Responsible Science and Research at WU
Politics and society increasingly rely on science and research to cope with the great challenges of our time. More than ever, researchers and research institutions are expected to focus their work both on ideals of social relevance and responsibility, as well as on ideas of scientific excellence.
Being one of the guiding principles of its mission, the topic of “responsibility” is incorporated on all organizational levels and in a broad variety of initiatives, institutions and research projects at WU. Responsible research and adherence to high ethical standards are among the key principles, which all WU researchers and faculty members are expected to observe. Academic integrity is seen as an indispensable requirement of academic work, essential to the reputation of researchers and research institutions. In 2016, the Vice-Rector of Research and the Research Committee of the WU Senate compiled a Directive on responsible research and academic integrity.
Excellent research and research-led teaching are crucial elements of WU’s identity. Although academic research with a high impact on academic discourse has a high priority within WU’s strategic goals, WU is aware that valuable contributions are not merely for the scientific community, but for the society in general.
Open Science – contributing to the community
WU sees it as part of its responsibility to society to provide the public with unlimited and long-term access to academic literature and research results. That is why WU aims at making academic work published by its researchers available online following the principle of “Open Access” and “Open Data”. In 2016, WU published an Open Access Policy, encouraging its researchers to publish their work on open access platforms.
In addition, WU offers support by providing an Institutional Repository (ePub) and a central Publication Fund to help WU-affiliated authors cover the charges for Open Access publications. In concerns of Open Data, WU established an Open Data Portal, the first to run by an Austrian University, in December 2014.
Knowledge Transfer and Research Communication
Following the principles of Responsible Research and Open Science, WU has taken several steps to increase the visibility of research in the public sphere. In March 2016, an initiative called Researcher of the Month (RoM) was introduced. Each month, a member of the faculty is presented over a variety of channels, in order to to create awareness of the many-sided nature of WU’s research. In addition, WU’s public lecture series “wu matters. wu talks” invites people to discuss current topics together with WU’s researchers on a regular base.
The many ways in which WU’s researchers cooperate with members of society have long since become one of WU’s distinguishing qualities, and they are an expression of WU’s social commitment and its future- and practice-oriented approach to research. Many of WU’s fields of research portray the need of scientific answers to relevant societal challenges. Therefore, WU trusts in an impact-oriented research culture, which emphasizes sustainable thinking and acting responsibly to help find solutions to today’s economic, social, and ecological problems.
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