How to Build an Open Science Network in Your Community

August 5th, 2019,

If you’re familiar with the open science movement, you may have also experienced the reality that the implementation of open practices hasn't been driven by a wide-scale adoption at the institutional or organizational level. But rather, the opposite—through grassroots campaigns led by individual, early adopters.

Culture change begins with the rejection of a status quo and the vision for what could be. But it’s carried out through commitment and is expedited by the coordination and mobilization of like-minded individuals. And over time, the paradigm is shifted.

Yet there’s often a triad of common obstacles facing individuals who are first starting out in building local momentum toward culture change: time and energy, resources, and relationships.

How do you balance your daily outputs with the energy expenditure required to shape an open science network? Where can you access materials for cultivating knowledge among your communities? How can you gain the support of stakeholders and institutions to build the trust needed to advance open practices in the communities you serve?

Fortunately, there are many grassroots networks worldwide that have navigated these obstacles and have the wisdom to share. For the benefit of those seeking to grow open science networks, we tapped into this wisdom through a conversation with leaders in community-led open science initiatives.

This conversation – conducted via a webinar called “Local Grassroots Networks Engaging Open Science in Their Communities” – highlights the formation and sustainability efforts of several grassroots networks successfully fostering culture change in their local research communities.

The webinar features insights from COS Executive Director Brian Nosek, Anita Eerland of the Open Science Community Utrecht, Marcus Munafò and Laura Fortunato of the UK Reproducibility Network, and Aleksandar Bogdanoski of the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences who collectively offer their experiences regarding:

  • How to gain the support of stakeholders through inclusivity and how to empower key actors to push for change
  • How to create capacity for training, education opportunities, and content libraries
  • How and where to seek funding and partnerships for initiatives
  • How to understand the regional obstacles that stand in the way of good science in your community and generate evidence to overcome these obstacles

If you’re interested in launching your own open science grassroots network, or are currently working to cultivate culture change in your research community, we highly encourage you to tune into this conversation.


Lastly, open science grassroots networks can unite to more efficiently influence the research world toward greater adoption of open and reproducible practices. And the first step in doing this is to communicate with one another across geographies and disciplines in order to exchange knowledge and learn collectively.  

There are three initial ways networks can do this:

  1. Browse or add your network to this growing crowdsourced list of Open Science Grassroots Community Networks.
  2. Request to join the Network of Open Science Grassroots Networks Google Group and participate in the conversations happening among the global community of open science networks.
  3. Share the insights and resources that emerge from these conversations and help bridge the gap for others who may also be interested in launching their own open science grassroots network.

We hope that as you engage across these grassroots communities, you come away informed, connected, and inspired.

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