‘Open science is just science done right’

“The whole topic of open access, open data, open science comes out of a big change in the publishing industry. It was about how to deal with this freedom of the World Wide Web, which was thought to be very idealistic. Everybody could talk to everybody and exchange ideas and share knowledge. Then there was this coup by the big publishers who grabbed and shut everything down. That made the costs rise and the international library world was fed up with it.

The open movement is really growing and I was one of the people who started it at TU Delft. At the time we got help from Karel Luyben (former Rector Magnificus) who asked us to make people aware of it in faculty meetings, so I became a regular guest at those. Then we did a kind of roadshow in 2015 going around to every department at TU Delft, 44 of them. It took a year visiting one a week and talking about open access publishing, but also research data management. We met all of these people and they were interested but wanted to know what was in it for them because it takes a lot of work to put your publications and data sets out in the open.

It’s very important to know your author’s rights and give your work the right licences so people know what they are allowed to do with your work. How to make it reusable but also how to get cited for your work. We don’t want people to put it there and not get credit for it. It’s a lot of work with data managing and making data FAIR, because we said it should be findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. We asked for more hands and the Executive Board allowed us to hire data stewards for each faculty. That was a big step….”