Research for the Public Good | Public Scholarship and Engagement

“Eisen has always been in favor of sharing his research. When he was a graduate student, he shared findings about his work on genomics and evolution on his website before publishing them in any journal. But his commitment to and passion for open access to scientific research exploded in 2003 when the issue became personal.

While pregnant, Eisen’s wife underwent an amniocentesis — a relatively common procedure. Unfortunately, the procedure was not done correctly and the situation became very dangerous. One of the major complications this created was related to the issue of Rh incompatibility. Due to the mixing of fetal and maternal blood, his wife should have received a RhoGAM immunization. However, the doctors did not initially do this and when pressed a few days later they were unsure if a late immunization could work. So Eisen tried to examine the literature to figure out what to do. Eisen had the scientific training necessary to locate and understand research papers on the topic that could give him the answer. But he couldn’t access them.

“Here I was at 2 a.m. in a hospital room across the street from the genomic center where I worked, and I couldn’t get papers on RhoGAM immunizations,” Eisen said. “There were papers on the topic, I just couldn’t get access to them.” 

His wife survived, but the couple lost their baby. This was a galvanizing incident for Eisen, who said it was the moment he realized, “This is insane.”

“We paid for this research with public dollars,” Eisen continued. “The goal of this research is to benefit humanity and communicate science; here I am a trained person, trying to make a decision, and I couldn’t get the papers. I never looked back and became a relentless supporter of open access to scientific knowledge.” …”

Tell us about your experience with Open Access!

“We have put together a short survey to learn about people’s experiences with open access. This survey asks a range of questions, and you only need to answer the ones that are relevant to you! Everyone in the scholarly community is welcome to participate, including students, publishers, and scholars.

Some of the questions you will be asked in the survey are:

Do you believe the scholarly community could do research more effectively if all scientific communication were freely available under an open access license?
Have you ever published an article open access?
What is a reasonable APC for an open access research article?
Would you prefer if peer reviews were made open? For example, so anyone could read what the reviewer recommended and anyone could know who the reviewer was.
Have you ever needed access to a research article and were unable to read it due to pay walls? …”

Annual report: a recap of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) activities in 2020 | DORA

“Over the past year, it has become increasingly clear that research assessment reform is a systems challenge that requires collective action. Point interventions simply do not solve these types of complex challenges that involve multiple stakeholders. Because of this, we dedicated our efforts in 2020 on building a community of practice and finding new ways to support organizations seeking to improve the decision-making that impacts research careers.

Current events also influenced our approach this year and evolved our thinking about research assessment reform. The Covid-19 pandemic led to the abrupt global disruption of academic research, along with many other industries. For academics with limited access to research laboratories and other on-campus resources, work stalled. Without appropriate action, this disruption will have a profound effect on the advancement and promotion of the academic workforce, and it will likely disproportionately affect women and underrepresented and minoritized researchers. So in April DORA called on institutions to redefine their expectations and clearly communicate how evaluation procedures will be modified. In May, DORA organized a webinar with Rescuing Biomedical Research to better understand specific faculty concerns as a result of the pandemic….

In the Fall of 2020, DORA initiated a new community project with Schmidt to develop a means for institutions to gauge their ability to support academic assessment interventions and set them up for success. Our goal for the project was to support the development of new practices by helping institutions analyze the outcomes of their efforts. More than 70 individuals in 26 countries and 6 continents responded to our informal survey in August, and about 35 people joined us for 3 working sessions in September. From these activities, we heard it was important to look beyond individual interventions to improve assessment, because the success of these interventions depends on institutional conditions and capabilities. We were also reminded that institutional capabilities impact interventions, so it is important not only to gauge success but also to support interventions. These and other insights led us to create SPACE to Evolve Academic Assessment: a rubric for analyzing institutional conditions and progress indicators. The first draft of the rubric was developed in the last quarter of 2020. The final version was released in 2021 after an initial pilot phase with seven members of the academic community, including a college dean, policy advisor, research administrator, faculty member, and graduate student….

Another addition to the website was a repository of case studies documenting key elements of institutional change to improve academic career assessment, such as motivations, processes, timelines, new policies, and the types of people involved. The repository, Reimagining academic assessment: stories of innovation and change, was produced in partnership with the European University Association and SPARC Europe. At the time of launch, the repository included 10 structured case studies coming from 7 universities and 3 national consortia. Nine of the 10 cases are from Europe and one is from China. The case studies have shown us the importance of coalition-building to gain bottom-up support for change. We also learned that limited awareness and capacity for incentivizing and rewarding a broader range of academic activities were challenges that all the cases had to overcome. By sharing information about the creation of new policies and practices, we hope the case studies will serve as a source of inspiration for institutions seeking to review or improve academic career assessment….

Policy progress for research assessment reform continued to gain momentum in 2020. A new national policy on research assessment in China announced in February prohibits cash rewards for research papers and indicates that institutions can no longer exclusively hire or promote researchers based on their number of publications or citations. In June, Wellcome published guidance for research organizations on how to implement responsible and fair approaches for research assessment that are grounded i

ORION INSPIRING STORIES Ideas & examples

“This booklet is a compilation of nine Inspiring Stories which captures the “EUREKA moment” in the public engagement activities and embedding of Open Science and RRI performed during the ORION Open Science project. The stories showcase a variety of different engagement and Open Science aspects: citizen science, co-creation, public dialogues, public engagement, science communication and training.”

Open Science Stories podcast

Open science concepts explained as stories in 10 minutes or less, hosted by Heidi Seibold. We’d love to hear your story! If you think you might have a story to tell, write an e-mail to opensciencestories@gmail.com This podcast is licensed under CC-BY 4.0 RSS feed: https://anchor.fm/s/46287364/podcast/rss Contact: opensciencestories@gmail.com

We Seek Your Stories of OpenETC in Action – OpenETC

“What does having your own OpenETC WordPress site, Mattermost Community, or access to Web Apps mean for you? We want to collect these stories to demonstrate the impact an Open EdTech Co-op can have.

Charts and numbers are one way to show this, but personal stories can say a lot more.

As another way of contributing back to the OpenETC we are asking for short stories that can submitted in a number of formats via a new collection of Stories of OpenETC in Action.

Using a pre-built SPLOTbox media theme available to all OpenETC users, you can add a story in video (YouTube or vimeo), audio (uploaded audio or recorded directly to the site), or an image and text. We just want to see, hear, share in your own voice what using OpenETC platforms has enabled for you as a BC student, teacher, educator….”

Blog – Europe PMC: Five stories showing how Europe PMC is used by the life sciences community

“Europe PMC is a searchable database that allows access to life sciences publications worldwide including preprints and micropublications. Europe PMC offers cutting-edge tools to improve the discovery of articles around a topic of interest and provides links to the data behind the articles. In a commitment to open science, Europe PMC flags articles that are free to read and even better, free to re-use. Additionally, it offers powerful APIs and easy documentation for programmatic access to the knowledgebase in Europe PMC.

 

Europe PMC is used by both experienced and early career researchers, policy makers, biocurators and innovators seeking to enhance scholarly publishing and more. What could be better than letting Europe PMC users talk about their experiences? Watch the video below to see how Europe PMC helps different users in the life sciences community to do their everyday jobs….”

Five stories showing how Europe PMC is used by the life sciences community – YouTube

“Europe PMC (https://europepmc.org/?) is an open science platform that enables access to a worldwide collection of life science publications. Watch this video and see how Europe PMC helps the scientific community to complete their everyday tasks. Read more on the blog post: https://bit.ly/2QnZqNu?. …”

Canadian Health Geographers Share Virus Risk Maps with Public Before Publishers – SPARC

“As Valorie Crooks and her research team were developing maps to show COVID-19 risks in neighborhoods across British Columbia, she knew the information was too urgent to wait on an academic journal to disseminate.

Instead, the geography professor from Simon Fraser University in Canada took the data she and her research colleagues, which included patient partners, gathered to create an interactive website with the maps that they shared publicly.

“The need for information right now is so critical, that it just does not align with the timelines of scientific publishing,” Crooks says. “So, we went for a public leap of faith and shared our maps.”

The response has been substantial from both the media and the public. The open access strategy has prompted feedback from the public that’s helped researchers refine their work and provided useful information to policymakers as they respond to the crisis….”

Let us know how you’re using our library

“If you check out books from Internet Archive’s lending library, we’d love to hear from you. We are gathering testimonials so that we can describe the impact of our lending library. With your consent below, we will use your feedback in blog posts and other communications about the impact of the Internet Archive’s collection and controlled digital lending, the library practice that powers our lending library. Learn more about our Empowering Libraries campaign: http://blog.archive.org/empoweringlibraries/ ”

Open Access Week at Communications Biology | Nature Research Cancer Community

“With regards to the benefits of Open Access publishing, Dr Duffy states:

‘Open access publishing has made our research findings widely available. This is particularly important for our research as fibropapillomatosis tumors affect sea turtles worldwide across tropical and subtropical regions. Therefore, many of those interested in combatting the disease are not necessarily associated with well-funded academic institutions and as such have limited access to research that is kept behind a paywall. Many groups tackling fibropapillomatosis are grassroots conservation organizations and rehabilitation facilities, and every dollar goes towards their conservation and animal rehabilitation objectives. Most organizations of this kind simply do not have the resources to pay for access to the most up-to-date research findings. Additionally, as some of our research is funded by charitable organizations and government funders (i.e. tax dollars), putting the results behind a paywall rather than making them available to all might be considered somewhat unfair.  Open access enables the maximum return on those investments, as conservation and research groups can continue to equally benefit and build on this information. Such discrepancies between public funding and private access are partially recognized by the growing number of funders who require findings to either be published in open access journals, or at least have non-formatted versions of manuscripts available in public repositories. …”

Even More Impacts of the National Emergency Library and Controlled Digital Lending – Internet Archive Blogs

“This is the third part in a series of testimonials from patrons who used the National Emergency Library and continue to use controlled digital lending to borrow books from our library (you can read the previous posts here and here). If you’d like to share your story of how you used the NEL while it was open, or how you are still using our lending library today, please leave a testimonial….”