Recommendations for Discipline-Specific FAIRness Evaluation Derived from Applying an Ensemble of Evaluation Tools

Abstract:  From a research data repositories’ perspective, offering research data management services in line with the FAIR principles is becoming increasingly important. However, there exists no globally established and trusted approach to evaluate FAIRness to date. Here, we apply five different available FAIRness evaluation approaches to selected data archived in the World Data Center for Climate (WDCC). Two approaches are purely automatic, two approaches are purely manual and one approach applies a hybrid method (manual and automatic combined).

The results of our evaluation show an overall mean FAIR score of WDCC-archived (meta)data of 0.67 of 1, with a range of 0.5 to 0.88. Manual approaches show higher scores than automated ones and the hybrid approach shows the highest score. Computed statistics indicate that the test approaches show an overall good agreement at the data collection level.

We find that while neither one of the five valuation approaches is fully fit-for-purpose to evaluate (discipline-specific) FAIRness, all have their individual strengths. Specifically, manual approaches capture contextual aspects of FAIRness relevant for reuse, whereas automated approaches focus on the strictly standardised aspects of machine actionability. Correspondingly, the hybrid method combines the advantages and eliminates the deficiencies of manual and automatic evaluation approaches.

Based on our results, we recommend future FAIRness evaluation tools to be based on a mature hybrid approach. Especially the design and adoption of the discipline-specific aspects of FAIRness will have to be conducted in concerted community efforts.

Revolutions in science: The proposal of an approach for the identification of most important researchers, institutions, and countries based on Reference Publication Year Spectroscopy (RPYS)

Abstract:  RPYS is a bibliometric method originally introduced in order to reveal the historical roots of research topics or fields. RPYS does not identify the most highly cited papers of the publication set being studied (as is usually done by bibliometric analyses in research evaluation), but instead it indicates most frequently referenced publications – each within a specific reference publication year. In this study, we propose to use the method to identify important researchers, institutions and countries in the context of breakthrough research. To demonstrate our approach, we focus on research on physical modeling of Earth’s climate and the prediction of global warming as an example. Klaus Hasselmann and Syukuro Manabe were both honored with the Nobel Prize in 2021 for their fundamental contributions to this research. Our results reveal that RPYS is able to identify most important researchers, institutions, and countries. For example, all the relevant authors’ institutions are located in the USA. These institutions are either research centers of two US National Research Administrations (NASA and NOAA) or universities: the University of Arizona, Princeton University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Stony Brook.

 

Call for abstracts for ILTER’s 2022 Open Science Meeting | UK Environmental Change Network

“The International Long-Term Ecological Research Network, ILTER, is planning its third Open Science Meeting, that will take place later this year. The event will take place from September 12-16 in Kunming, China, and will be hosted by the Chinese Environmental Research Network, CERN. The meeting will be offered in a hybrid mode (both in-person and remote participation possible).

There is a call for abstracts for oral or poster presentations, or for a workshop. For details of the event and the call for abstracts, please visit the ILTER website….”

Recommendations for Discipline-Specific FAIRness Evaluation Derived from Applying an Ensemble of Evaluation Tools

Abstract:  From a research data repositories’ perspective, offering research data management services in line with the FAIR principles is becoming increasingly important. However, there exists no globally established and trusted approach to evaluate FAIRness to date. Here, we apply five different available FAIRness evaluation approaches to selected data archived in the World Data Center for Climate (WDCC). Two approaches are purely automatic, two approaches are purely manual and one approach applies a hybrid method (manual and automatic combined).

The results of our evaluation show an overall mean FAIR score of WDCC-archived (meta)data of 0.67 of 1, with a range of 0.5 to 0.88. Manual approaches show higher scores than automated ones and the hybrid approach shows the highest score. Computed statistics indicate that the test approaches show an overall good agreement at the data collection level.

We find that while neither one of the five valuation approaches is fully fit-for-purpose to evaluate (discipline-specific) FAIRness, all have their individual strengths. Specifically, manual approaches capture contextual aspects of FAIRness relevant for reuse, whereas automated approaches focus on the strictly standardised aspects of machine actionability. Correspondingly, the hybrid method combines the advantages and eliminates the deficiencies of manual and automatic evaluation approaches. Based on our results, we recommend future FAIRness evaluation tools to be based on a mature hybrid approach. Especially the design and adoption of the discipline-specific aspects of FAIRness will have to be conducted in concerted community efforts.

[2203.05358] How relevant is climate change research for climate change policy? An empirical analysis based on Overton data

Abstract:  

Climate change is an ongoing topic in nearly all areas of society since many years. A discussion of climate change without referring to scientific results is not imaginable. This is especially the case for policies since action on the macro scale is required to avoid costly consequences for society. In this study, we deal with the question of how research on climate change and policy are connected. In 2019, the new Overton database of policy documents was released including links to research papers that are cited by policy documents. The use of results and recommendations from research on climate change might be reflected in citations of scientific papers in policy documents. Although we suspect a lot of uncertainty related to the coverage of policy documents in Overton, there seems to be an impact of international climate policy cycles on policy document publication. We observe local peaks in climate policy documents around major decisions in international climate diplomacy. Our results point out that IGOs and think tanks — with a focus on climate change — have published more climate change policy documents than expected. We found that climate change papers that are cited in climate change policy documents received significantly more citations on average than climate change papers that are not cited in these documents. Both areas of society (science and policy) focus on similar climate change research fields: biology, earth sciences, engineering, and disease sciences. Based on these and other empirical results in this study, we propose a simple model of policy impact considering a chain of different document types: the chain starts with scientific assessment reports (systematic reviews) that lead via science communication documents (policy briefs, policy reports or plain language summaries) and government reports to legislative documents.

 

 

Tracking and Mitigating Climate Change – COKI

“On Monday 28 February, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the Working Group 2 contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report. Coming in at 3,675 pages it shows the serious challenges ahead for preventing and mitigating the effects of the Climate Crisis.

So what can we tell about the underlying science behind the report? We extracted 17,420 unique DOIs (of which 16,325 could be matched to Crossref) that were cited in the report and linked them to the dataset we’ve built at the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative to analyse. The resulting dashboard provides a snapshot of research and analysis that is relevant to the issues tackled in the WG2 analysis, which looks at “Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability”. …”

LAUNCH: Laudato Si’ Integral Ecology Collection | laudato-si

“In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis emphasised the importance of a united, global response to the current ecological crisis. Dialogue and learning on integral ecology, however, is often hindered by limited access to the academic publications on the subject, which are not affordable for many individuals and institutions in lower-income countries.

 

The Laudato Si’ Integral Ecology Collection was developed to address this problem by making open access a selection of key texts on integral ecology. The collection will provide a valuable resource for lay readers, students, and those undertaking more advanced academic study. Publications in the collection could also be read as part of a reading group or an online course.

At the launch, we will hear from academics and practitioners in the Global South on their current access to academic material on integral ecology and how this collection will support their work. We will also hear about the origins of collection and plans for its future development. There will be an opportunity for Q&A with panellists.”

Knowledge Unlatched and Laudato Si’ Research Institute Make a Collection of at least 11 Books on Integral Ecology Open Access – Knowledge Unlatched

“Knowledge Unlatched (KU) and the Laudato Si’ Research Institute at Campion Hall, Oxford (LSRI) have joined forces to make 11 titles from the field of Integral Ecology Open Access (OA). This collection of e-books, the Laudato Si’ Integral Ecology Collection, is made possible thanks to the “KU Reverse” model from Knowledge Unlatched and to the generous co-funding from the University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University (Environmental Justice Program), with support from the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology.

In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of a united, global response to the current ecological crisis. Dialogue and learning on integral ecology, however, is often hindered by limited access to the academic publications on the subject, which are not affordable for many individuals and institutions in lower-income countries. The Laudato Si’ Integral Ecology Collection was developed to address this problem by making OA a selection of key texts on integral ecology. The collection will provide a valuable resource for lay readers, students, and those undertaking more advanced academic study. Publications in the collection could also be read as part of a reading group or an online course.

The titles will be made available OA to users all over the world after the official launch of the Collection on March 3, 2022 and hosted in a special module on the Open Research Library….”

PLOS Sustainability and Transformation publishes first papers

The Public Library of Science (PLOS) today announced that PLOS Sustainability and Transformation published its initial cohort of papers. The journal’s mission is to empower key decision makers to take immediate action for the sustainability of our environment, our economy, and the societies around the world who depend on it. The journal has so far received more than 70 submissions from researchers around the world.

Revealed: leading climate research publisher helps fuel oil and gas drilling | Climate science | The Guardian

“Scientists working with one of the world’s largest climate research publishers say they’re increasingly alarmed that the company consults with the fossil fuel industry to help increase oil and gas drilling, the Guardian can reveal.

Elsevier, a Dutch company behind many renowned peer-reviewed scientific journals, including The Lancet and Global Environmental Change, is also one of the top publishers of books aimed at expanding fossil fuel production….”

Data Policies and Principles

“Recognizing the crucial role of open and effective data and information exchange to the Belmont Challenge, the Belmont Forum adopted open Data Policy and Principles based on the recommendations from the Community Strategy and Implementation Plan (CSIP) at its 2015 annual meeting of Principals in Oslo, Norway. The policy signals a commitment by funders of global environmental change research to increase access to scientific data, a step widely recognized as essential to making informed decisions in the face of rapid changes affecting the Earth’s environment….

Data should be:

 

Discoverable through catalogues and search engines
Accessible as open data by default, and made available with minimum time delay
Understandable in a way that allows researchers—including those outside the discipline of origin—to use them
Manageable and protected from loss for future use in sustainable, trustworthy repositories…

Research data must be:

Discoverable through catalogues and search engines, with data access and use conditions, including licenses, clearly indicated. Data should have appropriate persistent, unique and resolvable identifiers.
Accessible by default, and made available with minimum time delay, except where international and national policies or legislation preclude the sharing of data as Open Data. Data sources should always be cited.
Understandable and interoperable in a way that allows researchers, including those outside the discipline of origin, to use them. Preference should be given to non-proprietary international and community standards via data e-infrastructures that facilitate access, use and interpretation of data. Data must also be reusable and thus require proper contextual information and metadata, including provenance, quality and uncertainty indicators. Provision should be made for multiple languages.
Manageable and protected from loss for future use in sustainable, trustworthy repositories with data management policies and plans for all data at the project and institutional levels. Metrics should be exploited to facilitate the ability to measure return on investment, and can be used to implement incentive schemes for researchers, as well as provide measures of data quality.
Supported by a highly skilled workforce and a broad-based training and education curriculum as an integral part of research programs. …”

Frictionless Planet – Save the Date – Open Knowledge Foundation blog

“We believe that an ecosystem of organisations combining tools, techniques and strategies to transform datasets relevant to the climate crisis into applied knowledge and actionable campaigns can get us closer to the Paris agreement goals. Today, scientists, academics and activists are working against the clock to save us from the greatest catastrophe of our times. But they are doing so under-resourced, siloed and disconnected. Sometimes even facing physical threats or achieving very local, isolated impact. We want to reverse that by activating a cross-sectoral sharing process of tools, techniques and technologies to open the data and unleash the power of knowledge to fight against climate change. We already started with the Frictionless Data process – collaborating with researcher groups to better manage ocean research data and openly publish cleaned, integrated energy data – and we want to expand an action-oriented alliance leading to cross regional, cross sectoral, sustainable collaboration. We need to use the best tools and the best minds of our times to fight the problems of our times. …”

Open access for human—and planetary—health | The BMJ

“At the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, many scientific publishers chose to make their articles on covid-19 open access, likely strengthening the world’s response to the pandemic. Caitlin Edgell argues that we should open up research on the climate crisis with the same sense of urgency….

Research that is published open access has a greater impact than research that is locked behind a paywall. It is read more and cited more, and it can be built upon, reproduced, validated, or refuted by other researchers much more easily. It can also be used by members of the public, educators, clinicians, journalists, and policy makers to spread awareness of pressing issues.

What’s more, open access publishing benefits researchers in low and middle income countries who may not be covered by institutional subscriptions or be able to afford to buy the articles they need to support their research. By making articles about the climate crisis freely available, these researchers would be able to access research from across the world. This could be vitally important in the fight against the climate crisis given that global heating disproportionately affects people in low income communities….”

Opportunity: Campaign Manager – Creative Commons

“Climate change, and the resulting harm to our global biodiversity, has been one of the world’s most pressing challenges for decades. Creative Commons (CC) and its partners SPARC and EIFL are launching a global campaign to develop and deliver on equitable, effective messaging, strategies and tactics to empower stakeholders currently leading critical climate and biodiversity work to embed open practices and policies in their operations, and make open sharing of climate and biodiversity research the default.

CC is looking for an enthusiastic, well-organized and hardworking Campaign Manager to assist Creative Commons, our partners, and the campaign steering committee in devising, planning and creating materials for a 4-year global campaign to open climate change and biodiversity research; and then organizing, coordinating, and delivering on that detailed campaign plan….”