Open Science is an important new topic in universities and university libraries, and as a consequence, many library staff find themselves confronted with a demand for “Open Science courses”. Before you start setting up a new course, it may be worthwhile to have a look at existing Information literacy courses and consider if it would not be a better solution to include the topic of Open Science in those existing courses.
###Reasons for setting up a separate Open Science course
* New topic, so a new course!
* Information Literacy creates awareness of many topics, but a separate Open Science course may be used to discuss the topic in more detail.
* As it is a hot topic, the label “Open Science” may attract more curiosity than a regular information literacy course.
* University policy may stipulate the setting up of “an Open Science course”.
###Reasons for integrating Open Science in existing Information Literacy education
* Open Science and its sub-topics (e.g. Open Access Publishing, Open Data) are themselves integrated with existing Information literacy topics: searching, publishing, organizing (reference management). It would be illogical to set them apart.
* An integrated course makes Open Science a part of students’ and researchers’ everyday practice, instead of an additional topic and one more thing they have to do.
* You avoid overlap: current information literacy courses already include information about Open Access and (increasingly) about Open Data. Creating an additional course makes it complicated to decide what belongs in which course.
* Depending on the existing course, adding Open Science elements can save time. Setting up a new course is time consuming, and tweaking an existing one can be done much more quickly.
* In order to arouse curiosity and meet policy demands, a “New: now includes Open Science” label can be added to an existing course.