Why a commitment to open science makes a great job candidate

Universities that build the best-performing research teams push the boundaries of human knowledge. But to make a discovery, you need skilled and forward-thinking minds to lead and carry out the difficult work of scientific research.

That’s why hiring scientific talent can be a challenging process – universities have to find the right people, not only for the good of the academic institution, but also for the advancement of science. One key sign of a valuable candidate, one that every university recruiter should look for, is that candidate’s interest in Open Science.

Since the 1990s, the ‘open-access movement’ has facilitated study across scientific disciplines by promoting the free sharing of research results, encouraging cross-field cooperation, and fast-tracking innovation.?

Of course your university wants to make an impact on science. Because Open Science will increasingly drive scientific progress, hiring researchers that already embrace this approach to research will serve your institution’s ambitions.

Here’s how you can spot the right candidates.

Great researchers share it with the world

One way to gauge how passionate your potential candidates are is by looking at their online activity.?

A scientific researcher who posts their own research projects, preprints, and publications – or who shares science-sector news articles – demonstrates a passionate interest in their field of study. This indicates that once they join your faculty or research team, they will not only represent themselves online, but also the research output of your academic institution.

Look for researchers who are excited about their own and others’ discoveries, and who leave a digital footprint as a measure of their passion.

Open Science will drive innovation at your university.
Open Science will drive innovation at your university.

Open Science is an indicator of teamwork and cross-disciplinary cooperation

Despite the romantic image of a mad scientist making breakthroughs in the darkness of a lonely lab, science is not a solo sport. Meaningful discovery builds on the work of others – both their successes and failures – and cannot be facilitated without collaboration.?

Scientific research is about solving problems, and they cannot be resolved with just one person’s knowledge or abilities. A more accurate picture of a typical day in a research environment, then, would be a group of people experimenting, bouncing ideas off one another, and leveraging each other’s strengths to push for an answer.

That’s why if you’re going to build an outstanding research team, you have to find scientists who are comfortable being team players and eager to cooperate with others.?

For researchers who have co-authored multiple papers, collaboration is their second nature. Similarly, a scientist who follows and engages with others’ published work online has the potential to be a strong team player.

Open Science means sharing research results as early as possible so that other researchers – even researchers from other disciplines and fields – can contribute their knowledge and experience to a problem. By pooling their abilities, researchers spend less time on challenges that block their research, and as a result, the research process accelerates.?

Open Science and cross-disciplinary collaboration are thus two significant drivers of scientific progress.?

How to find the best candidates for your team

Open Science enthusiasts will steer your academic institution to excellence.?

So, how do you spot them??

Search online for candidates who collaborate with their peers across different fields of study, who read and post articles about disciplines beyond their own, and who use digital platforms to interact and discuss science with their peers.

And remember, recruiting top scientific talent isn’t just about a researcher’s technical skills, but also their soft skills – like their passion, their sense of teamwork, and their engagement with Open Science.

Do you want to build the best teams in science? ResearchGate’s Scientific Recruitment Solutions will unlock your access to the world’s largest professional network of 15+ million active scientific researchers. Contact us?to find out how we can help you.


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