Responsible Open Science

Training materials for the social sciences from the ROSiE project

A brain with dumbbells on a pink background

There are numerous educational materials and training manuals on open science, but most of them are generic and not specifically tailored to the needs of economic research. The ROSiE project (Responsible Open Science in Europe), which aims to promote and implement responsible open science across Europe, has developed customised training materials and teaching strategies targeted at different disciplines, including the social sciences. Find out more about the specific teaching and learning strategies and the topics covered. These resources are particularly relevant for lecturers in the field of economics.

The authors Signe Mežinska and Ivars Neiders present training materials for Responsible Open Science in the social sciences as part of the ROSiE project ( The main goal of these training materials is to teach participants how to practice open science responsibly and how to avoid research mistakes related to open science. This is done by imparting necessary knowledge as well as developing specific skills and attitudes.

In the didactic framework of ROSiE, the following skills and attitudes were identified as necessary for the responsible practice of Open Science in four areas: (1) Local and Global Engagement, (2) Personal and Social Responsibility, (3) Epistemic Skills, and (4) Collaborative Problem Solving.

To achieve the best results, the ROSiE training materials rely on different learning and teaching strategies, including (a) collaborative problem solving, (b) case-based activities, (c) dialogue-based activities, and (d) transformative learning.

The training material consists of a folder for trainers/lecturers with eight units and the corresponding activities and a separate folder with materials for the trainees, including required reading, handouts and printouts. The activities can either be carried out separately, for example for the organisation of individual workshops to discuss cases, or for the implementation of a comprehensive two-day training course.

Here is an overview of the activities that should be of particular interest to economic researchers:

Principles, values and benefits of Open Science and the main challenges in implementing Open Science

Participants begin with a self-learning task in which they read the UNESCO recommendation on open science and keep a double-entry reading journal. The purpose of the reading journal is for the participants to record and reflect on their thoughts and impressions from the text. This is followed by a discussion in the seminar in the form of a Socratic seminar, in which the principles and values of Open Science as well as the most important advantages and disadvantages are discussed. A Socratic Seminar is a pedagogical method based on the Socratic Dialogue, a type of philosophical discussion originating in the thinking of the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates. This method is often used in teaching to promote critical thinking, argumentation and the development of ideas.

Open exchange of sensitive qualitative data in the social sciences

This activity focuses on case studies of ethical issues that can arise in the collection, open sharing and re-use of sensitive qualitative data in the social sciences. Participants are divided into small groups and are each given a case study to analyse together. During the group discussion, the trainees reflect on the ethical challenges and risks involved in handling sensitive data. They discuss possible solutions and assess the potential impact on the research participants and the quality of the research results. After the group discussion, the small groups contribute their findings to the overall discussion in order to shed light on different perspectives and develop a better understanding of the complex issues surrounding sensitive data in the social sciences.

Responsible sharing and reuse of open social science data

This activity starts with a brainstorming session where participants share their views on sharing and reusing research data. They are encouraged to freely express their thoughts and identify potential barriers or concerns. This is followed by a group discussion in which the trainees discuss the challenges and opportunities in sharing and reusing data. They exchange ideas on how these practices can be improved and develop an understanding of the various factors that influence the willingness to share and use open research data. This will raise awareness of the importance of responsible data use in the social sciences.

Prevention of misconduct in research in connection with Open Science

This activity is about discussing different types of research integrity violations in the context of Open Science and developing measures to prevent them. Participants will be divided into five groups and each group will have the task of reflecting on possible types of violations and developing preventive measures for each of these types of open science activities.

The group work encourages collaboration and critical thinking among the participants as they consider together how they can overcome ethical challenges in connection with Open Science. Each group develops its results and proposed solutions.

After the group work, a plenary session takes place in which all participants have the opportunity to add to the results of the group work. This provides a comprehensive view of possible research misconduct in Open Science and the best prevention strategies. The main objective of this activity is to provide participants with an understanding of the different types of research misconduct in open science and to enable them to develop prevention measures.

Responsible dissemination/publication practices

In this activity, the four-quadrant method is used to analyse cases of repression practices. Participants are asked to discuss a case in small groups and complete the four-quadrant template. This method allows participants to apply a systematic approach to analysing crowding-out practices in open access publishing.

The four-quadrant template helps participants to look at the case from different perspectives by answering questions on the four quadrants: (1) ethical principles, (2) legal aspects, (3) institutional guidelines and (4) individual responsibility. This encourages a comprehensive and critical analysis of the case.

After the small groups have carried out the four-quadrant analysis, they report back to the whole group and continue the discussion. This allows participants to discuss the different aspects of responsibility and ethics in open access publishing. The learning objective of this activity is to understand and apply best practice criteria for open access publishing in order to promote ethically responsible dissemination and publishing practices.

About the ROSiE project

The ROSiE project (Responsible Open Science in Europe) is an initiative focussing on the promotion and implementation of responsible open science in Europe. The aim of the project is to sensitise scientists, research institutions and the general public to the ethical, social and methodological aspects of open science.

ROSIE develops training materials and teaching strategies to help researchers practice open science responsibly and prevent research misconduct. These materials are specifically tailored to different disciplines and cover topics such as data management, ethics in research and transparent scientific practices.

By promoting responsible behaviour in science and strengthening cooperation between research institutions and society, the ROSiE project contributes to safeguarding the integrity of research and strengthening trust in science. It is an important step towards transparent, ethical and sustainable scientific practice in Europe.


This article was written on 5 January 2024.

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