Abstract: Open science—and open scholarship more broadly—is revolutionizing how research is conducted by democratizing access to knowledge and bringing inclusion and transparency to the forefront. By making research processes and products open and accessible to all, open science promotes fairness, efficiency, and accountability in the scholarly enterprise and ensures that the benefits of scientific and humanistic progress are shared with all segments of society.
In Canada, fostering the practical implementation of open science practices (e.g., open access, open educational resources, open data, open labs, open notebooks, open evaluation, open hardware, open-source software, and citizen science) is rapidly becoming a top priority. The Government of Canada’s Roadmap for Open Science envisions a complete transition to an “open by design and by default” model by 2025. This transition is underway, with policies being promoted by federal and provincial funding agencies. For example, the federal funding agencies, also known as the Tri-Council, have enacted an open-access policy requiring grant recipients to ensure that publications funded by the agencies are freely accessible within 12 months of publication. This can be achieved by depositing peer-reviewed manuscripts in institutional or disciplinary repositories or publishing them in open-access journals. Departing from the Tri-Agency model and aligning with Plan S, the Fonds de Recherche du Québec (FRQ) updated its Open-Access Policy in 2022, requiring that articles and theses be made freely available under an open license upon publication or institutional deposit. The fast-approaching date of 2025, in combination with new mandates and policies, will require institutional support and advocacy to achieve effective solutions.
On May 27, 2022, Concordia University took a decisive step towards advancing open science by hosting the Open Science @Concordia conference, which brought together a diverse group of open science advocates and stakeholders from Concordia University and other institutions. The conference included keynote talks by national and international speakers, interdisciplinary lightning-talk sessions, and roundtables. Ten national and international speakers presented on topics like open access, open data, open infrastructures, open educational resources, and citizen science. Jessica Polka (ASAPbio, USA) delivered a powerful keynote on the pressures of publishing with preprints, and Malvika Sharan (The Turing Way, UK) presented on fostering open communities.
Building upon the momentum generated from the conference, we established the Concordia Open Science Working Group, whose first workshop was held on September 30, 2022. During this half-day session, more than 20 faculty members, trainees, and students from 8 different academic units, including Psychology, Computer Science and Software Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Biology, Mechanical, Industrial, and Aerospace Engineering, Education, Communication Studies, and the Library, gathered at the Loyola Campus to explore the challenges and possibilities of promoting open science at Concordia. This report presents the key insights derived from this workshop, as well as a comprehensive examination of the methodologies used and a full account of the results.