Templeton World Charity Foundation Joins Open Research Funders Group

The Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) is pleased to welcome its newest member, the Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF). Founded in 1996, TWCF serves as a global philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to Big Questions of life and the universe, in areas of science, theology, philosophy, and human society. These bold goals are more readily accomplished when research outputs are made widely and openly available.  The ORFG and TWCF are eager to facilitate a broader, more diverse scientific discussion, accelerate follow-on research, and take information out from the paywalls and silos that limit its utility.

Open Research Funders Group Applauds Launch of Invest In Open Infrastructure

The Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) is pleased to support the launch of Invest In Open Infrastructure (IOI), an initiative that aims to coordinate the creation and ongoing development of open source tools that facilitate open scholarship, research, and education . IOI is an effort to enable durable, scalable, and long lasting open scientific and scholarly infrastructure to emerge, thrive, and deliver its benefits on a global scale. The ORFG is fully supportive of the IOI’s long-term mission to create a shared, open, and interoperable infrastructure for enabling 21st-century scholarly communications. We look forward to working with IOI to develop a framework to track relevant activities, facilitate coordination across projects, and identify areas for wise strategic investment. For more information on Invest in Open Infrastructure, please visit their website: https://investinopen.org .

Open Research Funders Group Welcomes Howard Hughes Medical Institute as Newest Member

The Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) is excited to announce the addition of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) as its newest member. HHMI is an independent philanthropy that supports basic biomedical scientists and educators with the potential for transformative impact. HHMI has long viewed the sharing of research materials and tools as a fundamental responsibility of the scientific endeavor. The ORFG is pleased to add the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to the growing roster of research funders working to enable the open sharing of research outputs.

ORFG Collaborates with National Academies on Bold Project to Re-Align Research Incentives

The Open Research Funders Group is honored to collaborate with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) in the launch of a Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science. The multiyear project will convene critical stakeholders to fundamentally improve the correlation between open practices, credit/reward systems, and research missions & values.

The first convening was held on Monday, February 25. It was co-chaired by Keith Yamamoto, Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy at University of California, San Francisco and a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine, and Tom Kalil, Chief Innovation Officer of Schmidt Futures, and former Deputy Director for Policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Roundtable members draw from senior leadership at universities, federal agencies, philanthropies, international bodies, and other strategic organizations. A complete list may be found here.

At the conclusion of the three-year Roundtable process, participants will have gained a collective understanding of the actions that agencies, funders, and higher education institutions can take to realign their respective reward structures. This consensus understanding will ideally serve as a concrete blueprint for stakeholders to customize and adopt to properly incentivize open science practices. Roundtable participants will be encouraged to test these blueprints over the course of the project, sharing their experiences under a “community of practice” model.

The inaugural meeting provided participants with an opportunity to discuss, refine, and agree upon the core problems, opportunities, and approaches. With this consensus in place, Roundtable members will collaborate to test a number of hypotheses in advance of the next convening (fall, 2019). At a higher level, we have also begun to discuss what a system that appropriately rewards open practices looks like, as well as the tools, information, and support key stakeholders need in order to transition to this model. We further plan to consider how classes of stakeholders (e.g., universities, government agencies, philanthropic funders) can harmonize their approaches to reward systems to provide a more homogenous set of expectations among researchers.

The Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science is an ambitious effort to update credit/reward systems to better reflect 21st century research practices and values. The ORFG is pleased to be engaged in this conversation, and we are excited to be working collaboratively with our peers in higher education, governmental agencies, and adjacent spaces. This process will maximize coordination and increase the likelihood of coherent, durable incentive structures.

ORFG Launches "Profiles in Open" - Real World Stories of Open in Action, as Told by Researchers

How do researchers who have made their work openly available as a condition of their grant funding feel about their experiences? What advice would they give to their peers, and to philanthropic organizations considering the adoption of open policies? The Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) is pleased to launch a new resource, “Profiles in Open”. Profiles in Open provides a forum for researchers to explain how open practices impacted their work, what they learned through the sharing of their research, how it has impacted their attitudes toward open science going forward, and what they think others can learn from their experiences. To read the first batch of Profiles in Open, please visit the ORFG Reading List page.

Moore Foundation Joins the Open Research Funders Group

The Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) warmly welcomes the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation as its newest member. The Moore Foundation fosters path-breaking scientific discovery, environmental conservation, patient care improvements, and preservation of the special character of the Bay Area. Its support for open science and open access projects dates back more than a decade. The ORFG is delighted to have Moore’s voice join the chorus of research funders working to promote the open sharing of research outputs.

Summary of Second Annual ORFG Member Meeting

The ORFG convened its second annual in-person meeting on November 8, 2018.  The meeting was an opportunity for ORFG members and invited guests to delve into practical and conceptual issues pertaining to the open sharing of research outputs. A summary of the meeting and the organizational priorities that emerged from the day’s discussions may be found here.

ORFG Launches Blueprint to Incentivize the Sharing of Research Outputs

The Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) today announces an important new practical resource for funders. The Incentivization Blueprint provides philanthropic organizations with a step-by-step approach for implementing research incentive structures that better correlate to open science practices.

A growing number of funders are eager to encourage grantees to openly share their research - articles, code and materials, and data. Developing incentive systems that appropriately encourage the open sharing of these outputs is critical, and the Incentivization Blueprint provides templated language and practical guidance toward that end.

The ORFG is pleased that a number of prominent funders have committed to taking steps to implement the Incentivization Blueprint, including the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Cancer Research UK, the Dunhill Medical Trust, the National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Tropical Diseases Research, Wellcome Trust, and Worldwide Cancer Research. If your organization is interested in learning more about the Incentivization Blueprint, please contact us.

ORFG Welcomes Lumina Foundation as Newest Member

The Open Research Funders Group is pleased to announce its newest member, Lumina Foundation. Founded in 2000, Lumina Foundation is an independent, private philanthropy based in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. Lumina is among the nation’s top 100 private foundations, with an endowment in excess of $1 billion. The ORFG welcomes Lumina's engagement on the critical issue of open sharing of research outputs.

ORFG Releases "Open 101" Tip Sheets for Research Stakeholders

The Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) is pleased to make available a suite of resources designed to help specific audiences understand the benefits of open science. Comprised of a mix-and-match set of tip sheets designed for grantees, program officers and staff, and foundation leadership, the materials can help research funders build effective campaigns for the adoption of open policies. The materials are concise, easily adaptable, and written in plain language for non-expert audiences. The ORFG hopes these “Open 101 Tip Sheets” will assist funders seeking to make the case for open across a range of stakeholders. For more details, visit the ORFG Resources page.

Funder Perspectives on Open Infrastructure

The Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) recently conducted a survey to better understand funder perspectives with respect to supporting open infrastructure. Sixteen organizations completed the questionnaire, evenly split between ORFG members and other funding bodies. The results suggest an underlying support for open initiatives and the infrastructure buttressing these activities. This is tempered by reservations about how best to discern and smartly invest in open infrastructure projects.  The full results of the survey are available here.  The ORFG plans to review the findings and chart a defined engagement path on open infrastructure over the second half of 2018.

ORFG Supports the Initiative for Open Citations

The Open Research Funders Group is pleased to promote the availability of open citation data by signing on as a supporter of the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC). The I4OC aims to make data on citations that are structured, separable, and open.  Greater access to citation data makes it easier for scholars to trace the evolution of research, discover connections across papers, and build upon macro-level trend data in creative and impactful ways.  Transparency within the research chain is particularly valuable for funders, as it helps us better track the impact of the work we support.  We are proud to stand with dozens of other stakeholders in support of this intitiative.

ORFG Supports TOP Guidelines and DORA

The Open Research Funders Group is pleased to add its support to two community-driven initiatives promoting research transparency.  Today, the ORFG has become an official signatory to both the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines and the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

ORFG's mission aligns squarely with both projects.  TOP aims to encourage transparency and openness in research design, execution, analysis, and dissemination.  This will enable more effective research reproducibility.  DORA seeks to ensure that scientific output is measured accurately and transparently, and that it is evaluated wisely.  This will promote better research processes and improve hiring, promotion, and funding decisions.

The ORFG's support of these initiatives is a tangible outcome of our first in-person member meeting. At this convening, ORFG members agreed that we, as an organization, should become more assertive in giving public support to policies and principles consistent with our mission.  Our amplified voice is an effective tool to promote a range of activities that accelerate the open sharing of research outputs.

Helmsley Charitable Trust Joins the Open Research Funders Group

The Open Research Funders Group is pleased to announce its newest member, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. The ORFG welcomes Helmsley's support for principles and policies that enable sharing and collaboration across the global research enterprise.

Wellcome Trust Joins the Open Research Funders Group

The Open Research Funders Group is pleased to announce its newest member, the Wellcome Trust.  The Wellcome is a global charitable foundation whose mission is to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. It supports a range of initiatives in over 70 countries in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine.  Wellcome is a long-time leader in the open sharing of research outputs and recently established an Open Research team to provide greater coordination of these activities and to develop new initiatives that will help to embed open research practices in the research space.  Wellcome’s participation in the ORFG underscores the funder community's growing coalescence around supporting open research.

Summary of First ORFG Member Meeting

Representatives from the Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) membership, joined by a dozen stakeholders from the research ecosystem, convened on October 3, 2017, for the ORFG's inaugural in-person meeting.  The meeting was an excellent chance for participants to identify opportunities for the ORFG to promote the open sharing of research outputs both within and beyond the funder community. A succinct summary of the day's activities, as well as key takeaways, may be found here

New ORFG Resource Provides Guidance to Funders Developing Open Policies

As the launch and continued growth of the ORFG demonstrates, momentum around the open sharing of research outputs is building within the funder community.  Many organizations have expressed an interest in developing their own open policies.  One significant hurdle is a lack of clarity about what factors an effective policy should address.  Another is a concern that policies must follow a rigid ideology in order to be considered "truly open".  In response to these considerations, the ORFG is pleased to announce the release of the HowOpenIsIt? Guide to Research Funder Policies.  Built off the success of the highly visible HowOpenIsIt? Guide for Evaluating the Openness of Journals, this new resource frames the choices funding organizations should consider in developing an open policy.  Further, it highlights the spectrum that exists between a fully open and a fully closed approach to funded research outputs. 

The ORFG invites research funders to explore the HowOpenIsIt? Guide to Research Funder Policies.  Organizations that might benefit from further discussion of some of the choices and considerations are warmly encouraged to contact us.

Open Research Funders Group Adds Two New Members

The Open Research Funders Groups is pleased to announce its two newest members. The Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fund for Strategic Innovation supports a variety of organizations addressing global issues in the fields of science and technology, education, and the environment. Arcadia, a charitable fund of Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing, supports charities and scholarly institutions that preserve cultural heritage and the environment, and promote open access.  We are pleased to have them join our partnership to promote the open sharing of research results.

New ORFG Resource - Annotated Directory of Community Tools

A key goal of the Open Research Funders Group is the creation of resources to assist stakeholders in developing, managing, and assessing open policies.  The first such resource is an annotated list of tools and services that can assist research funders in the operational aspects of policy oversight.  If you have a suggestion for this list, please contact us.

James S. McDonnell Foundation Joins Open Research Funders Group


The Open Research Funders Group is pleased to announce its newest member, the James S. McDonnell Foundation.  Founded in 1950 by aerospace pioneer James S. McDonnell, the Foundation was established to "improve the quality of life," and does so by contributing to the generation of new knowledge through its support of research and scholarship. Since its inception, the McDonnell Foundation has awarded over $450M in grants.  Its primary program areas are Understanding Human Cognition and Studying Complex Systems.