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University of Groningen Library

Open Research Award

Submission guidelines

How to apply

Staff members, PhD students and (Research) Master’s students from all UG faculties and the UMCG can submit case studies, either as individuals or as teams.

Applications should be submitted using the submission form. Submission is now closed.

A case study of no more than 600 words in length should discuss the use of one or more open practices in the conduct of research and/or communication of outputs to achieve specific research aims or solve particular problems. Applicants should use the Open Research objectives, practices and examples (below) to identify suitable subjects for their case study.

We encourage the submission of case studies that explore the challenges and difficulties of making open choices as well as those that celebrate positive experiences and successful outcomes. We are looking for candid accounts of researchers’ motivations for making (or not making) open choices, which offer reasoned assessments of the pros and cons of being open, and are honest about where things didn’t work or could have been done differently.

Eligibility criteria

The case study should be no more than 600 words long (excluding the title and anything entered in the URLs, references and further information box), and should cover the following points:

  • Introduction, providing a brief description of the case study;
  • Description of the research context in which the open practices were employed;
  • What open practices were used and why;
  • What barriers or challenges were encountered, and how these were handled;
  • What benefits were realised, and for whom, as a result of using the open practices;
  • What lessons have been learnt from the experience;
  • Conclusion, summarising the main take-away message.
  • Furthermore, the submissions should be aligned to one or more of the Open Research objectives and practices mentioned below.

Applicants should describe activities that align with one or more of the following Open Research objectives:

  • making the outputs of research, including publications, data, software and other research materials freely accessible;
  • using online tools and services to increase the transparency of research processes and methodologies;
  • making scientific research more reproducible by increasing the amount and quality of information placed on the public record;
  • using alternative models of publication and peer review to make the dissemination and certification of research faster and more transparent;
  • using open collaborative methods and tools to increase efficiency and widen participation in research.

The case study should describe one or more of the open practices listed below:

  • using publication under an open licence to communicate research outputs, which may include publications, data, software code, and web resources;

  • disseminating research findings as a preprint, either independently of formal submission to a journal, or as part of a journal’s open peer review procedure;

  • providing an open peer review of a paper submitted under a formal peer review process managed by a publisher;

  • creating a public pre-registration of a study design or publishing a study as a registered report;

  • publishing a data paper or software paper;

  • incorporating open and participatory methods into the design and conduct of research, e.g. by using open notebook-based methods or creating a project using a ‘citizen science’ online platform;

  • introducing Open Research concepts and practices into teaching and learning;

  • creating new tools or technologies to facilitate Open Research practices, e.g. for combining or repurposing datasets and other research outputs from different locations or disciplines, or for mining content;

  • undertaking activities to develop the environment for Open Research, e.g. by engaging in high-profile communications, by causing a journal to adopt pro-Open Research policies, or by participating in community initiatives to develop data or metadata standards.

Case study examples

These are some examples of suitable subjects for a case study:

  • A dataset or software source code created by you has been made openly available and subsequently re-used by researchers or other end-users, e.g. to inform policy-making or develop services or products;
  • You are a humanities researcher who has created an open web resource and consider the practicalities and challenges of sustaining long-term access and usability;
  • You have recently submitted an article through a publisher’s open peer review system, and discuss your experience and some of the pros and cons of open peer review;
  • You conduct qualitative social science research exploring sensitive issues and discuss the ethical and practical challenges of sharing data collected from participants;
  • You have developed a new software tool to facilitate Open Research, e.g. to combine or repurpose datasets from disparate sources;
  • You have participated in a community group to develop data or metadata standards and tools for your discipline;
  • In your teaching you have introduced students to Open Research principles and practices, for example by setting replication study assignments.
  1. Researchers, registered PhD and Master’s students are eligible to submit entries. Entries should be submitted using the application form. The closing date for applications is 14 September 2020, 12 p.m. (noon).
  2. Entries may be submitted as individuals or as teams. Team entries must be submitted by one named individual who will be the lead applicant for the entry.
  3. The applicant must be a researcher and current member of staff or a registered PhD or Master’s student and expect to continue as a member of the University until at least October 2020, the date of the award ceremony. For team entries, team members may include non-research staff (teaching staff, professional service staff) or individuals from outside the University.
  4. The jury will screen submissions to make sure that they satisfy the eligibility requirements. All eligible submissions will receive a certificate of participation.
  5. Three entries will be drawn randomly among the eligible submissions; each of these will receive a prize of 500 euros to be used for research material, travel costs or other research-related expenses. These three entries will be notified by 1 October 2020 and will be invited to give a short presentation of their case study during the Open Research Award event on 22 October 2020.
  6. Applicants must give permission for the University of Groningen Library to publish an edited version of the case study and to disseminate it via internal and external communication channels. Final versions of material will be submitted to the applicants for approval prior to publication. All case studies will be published shortly after the event.
**Submission is closed.**


Submitted entries will be screened for eligibility by a jury composed of UG and UMCG staff members. The jury randomly draws three entries among the eligible submissions. The three applicants will be notified by 1 October 2020 and invited to present their case studies as lightning talks during the event on 22 October 2020 and will receive a prize of each 500 euros.

All eligible case studies will be given public attention through the Open Science Blog.

The closing date for applications was 14 September 2020.

More information

Please send any enquiries concerning the Open Research Award to

Last modified:15 September 2020 09.57 a.m.
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