OPENness initiative - the future is ’open’

Noreen Krause (TIB - Leibniz Information Centre for Technology and Natural Scien
Noreen Krause (TIB - Leibniz Information Centre for Technology and Natural Sciences), Claudia von der Linden (TU Graz), Martin Ebner (TU Graz), Alexander Schmölz (University of Vienna) at the awards ceremony for the OER part certification for Austrian universities (from left to right).
By Sarah Woywod

Providing orientation for open practices, making services and contact points better known and identifying challenges: these are the declared goals of the OPENness initiative at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz).

The term openness in this context stands for open access to scientific results and findings (open science) as well as for a culture of open collaboration and knowledge transfer. The openness movement specifically calls for everyone to participate in scientific progress and for the results of publicly funded research to be freely accessible, regardless of institutional affiliations or educational background. These demands have now also reached Austrian politics and universities. With this in mind, in 2015 TU Graz adopted an which is intended to promote and sustainably implement open practices at TU Graz. This is increasingly demanded by funding bodies such as the European Commission or the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research. Open practices such as open access publications and open research data are explicitly required for the receipt of funding.

OPENness at TU Graz

Students, researchers and teaching staff are therefore confronted with open requirements sooner or later in their academic careers. However, due to the diversity of faculties, institutes and individual areas of application in research and teaching, it can be difficult to keep track of the relevant approach and to apply it in everyday life in such a way that personal added value can also result.

This is exactly where the OPENness initiative at TU Graz comes in, which is supported by the organisational unit Change Management and Implementation. With the help of the initiative, the various services and contact points for open practices at TU Graz are made visible, orientation provided and correct application promoted. As a first step, a new TU4U page was set up as a compact overview within the framework of the OPENness initiative. Here TU Graz members can find an overview of the initiatives, projects and services at TU Graz, divided into the areas of research, teaching, administration and third mission, as well as FAQs . The TU4U page will be successively expanded and in the future will show specific open application examples for research and teaching projects and portray users from the various teaching and research areas.

Outlook & event tips

The OPENness event series for students, teachers and researchers offers the opportunity to get in touch directly with the open experts at TU Graz. The series of events focusing on OPENness in teaching (Open Educational Resources) was launched on 28 June 2023. The next event with the focus topic "OPENness in research (open research results)" will take place on 28 September 2023. An event focusing on OPENness in administration (open source) in the autumn is in the planning stage, as is a large, cross-university event in spring 2024.

Austria-wide, TU Graz set another important milestone on 17 May 2023 and was awarded the OER ( Open Educational Resources) part certificate for Austrian universities. This makes TU Graz one of the first universities in Austria to have an OER strategy and an OER repository, as well as offering further training and support in the creation of freely accessible educational materials.

The efforts of the designers behind these initiatives are paying off. With the successful OER part certification and the OPENness initiative, TU Graz is well on the way to becoming substantially more open.

You can find this and other articles to browse through in TU Graz people #85 , the magazine for TU Graz employees and interested parties.