Release of the FOSTER Open Science toolkit


open science toolkit

Release of the FOSTER Open Science toolkit

FOSTER Plus developed a set of ten free online courses covering key topics of Open Science. Each course takes about one hour to complete and a badge is awarded after successful completion. You will need to create a free account on the FOSTER portal if you wish to claim your badge but the courses can also be accessed without registration if no badge is desired. The order you take the courses in is not important, the system tracks your progress regardless and you can claim the badge as soon you completed each of the suggested courses. However, we recommend starting with "What is Open Science?" as an introduction. The draft courses were released for public consultation during the summer and have been refined based on community feedback. 

Courses include:

  • What is Open Science? - This introductory course will help you to understand what open science is and why it is something you should care about.
  • Best Practice in Open Research - This course introduces some practical steps for opening up your research practices and how to meet expectations relating to openness from funders, publishers and peers.
  • Managing and Sharing Research Data - In this course, you'll focus on which data you can share and how you can go about doing this most effectively.
  • OSS and Workflows - This course introduces Open Source Software (OSS) and workflows as an emerging but critical component of Open Science.
  • Data Protection and Ethics - This course helps you to get to grips with responsible data sharing.
  • Open Licensing - This course helps you to find the best open license for your open research outputs.
  • Open Access Publishing - This course will help you become skilled in making your publications openly accessible in line with funders' requirements and in the wider context of Open Science.
  • Sharing Preprints - This course introduces the practice of sharing preprints and helps you to see how it can support your research.
  • Open Peer Review - This course will introduce you to OPR and let you know how you can get started with it.
  • Open Science and Innovation - This course will show you how Responsible Research and Innovation is accelerated through Open Science.

Access the toolkit.

If you wish to become more knowledgeable in specific areas, FOSTER suggests five learning pathways through the courses to gains specific competencies. Each learning path is comprised of 4-5 individual courses and should take around 4-5 hours to complete but don’t worry - you can work through the pathways at your own pace rather than doing them all at once! 

Pathways include:

  • The open peer reviewer - This pathway will help you to understand the move towards Open Peer Review and equip you to be able to participate - both as an author and as a reviewer.
  • The responsible data sharer  - This pathway will equip you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about sharing your data responsibly.   
  • The reproducible research practitioner - This pathway will help you to make sure that your published findings can stand up to scrutiny and serve as a solid foundation for others to build upon.
  • The open innovation accelerator - This pathway will provide you with the skills you need to spot opportunities and to build open innovation aspects into your research. 
  • The open access author - This pathway will help you to look at publishing in a more holistic way to ensure that your publications, underlying data and software are accessible and can be used to support your findings.

The learning pathways are accessible via the main page of the FOSTER portal. If you are logged in, you can click on them to see your progress.
We would be delighted to hear from you if you have any ideas for using the toolkit as part of your teaching or training.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to creating and reviewing the courses!