Funders Group Hires New Fellow to Craft Best Practices for Equity in Grantmaking Process – SPARC

“SPARC welcomes Eunice Mercado-Lara as the new Open & Equitable Civic Science Fellow for the Open Research Funders Group (ORFG). In this new role, she will work with traditionally marginalized researchers, philanthropies, and other stakeholders to develop and pilot a model funding program to make both the process of grantmaking and the resulting research outputs more transparent, equitable, and inclusive.

The two-year fellowship is supported by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Gordon & Betty Moore Foundation, and the Rita Allen Foundation. In addition to the ORFG, the Health Research Alliance will serve as a key enabler of this project. Mercado-Lara will be part of an incoming cohort of Civic Science Fellows across 21 host organizations.

Recognizing that the potential for closed practices, bias, and inequity exists across the entire grantmaking life cycle, the Open & Equitable Model Funding Program will pilot interventions across key steps of program development, review, selection, results dissemination, and evaluation and assessment. This work will be managed by Mercado-Lara in close collaboration with funders, subject matter experts, and traditionally marginalized scholars. …”

ORFG Civic Science Fellow

“The ORFG is seeking a fellow to help develop, launch, and oversee an Open & Equitable Model Funding Program to address inequities in the research community.  The ORFG has come to the belated realization that we need to be much more actively engaged in building a just, inclusive world.  Given our remit, we aspire to leverage open research practices to create a more transparent, welcoming, and collaborative research ecosystem. This has the potential to close knowledge gaps and level the playing field for researchers around the world. Paywalls and siloed systems serve as barriers between the “haves” and the “have-nots” in the research community. This wall often presents itself at the first point of exploration, limiting the potential audience to well-funded researchers with strong professional networks and robust institution-sponsored subscriptions, excluding many who might bring new and differing perspectives to the research process.  Open activities can be a necessary, though by no means sufficient, tool to lower these barriers.

In 2020, the ORFG launched an Equity & Open Science Working Group, which includes representatives from five ORFG members, as well as seven scholars, scientists, and activists working at the intersection of open research and marginalized communities.  The working group has determined that to rapidly and visibly champion a more equitable and open research environment, philanthropies should leverage the best asset they bring to the research conversation – their grantmaking capabilities. The ORFG, in collaboration with the Health Research Alliance, has created the rough framework of an Open & Equitable Model Funding Program, co-created from the ground up with traditionally underrepresented communities and based on principles of equity, social justice, and open research….”

Incentivization Blueprint — Open Research Funders Group

“A growing number of funders are eager to encourage grantees to share their research outputs – articles, code and materials, and data. To accelerate the adoption of open norms, deploying the right incentives is of paramount importance. Specifically, the incentive structure needs to both reduce its reliance on publication in high-impact journals as a primary metric, and properly value and reward a range of research outputs.

This Incentivization Blueprint seeks to provide funders with a stepwise approach to adjusting their incentivization schemes to more closely align with open access, open data, open science, and open research. Developed by the Open Research Funders Group, the Blueprint provides organizations with guidance for developing, implementing, and overseeing incentive structures that maximize the visibility and usability of the research they fund.

A number of prominent funders have committed to taking steps to implement the Incentivization Blueprint. Among them are the following: …”

Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) | DORA

“The ORFG released guidance for funders called, Incentivizing the sharing of research outputs through research assessment: a funder implementation blueprint. The group created the document to assist funders in encouraging researchers to maximize the impact of their work by openly sharing research outputs. The blueprint identifies three goals to be successful:

change the perception that publication in high-impact journals is the only metric that counts;
provide demonstrable evidence that, while journal articles are important, we value and reward all types of research outputs; and
ensure that indicators like the venue of publication or journal impact factor are not used as surrogate measures of quality in researcher assessment.

To do this, the blueprint provides three steps with concrete actions for funders: 1) policy development and declarations, 2) implementation, and 3) engagement.  Template language for funders is included in the document to promote easy uptake….”

Erin McKiernan Brings Expertise to New Role with SPARC’s Open Research Funders Group – SPARC

“SPARC is pleased to announce Dr. Erin McKiernan has joined SPARC as its new Community Manager for the Open Funders Research Group (ORFG). In her new role, Erin will work with existing and prospective ORFG members to enumerate and develop the tools and resources needed to launch, oversee, and expand open policies. 

The ORFG is a partnership of leading philanthropic organizations committed to the open sharing of research outputs. It engages a range of stakeholders to create policies that promote greater dissemination, transparency, replicability and reuse of research. As the ORFG’s inaugural Community Manager, Erin will engage with the group’s members and other philanthropies interested in exploring open policies to expand upon the ORFG’s innovative “community of practice” approach to advancing open principles….”

The Open Research Funders Group is Hiring a Community Manager — Open Research Funders Group

“The Community Manager will expand the ORFG’s capacity, helping to liaise with existing and prospective ORFG members to better understand the tools and resources necessary for developing, launching, and overseeing open policies. The Community Manager will increase the ORFG’s participation in events, respond to opportunities, and cultivate strategic relationships with research stakeholders. Additionally, the Community Manager will help further develop ORFG programming, including collecting and analyzing existing funder policies to determine best practices, cohort clustering, and opportunities for information-sharing. The role will also engage with targeted funders to understand hurdles to policy adoption and appropriate tools to address these issues….”

The Open Research Funders Group is Hiring a Community Manager — Open Research Funders Group

“The Community Manager will expand the ORFG’s capacity, helping to liaise with existing and prospective ORFG members to better understand the tools and resources necessary for developing, launching, and overseeing open policies. The Community Manager will increase the ORFG’s participation in events, respond to opportunities, and cultivate strategic relationships with research stakeholders. Additionally, the Community Manager will help further develop ORFG programming, including collecting and analyzing existing funder policies to determine best practices, cohort clustering, and opportunities for information-sharing. The role will also engage with targeted funders to understand hurdles to policy adoption and appropriate tools to address these issues….”

Resources — Open Research Funders Group

“PROFILES IN OPEN

How do researchers who have made their work openly available as a condition of their grant funding feel about their experiences?  What advice would they give to their peers, and to philanthropic organizations considering the adoption of open policies?  “Profiles in Open” present real world stories of open in action, as told by the researchers themselves….

ORFG Members Join White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to Align Research Incentives — Open Research Funders Group

“On February 28, 2020, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Science and Technology Council Rigor and Integrity in Research Subcommittee, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science held a joint meeting on aligning incentives in support of research integrity, reproducibility, and openness. The meeting including perspectives from a number of Open Research Funders Group members, including the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Arnold Ventures, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Wellcome Trust.

Points of consensus from the meeting, as reported by OSTP, include the following:

– Research has its widest impact and is most trustworthy when its methodology and analysis are well-designed and the interpretation and reporting of results are clearly and transparently articulated.

– As stakeholders in the research endeavor, Federal agencies, academic institutions, philanthropic organizations, and publishers should work to ensure that the performance and reporting of the research that we fund, support, and communicate is consistent with this view of impact.

– The consistency and impact of research would be maximized by aligning our credit and reward systems, such as hiring and tenure and promotion processes, with rigorous, transparent, and open research practices.

– Federal agencies, academic institutions, philanthropic organizations, and publishers could enhance research rigor, integrity, openness, and transparency by actively aligning these systems and striving to coordinate policies and procedures….”

Open Research Funders Group Reaffirms Support for Open Science | Open Research Funders Group

With news that the United States may be considering a shift in their national open access policy, the Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) reaffirms its support for the sharing of research outputs as widely and quickly as possible. The ORFG, a partnership of 16 philanthropies with assets in excess of $100 billion, believes that open access (along with open data and broader open science activities) benefits society by potentially accelerating the pace of discovery, reducing information-sharing gaps, encouraging innovation, and promoting reproducibility.  

From a practical standpoint, open access demonstrates a tangible return on taxpayer investment. Federal funds that support research have their highest impact when the results of this labor are shared, discussed, tested, and built upon with as few restrictions as possible.

Journals only half the story, says new open access alliance | Times Higher Education (THE)

Open access advocates are calling for a globally coordinated approach to “scholarly infrastructure”, saying knowledge is trapped behind paywalls and Europe’s Plan S initiative solves only part of the problem.

Lobby groups around the world have teamed up to run a stocktake of existing infrastructure and to direct spending on future needs, under the guise of a new alliance called Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI).

Co-founder Ginny Barbour said IOI was a “separate but necessary” initiative to Plan S, which is focused on making journal articles openly accessible. “Journals are largely owned by a relatively small number of for-profit publishers, and the same is happening for infrastructure,” said Dr Barbour, director of the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group….”

Open Research Funders Group Applauds Launch of Invest In Open Infrastructure — Open Research Funders Group

The Open Research Funders Group (ORFG) is pleased to support the launch of Invest In Open Infrastructure (IOI), an initiative that aims to coordinate the creation and ongoing development of open source tools that facilitate open scholarship, research, and education . IOI is an effort to enable durable, scalable, and long lasting open scientific and scholarly infrastructure to emerge, thrive, and deliver its benefits on a global scale. The ORFG is fully supportive of the IOI’s long-term mission to create a shared, open, and interoperable infrastructure for enabling 21st-century scholarly communications. We look forward to working with IOI to develop a framework to track relevant activities, facilitate coordination across projects, and identify areas for wise strategic investment. …”