Open Science Community - view on Tilburg

Open to Complexity: Symposium on Open Science in the Social Sciences and Humanities

Date: Time: 09:00 Location: MindLabs (Locomotiefboulevard 101, 5041 SE in Tilburg)

Open research practices are encouraged in academia today. Research needs to become more ‘open’ for interaction with stakeholders within and outside the protective walls of the university. For many fields, it is becoming clear what this practically entails: immediately start sharing hypotheses, data, codes, and research design.

But is it possible to practice Open Science when your academic discipline is not immediately associated with hypotheses, confirmatory statistics, and formulas? And how can open research practices be embraced while taking into account the potentially unintended yet harmful consequences? We intend to answer these questions at a one-day symposium for which any interested researcher or policy officer, at and outside of Tilburg, is invited to present or attend.

Open Science handbooks do not really address what happens in culture studies, history, law, theology, anthropology, communication studies, data science, philosophy and other disciplines. In these qualitative, exploratory fields with mixed method approaches, inquiry centers not so much on fixed hypotheses, data, or code − which can easily be shared. These modes of inquiry traditionally have a bigger emphasis on exploring ideas, interpretation, argumentation, comparison, and critical thinking. The ‘material’ or ‘data’ of this kind of research seems almost too subjective and slippery to share before the final book or article is written. But is it?

We think that the social sciences and humanities (SSH) could benefit from a more transparent way of working. Therefore, we want to scrutinize how explorative research is done in these disciplines and how they are also able to integrate Open Science principles. Moreover, the reflexive nature of these disciplines provides ample reason to carefully considers the risks of opening up research. How can academics do so in a responsible way?


For this one-day symposium, we invite scholars at all career stages and all academic fields to reflect on what it means to adopt responsible science in fields of qualitative and mixed-method approaches and to propose concrete and practical ways to open up research responsibly. The event will feature a keynote address by Sabina Leonelli, who receives an honorary doctorate at Tilburg University at the opening of the academic year, and a round table with invited speakers. The rest of the day consists out of parallel sessions with individual presentations in which worries, reflections, conceptualizations, case-studies, lessons-learned, tips and tricks can be shared. The day will be moderated by Sicco de Knecht, former editor of science guide and project leader of Utrecht University’s open science programme.



Registration is closed.