The term “Open Science” relates to the homonymous movement and the approach to science it promotes. It is often referred to as “research simply done properly”.
Open Science is "The movement to make scientific research, data and dissemination accessible to all levels of the society." 1 It focuses on increasing knowledge availability as a public good, typically with critical research principles such as credibility, reproducibility, and verifiability included in some combination.” 2

Common definitions of Open Science include:

  • Open Science is the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods.1
  • Open Science is transparent and accessible knowledge that is shared and developed through collaborative networks. 3

The main principles of Open Science are:

  • Increased transparency, re-use, participation, cooperation, accountability and reproducibility for research.
  • Improvement of the quality and reliability of research through principles like inclusion, fairness, equity, and sharing.
  • Open Science extends across the Life and Physical Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, Social Sciences, and Humanities 2

The main pillars of Open Science are:

  • Open Data. Scientific data that can be freely accessed, reused, remixed and redistributed, for academic research and teaching purposes and beyond.
  • Open Material. The principle of open data extends to materials, such as physical materials, protocols, notebooks or hardware.
  • Open Source. The use and development of software where the full source code is available.
  • Open Access. Online, free of charge access to research publications by any user, with no technical obstacles.
  • Open Peer Review. Greater transparency and participation to formal and informal peer review processes.
  • Open Educational Resources. Educational resources in any medium in the public domain or under an open license.

Other important practices related to Open Science are:

  • Open Metrics. Alternative metrics based on balanced assessment of research efforts, where citation counting is complemented by gauging other online measures of research impact.
  • Open Licensing and File Formats. Open of free content licenses grant permission to access, re-use, and redistribute material with few or no restrictions. Open file formats are characterized by openly published specifications and can freely be used and implemented by anyone.
  • Citizen science. Involvement of the non-academic public in the process of scientific research.
  • Open Science Policies. Strategies and actions aimed at promoting Open Science principles and at acknowledging Open Science practices.
  • Open Advocacy. Promoting Open Science at various levels of stakeholders.


1 “Taxonomy” by FOSTER is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
2 “Open Principles” by “OPEN SCIENCE MOOC” is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
3 Vicente-Sáez & Martínez-Fuentes 2018