Research Data Stewardship has to do with how research data should be handled in order to make data as FAIR as possible (see part 1.4 of this DocEnhance Data Stewardship course). The rationale behind the FAIR principles is to maximize the value of the data. Data may be highly valued as input in a research project. But by adhering to the FAIR principles, as well as possible, the data may come to good use again and again, in new research and in ways no one may imagine at present.

These efforts are in line with the motivation behind the so-called Open Science movement. It all started with the advent of the Internet. Suddenly research results could be shared very efficiently, and scholarly communication could improve dramatically in terms of time and space. That is – it could. Were it not for all the obstacles. Ever since the early days of the Internet there has been a debate on the pros and cons of various ways to utilise this new technology to improve and enhance research dissemination and scholarly communication. And next the issue of research integrity has evolved. This includes preregistration of research so that research hypotheses are not adapted to the data. And also the ability to re-examine and replicate previous research, which is possible if data and research protocols are open and available. The discussion and the development of how to utilise the modern communication technology to such ends is lumped together under the name of Open Science. Archiving research data as FAIR as possible (including the slogan “As open as possible – as closed as necessary”) is a prominent part of the Open Science idea.

A nice starting point:


There are many organisations and projects working to develop and promote new methods within the Open Science ‘universe’. To learn more about Open Science, here are a few suggested places to look into:

  • European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) ( EOSC was founded by EU, and launched November 2018: “The aim was to federate existing research data infrastructures in Europe and realise a web of FAIR data and related services for science, making research data interoperable and machine actionable following the FAIR guiding principles.” (

  • The Research Data Alliance (RDA) ( “The Research Data Alliance (RDA) was launched as a community-driven initiative in 2013 … with the goal of building the social and technical infrastructure to enable open sharing and re-use of data.
    RDA has a grass-roots, inclusive approach covering all data lifecycle stages, engaging data producers, users and stewards, addressing data exchange, processing, and storage.

    With more than 11k members from 145 countries (September 2020), RDA provides a neutral space where its members can come together through focused global Working and Interest Groups to develop and adopt infrastructure that promotes data-sharing and data-driven research, and accelerate the growth of a cohesive data community that integrates contributors across domain, research, national, geographical and generational boundaries.” (

    RDA invites both organisations and individuals to become members. Individuals can join the RDA community for free.

  • Open Access Infrastructure for Research in Europe (OpenAIRE) ( OpenAIRE initially had the purpose of supporting a European infrastructure of open repositories and the implementation of Open Access publishing of research funded by EU or European Research Council. OpenAIRE now also support and collaborate with research data providers. OpenAIRE works to establish common standards and interoperability on a global level. (

  • Open Research Europe ( This is the open access publishing platform for scientific articles that present the results of research funded by Horizon 2020, and soon Horizon Europe.
    “Open Research Europe requires open access to research data supporting articles under the principle ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’, according to the policy of Horizon 2020. Data should be deposited in data repositories”

  • Fostering Fair Data Practices in Europe (FAIRsFAIR) ( This project aims to fit together the many research, research data and e-infrastructure facilities and bring the people involved into an overarching commons. FAIRsFAIR is a project running March 2019 – March 2022.

  • FOSTER ( FOSTER is a project with the primary aim to contribute to a real and lasting shift in the behaviour of European researchers to ensure that Open Science (OS) becomes the norm.
    “The FOSTER portal is an e-learning platform that brings together the best training resources addressed to those who need to know more about Open Science, or need to develop strategies and skills for implementing Open Science practices in their daily workflows.”

  • Open Science Framework (OSF) ( OSF offers various tools to support researchers in their research process, including to make their research compliant with the principles of Open Science. “OSF is a free, open platform to support your research and enable collaboration.”

Two useful books:

Last modified: Tuesday, 13 December 2022, 9:48 AM