eLife Community: Launching the Open Science Champions network

This new network aims to support researchers to learn and encourage open science practices.

Our extensive partnerships to accelerate change towards open, trustworthy and inclusive research communications, alongside the enthusiasm of early-career researchers to embrace and promote such practices, led to the decision to launch the Open Science Champions network. eLife now welcomes 150 Open Science Champions into this pilot initiative.

The network is a response to the appetite among researchers to learn the latest best practices for making science accessible and equitable. The Champions will have access to select training resources developed alongside the eLife Ambassadors, our other projects such as Sciety, and our partner organisations involved in the Ambassadors training programme: Reproducibility for Everyone (R4E), Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community Engagement (CSCCE), PREreview, Kindness in Science, GreenLabs-NL and the Sustainable Research Symposium, Future of Research, and Researcher Mental Health Observatory (ReMO), to name a few. While being a Community Ambassador requires a high level of commitment and frequent interactions with this remote community, our Champions have an opportunity to learn about practices eLife endorses at their own pace. They will be kept abreast of our developments across all eLife community programmes via a monthly mailing list, and we will seek to learn from them about how they are using the resources provided in their work and in their scientific circles.

Just as we opened the eLife Community Ambassadors programme upon the community’s demand to convene and facilitate a worldwide community of like-minded researchers to advocate for responsible behaviours in science, we are piloting the Open Science Champions network to enable more researchers to engage and be part of the transition to open science and improving research culture.

“I believe a strong extended community of all researchers across the world is needed moving forward. The future of research culture needs forward thinking and a diversity of fresh perspectives from us all.” – Open Science Champion Kennedy Kassaza, PhD student and Assistant Lecturer, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda.

Remote working and virtual networking have generated challenges, but ultimately they have created more opportunities to offer everyone in the global community equitable opportunities to learn and contribute, and to extend the reach of many of our efforts. Through the use of event recordings, we can make many of our events accessible as asynchronous resources. We hope that these, alongside our social media platforms for discussion, will enable us to help others drive change in research culture and maintain and build on this strong and inclusive global research community.

"I am delighted to be taking part in the Champions Network for eLife this year. This is an excellent opportunity that will give me additional education and resources outside of my PhD. The Champions Network is a much needed addition to the scientific community, giving us the opportunity to connect, learn and make change around us. I'm looking forward to having discussions with the people in this programme and expanding on my global network." – Open Science Champion Joanne Coyle, PhD student, University of Melbourne, Australia.

If you want to join our Open Science Champions community and take advantage of the resources from the Ambassadors programme, please sign up here. Discuss it all on our Twitter, using #eLifeChampions and #eLifeAmbassadors @eLifeCommunity.


We welcome comments, questions and feedback. Please annotate publicly on the article or contact us at community[at]elifesciences[dot]org.