When: Wednesday, September 15th from 15:00 to 16:00
Where: Online! Register here to get the link and password.
What: ReproducibiliTea Nijmegen is part of ReproducibiliTea, a grassroots journal club initiative.
As suggested by the name, the discussions in these journal clubs revolves around matters of open science and reproducibility.
From April onwards, we’re going to do ReproducibiliTea a little differently. For three to four sessions, we will focus on a particular aspect of the academic world, identify its problems and brainstorm solutions. The first topic we will tackle is the publishing system. Ever been bothered by the fact that publishing Open Access feels a lot like being the victim of grand larceny? Or that it can take years to get through the review process, only for your paper to be rejected (yet again)? Ever heard of the 450 Movement? In the first session of this new series, we will diagnose exactly what’s wrong with the current publishing system and identify its problems. In the second (and possibly third) session, we will discuss concrete solutions to those problems. In the final session, we will sum up the discussion and fine-tune our solutions. At the end of the series, we also plan to write a (short) report on the outcome of these three to four sessions, which we will make available on the OSCN website as a white paper and possibly also look to publish in a journal (if we still have confidence in the publishing system after we’re done!). Anyone who comes to one or more of the sessions will of course be acknowledged as a contributor to the report and paper.
In our first meeting on April 21, we collected problems with the academic publishing system. In the meetings on May 19 and June 16, we tried to come up with constructive solutions for them. In the meeting on September 15, we will wrap up and discuss further open points. We will also collect more concrete examples of how these problems are already being addressed. If you have missed an earlier meeting, it is definitely still possible to join the series; just sign-up via the link above!
The RECODE project is an EU funded project designed to compile a set of generic guidelines for EU funders to use when forming research data sharing policies. The premise is that publicly funded data should be openly accessible to the public, because they have paid for it. The workshop signalled the end of the first work-package of the project. This studied stakeholder values and ecosystems, that is individual’s and scientific groups’ concepts of open access to data and an examination of current good practice in the area. Other topics such as the ethical considerations and the technological solutions of sharing data are to be tackled in other work-packages. This workshop was of particular interest to the CRC and Sherpa Services because we have recently conducted research into journal research data (the JoRD project; http://jordproject.wordpress.com) and because of the implications for funder’s policies in SHERPA/JULIET.
It was with some relief that we found that our findings about stakeholder perspectives were broadly the same as the RECODE findings; it shows that we were right! I gathered some extra insights from presentations by representatives from participants of the RECODE case studies. For example, there is not a clear difference of opinion on opening out research data between scientific disciplines, but there are many opinions within each discipline. It reminded me of the adage “when you put two academics together you get three different opinions”. It seems to me that it would be easier to sort the factions across disciplinary lines into “pro data sharing”, “contra data sharing” and “no-one would want our data because it is boring”. Another major problem of sharing data that became apparent is that the person who can interpret the data best is the person who collected it because data needs a context. In other words, the knowledge that the data reveals is stuck inside someone’s head, and it is very hard to make that openly accessible. This is the knowledge management problem of intellectual capital. One of the RECODE team expressed it as, a lot of knowledge is lost when you lose another post-doc.
Other issues were raised about technological infrastructure, data licensing, data citation, lack of standardisation of practice within the same fields, the simply practicality of opening huge data sets (the word peta-bytes was bandied about) and whether some sort of reward to an academic could be triggered for openly sharing their data. Overall, the workshop raised some interesting points, and I do not envy the RECODE project team in trying to reach a generic set of open research data guidelines for funders. This is a project that we will follow with great interest.
You can find more about the RECODE project on their website http://recodeproject.eu/