Barcamp Open Science 2022: Connecting and Strengthening the Communities!

by Yvana Glasenapp, Esther Plomp, Mindy Thuna, Antonia Schrader, Victor Venema, Mika Pflüger, Guido Scherp and Claudia Sittner

As a pre-event of the Open Science Conference , the Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science and Wikimedia Germany once again invited participants to the annual Barcamp Open Science (#oscibar) on 7 March. The Barcamp was once again held completely online. By now well-versed in online events, a good 100 participants turned up. They came to openly discuss a diverse range of topics from the Open Science universe with like-minded people.

As at the Barcamp Open Science 2021, the spontaneous compilation of the programme showed that the majority of the sessions had already been planned and prepared in advance. After all, the spectrum of topics ranged from very broad topics such as “How to start an Open Science community?” to absolutely niche discussions, such as the one about the German Data Use Act (Datennutzungsgesetz). But no matter how specific the topic, there were always enough interested people in the session rooms for a fruitful discussion.

Ignition Talk by Rima-Maria Rahal

In this year’s “Ignition Talk”, Rima-Maria Rahal skilfully summed up the precarious working conditions in the science system. These include, on the one hand, temporary positions and the competitive pressure in the science system (in Germany, this is currently characterised by the #IchBinHanna debate, German), and on the other hand, the misguided incentive system with its focus on the impact factor. Not surprisingly, her five thoughts on more sustainable employment in science also met with great approval on Twitter.

Rima-Maria Rahal: Fünf Thoughts for More Sustainable Employment

Those interested in her talk “On the Importance of Permanent Employment Contracts for Research Quality and Robustness” can watch it on YouTube (recording of the same talk at the Open Science Conference).

In the following, some of the session initiators have summarised the highlights and most interesting insights from their discussions:

How to start an Open Science community?
by Yvana Glasenapp, Leibniz University Hannover

Open Science activities take place at many institutions at the level of individuals or working groups, without there being any exchange between them.

In this session we discussed the question of what means can be used to build a community of those interested in Open Science: What basic requirements are needed? What best practice examples are there? Ideas can be found, for example, in this “Open Science Community Starter Kit”.

Die The Four Sages of Developing an Open Science Community from the „Open Science Community Starter Kit “ (CC BY NC SA 4.0)

There is a perception among many that there is a gap between the existing information offered by central institutions such as libraries and research services and the actual implementer community. These central bodies can take on a coordinating role to promote existing activities and network participating groups. It is important to respect the specialisation within the Open Science community. Grassroots initiatives often form in their field due to specific needs in the professional community.

Key persons such as data stewards, who are in direct contact with researchers, can establish contacts for stronger networking among Open Science actors. The communication of Open Science principles should not be too abstract. Incentives and the demonstration of concrete advantages can increase the motivation to use Open Science practices.

Conclusion: If a central institution from the research ecosystem wants to establish an Open Science community, it would do well to focus, for example, on promoting existing grassroots initiatives and to offer concrete, directly applicable Open Science tools.

Moving Open Science at the
institutional/departmental level
by Esther Plomp, Delft University of Technology

In this session all 22 participants introduced themselves and presented a successful (or not so successful!) case study from their institution.

Opportunities for Open Science

A wide variety of examples of improving awareness or rewarding Open Research practices were shared: Several universities have policies in place on Research Data or Open Access. These can be used to refer researchers to and are especially helpful when combined with personal success stories. Some universities offer (small) grants to support Open Science practices (Nanyang Technological University Singapore, University of Mannheim, German). Several universities offer trainings to improve Open Science practices, or support staff who can help.

Offering recommendations or tools that facilitate researchers to open up their workflows are welcome. Bottom-up communities or grassroots initiatives are important drivers for change.

Conferences, such as the Scholarship Values Summit, or blogs could be a way to increase awareness about Open Science (ZBW Blog on Open Science). You can also share your institute’s progress on Open Science practices via a dashboard, an example is the Charité Dashboard on Responsible Research.

Challenges for Open Science

On the other hand, some challenges were also mentioned: For example, Open Science is not prioritised as the current research evaluation system is still very focused on traditional research impact metrics. It can also be difficult to enthuse researchers to attend events. It works better to meet them where they are.

Not everyone is aware of all the different aspects of Open Science (sometimes it is equated with Open Access) and it can also be quite overwhelming. It may be helpful to use different terms such as research integrity or sustainable science to engage people more successfully with Open Science practices. More training is also needed.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution! If new tools are offered to researchers, they should ideally be robust and simplify existing workflows without causing additional problems.

Conclusion: Our main conclusions from the session were that we have a lot of experts and successful case studies to learn from. It is also important to have enthusiastic people who can push for progress in the departments and institutes!

How can libraries support researchers for Open Science?
by Mindy Thuna, University of Toronto Libraries

There were ten participants in this session from institutions in South Africa, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg and Canada.

Four key points that arose:

1. One of the first things that came up in dialogue was that Open Science is a very large umbrella that contains a LOT of pieces/separate things within it. Because there are so many moving parts in this giant ecosystem, it is hard to get started in offering supports, and some areas get a lot less attention than others. Open Access and Open Data seem to consistently be flagged first as the areas that generate a lot of attention/support while Open Software and even Citizen Science received a lot less attention from libraries.

2. Come to us versus go to them: Another point of conversation was whether or not the researchers are coming to us (as a library) to get support for their own Open Science endeavours. It was consistently noted that they are not generally thinking about the library when they are thinking, e.g., about research data or Open Access publishing. The library is not on their radar as a natural place to find this type of support/help until they have experienced it for themselves and realise the library might offer supports in these areas.

From this starting point, the conversation morphed to focus on the educational aspect of what libraries offer – i.e. making information available. But it was flagged that we often have a bubble where the information is located that is not often browsed. So the community is a key player in getting the conversation started, particularly as part of everyday research life. This way, the library can be better integrated into the regular flow of research activities when information/help is needed.

3. The value of face-to-face engagement: People discussed the need to identify and work with the “cheerleaders” to get an active word-of-mouth network going to educate more university staff and students about Open Science (rather than relying on Libguides and webpages to do so more passively). Libraries could be more proactive and work more closely with the scientific community to co-create Open Science related products. Provision of information is something we do well, but we often spend less time on personal interactions and more on providing things digitally. Some of the attendees felt this might be detrimental to really understanding the needs of our faculty. More time and energy should be spend on understanding the specific needs of scientists and shaping the scientific communication system rather than reacting to whatever comes our way.

4. The role of libraries as a connecting element: The library is uniquely placed to see across subject disciplines and serve in the role of connector. In this way, it can help facilitate collaborations/build partnerships across other units of the organisation and assist in enabling the exchange of knowledge between people. It was suggested that libraries should be more outgoing in what they (can) do and get more involved in the dialogue with researchers. One point that was debated is the need for the library to acknowledge that it is not and cannot really be a neutral space – certainly not if Open Science is to be encouraged rather than just supported.

Persistent identifiers and how they can foster Open Science
by Antonia Schrader, Helmholtz Open Science Office

Whether journal article, book chapter, data set or sample – these results of science and research must be made openly accessible in an increasingly digital scientific landscape, and at the same time made unambiguously and permanently findable. This should support the exchange of information within science from “closed” to “open” science and promote the transfer of findings to society.

Persistent identifiers (PIDs) play a central role here. They ensure that scientific resources can be cited and referenced. Once assigned, the PID always remains the same, even if the name or URL of an information object changes.

The participants in the spontaneous barcamp session all agreed on this central importance of PIDs for the digital science landscape. All of them were familiar with the principle of PIDs and have contact points in their daily work, especially with DOIs and ORCID iDs (Open Researcher and Contributor iD). In addition to the enormous potential of PIDs, however, the participants also saw challenges in their use and establishment. It became clear that there are still technical as well as ethical and data protection issues to consider.

There was consensus that these questions must be accompanied by a broad education on PIDs, their purpose and how they work; among the scientific staff of research institutions as well as among researchers. Websites tailored to the topic from ORCID DE (German) or Forschungsdaten.org (German) offer a good introduction.

Translating scholarly works opens science
by Victor Venema, Translate Science

Translating scholarly works opens science for more contributors (who do important work, but are not proficient in writing English), avoids double work and it opens the fruits of science to larger communities. Translated scientific articles open science to science enthusiasts, activists, advisors, trainers, consultants, architects, doctors, journalists, planners, administrators, technicians and scientists. Such a lower barrier to participating in science is especially important on topics such as climate change, environment, agriculture and health.

In this session we discussed why translations are important, tools that could help making and finding translations and foreign language works. An interesting thought was that currently blogs are important for finding foreign scientific articles, which illustrates how much harder it is to find such works and suggests allies to work with. The difficulty of finding foreign works emphasises the importance of at least translating titles and abstracts. Search engines that include automatically translated keywords can also help discovery.

The slides of the session “Translating scholarly articles opens science” can be found here.

Open Data before publication
by Mika Pflüger, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

In this session we discussed approaches and tools to collaborate on scientific data openly. The starting point of the discussion was the assessment that publishing scientific data openly is already quite well supported and works smoothly thanks to platforms like Zenodo. In contrast, open pre-publication collaboration is difficult because the available platforms impose restrictions, either on the size of the datasets or on the research area supported. Self-hosting a data collaboration platform like gin – Modern Research Data Management for Neuroscience is one solution, but usually not feasible for individual researchers or working groups.

We also talked briefly about experiences with open pre-publication collaboration. Experiences are limited so far, but fruitful collaboration can establish when the datasets in question are useful to a broader group of scientists and contribution is easy and quick. Furthermore, adapting data workflows so that intermediate results and workflows are openly accessible also has benefits for reproducibility and data organisation in general.

Conclusion of the Barcamp Open Science 2022

The Barcamp once again proved to be a suitable opportunity to meet both Open Science veterans and newcomers and to engage in low-threshold conversation. Particularly popular this time were the extensive rounds of introductions in the individual sessions, which not only minimised the inhibition threshold for speaking, but also helped all those present to classify their video conference counterpart in a professional manner and, if desired, to make a note of the contact for later. Topics were dealt with in breadth by many or in depth by a few. Sometimes two people are enough for the latter. In the end, it became clear that the most important thing is to network representatives from the different communities and to promote their exchange.

Thank you and see you next year!

Behind the scenes this year, the organising team had taken up feedback from the community that had arisen in the context of a survey on the future of the Barcamp Open Science. For example, there was an onboarding session especially for newcomers to the Barcamp to explain the format and procedure again and to “break the ice” beforehand. Even though we would like to hold the Barcamp in presence again, and this is also desired, there is also a clear vote for an online format. This is more inclusive and important for international participation. Ultimately, our goal is to further develop and consolidate the format together with the community. And we are open to new partners.

This text has been translated from German.

Web links to the Barcamp Open Science

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About the authors (alphabetical)

Dr Yvana Glasenapp is a research officer specialising in research data management and Open Science at Leibniz University Hannover (LUH). Her professional background is in biology. She can be found on XING, LinkedIn and ORCID.
Portrait: Yvana Glasenapp©

Dr Mika Pflüger works in the research software engineering group at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. He currently works on a better integration of simple climate models into the PIAM suite of integrated assessment models. Mika Pflüger can be found on Twitter.
Portrait: PIK/Klemens Karkow©

Dr Esther Plomp is a Data Steward at the Faculty of Applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands. She works towards contributing to a more equitable way of knowledge generation and facilitating others in working more transparently through her involvements in various open research communities including The Turing Way, Open Research Calendar, IsoArcH and Open Life Science. Esther Plomp can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and GitHub.
Portrait: Esther Plomp©

Dr Guido Scherp is Head of the “Open-Science-Transfer” department at the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and Coordinator of the Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science. He can also be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Portrait: ZBW©, photographer: Sven Wied

Antonia Schrader has been working in the Helmholtz Open Science Office since 2020. There she supports the Helmholtz Association in shaping the cultural change towards Open Science. She promotes the dialogue on Open Science within and outside Helmholtz and regularly organises forums and online seminars (German) together with her colleagues. Antonia Schrader is active in ORCID DE, a project funded by the German Research Foundation to promote and disseminate ORCID iD (German), a persistent identifier (PID) for the permanent and unique identification of individuals. Antonia Schrader can be found on Twitter, LinkedIn and XING.
Portrait: Antonia Schrader, CC BY-ND

Claudia Sittner studied journalism and languages in Hamburg and London. She was a long time lecturer at the ZBW publication Wirtschaftsdienst – a journal for economic policy, and is now the managing editor of the blog ZBW MediaTalk. She is also a freelance travel blogger (German), speaker and author. She can also be found on LinkedIn, Twitter and Xing.
Portrait: Claudia Sittner©

Mindy Thuna has been a librarian since 2005. Before, she has worked as an educator in a variety of eclectic locations, including The National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi. Wearing her librarian hat, Mindy has had numerous fabulous librarian titles including the AstraZeneca Science liaison librarian, the Research Enterprise Librarian, Head of the Engineering & Computer Science Library and her current role as the Associate Chief Librarian for Science Research & Information at the University of Toronto Libraries in Canada. Her research is also rather eclectic but focuses on people’s interactions with and perception of concepts relating to information, with her current focus being on faculty and Open Science practices. Mindy Thuna can also be found on ORCID and Twitter.
Portrait: Mindy Thuna©

Victor Venema works on historical climate data with colleagues all around the world where descriptions of the measurement methods are normally in local languages. He organised the barcamp session as member of Translate Science, an initiative that was recently founded to promote the translation of scientific articles. Translate Science has a Wiki, a blog, an email distribution list and can be found on the Fediverse.

The post Barcamp Open Science 2022: Connecting and Strengthening the Communities! first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

Open Science Conference 2022: New Challenges at the Global Level

by Guido Scherp, Doreen Siegfried and Claudia Sittner

The Open Science Conference 2022 was more international than ever before. Almost 300 participants from 49 countries followed the 10 presentations and the panel discussion on the latest developments in the increasingly global Open Science ecosystem. While the talks often focused on the macro-level of the science system, additional 13 poster presentations took visitors to many best practice examples in different corners of Europe. Those who could not be there live could follow #OSC2022 on Twitter or watch the video recordings of the talks and presentations afterwards.

Tweet Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science: Thank you for being a part of this insightful three-day-event!

This year there was a cooperation with the German Commission for UNESCO (DUK). In the context of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science, which have been adopted at the end of 2021, the DUK organised a panel discussion and a workshop. The global perspective on Open Science associated with the recommendation has certainly contributed to greater internationalisation, especially outside Europe.

Professor Klaus Tochtermann, chair of the conference, emphasised in his opening address that much has happened in the Open Science movement since the last OSC in 2021. For example, the EU now requires a clear commitment to support open practices in research proposals in the Horizon Europe framework programme. The EU had already put the topic of Open Science on the research agenda in 2015. At that time, the focus was on Open Innovation, Open Science and Open to the World. In addition, the EU Commission recently launched an initiative to reform the existing system of research evaluation.

Tweet OpenAire: #StandWithUkraine

In view of the Ukraine war, Tochtermann also emphasised the importance of value-driven science diplomacy and freedom of science, in which global cooperation plays a central role.

Current challenges of the Open Science transformation

Once again, many “classics” were represented at this year’s conference. These included contributions on the latest developments in the fields of research data, societal participation and science communication. However, some conference contributions this year addressed points of contact between Open Science and other areas and showed how strongly Open Science is ultimately interwoven with a fundamental transformation of the science system. Openness alone does not solve all the problems in the global and interlinked academic sector, but it does show which barriers in the science system are currently hindering the implementation of Open Science. It is also important to keep an eye on the unintended negative effects of this transformation.

Tweet Ulrike Küstes: Kudos and standing ovations to @rimamrahal and your very precise addresses of the demands for change in #research in terms of precarious work environments, tenure clock and ideas for a better science legislation at #osc2022

In her presentation “On the Importance of Permanent Employment Contracts for Research Quality and Robustness”, Rima-Maria Rahal discussed how much research quality suffers under current working conditions. These include, on the one hand, temporary positions and the competitive pressure in the science system. In Germany, this is currently characterized by the #IchBinHanna debate (German) on Twitter. On the other hand, the misguided incentive system with its focus on the impact factor complicates the situation for many researchers. Ultimately, these framework conditions also hinder the implementation of Open Science on a broad scale. Improving research practice offers the opportunity to initiate structural changes in favour of research quality and to link them to open principles such as reproducibility, transparency and collaboration.

In his presentation on “Data Tracking in Research: Academic Freedom at Risk?”, Joschka Selinger addressed the general development that scientific publishers are increasingly offering services for the entire research cycle. Against the backdrop of the Open Access development, they are transforming their business model from a pure content provider to a data analytics business (see DFG position paper).

Joschka Selinger, graphic: Karin Schliehe at Open Science Conference

This privatisation of science combined with the (non-transparent) collection and exploitation of “research behaviour” is problematic for academic freedom and the right to informational self-determination, as Felix Reda also recently pointed out in a contribution to MediaTalk. Therefore, awareness of this problem must be raised at scientific institutions in order to initiate appropriate measures to protect sensitive data.

Tweet Peter Kraker: Great Presentation by @tonyR_H on ensureing equity in open science at #os2022 – a crucial topic that deserves much more attention

In his presentation “Mitigating risks of cumulative advantage in the transition to Open Science: The ON-MERRIT project”, Tony Ross-Hellauer addressed the question of whether Open Science reinforces existing privileges in the science system or creates new ones. Ultimately, this involves factors such as APC fees that make participation in Open Science more difficult and turn it into a privilege or “cumulative advantage” for financially strong countries. These factors were examined in the Horizon 2020 project ON-MERRIT and corresponding recommendations were published in a final report. In addition to APCs, this also addresses the resource intensity of open research as well as reward and recognition practices.

The global perspective of Open Science

It became clear that a central element of the further development of Open Science is in any case the “UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science”. This recommendation has particularly shaped the global perspective on Open Science and expanded it to include aspects such as inclusivity, diversity, consideration of different science systems/cultures and equity. This became particularly clear in the panel of the German UNESCO Commission on “Promoting Open Science globally: the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science“.

Tweet Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science: Vera Lecoeuilhe reports on the negotiations an its challenges around the UNESCO recommendation on #OpenScience

In keynote speeches, Vera Lacoeuilhe, Peggy Oti-Boateng and Ghaith Fariz gave insights into the background of the recommendation and the process behind it. Negotiating such a recommendation is extremely difficult. This is despite the fact that it does not even result in legislation, but at most requires monitoring/reporting. In the end, however, there was a great consensus. The Corona pandemic has also shown how important open approaches and transnational collaborations are to overcome such challenges – even though it was a great challenge to create an atmosphere of trust in online meetings. Finally, the process leading up to a recommendation was itself inclusive, transparent and consultative in the spirit of Open Science: The text was also available for public comment in the meantime.

Tweet Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science: All panelists agree: Science is a global endeavor and thus shared responsibility is inevitable to make #OpenScinence a sucess

In the discussion that followed, it became very clear what great expectations and demands there are with regard to the topics of inclusion and equity. The panellists agreed that there must be a change: away from “science for a chosen few” to “science for all”. Access to science and the benefits of scientific progress must be guaranteed for all.

Panel discussion, graphic: Karin Schliehe at Open Science Conference

The issue of equity was strongly addressed using the example of the African continent (for example in the context of APCs). However, the discussion also focused on the outreach of the recommendation, the global dynamics it triggered, and a collective vision for Open Science. And finally, science was seen as central to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Open Science plays a crucial role in this.

Tweet OpenAire: Agree with Internet access as minimum right

The implementation of the recommendation will now continue in working groups, the panellists reported. The topics include funding, infrastructure, capacity building and the above-mentioned monitoring. There are already some activities for the implementation of Open Science in African countries: Eleven of these best practice examples were presented at the end of the conference at the UNESCO workshop “Fostering Open Science in Africa – Practices, Opportunities, Solutions” (PDF). Anyone who would like to contact the DUK in the context of implementing the recommendation or in relation to Open Science activities is welcome to reach out to Fatma Rebeggiani (email: Rebeggiani@unesco.de).

Latest Open Science developments and best practices

Although the global view played a major role at this year’s Open Science Conference, there were again many insights into local projects, several Open Science communities and best practice examples. Especially in the poster session with its 13 contributions, it was easy to get into touch with local project leaders about their challenges in implementing Open Science.

Refreshing as always was the presentation of new projects and approaches, for example the grassroots initiative by students for students, which we reported on here on MediaTalk. Representing the student-volunteer-led initiative, Iris Smal, Hilbrand Wouters and Christeen Saparamadu explained why it is so important to introduce students to the principles of Open Science as early as possible.

Another best practice example showed how an initiative of the Helmholtz Association is proceeding to “liberate data”. Through services, consultations or with the help of tools, researchers are supported there in the management or provision of research data. Efficient handling of metadata or knowing where to find data from different disciplines are also relevant here, Christine Lemster, Constanze Curdt and Sören Lorenz explained in their poster.

The insights into the first six months of Open Science at UNC-Wilmington (North Carolina, USA) by Open Science pioneers Lynnee Marie Argabright and Allison Michelle Kittinger were also exciting. Two completely new roles were created for the two of them: that of data librarians. The goal is to build a sustainable Open Science campus across disciplines. An important concern of the two Open Science newcomers is also to raise awareness of the research data life cycle.

Insights into how the Open Science movement is progressing in different countries have also become an integral part of the repertoire of the Open Science Conference. This time, projects from these countries were presented at the poster session:

This showed how much consideration must be given to the national or local framework conditions and country-specific sensitivities in such projects in order for them to work in the end.

Conclusion Open Science Conference 2022

This year’s Open Science Conference once again showed how the understanding of the term Open Science expands when viewed from a global perspective, and how a completely different standard emerges. Whereas principles such as transparency, openness and reusability have been the main focus up to now, UNESCO is directing the global view more towards inclusion, diversity and equity. It is becoming clear that there is not one definition and approach to Open Science, but rather many, depending on the perspective. However, the discussion about the UNESCO recommendation on Open Science has shown how important it is to agree on a few basic prerequisites in order to also meet the needs of countries from the so-called “global south”.

In any case, the global discussion is in many ways different from, for example, the European one. Nevertheless, Open Science cannot be viewed in isolation from the national or continental science system. This is certainly not a new insight, but one that was impressively demonstrated at the #OSC2022 UNESCO workshop by the many Open Science projects in African countries.

Tweet Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science: Three incredible days

Nevertheless, it is also essential to look at the world as a whole. After all, common challenges need to be overcome. The climate crisis, the fight against the global Corona pandemic or the supply of food and energy are just a few examples of why the opportunity for global cooperation should not be missed. And the gap between knowledge and science between the so-called Western countries and the global South is already too big. But if the Open Science ecosystem is to function globally, it is crucial to involve researchers from all over the world. Only in this way can the crises of our time be solved effectively and inclusively.

Web links for the Open Science Conference 2022

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About the Authors:

Dr Guido Scherp is Head of the “Open-Science-Transfer” department at the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and Coordinator of the Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science. He can also be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Portrait: ZBW©, photographer: Sven Wied

Dr Doreen Siegfried is Head of Marketing and Public Relations. She can also be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Portrait: ZBW©

Claudia Sittner studied journalism and languages in Hamburg and London. She was a long time lecturer at the ZBW publication Wirtschaftsdienst – a journal for economic policy, and is now the managing editor of the blog ZBW MediaTalk. She is also a freelance travel blogger (German), speaker and author. She can also be found on LinkedIn, Twitter and Xing.
Portrait: Claudia Sittner©

The post Open Science Conference 2022: New Challenges at the Global Level first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

GenR and Co-Producing Guides for Open Science Communities

Image: GenR’s [guide needed] – in style of Wikipedia’s popularized slogan [citation needed], sources here PNG and SVGCC BY SA 4.0. #guideneeded GenR invites you to join it on a new editorial direction for 2022. The plan is to co-produced short actionable guides to support and promote—Open Science communities, and Open Science values and culture. Many Open Science communities have projects and…

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Barcamp@GeNeMe’2020: Open Science in Times of Crisis

by Sabine Barthold, Loek Brinkmann, Ambreen Hamadani, Shweata Hegde, Franziska Günther, Peter Murray-Rust, Guido Scherp and Simon Worthington

On 7 October 2020, the TU Dresden Media Centre and the Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science invited Open Science scholars and activists to the first “Barcamp Open Science@GeNeMe 2020” (Barcamp@GeNeMe’2020). It served as pre-event of the conference “Communities in New Media – GeNeMe 2020” and was also the first satellite event of the established Barcamp Open Science.

Like so many other events this year, we took up the challenge of organising the Barcamp in a purely online format. At the same time, however, this challenge was an opportunity to further open up the Barcamp for international participation and to invite Open Science enthusiasts from all over the world to join us and exchange ideas, discuss new developments and share their experiences in the proliferation of open, collaborative and digital science. In the end, among 40 Open Science enthusiasts we had contributors from countries like the United Kingdom, Russia, India, Iran, Germany, Chile and the Netherlands.

From the crisis of science to science for times of crisis?

The barcamp topic ‘From the crisis of science to science for times of crisis?’ was inspired by the global fight against the spread of the novel coronavirus that dominates the social, economic and cultural life of most countries in the world since spring 2020. The current crisis experiences also brought other societal threats such as climate change or global environmental destruction back into the public consciousness. The enormous importance of scientific knowledge for the handling of the ongoing crisis highlighted the value of the core ideals of Open Science – transparency, collaboration, rapid and open publication of research and data, and importance of effective science communication to translate research into social and political action. The question we wanted to discuss was: what role can Open Science play in addressing this crisis in particular, but also other global crises, like climate change, in general? We asked some of the session moderators to summarise their highlights and personal impressions of the event.

 
 

Start your own Open Science Community

by Loek Brinkmann

Grassroots Open Science Communities (OSCs) and initiatives play a crucial role in the transition to Open Science. OSCs are breeding grounds for Open Science initiatives and showcase cutting-edge Open Science practices amongst colleagues, to instigate a culture change amongst researchers. Most Dutch universities have an OSC in place and its format is now also catching on abroad. Collectively, the communities have published an Open Science Community Starter Kit, which we presented in our session.

INOSC Starter Kit: The four stages of developing an Open Science Community, this work is licensed under [CC BY NC SA 4.0].

We invite researchers around the globe (that’s you!) to start their own OSC and connect it to the International Network of Open Science Communities (INOSC).

These communities are places where newcomers can learn from their colleagues and ease into Open Science. Moreover, OSCs provide tools and training to interact with societal stakeholders, so that researchers can increase the societal impact of their work. For example, by including stakeholders from government, industry or civil societies early on in the research cycle, to optimise research questions and output formats for relevant and meaningful implementations in society.

During the barcamp, we had a fruitful discussion on how to articulate the benefits of Open Science for societal impact and how Open Science Communities can inspire researchers to engage more with societal stakeholders. Very nice experience! Thank you for all your input!
 
 

openVirus, Citizen Science and curiosity

by Ambreen Hamadani and Shweata Hegde

The COVID-19 crisis was thought-provoking. It taught us that our common enemy can only be defeated if all of us come together and share our intellectual resources. openVirus epitomises this idea and has embarked on a mission to create a system for mining open literature to draw useful inferences so that viral epidemics can be prevented and controlled. It aims to build a better world through citizen collaboration. openVirus encourages the exchange of ideas and welcomes volunteers even from the remotest and most cut off regions of the world. This is crucial for building an incorrigibly curious community determined to fuel science with new and revolutionary ideas.

The Barcamp@GeNeMe’2020 provided the openVirus team with a perfect platform to achieve these goals. The event was indeed an intellectual treat and we are immensely grateful for the opportunity to host a session on openVirus and Citizen Science. It gave us a chance to demonstrate the immense potential of open toolkits, Open Knowledge and citizens’ contributions to science. It was also a wonderful opportunity to learn, to share ideas, and to have more volunteers join our diverse group. We not only got to meet new people with similar interests but also got a chance to know more about great Open Science initiatives and projects. Physical presence is often impossible for such global events and the Barcamp@GeNeMe’2020 was a great solution to that!
 
 

Experiences with training materials on Open Science

by Franziska Günther

The contributors discussed training on Open Science focusing on different topics: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and their platforms, training, and practices on Open Science in different subject areas. In the latter case, one contributor pointed out that practices and training on Open Science highly depend on the subject area. Other ways of learning about Open Science, such as informal learning or through commitments in projects, were also of interest in the session. As the discussion moved on, contributors focused on how sustainable and continuous Open Science training can be provided. They agreed that Open Science should be part of the curricula for university graduates. The last issue in the session was whether Open Science is only related to the academic world and where non-academics can receive Open Science training to become part of this practice.

I enjoyed being part of the Barcamp@GeNeMe’2020. The discussions were interesting and fruitful. For me, this was mostly due to the fact of the diverse background of the participants. People from all over the world could participate and at the end also did. I got new perspectives on Open Science topics and therefore I am grateful.
 
 

Global issues of Open Science: equality, resources, goals

by Peter Murray-Rust

I was very grateful to be able to take part in Barcamp@GeNeMe’2020 as it’s a completely new way of people getting together. Both technically and socially it worked very well. It was great to have contributors from all over the world, especially India.

We face massive global challenges such as infectious diseases (viral pandemics, antibiotic resistance), food security, and climate change. To tackle this we need a global response, with a large multicultural contribution from Open Science, based on community action and inclusion, equity and diversity. All citizens (not just rich universities and companies) are needed to contribute to solutions, and a major way is through scientific research and practice. Science is based on equity (anyone can be a scientist) but this is often warped by a dominant Anglophone capitalist North. In the digital age Open Knowledge is an essential tool and we must work to create a shared resource – creation, dissemination, re-use – that everyone can take part in.

I hope that the Barcamp@GeNeMe’20 leads to a different way of scientific conferencing. We didn’t have to spend two days travelling, and spending lots of money. There are downsides – the informal meetings/coffee, the chance encounters – but for me (retired) and openVirus (students, India) there is no way that we could have done this last year!
 
 

Open Science and Climate Change

by Simon Worthington

The session was revealing how the work of individual researchers, working groups, and communities asking Open Science questions can make a difference. It makes you realise we can all redirect some of our time to climate issues.

Inspiring is the researcher Joachim Allgaier who asks in the GenR interview “YouTube – Fix Your AI for Climate Change! An Invitation to an Open Dialogue”. When you search for Climate Change on YouTube it will return 50% as anti-climate change content, which can be attributed to YouTube financially rewarding and so recruiting these content producers. What needs to happen with social media networks like YouTube is a good dose of Open Science transparency and regulation of their content algorithms.

The project Open Climate Knowledge FORCE11 Working Group advocates for 100% open research for climate change. In research literature we see less than 30% of the papers being Open Access. Greta Thunberg says, she “wants you to listen to the scientists” – but how can the public do this when it’s paywalled?

Enhancing Climate Change Research With Open Science, Travis C. Tai and James P. W. Robinson

As a research community the Open Energy Modelling Initiative (openmod), mainly coming out of Germany, works on new energy systems for a low carbon future. It has enthusiastically embraced Open Science practice. As yet, no future low carbon economic plans are reliable and have not been reliably tested with energy models using Open Science practices – essentially we are currently trapped – “planlos” (without a plan).
 
 

Online barcamps: Can they work?

The most important thing: A barcamp works virtually. You have already seen this at other barcamps, but it is different to have this experience as an organiser. And the contributors have to adapt to this new environment, too. To lighten up the atmosphere, simple elements like a social break with relaxation exercises or a pub quiz can help. And as with face-to-face events, digital retreat areas (coffee kitchens) are also needed. The great advantage of a virtual event is obvious: people from all over the world, who could not be reached with a face-to-face event, take part. This was very nice to see on the Barcamp@GeNeMe’20, whereby time zone differences naturally make participation only possible to certain time slots. In addition, compared to previous face-to-face barcamps, we could observe a higher fluctuation. It is easy to disconnect and reconnect, and you are more selective as participation in online events is generally a bit tiring.

Virtual barcamps may not (yet) come close to the spirit of a local barcamp, because certain possibilities of social interaction and exchange are simply missing. But we will certainly see more online formats (possibly as a supplement to offline formats) in the future. However, a hybrid barcamp seems to be a bit unimaginable at the moment.

Barcamp recommendations for 2021

The upcoming Barcamp Open Science (16 February 2021) as pre-event of the Open Science Conference -will be completely virtual-. Here we would also like to point out the Barcamp in the context of the Open Science Festival (14 January 2021) which is organised by colleagues in the Netherlands.

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Authors:

Sabine Barthold (Media Centre, TU Dresden), Loek Brinkmann (Assistant professor in Open Science, Utrecht University, and community coordinator/co-founder @ Open Science Community Utrecht), Franziska Günther (Media Centre, TU Dresden), Ambreen Hamadani (SKUAST-Kashmir), Shweata Hegde (Regional Institute Of Education, Manasagangothri, Mysuru), Peter Murray-Rust (University of Cambridge and @TheContentMine), Guido Scherp (Open Science Transfer, ZBW, and Coordinator Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science), Simon Worthington (Open Science Lab, TIB, and GenR Editor-in-chief).

References portrait photos:
Loek Brinkmann: Ivar Pel© | Ambreen Hamadani: Ambreen Hamadani© | Shweata Hegde: Shweata Hegde© | Franziska Günther: Kirsten Lassig© | Peter Murray-Rust: Slowking – Own work, GFDL 1.2 | Simon Worthington: TIB / Christian Bierwagen©.

The post Barcamp@GeNeMe’2020: Open Science in Times of Crisis first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

The post Barcamp@GeNeMe’2020: Open Science in Times of Crisis first appeared on Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science.