Responsible and Open Science

The ESF aims to promote Responsible and Open Science, inspired by the principles of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), an approach put forward by the European Commission for the ERA and which ‘anticipates and assesses potential implications and societal expectations regarding research and innovation, with the aim to foster the design of inclusive and sustainable research and innovation. This approach considers the crucial implication and collaboration of different societal actors based on the Quadruple Helix framework including: Industries, Researchers, Policy-makers, Citizens.

Six Key Areas

Research Ethics and Integrity

Promoting the highest standards of ethics and integrity in the performance and governance of research and innovation

Open Access

Promoting free access for all to research findings, as a way of improving knowledge circulation and thus innovation

Gender Equality

Mainstreaming gender (and more largely diversity) in the different aspects of research and innovation, including gender balance in research teams and decision-making; combating gender-based violence/violence against women in the research environment; gender dimension in research content

Public Engagement

Engaging and co-creating the future with the public and civil society organisations, trying to involve the widest possible diversity of people that would not usually interact on scientific matters

Science Education

Making science more attractive and increasing society’s ‘appetite for innovation’, thus opening up for future research and innovation activities



Actions in these key thematic areas are crucial to foster excellent, just, and future-oriented science. Anticipating the future needs and challenges of science and research, these key areas are called to evolve over time, following the general principles of anticipation, reflexivity, inclusivity and responsiveness (Stilgoe et al, 2013). Over the past years, the ESF has gained solid expertise in implementing responsible and open science by coordinating and participating in various EU projects and programmes, as well as hosting the cOAlition S executive office and embedding these principles within its institution, becoming a solid and timely ally for science in Europe. Find out more!

ESF Expertise

ESF thrives to promote and integrate Responsible and Open Science by: