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Demonstrating WashU’s Commitment to Open Research

During Open October, University Libraries and Becker Medical Library shine a spotlight on open research and open scholarship, highlighting its impacts on our campus and promoting the tools that the libraries provide to support it. The hallmarks of open scholarship are inclusivity, transparency, collaboration, and barrier-free dissemination of scholarly outputs (publications, data sets, code, etc.), and thus open access publishing, open science, open source, and open data are all subsets of open scholarship. While WashU is engaged in a variety of initiatives supporting open scholarship, and we encourage you to review other Open October programs to learn about them, one that merits special attention this year is Washington University’s participation in the Higher Education Leadership Initiative for Open Scholarship (HELIOS).

Convened by the National Academies in early 2022, HELIOS is a cohort of colleges and universities who have committed to advance open scholarship within their institutions, and WashU has been engaged from the early days. HELIOS now has more than 80 of our peer institutions as members and has established four working groups to create a framework for moving institutions forward in support of open scholarship. These working groups are focusing on:

  • Institutional & Departmental Policy Language
    • Developing a collective action plan for embedding open scholarship considerations within hiring, reappointment, promotion, and tenure guidelines, respecting institutional and disciplinary differences.
  • Shared Open Scholarship Infrastructure
    • Developing a framework of key considerations that go into informed decision-making for infrastructure development, beyond just, “what does it cost?”
  • Good Practices in Open Scholarship
    • Curating current good practices resources that institutions can adapt and adopt and scoping an on-demand open scholarship support service.
  • Cross-Sector Alignment  
    • Catalyzing discussion between the scholarly community and other relevant groups (funders, societies, government agencies, etc.)

Representatives from Washington University are participating in all four working groups, and include people from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, University Libraries, and Becker Medical Library.  If you are interested in learning more or would like to know how to become involved with HELIOS, please reach out to either of us.