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Research Open Science Open Research Award

Submission guidelines

How to apply

Open Research practices aim to make scientific research, data and dissemination accessible to all levels of an inquiring society. Similarly, Open Education practices aim to make scientific knowledge more openly accessible through the creation and sharing of educational resources such as textbooks, assessment structures, and student work.

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

Please note that case studies that had already been submitted for this award in previous editions are not eligible unless they are significantly improved upon. Individuals who have already been awarded an award or certificate in previous editions cannot participate again, unless it is with a team and on a different project.

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 and education 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 in total (excluding the title and anything entered in the URLs, references and further information box).

The jury will judge entries based on their adherence to the following criteria:

  • Please specify one or more of the Open Research or Education objectives/practices addressed in your case study (see below)
  • Introduction: Please provide a brief description of the open practice(s) used, as well as the context in which the open practices were used.
  • Motivation: Please address why the Open Research or Education practices were used (e.g., what are the benefits and for whom)
  • Lessons learned: Please reflect on the barriers or challenges and/or supporting factors (e.g. supervisor, workshops, infrastructure) encountered

NB1. Please note, it is required to sufficiently elaborate on the issues described in the introduction, motivation and lessons learned for readers to understand the importance or relevance of the described Open Research or Education practices. If no case is made, the submission is not eligible.

NB2. Please note, it is required to include references to the work you describe in your case. E.g., if your case concerns a preregistration, please include the URL to the preregistration, if you have developed a free software package, please provide the URL, etc. If this is not possible, a justification is required which will be evaluated by the jury.


Applicants should describe activities that align with one or more of the following 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.
  • Using open materials to decrease the cost of education and/or increase the sustainability of (public) investments in education.
  • Capitalising on the unique open aspects of open educational resources to reinvent course design, empower learners, and apply innovative ways of teaching.

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;
  • NB: given that open access publishing is nowadays the most common publication mode for scholarly articles in most disciplines, and often mandated by the funder, having published open access articles alone will not be enough to qualify an entry as eligible. Open books and textbooks are excluded from this provision since they are still much less common. Open books and textbooks need to be freely accessible at the moment of submission;
  • 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;
  • NB: The preregistration needs to be finished, a URL to the pre-registration provided, and one should be at a stage where it is possible to reflect on the practice. That is, the paper does not need to be finished, but the analyses should be performed and the results written down. This makes it possible to reflect on the benefits\challenges of the preregistration and the subsequent analysis.
  • Publishing an open data paper or open 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, including teaching about Open Research, and making teaching material openly available;
  • 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 or Education, e.g. by engaging in high-profile communications, by causing a journal to adopt pro-Open Research policies, by supporting or mentoring other academics and communities interested in or new to Open Education, or by participating in community initiatives to develop data or metadata standards.
  • Openly sharing self-created or adapted educational materials using open licences to enable and encourage reuse and customisation by others.
  • Developing and using course design and assessment forms where student-created materials are shared beyond the classroom (i.e., in collaboration with societal partners) or are incorporated into future iterations of the course.

NB. If any of the above practices are published in a closed access article, book or environment, a case needs to be made for how the practice still facilitates Open Research and Education.

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.
  • You have created your own free and open textbook from scratch or by combining multiple chapters from other open textbooks and writing additional materials to fill in the gaps.
  • You have created and shared open courseware or open courses, whether individually or as part of a community group.
  • You have created and shared open and free supplementary/ancillary materials that other teachers can use in their own teaching (e.g., syllabi, test banks, cases, series of knowledge clips, activity templates, interactive learning objects, etc.).
  • To assess student knowledge, you have asked your students to create materials for use by the general public rather than disposable ones (i.e., websites over papers).
  • To assess student knowledge, you have asked students to contribute to the textbook or other foundational material that is used in teaching the course.
  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 15 October 2023, midnight.
  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 November 2023, 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. The jury may, by majority vote, decide to determine a submission eligible in cases where strictly speaking the eligibility criteria are not met, but a convincing case has been made for which the current criteria were not foreseen or appropriate.
  6. Case studies should describe the applicant's completed or ongoing experiences with Open Research practices.
    NB: Ongoing experiences and projects need to be sufficiently progressed to reflect on and should already have some sort of deliverable. I.e., a plan for a future project, or a project just starting is not eligible.
  7. Case studies that had already been submitted for this award in previous editions are not eligible unless they are significantly improved upon. Submissions that have already been awarded with an ORA award or certificate in previous editions are not eligible again.
  8. Three entries will be drawn randomly among the eligible submissions; each of these will receive a prize of 500 euros. These three entries will be notified by early November 2023 and will be invited to give a short presentation of their case study during an event by the OSCG on 23 November 2023, the exact date of the event will be announced as soon as possible.
  9. 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 prior or after the event.

Submitted entries will be screened for eligibility by a jury composed of UG and UMCG staff members. The organizers randomly draw three entries among the eligible submissions. The three applicants will be notified by early November 2023 and invited to present their case studies as lightning talks during an event of the OSCG on 23 November 2023 and will receive a prize of each 500 euros.

All eligible case studies will be given public attention through the website.

More information

Please send any enquiries concerning the Open Research Award to

Last modified:17 October 2023 09.16 a.m.