ZonMw strives to offer added value to the knowledge development system by actively implementing an Open Science policy. Open Science makes science accessible to scientists, civilians and entrepreneurs alike. Collaboration and knowledge exchange are central in this respect. The aim is to increase both the quality and the impact of research. By ‘impact’ we mean the use of developed knowledge in actual practice, whether in policy, education or further research.
Over the next few years, ZonMw will implement Open Science based on a number of themes – FAIR Data and Open Access, Recognition and Evaluation, Participation and Citizen Science, and Diversity and Inclusion. We will also integrate these principles into our funding procedures.
As additional themes, we will be promoting Animal Test-Free Research and guaranteeing high-quality research by studying the science itself: Research into Research. Below are brief descriptions of the six themes, with links to the accompanying web pages.
FAIR data and Open Access
ZonMw intends to make the results of publicly-funded research available online to everyone. Publications must be Open Access, which means they are publicly available online. We also stimulate the reuse of the underlying data. Existing databases can only be reused if the data is FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. The use of FAIR data and Open Access can improve the quality of research projects, and accelerate innovation in care and healthcare.
Recognition and Rewards
The way we evaluate researchers ought to recognize all of their qualities. Until recently, researchers were evaluated principally on their research performance, such as the number of publications. Recognition and Evaluation includes appreciation of a researcher’s talents with regard to education, impact, leadership, and their contributions to Open Science and patient care.
Participation and Citizen science
Citizen Science is all about making it possible for civilians and scientific researchers to work together better and more closely. There is a wide scale of possibilities: from civilian/patient participation in research, to scientific participation – the involvement and participation of researchers in civilian knowledge and innovation initiatives.
This participation helps to advance research, development and innovation projects in healthcare. By collaborating with hands-on experts, academic research gains a better fit with real-world practice. This means more concrete results for everyone; from academic to professional and hands-on expert alike.
Diversity and Inclusion
Our aim is a good quality of life and health for everyone – including those for whom this is not so obvious. To this end we encourage caregivers, researchers and others to take account of human diversity. No two people are the same – in terms of age, socio-economic status, education, ethnicity, sexual orientation, sex, gender, or physical and mental condition. When we understand how we can take account of these things, we can start working towards an inclusive society.
Animal Test-Free Research
ZonMw has a long tradition of stimulating alternatives to animal tests in scientific research, for one thing because this yields more relevant research results for humans. We therefore strive to keep animal tests to a minimum. We also work to make more effective use of the results of animal tests by improving their accessibility and reusability.
Research on Research
Research into research is the study of science itself, closely examining the existing system and culture within which science operates. This kind of research is important to being able to guarantee good research. We stimulate research into research in all scientific domains.