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Road2Openness is online

It has been quite a while since my last post and I hope I will write more regularly from now on. The last couple of months have been very busy to get Road2Openness (R2O) ready for its launch on 29 April 2022. Together with a great team of Open Science experts and funded by the Stifterverband in Germany, I’ve been developing R2O as an Open Science self-assessment tool for research performing organisations (RPOs) over the past year.

The idea is quite simple: it’s an online questionnaire that helps institutions assess their Open Science activities in various areas: Open Access publishing/ data/ methods, Citizen Science, Open Innovation, Open Educational Resources, Research Quality Management, Open Governance and Open Research Assessment.

The questionnaire was the easy bit though, the more difficult one was to develop recommendations for future improvements based on the answers. It took a lot of research to find good practice examples, e.g. for institutional Open Science training and infrastructure, but this is the real strength of the R2O: templates and ideas for what Open Science could mean for RPOs that users of the tool can hopefully adapt and use for their own institutions.

We are super grateful that we had three German institutions that piloted our tool and helped us enormously to get it to the stage it’s at now. Massive thanks to the teams of the RWTH Aachen, EAH Jena and Uni Potsdam for all their help and feedback.

From what we’ve heard so far, the tool and even more so the process around the tool, such as finding out who does what at an institution, have been very useful for our users. They have all started their journey towards becoming an Open institution and that’s an amazing outcome for us.

The best part of R2O is: it’s free, openly available and can be used anonymously. We are not interested in the data, we delete it after 3 months. We just want this to be useful to the community. The only drawback is: it’s only available in German so far. I’m currently working on a translation though and hope it will be available asap.

We have lots of ideas for version 2.0 and hope to continue the development. We’re looking for funding models to keep this going and embed it in a not-for-profit entity. So please get in touch if you have good ideas for how we could do that ;-).

I will post R2O updates regularly and feel free to get in touch if you have feedback on the tool or ideas for useful features you’d like to see in version 2.0.