practices. It aims to open up research, education and knowledge exchange as much as possible and in an ethical way. The main difference to Open Science and Open Research is possibly that Open Education is included in its scope. Open Scholarship is often used by libraries (e.g. Trinity) to stress the inclusivity of the Open concept. Our Library has embraced the term but we acknowledge that in other contexts the use of Open Science or Open Research is appropriate.

Open Science

Open Science is the term used by many European funders and policy makers, such as the European Commission.  Anyone receiving a European grant, e.g. through Horizon, needs to comply with the EU's Open Science policy. The downside of the term "Open Science" is that the Arts & Humanities communities might feel excluded and therefore, Open Science is less frequently used in Ireland or the UK.

Open Research

The term Open Research emphasises the need for Openness throughout the research cycle including research data, methods, code and publications. As a concept Open Research relates to all disciplines (but does not include Open Education). The term is used by funders and policy makers, for example by Science Foundation Ireland, or by the National Open Research Forum (NORF) which was launched by the Government of Ireland in July 2019.

Further guidance

Please also consult the support available at the Research Community Portal which includes sections on Research Integrity, Ethics and other topics related to Open.

The Eight Pillars of Open Scholarship

The EU Commission has developed the useful concept of the Eight Pillars of Open ScienceWe have adapted that model for the NUI Galway and are working with the following Eight Pillars to define the scope of Open Scholarship: 


Additional Questions?

Hardy Schwamm

Hardy Schwamm

Open Scholarship Librarian
Twitter @hardyschwamm Email: hardy.schwamm@nuigalway.ie