You share, we take care: 'extra way to open up my work for everyone free of charge'

'This Open Access service of the University Library is ideal: all I had to do was fill in a form.'

12/04/2020 | 11:08 AM

bruijn, sjoerdThe main thing for me is that my work is read and used,' says research associate Sjoerd Bruijn (Movement Sciences, VU Amsterdam). He participates in You share, we take care . ‘For me, it is an extra way of making my research available to others free of charge. This service of the University Library is ideal: all I had to do was fill in a form. Now, after six months my publications are automatically placed in the VU Research Portal as PDFs.’

If possible, Bruijn publishes his articles Open Access. ‘It depends on whether I have the money to pay the Article Processing Charges. Above all, I think about which journal is right for the subject of the article. I don’t believe in High Impact Journals. It's a lot more work to get an article published there, and it doesn't generate more readers or more citations.’

Wider readership through Twitter
Bruijn posts many of his articles on Twitter (@sjoerdmb). ‘This is how I can reach fellow researchers and physiotherapists and discuss things with them. Via AltmetricExplorer I check which articles are picked up well on Twitter. It is interesting, and sometimes surprising, to see which papers are doing well and which are not.’ 

No money for journal subscriptions
Another reason why Bruijn often publishes Open Access is that he hears from people on Twitter and from friends in Brazil that they can't afford to pay for scientific journals. ‘People in countries where there isn't much money for subscriptions should also be able to access my knowledge.’ He puts all his articles on ResearchGate, 'but unfortunately you are no longer allowed to place them there open access.’

Insight into downloads from the VU Research Portal
‘It's great that I can see how many times my articles (that the University Library has made available) have been downloaded via the VU Research Portal. One article has now been downloaded 143 times.

Since a year and a half Bruijn also pre-registers via and and posts preprints on ‘I don't think it necessarily makes my results more reliable, but it allows other scientists to see the choices I made in my projects, so they can better evaluate my findings.’

Open codes and open data for verification and re-use
Bruijn's research group wants to be as open as possible. ‘For most of our papers, we put all the code and data online. In some cases we get feedback, which can help us to move forward. We provide the data so our colleagues can check them, but also re-use them. It would be a waste if PhD students in various places around the world were writing the same code. Moreover, it is important to also publish negative results, so that other people do not waste their time to do the same experiment all over again. That would be a waste of time, money and effort.’

Sharing data and code
In Bruijn's department, working according to Open Science is highly appreciated. ‘I see more and more colleagues in my field sharing data and code openly. I recently received a compliment from an editor for our openness. But there are also colleagues who are afraid that others will take advantage of the data they have collected and shared. Taking advantage of my data and code is fine by me... If fellow scientists can do better research with it, it will help to advance science in general.’

This is what research should be like: open!
Bruijn shares his knowledge of Open Science with other researchers. ‘I sometimes give presentations to other research groups, but I don’t consider myself an Open Science expert. I am just trying things out. For me, the principle of sharing things is nothing new. Years ago, if people asked, I also shared articles and data. What is different now, is that there are so many tools and platforms to share your research, and that I know these tools better myself. This is what research should be like: open!’

Would you like to participate in ‘You share, we take care’?
Then use this form to give the library permission to make your work Open Access via the VU Research Portal. The library then automatically places the publisher's version of all your academic publications in the VU Research Portal.