Open Science: Grassroots Initiative from Students for Students at the University of Amsterdam

The Student Initiative for Open Science (SIOS) at the University of Amsterdam was initiated and is still run by students. The grassroots movement wants to introduce students as early as possible, voluntarily and sometimes playfully, to the sometimes quite abstract subject area of open practices and thus make university life easier for students. Good academic practice should be learned and internalised as early as possible, is the motto.

Marla Dressel and Franziska Nippold from SIOS presented the project at the Open Science Conference this year. Now we have spoken with them and asked them about their motivation, because there are no credit points for the commitment. In the interview, they also tell us how their university environment reacted to the grassroots initiative and how academic libraries can support them. At the end, there are starting points and links for anyone who would like to establish a similar movement at her/his university.

An Interview with Marla Dressel and Franziska Nippold

Your grassroots initiative is very interesting as it targets Open Science education for students at the University of Amsterdam. What was your motivation?

A course called “Good research practices” at our Psychology master’s programme was an important motivating factor. The course teaches students how to conduct reliable science and discusses current research practices. Fellow students of ours found it quite disappointing that they learned Open Science only during their master’s degree and many programmes do not offer such courses at all. Besides, most Open Science initiatives mainly target PhDs, post-docs, and professors while not adapting resources and materials to students’ needs.

They felt that students were being overlooked in the Open Science movement.

We think that this could be fatal because students are the researchers of tomorrow.
This is why SIOS ( Student Initiative for Open Science) was born. We wanted to involve students in the movement and to provide them with open education on Open Science. 

We are Data Sharing. We are Open Access.
We are Reproducibility.
We are Open Science, from students for students.

What are your activities?

Our event team organises a broad range of activities. We host lectures on Open Science topics (e.g., the difference between exploratory vs confirmatory research, Bayesian statistics, pre-registered reports), workshops to provide students with practical tools (e.g., how to pre-register your thesis, version control with GitHub, power analysis, JASP), and more fun activities to get students together, such as Open Science movie nights, pub quizzes, or discussion panels. We also have a communication team at SIOS that is pretty active on social media, especially on Twitter, but also on Instagram and on Facebook. Here, we spread our events and resources with other students, scholars, universities and everyone else, who is interested. At the same time, we attend conferences and write grant applications. We also provide materials and resources to students on our website and our Slack Channel. Here, students can also ask questions and debate current issues. Besides the purely educational part, we are currently running a study on research practices among students.

How did your environment (e.g. profs, lecturers …) react to it?

We have received immense support from our study coordinators, profs and lecturers. Many of them have offered to give lectures themselves and help us share our endeavours. For us, it is extremely rewarding to see the resonance in the community but at the same time we also know that we are lucky that our university is very method-conscious and that it may be different at universities outside the Netherlands. More importantly, students find our events helpful, and we receive a lot of positive feedback from them. 

Are any of your activities part of the university curriculum, so that students get credits for them? Would that even be a goal for you?

Besides the course we talked about before (Good research practices), students can get credit points for visiting our lectures. That is at least a start and so our goals are more focused on spreading our message and helping to set up other SIOS’s at different universities. However, we just heard from a newly founded SIOS that they will definitely focus on integrating Open Science in their curriculum because they do not even have a course on good research practices there. We hope that someday every research student can have access to Open Science materials if he:she wish to. 

How do you ensure that your efforts and projects are sustainable and long-lasting?

An easy answer would be that we currently digitise all our projects (thanks, COVID!). That means, we record all our lectures and we provide our whole range of resources for free on our website and social media. We also created a step-by-step guide to create an own initiative for Open Science and we pitch this guide at other universities. At the same time, we really think about what students need. That is why, most of our lectures are very introductory.

We think that this is a general problem in the Open Science movement – that everyone who does not know so much about it yet will have problems organising all the information and debates that are currently going on.

That is why often PhD students and other-level researchers are visiting our lectures – we offer comprehensive bunches of information. 

We also believe that it is best to start as early as possible to teach students Open Science practices. Take pre-registrations, for example: If you already do this for your very first research project, the bachelor thesis in most cases, it will become normal for students to follow these practices. In this way, you are teaching students and building awareness as early as possible to integrate Open Science practices in the long run. 

How can academic libraries support initiatives like yours?

We think that there is a lot that can be done. The most important step is to help us share our endeavours. That can be on social media and on your website. Libraries could also always ask us for collaboration and especially now it is easier to just organise workshops together online. Libraries can also ask their students to create their own SIOS. And more generally, they can provide all kinds of resources themselves and participate in our Slack Channel.

Do you have any tips for other students who want to start such an initiative? (How) Can they get any support from you?

We have actually created a step-by-step guide to create your own SIOS. These are just guidelines of course, not necessarily a rulebook. We think that creating a SIOS is not super easy but that you can get a lot of support if you ask for it. That can be asking us at SIOS Amsterdam (we will always find time for you to have a meeting with us and give you some recommendations) but also lecturers and other people from university. Also, creating such an initiative has many incentives. From learning a lot about Open Science and current debates, over networking, to doing something worthwhile next to your study – creating such an initiative is inherently very rewarding.

We were talking to Franziska Nippold and Marla Dressel

SIOS link list

Links to the course “Good Research Practices”

Further readings

The post Open Science: Grassroots Initiative from Students for Students at the University of Amsterdam first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

Horizon Report 2021: Focus on Hybrid Learning, Microcredentialing and Quality Online Learning

by Claudia Sittner

The 2021 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report Teaching and Learning Edition was published at the end of April 2021 and looks at what trends, technologies and practices are currently driving teaching and learning and how they will significantly shape its future.

The report runs through four different scenarios of what the future of higher education might look like: growth, constraint, collapse or transformation. Only time will tell which scenario prevails. With this in mind, we looked at the Horizon Report 2021 to see what trends it suggests for academic libraries and information infrastructure institutions.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has progressed so rapidly since the last Horizon Report 2020 that people cannot catch up fast enough to test the technical advances of machines in natural language proceedings. Deep learning has evolved into self-supervised learning, where AI learns from raw or unlabelled data.

Artificial intelligence has a potential role to play in all areas of higher education where learning, teaching and success are concerned: support for accessible apps, student information and learning management systems, examination systems and library services, to name but a few. AI can also help analyse learning experiences and identify when students seem to be floundering academically. The much greater analytics opportunities that have emerged as the vast majority of learning events take place online, leaving a wide trail of analysable data, can help to better understand students and adapt learning experiences to their needs more quickly.

But AI also remains controversial: for all its benefits, questions about privacy, data protection and ethical aspects often remain unsatisfactorily answered. For example, there are AI-supported programmes that paraphrase texts so that other AI-supported programmes do not detect plagiarism.

Open Educational Resources

For Open Educational Resources (OER), the pandemic has not changed much, many of the OER offerings are “born digital” anyway. However, advantages of OER such as cost savings (students have to buy less literature), social equality (free and from everywhere) and the fact that materials are updated faster are gaining importance. Despite these obvious advantages and the constraints that corona brought with it, however, only a few teachers have switched to OER so far as the report „Digital Texts in Times of COVID” (PDF) shows. 87% of teachers still recommend the same paid textbooks.

OER continue to offer many possibilities, such as teachers embedding self-assessment questions directly into pages alongside text, audio and video content, and students receiving instant feedback. In some projects, libraries and students are also involved in the development of materials as OER specialists, alongside other groups from the academic ecosystem, helping to break down barriers within the discipline and redesign materials from their particular perspective.

In Europe, for example, the ENCORE+ – European Network for Catalyzing Open Resources in Education is working to build an extensive OER ecosystem. Also interesting: the „Code of Best Practices in Fair Use für Open Educational Resources”. It can be a tool for librarians when they want to create OER and use other data, including copyrighted data.

Learning Analytics

Online courses generate lots of data: How many learners have participated? When did they arrive? When did they leave? How did they interact? What works and what doesn’t? In higher education, learning data analysis should help make better, evidence-based decisions to best support the increasingly diverse group of learners. Academic libraries also often use such data to better understand and interpret learner needs, respond promptly and readjust.

The Syracuse University Libraries (USA), for example, have transmitted its user data via an interface to the university’s own learning analysis programme (CLLASS). A library profile was developed for this purpose, which was consistent with the library’s values, ethics, standards, policies and practices. This enabled responsible and controlled transmission of relevant data, and a learner profile could be created from different campus sources.

Just as with the use of artificial intelligence, there are many objections in this area regarding moral aspects and data protection. In any case, the handling of such learning data requires sensitisation and special training so that teachers, advisors and students can use data sensibly and draw the right conclusions. In the end, students could also receive tailored virtual support throughout the entire process from enrolment to graduation. Infrastructures for data collection, analysis and implementation are essential for this.

Microcredentials

Microcredentials are new forms of certification or proof of specific skills. They are also better suited to the increasingly diverse population of learners than traditional degrees and certificates. Unlike these, they are more flexible, designed for a shorter period of time and often more thematically focused. The spectrum of microcredentials spans six areas from short courses and badges, to bootcamps and the classic degree or accredited programmes.

Microcredentials are becoming increasingly popular and can also be combined with classic certifications. The Horizon Report 2021 sees particular potential for workers who can use them to retrain and further their education. It is therefore hardly surprising that companies like Google are also appearing on the scene with Google Career Certificates. For many scientific institutes, this means that they will have to further develop and rethink the architecture, infrastructure and work processes of their traditional certification systems.

Blended and Hybrid Course Models

Due to the corona pandemic, diverse blended and hybrid course models mushroomed, especially in the summer of 2020. “It is clear that higher education has diversified quickly and that these models are here to stay”, the report says. Hybrid courses allow more flexibility in course design; institutions can ramp up capacity as needed and cater even more to the diverse needs of students. However, most students still prefer face-to-face teaching.

Newly learned technical skills and technical support have played a predominant role. In some places, new course models have been developed together with the learners. On the other hand, classic practices (such as frequent assessments, breakout groups during live course meetings, and check-in messages to individual students) remain high on the agenda. However, corona has brought mental and social health of all participants into sharper focus; it should also receive even more attention according to the Horizon Report.

Quality Online Learning

The coronavirus came along and everything suddenly had to take place online. So it is little wonder that the need to design, meaningfully evaluate and adapt high-quality online learning opportunities has increased enormously. Some were surprised to find that teaching online involved more effort than simply offering the on-site event via Zoom. In order to achieve learning success, online quality assurance became an issue of utmost relevance.

Early in the pandemic, therefore, institutes began to develop online portals or hubs that included materials and teaching strategies adapted to the situation: for content delivery, to encourage student participation and to rethink assessment mechanisms.

A positive example is the twelve-module course “Quickstarter Online-Lehre” (Quickstarter Online Teaching, German) by the Hochschulforum Digitalisierung – German Forum for Higher Education in a digital age and the Gesellschaft für Medien in der Wissenschaft (Society for media in science) from Germany. This course aims to support teachers with no or little online experience.

This text has been translated from German.

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Research Data Management Project bw2FDM: Best Practice for Consultations and Training Seminars

We were talking to Elisabeth Böker and Peter Brettschneider

Research data management (RDM, known as FDM in German) is an essential topic regarding Open Science. Baden-Württemberg’s support and development project for research data management (German, bw2FDM) is dedicated to this issue. One of the aims of the bw2FDM project is to create a multifaceted educational programme to drive forward sustainability and networking within the entire research data management community. bw2FDM also operates the information platform forschungsdaten.info (Forschungsdaten means research data), which offers a wide-ranging collection of articles on RDM topics. None of these programmes is limited to a specific institution; rather they are aimed at the entire German-speaking community. Elisabeth Böker and Peter Brettschneider, who are involved in the project, explain how it works in detail, which topics are particularly popular within the RDM community, and what role libraries and information infrastructure institutions can play.

Please introduce the project in three sentences: What is the mission / aim / vision of bw2FDM?

Elisabeth Böker: bw2FDM is an initiative for research data management, funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Science, Research and Art. We follow four primary aims:

  • The coordination of the interdisciplinary issues of the four Science Data centres (German) in Baden-Württemberg.
  • We want to develop the information platform forschungsdaten.info further to become the central RDM platform for the German-speaking countries.
  • We offer consultations and training seminars on the topic of research data management, primarily for researchers from Baden-Württemberg.
  • bw2FDM is responsible for the planning and implementation of the E-Science-Tage conference .

Fig. 1: Diagram showing overview of bw2FDM project areas / Axtmann and
Reifschneider / CC BY 4.0

We are particularly interested in the bw2FDM consultations and training seminars on research data management, which you also presented at the Open Science Conference 2021. What was your approach? What is your target group? What you do offer, specifically? And who can participate in the training seminars and consultations?

Elisabeth Böker: That differs slightly, depending on the format: We focus our training seminars primarily on researchers from Baden-Württemberg. The students of the University of Konstanz are the target audience for our Open Science course. We want to introduce them to the topic of Open Science during their studies and are delighted at the considerable interest it has already drawn. The course “Open Science: From Data to Publications ” is subject to a CC BY licence – reuse is most welcome! Following the principle of openness, we have also published the videos as Open Educational Resources (OER) on Zenodo (German) and the central OER repository of the Institutions of Higher Education in Baden-Württemberg (ZOERR, German) as well as the material collection of the sub-working group training seminars / continuing education of the DINI/nestor AG research data (German) and also on the website of the Konstanz Open Science team.
By way of contrast, forschungsdaten.info live (German) focuses on all interested persons – both researchers as well as RDM officers – throughout the entire German-speaking countries.

Peter Brettschneider: : We try to consider research data management in a holistic sense. This also means that we focus on different target groups, and it also ensures that our training activities never become boring.

To what extent do you specifically address Open Science topics, for example in the field of Open Data?

Elisabeth Böker: Research data management is our central focus point. The guiding principle of the EU data strategy “as open as possible, as closed as necessary” is extremely important to us, which is why we emphasise it continually.

Libraries fit wonderfully into a data-based academic world.
– Peter Brettschneider

(How) Are academic libraries and other digital infrastructure institutions integrated into the field of training seminars and consultations?

Peter Brettschneider: Libraries fit wonderfully into a data-based academic world. Their core business is collecting information and making it available to the users. Research data have been part of the digital inventory of libraries for a considerable time. For example, that is the reason why universities will usually task their library or IT department with the implementation and operation of a research data repository. However, this kind of services should be accompanied by consultation and training programmes. Once again, our aim is to approach research data management holistically: It is not sufficient to provide just the hardware. There is also a need for people who explain and promote these services and are ready to assist researchers that may require help.

The project runs from 2019 to 2023. This means that you are just about half way through. Could you draw some interim conclusions? What are the most important lessons that you have learned over the past two years?

Elisabeth Böker: RDM is a team sport” – this is what we wrote in a publication (German) about our project. In this spirit, I would say it is crucial to approach issues collaboratively, use synergies and then progress towards the target. That works wonderfully. It is particularly gratifying to see this happening with the forschungsdaten.info platform. Even before “half-time”, we have been able to bring colleagues from Austria and Switzerland into the team – and we intend to continue building on this even more intensively in the second phase.There is an enormous demand for legal topics, and we are very lucky to have with Peter Brettschneider a legal specialist in the team.

FDM is a Teamsport.
– Elisabeth Böker

Peter Brettschneider: Indeed, there is a lot of uncertainty regarding legal issues. In our training seminars, we like to combine legal topics with fundamental RDM know-how. This is important to us, because we can’t emphasise enough the central messages on research data and its management – such as FAIR data. But on the other hand, research data management is not an end in itself. It’s not our task to proselytise. Rather, it is our intention to support researchers and to make their research visible and reusable.

What has the feedback to your RDM consultation and training seminar programmes been like so far?

Elisabeth Böker: We are extremely satisfied. With forschungsdaten.info live in particular, we were able to average over a hundred participants. The demand is definitively there!

Which of your programme’s RDM topics or formats are particularly popular?

Elisabeth Böker: The forschungsdaten.info live format has been very popular – in part due to its focus on the entire German-speaking RDM community. Moreover, events that explore legal topics are always sure-fire successes.

The bw2FDM project can definitely be called a success so far in the area of training and consulting. Are there plans to expand your project throughout Germany?

Elisabeth Böker: : We are already active throughout the German-speaking countries with forschungsdaten.info live. However, we intend to advertise our other training seminars primarily for researchers in Baden-Württemberg – at both, universities as well as other higher education institutions. The reason for this is that our funding comes from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Science, Research and Art. Moreover, other federal states have their own RDM initiatives that offer great training opportunities.

Are there already similar projects in other federal states? To what extent do you collaborate with them?

Elisabeth Böker: Yes, many other federal states have comparable RDM projects or dedicated initiatives. They introduce themselves on the platform forschungsdaten.info (German). We have close and very fruitful collaboration with our colleagues, both, within a joint discussion forum as well as via the editorial network of forschungsdaten.info.

From a legal point of view, we ensure sustainability by systematically releasing the project results under free licences in order to promote reuse.
– Peter Brettschneider

Sustainability plays an important role in your project. How do you ensure it?

Peter Brettschneider: Sustainability has several dimensions: Structurally, we try to safeguard our programmes in the long-term through partnerships with other institutions. For example, our project team does not run forschungsdaten.info on its own, but rather relies on an editorial network of approximately 20 institutions.
From a legal point of view, we ensure sustainability by systematically releasing the project results under free licences in order to promote reuse. This means that all training materials are licenced under Creative Commons BY 4.0. The contents of the forschungsdaten.info page can be reused completely without any restrictions, as we waive our rights by using CC 0 1.0.. Perhaps the most difficult thing is securing sustainability in terms of personnel. Currently, research data infrastructures are primarily sustained by project employees – the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) provides a good example. That is a real issue since RDM is a long-term task.

This text has been translated from German.

Weblinks to the bw2FDM project and to forschungsdaten.info:

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Pluralism vs. Monoculture in Scholarly Communication, Part 2

Calls for a monoculture of scholarly communication keep multiplying. But wouldn’t a continued diversity of models be healthier?

The post Pluralism vs. Monoculture in Scholarly Communication, Part 2 appeared first on The Scholarly Kitchen.

Brainstorming Capacity Building for Citizen Science and Open Science in Research Libraries

A co-creation session taking place online 6th July 2021, 14:00-15:30 to look at creating a roadmap for capacity building of Citizen Science and Open Science in research libraries, not only for their staff but also for academic staff, researchers, and students. The session is organised by the INOS project which looks to support Open Science and Citizen Science in higher education.

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Announcing the Single Source Publishing Community Launch!

The Single Source Publishing Community (SSPC) is focused on scholarly publishing and is a meeting place for researchers, educators, publishers, and software developers. The community looks to help Single Source Publishing (SSP) technology to work better for Open Access, Open Science, in learning, and for Bibliodiversity. Drop in on our discussion board, join the monthly ‘SSPC Show & Tell’ sessions…

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Open Access goes Barcamp, Part 2: How to organise networking online

by Hannah Schneider (KIM), Andreas Kirchner (KIM) und Maximilian Heber (KIM)

You normally get together for a Barcamp event on site in a relaxed atmosphere, write ideas on whiteboards, pinboards or flipcharts and switch back and forth between the sessions as you see fit. You also naturally get into conversations with others in the kitchenette, in the corridors, during breaks or when having dinner together. All these elements enliven Barcamps and make them what they are. So how do you succeed in transferring a physical setting of this kind into a virtual space while staying true to the character of a Barcamp event?

Choose the right tools for the online Barcamp event

As we wanted the virtual Open Access Barcamp to reflect not only the exchange of information and ideas but also the networking character online, we decided to use gather.town as the technical basis. In our opinion, this tool is better than other videoconferencing software, such as Zoom or BigBlueButton, at facilitating quick conversational exchanges and the independent formation of small groups. A special feature of gather.town is that it offers users the option of moving around freely as a small figure in a space specially created for the respective event. As soon as you approach others, the camera and microphone are activated. This helps participants make a variety of contacts – just like at real meetings. We also considered using wonder.me, but since it does not provide for flexible room design, we ultimately decided against it.

Screenshot 1: The Gather.town room (CC BY 4.0)

We also used the online whiteboard Miro to collaboratively collect topics and for documentation purposes. This gave participants the opportunity to catch up on the contents of the sessions they could not attend. We chose Miro because it offers both a voting function and enough space for different groups to work in different corners at the same time.

Since technical issues and problems are to be expected when using such interactive tools, there were also two people in the conference room who provided technical support throughout the event, in addition to a central helpdesk email address. This proved to be very helpful, especially at the beginning of the event. An illustrated guide on how to use the tools was sent out in advance to help participants prepare for the event.

Screenshot 2: The Miro whitheboard (CC BY 4.0)

A central point of the programme at the beginning of each Barcamp event is the session planning to collectively set the agenda. The aim was to fill the five 45-minute sessions with up to three parallel events. To do so, we first collected topics on Miro and then presented each topic for one minute in an elevator pitch. A vote integrated into Miro then determined which topics should be included in the agenda. Care was taken to ensure that they did not overlap in order to allow as many people as possible to participate in the most popular sessions. The scheduling preference of the people giving the sessions was also taken into account.

Illustration 3: Session planning (CC BY 4.0)

To sweeten the break for the participants while the organisation team finalised the programme, a conference bag containing Open Access items and chocolates was sent to their home office in advance as a “care package”. For this purpose, we had asked the participants to provide their addresses on a voluntary basis during registration and most of them accepted the offer.

Illustration 4: Carepaket (CC BY 4.0)

How to create networking opportunities online

Since networking with other people is often more difficult at online events than at on-site meetings, and brief conversations during the coffee break usually don’t happen during virtual events, we specifically scheduled times for socialising.

Participants were given time to get to know each other better on the first day. For this purpose, three organisational questions were asked, according to which everyone in the gather.town room was asked to line up (for example, “I have already been to a Barcamp event” ? line up in ascending order from never to very often). The resulting groups were then given the opportunity to chat.

A kind of “speed dating” activity also took place allowing participants to talk to one person for five minutes, after which the interlocutors changed partners in order to ensure that each participant could have several different conversations.

We also deliberately left a time slot open on the second day for topics that either had not made it onto the agenda or required more extensive discussion. During this time slot, everyone could gather around “topic tables” to discuss aspects that concern them personally in their everyday work with Open Access. In keeping with the motto “bring-your-own-problem”, this facilitated practice-oriented discussions in smaller groups, for example on the topics of secondary publications, publication funds or Open Access consulting services.

During the evening programme, likewise held in gather.town, the participants were first given the opportunity to put their general knowledge to the test in a pub quiz. They then also had a chance to make or consolidate contacts with other Open Access enthusiasts in an informal setting. Although all the participants had spent the whole day sitting in front of the screen, about 25 people met up again in gather.town in the evening. Even though the quiz could have been a little shorter according to the feedback from some participants, it was a relaxed get-together despite the virtual setting.

The online Barcamp thrived on the active participation

We feel that the virtual Open Access Barcamp was a successful experiment all things considered and are pleased that the community had a lively exchange of ideas in our innovative setting. The two-day online event thrived on the contribution and collaboration of everyone and the active engagement of the participants. Numerous practical aspects and challenges in the everyday work with Open Access were addressed and discussed, and participants looked for solutions together.

We would like to point out that the vast majority of participants saw the video conferencing tool gather.town as very suitable, despite initial technical difficulties. It not only challenged and supported participants with their activities, but also facilitated conversations in the virtual kitchenette or socialising time slots. The combination with an online whiteboard such as Miro has also proven successful for session planning as well as for collaboration and documentation during the Open Access Barcamp. It should be noted, however, that the technical performance of online events is highly dependent on the internet connection and other technical conditions that are difficult to influence as an organiser. The virtual format nevertheless offers all interested parties the opportunity to exchange ideas easily with the Open Access community, regardless of location and without having to travel far or implement other logistical planning measures.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all participants for their active and lively engagement in the programme. We would also like to thank them for their openness to the unconventional online format and their patience with technical problems. A big thank you also goes out to the entire open-access.network project team for their great teamwork. We are looking forward to #OABarcamp22 next year!

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This text has been translated from German.

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Community Open Principles in the Time of the Pandemic

Online webinar will address these questions via the experiences of invited open science communities including the following speakers: Dr. Ana Persic, UNESCO; Dr. Arianna Becerril García, AmeliCA; Dr. Johanna Havemann, Open Science MOOC; and Osman Aldirdiri, AfricArXiv. June 30, 2021, at 01:00 PM in Universal Time UTC: Webinar: Community Open Principles: Before, During and After the Global Pandemic…

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Open Access goes Barcamp, Part 1: A new networking opportunity for the Open Access community

by Hannah Schneider (KIM), Maximilian Heber (KIM) and Andreas Kirchner (KIM)

The first Open Access Barcamp took place on 22 and 23 April 2021 – virtually, owing to the pandemic. However, the approximately 80 participants were very enthusiastic about the unusual format. Between 9:00 and 14:30 each day, the participants focussed on a varied programme which they had put together themselves in animated discussions about Open Access topics.

Alongside the annual Open Access Days (German) – a central German-speaking conference on the topic of Open Access – this year’s Open Access Barcamp, which was organised by the Communication, Information, Media Centre (KIM) at the University of Konstanz , also offered the community the chance to exchange ideas, network and learn from each other. The Barcamp format is designed to be more open than a classic conference and deliberately does not use a pre-determined programme. Instead, the participants can suggest topics and hold sessions on issues of their choice. This means that everyone can discuss the topics that they find the most interesting.

Screenshot #1: Session-Voting (CC BY 4.0)

Great interest in legal topics

During the session planning it became clear that the Open Access community is currently concerned with many diverse topics.

The great majority of participants were interested in legal topics. One of the sessions included a workshop on legal issues in Open Access consulting in which three groups in parallel worked on two typical consulting cases. The first case was the critical evaluation of a publishing house contract. The issue was broached that contracts like these could entail problems such as substantial cost risks or a restrictive transfer of rights. Regarding service offers, participants discussed how to recognise these disruptive elements and the best way of proceeding in a consultative capacity. The second case was a discussion on the topic of image copyright. The topics of who has rights to an image, how the quotation law applies here and how images are regulated in a publishing house contract were discussed.

During one session on Creative Commons licenses, an intensive discussion developed on the extent to which these were suitable for Open Access books. Using the example of the Saint Philip Street Press publishing house, participants critically discussed the aspect of how publishing houses publish again an Open Access book because open licenses allow reuse and editing of the work. Everyone agreed that this problem exists not only for books but also for all works with open licenses. The group came to the conclusion that honesty and transparency are important for Open Access consulting despite this circumstance: “We’re not sales people, we want to help scientists”.

Exchange about the design of secondary publication services

The topic of secondary publication took up a lot of space owing to the considerable interest of the Barcamp participants. Practitioners met for a major discussion session that dealt with the concrete implementation of secondary publication services. In doing so, they not only discussed the services institutions offer for green Open Access but also how these can be implemented at technical, organisational and legal levels. Together, they discussed challenges in the daily dealings with secondary publications such as automatised imports, publishing house requests or legal checks. Google Scholar alerts, data imports from the Web of Science and the integration of Sherpa Romeo into the institutional repository were mentioned as solution approaches. The scope of secondary publication services for scientists in the individual institutions was also discussed. It became clear that the institutions differ very strongly in their activities but also in their capacities.

Publication data management and establishment of a digital focus group

Another topic that was discussed was how the publication data management is implemented in the different institutional repositories. Here the role of the Open Access Monitor (German) of the Forschungszentrum Jülich in measuring the publication occurrence was mentioned, but also the problem that metadata are used very inconsistently and must sometimes also be entered later by hand. The discussion on the topic of secondary publication was continued in depth after the session and ultimately led to the establishment of a new digital focus group.

Screenshot #2: Session room in gather.town (CC BY 4.0)

A discussion on the support possibilities of Diamond Open Access and an exchange of ideas about Open Access advocacy as well as promoting Open Access services at one’s own institution also enticed many people to the session rooms. The sessions spanning the publication of research data and the further development of existing Open Access policies as far as suitable Open Science policies all demonstrated that the Open Access community is also interested them. The technical perspectives of publication software were examined as well as the requirements placed on them

Swarm intelligence on the further development of the information platform

The collective know-how of the participants was used to gather recommendations from the community for the further development of the information platform open-access.net into a skills and networking portal. For this purpose, not only was it determined how the current site is used, but also what demands and expectations are placed on a skills and network portal. Among other things, the provision of materials to support Open Access consultation cases and a clearer and more intuitive site structure were mentioned here. These and other ideas will flow into the further development of the website.

Discussion about special publication topics

Concrete publication topics were also discussed: For example, there was a session about the Gender Publication Gap in Open Access. The general issue of the impact of gender in science was taken up and participants discussed whether this effect would be increased or reduced by Open Access. The discussion came to the conclusion that this is a very multi-faceted topic and the data situation is still very thin.

Communication of Open Access transformation

The topic of scholar-led publishing in the field of Open Access books was examined and the project COPIM was presented. Participants also discussed the topic of transformation, including the aspect of how the project DEAL and the Open Access transformation could be communicated at one’s own institution. Challenges mentioned here included the reallocation of budgets as well as the difficulty of convincing authors to choose always the Open Access option for DEAL publications. The group agreed that active communication within subject departments and committees as well as information material on the website are currently the most promising methods.

Screenshot #3: Collaboration and transcripts of the sessions on MIRO (CC BY 4.0)

Diverse opportunities to chat about the everyday challenges of Open Access

The programme’s flexible design offered the participants in the Open Access Barcamp a variety of possibilities to chat about current and everyday Open Access topics. Everyday challenges and issues were discussed in direct dialogue with other practitioners, both in the big sessions and in smaller groups.

Even though, as mentioned at the beginning, the Open Access Barcamp took place in a virtual setting, the readiness of the participants to get actively involved and help shape the event was considerable. Our organisational team found that it was important to create an appealing virtual environment to enable an exchange of ideas and networking to take place online too. In the next blog post we describe the chances and challenges that planning such a dynamic event as an online format brings with it. Stay tuned!

More blog posts about the Open Access Barcamp

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This text has been translated from German.

The post Open Access goes Barcamp, Part 1: A new networking opportunity for the Open Access community first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

Open Science as a driver to change?

A webinar by Paola Chiara Masuzzo on open research practice and the need for change in the working culture of research presented as part of the ON-MERRIT project (2021-06-11). Paola explores the need for a change in the culture of the research work place away from ‘research excellence’ which encourages bad practices and results in a mirriade of knock-on problems. In the Webinar Paola looks at what…

Source

Open Science Symposium at the Faculty of Medicine: Start of a RoadShow

Open Science is the road to the future. But what is it actually about? Why do policy makers stimulate the transition towards Open Science? What it is in it for me? And… How do I do it? These questions and others were answered at the Open Science Symposium on May 20th at the Faculty of Medicine (that is: the UMCU)….

Communicate your science more completely with Lab Protocols


Results alone don’t tell the full story of your research. In order to understand a scientific study, readers need clear insight not only into the outcomes, but into processes and procedures: the methods. Clear, complete methods help increase confidence in published research and provide a springboard for future researchers to build upon the work.

But describing detailed, reproducible methods within the confines of a classic research article can be challenging. Not all processes lend themselves to narrative description. Sometimes flow charts, step-by-step instructions, or even videos can more accurately and effectively communicate your approach.

At PLOS ONE we’re working to address this need with Lab Protocols, a new type of article developed in partnership with protocols.io which opened for submissions earlier this year. Lab Protocols consist of two interlinking components: 

  1. A protocol on protocols.io, where authors can use specialized tools to communicate technical details, including reagents, measurements, formulae, dynamic flow charts, and step-by-step instructions.
  2. A peer-reviewed article in PLOS ONE, contextualizing the protocol, with sections discussing applications, limitations, expected results, and sample datasets.

Now, we’re excited to share the first published Lab Protocol!


Vectorial application for the illustration of archaeological lithic artefacts using the “Stone Tools Illustrations with Vector Art” (STIVA) Method
Jacopo Niccolò Cerasoni

The peer-reviewed and published research article. Fully indexed, archived and citable, with a link to the protocol at the top of the page.

The posted protocol, with step-by-step instructions, images, diagrams, measurements, and more.

As this first publication demonstrates, protocols aren’t just for bench researchers. Researchers from all disciplines use specific technical procedures in their investigations which need to be clearly described. Lab Protocols offer authors the flexibility to publish in the format that best describes the methods, and best serves the reader.

And when you make your detailed methods public, their impact is compounded. The STIVA method protocol has already inspired a modified “forked” version using an Open Source software tool.

How to publish a Lab Protocol of your own

To submit, first consult our submission guidelines, then submit. If you’re trying protocols.io for the first time, we can help. Authors of Lab Protocols at PLOS ONE can receive free support from the protocols.io editorial team to upload and format their protocol.

Hear more

Join us for a webinar June 15 at 9:00 AM PT. We’ll discuss the importance of sharing peer-reviewed protocols, practical advice for preparing protocols for publication, and real-world experiences and perspectives from researchers in the field.

The post Communicate your science more completely with Lab Protocols appeared first on EveryONE.

Nudging Open Science: Useful Tips for Academic Libraries?

by Claudia Sittner

An international group of eleven behavioural scientists from eight countries (Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Poland, USA, Netherlands) recently addressed this question in the report „Nudging Open Science“ and developed recommendations for action for seven groups in the scientific system. Academic libraries are one of these groups. The other groups (they are called “nodes” in the report) are researchers, students, departments and faculties, universities, journals and funding organisations. The team of behavioural scientists classifies each of these groups and gives practical tips on who can nudge each group, and how, to practice more Open Science. However, the report does not contain any approaches on how libraries themselves can actively nudge other stakeholders. We present approaches and results of the report with a special focus on academic libraries.

What is nudging?

The approach of nudging comes from behavioural research. It maintains that behavioural change can be brought about through gentle nudging, without strict coercion or regulation. Nudging is defined in the report as making “small, easily-to-avoidchanges to a person’s decision-making environment that alter behaviour in predictable ways without forbidding any options or using economic incentives”.

A classic example is the topic of organ donation. In Sweden, for example, everyone is an organ donor by definition. If a person does not want this, he:she must actively object. As a result, the percentage of organ donors in Sweden is much higher than in Germany, where not everyone is an organ donor by law.

Nudging Open Science

Now the group of behavioural scientists has started thinking about how the potential of nudging could be used to further advance Open Science in the scientific ecosystem. Their thesis: Whether researchers and institutions choose to engage in Open Science practices is not necessarily a matter of rational choice. On the contrary: Most decisions are routinely made in the course of emotional, automatic or impulsive processes that are often influenced by psychosocial factors (example: peer pressure). When faced with a decision, a person usually chooses the path of least resistance or least effort. The status quo is maintained.

This also applies to decisions that researchers and institutions make when defining how they conduct, report on, evaluate, publish or fund research (for example, in relation to preregistrations, publishing preprints or Open Data). “Human psychology is at the centre of every decision, whether it be buying toothpaste, running a scientific study, or evaluating a research project”, say the authors. They therefore see great potential in using nudging to improve the use and continuation of Open Science practices. Measures at each of the nodes are essential, to ensure that the changes can really take hold.

The report creates a profile for each of the nodes with its psychology and describes its role in the scientific community. Finally, measures are proposed on how and from whom these seven groups can be nudged towards more Open Science.

Academic libraries node

From the authors´ point of view, two main things prevent comprehensive changes towards more Open Science in libraries: “administrative and financial status quos, and a drive to satisfy customers (students and staff)”. Here, however, one notices that the report is perhaps based on a somewhat outdated image of libraries, as there are many Open Science enthusiasts in modern academic libraries who are driving forward change.

The report further identifies fields in which academic libraries can promote Open Science:

  • Create guidelines, training and roadmaps for researchers so they can their research more transparent.
  • Subsidise article publication charges for Open Access publications or finance Open Access publications.
  • Promote free access to the research generated by the respective institution.
  • Advocate FAIR datasets in their own repositories.
  • Develop strategies for research data management to ensure that data is recorded, preserved and accessible.
  • Establish an online infrastructure that makes it easy for publications to be stored with data and code.
  • Open Educational Resources: Libraries can create and make available textbooks, lecture notes, exam papers, videos or other media.

This list is probably not new to staff in academic libraries that are modern and savvy about Open Science, but may encourage them in what they are already doing.

How can academic libraries be nudged?

Broadly speaking, the report highlights two groups of people that can nudge libraries in relation to Open Science practices:

  1. Students (or other individuals): could contact library staff directly or by email with suggestions on how to implement open practices, according to the report.
  2. Researchers: when researchers store contributions in library repositories, they can ask how other data, such as preregistrations, preprints or datasets, can be published with their contributions. To highlight the relevance of the associated data, researchers could also offer to coordinate data management workshops. Suggesting Open Access funding initiatives is another area where researchers could become active.

Whether it makes sense and is realistic to expect groups with a very limited time budget (students, researchers) and hardly any incentive, apart from personal commitment, to nudge libraries is open to question. On the other hand, libraries themselves are in many cases committed to actively promoting the cultural change towards Open Access, Open Educational Resources & Co. Perhaps the yawning gap here also stems from the fact that behavioural researchers´ ideas about how modern academic libraries operate are very different from the practice there today?

Conclusion: more Open Science through nudging?

Reflections on how people make decisions and the application of nudging from behavioural science to Open Science is an interesting approach. It causes a change of perspective in observers and causes them to realise their own scope for action and their own “power” to initiate change through behaviour. Basically, the idea is to change the mindset of libraries and other nodes in the academic ecosystem by creating a demand for open practices. The measures and approaches mentioned are neither new nor surprising, but they open up fields of action for particularly committed individuals and individual groups of people.

For readers, or from the perspective of libraries interested in Open Science, a breakdown according to the different groups would have been more helpful, as individuals tend to wonder: What can I do? Nevertheless, nudging in the field of Open Science opens up other options, provided enough users can get excited about nudging the academic node of their choice. Libraries could therefore use the report as an opportunity to systematically apply nudging to promote Open Science.

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This text has been translated from German.

The post Nudging Open Science: Useful Tips for Academic Libraries? first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

The Openness Profile of Knowledge Exchange: What can infrastructure providers do?

by Claudia Sittner

Knowledge Exchange (KE), a cooperative partnership of six national research-supporting organisations in Europe, has explored the development of an Openness Profile during an 18-month research evaluation of Open Science. In the report, instead of Open Science, the term “open scholarship” is used with a broader understanding. The final project report “Openness Profile: Modelling research evaluation for open scholarship” has recently been published. During the process, 80 people from 48 organisations at all levels of the “open scholarship ecosystem” were involved and surveyed.

In January 2020, the group already published preliminary results on the concept of the Openness Profile. In the blogpost Openness Profile Interim Report: What Libraries Could Take Away” we explored what libraries and infrastructure providers could learn from it.

We will briefly introduce the concept of the Openness Profile and take a look at which recommendations could be interesting for libraries and information infrastructures to promote open research practices and their acknowledgement, thereby supporting the Open Science community.

Why a global Openness Profile is a good idea

The concluding report ultimately concerns a well-known problem of Open Science: open activities are often invisible and unacknowledged. For researchers, therefore, they basically play hardly any role in career planning. This also applies to activities of partly non-scientific staff that are important for Open Science but are not even considered in the scientific evaluation system. Those activities include, for example, curating research data, developing infrastructures or conducting training for open practices. It also means that these kinds of qualified specialists tend to migrate from science to industry or commercial sectors, owing to lack of recognition and incentives.

Science is increasingly taking place at a global and interconnected level. A comprehensive global reform of the scientific incentive system, in which more stakeholders and open activities play a (larger) role, is required so that Open Science can ultimately gain acceptance.

Making open activities and stakeholders visible: the Openness Profile

This is where the Openness Profile comes into play. The Openness Profile is a kind of portfolio that makes activities in the field of Open Science visible, thereby increasing the awareness of the scientific community and all participants about the current lack of recognition for Open Science activities and stakeholders in the scientific evaluation system. In a first step, the Openness Profile should build upon existing persistent identifiers (PIDs), initially ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID). The advantage is that many scientists already have an ORCID ID anyway.

An ORCID record would then also be supplemented by the Openness Profile; and open activities and further stakeholders such as data stewards or project managers, who remain unacknowledged and therefore not remunerated for open activities in the current scientific system, can be made visible. This thereby simultaneously creates an incentive for open activities. The Openness Profile is therefore not only useful for individuals, who would need to maintain it themselves – but can also be taken up by funders who have grants to award or institutes who have vacancies to fill.

Open activities can be recorded and linked in a structured way in the Openness Profile by existing identifiers such as DOI, ORG ID or Grant ID, but manual entries with URLs and descriptive text are also possible. The Openness Profile is thus intended to become the central hub for collecting and linking of Open Science activities and results.

General recommendations on realising the Openness Profile

At the end of the report, KE provides recommendations for joint activities that are required to actually implement the Openness Profile, for four different groups of stakeholders:

  1. Research funders,
  2. national research organisations,
  3. institutes and
  4. infrastructure providers.

Below we take a closer look at the general recommendations as well as those for the infrastructure providers.

The general recommendations are:

  1. All pull in the same direction: Diverse stakeholders are involved at all levels of the scientific system. They often pursue their own goals and interests. In order to implement the Openness Profile, it is often necessary to subordinate individual interests to the common goal. All those involved have to declare their willingness to do this. The aim is to make open projects interoperable and sustainable, leading to increased transparency, reproducibility and ultimately, a higher research quality.
  2. Bring all participants together (stakeholder summit): to keep an eye on the interest and experience of all involved, KE suggests a summit of all stakeholders for the purpose of productive exchange and collaboration. The term ‘all participants’ refers to, for example: science policy-makers, institute managements, technologists, providers of research information systems, researchers at all career levels and infrastructure experts.
  3. Establish a permanent working group: This working group (WG) should be made up of all stakeholders and deal with five topic areas:
    1. community governance model,
    2. validation of the OP reference model,
    3. taxonomy for contributors and contributions,
    4. technical facilitation of research management workflows,
    5. infrastructures survey and gap analysis.

    The integration of persistent identifiers and the interoperability of the systems through the use of APIs is emphasised in the technical implementation. In terms of the analysis of the infrastructure landscape, KE finds that much is already in place that could support the Openness Profile. It would be a good idea if employees from libraries or other infrastructure providers became part of this permanent working group.

  4. Finding sponsors: To implement the Openness Profile, it is necessary to find one or more sponsors who can guarantee long-term financing and thereby the sustainability of the project. In addition to the financial support, these would have a variety of tasks such as the development of software to connect information systems using PID metadata or the coordination of training programmes for Open Science communities. This role would certainly be well suited to infrastructure providers, who could integrate persistent identifiers into their systems themselves (in-house Open Access repositories, for example) or expand and share their often already existing training programmes.

Recommendations for infrastructure providers

KE sees the role of infrastructure providers in relation to the Openness Profile primarily in increasing and ensuring interoperability between research systems, which can be achieved through persistent identifiers. This would be more sustainable anyway and would lead to a further development of the Openness Profile. In the most recent JISC report on persistent identifiers (PIDs), five major players were identified: ORCID, Crossref, Datacite, ARDC (RAiD) and RoR. Libraries and infrastructure providers could therefore focus on taking care of the interoperability of their existing systems through PIDs.

Furthermore, the following recommendations are made expressly for infrastructure providers in the concluding report:

  • They should assume an active role in the development of research infrastructure and corresponding workflows, while closely collaborating with other stakeholders on a national level – such as research organisations, publishers or funders.
  • As the Openness Profile is integrated via ORCID, its use must be focussed more sharply. To encourage the use of ORCID records and application programming interfaces (APIs), it is recommended that they be more closely integrated into institutional research information and funding systems, and that capacities be increased where necessary
  • Another recommendation is to review governance structures to ensure that they are genuinely primarily responsive to community needs and not to individual interests

The report also proposes expanding and intensifying collaborations between national research organisations and infrastructure providers, thereby driving Open Science forward.

Conclusion: Openness Profile and libraries – will it be a match?

The Openness Profile is an ambitious project to make Open Science and all its participating stakeholders visible. A far-reaching reform of the monoculturally oriented scientific incentive system is long overdue. Whether the Openness Profile will actually be realised depends heavily on whether there are enough sponsors among the stakeholders who are willing to invest in the project – both financially and in terms of personnel.

Libraries and infrastructure providers would be important stakeholders here owing to their expertise; and their own (open) activities and contributions could also be better captured and recognised by inclusion in an Openness Profile. They should also ensure that they are represented when the stakeholders summit and send committed Open Science enthusiasts to the working group to be established in the long-term – so that their interests are represented and their comprehensive know-how can be used. On a practical level, they can already ensure the integration of persistent identifiers in their systems, thereby making them interoperable and sustainable.

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This text has been translated from German.

The post The Openness Profile of Knowledge Exchange: What can infrastructure providers do? first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.