Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces Open Science Action Plan

The Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) Open Science Action Plan describes how we will make our science and research open to the fullest extent possible, and readily accessible to all Canadians. Our Action Plan aligns with the Government of Canada’s Roadmap for Open Science, as well as other federal initiatives including Open Data, Open Information and Open Government.

Our Action Plan lays out a common, phased approach for making DND/CAF science and research data readily available to Canadians, while taking into account the unique safety and security considerations of the department. In light of the nature of the science done within DND/CAF, our Action Plan recognizes that security will take precedence over Open-by-default principles. Our plan sets the stage for a responsible and effective implementation of Open Science while maintaining a focus on accountability and due diligence in the protection of research.

Our Action Plan includes timelines to meet Roadmap for Open Science targets and specific actions to achieve those targets, organized under six main themes: 

  • Governance
    Implementing Open Science requires coordination across multiple science-producing organizations, offices of primary interest, subject matter experts, groups and officials within DND/CAF. Actions include defining the structure and processes for decision making, accountability and approval for implementing the Action Plan.
  • Enabling Authors
    Open-by-default mandates that scientific research results should be accessible when there is no justification for them to remain closed. The action plan lays out targets for reviewing policies and procedures, for example, to enable authors to take advantage of Open Access publishing to the fullest extent possible.  
  • Enabling Data Producers
    The release of scientific data contributes to the growth and sharing of knowledge, increases interoperability, and is a critical component of the scientific process by enabling others to reproduce scientific results. Targets include establishing guidelines to build data management and data sharing processes aligned with the Government of Canada’s Open Data initiative and the DND/CAF Data Strategy.
  • Enabling Software Developers
    Open Source software facilitates collaborative learning and exchange, encourages innovation, and produces quality solutions through collaboration. Actions involve defining best practices including tools and processes to facilitate the release and posting of software.
  • Collaboration
    Collaboration within DND/CAF and between government departments, as well as the broader Canadian and international research community, is key to the successful implementation of Open Science. The action plan lays out targets to enable coordination, sharing of best practices and interoperability both internally and externally.
  • Change Management
    The transition to Open Science at DND/CAF involves a culture shift among science producers, which will require active communication to include broad engagement of our scientific community and highlight the meaningful improvements to current processes.

Our Action Plan provides the initial structure and guidance to lead departmental change and will be revisited annually by the departmental Open Science Advisory Group to monitor progress and adjust actions as needed.

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