Open Science in Switzerland: Opportunities and Challenges

“Open Science stands for a new approach to the scientific process, based on cooperative work and new ways of making knowledge available. It is thus an umbrella term for various movements aiming to remove the barriers to sharing any kind of output, resources, methods or tools, at any stage of the research process (Figure 1).1 Here, we focus on the open access to scientific literature and to data because of their particularly high relevance to the scientific community in Switzerland, at which this factsheet is primarily addressed. Both Open Access and Open Data are important science policy topics in different parts of the world, but the developments in Europe are most pertinent for Switzerland. This factsheet therefore presents the issues at stake in the on-going discussion in Europe and Switzerland, points out opportunities and addresses challenges. The recommendations are guided by the key consideration to shape Open Access and Open Data so that they foster scientific progress and benefit society.”

The Economic Impacts of Open Science: A Rapid Evidence Assessment | HTML

Abstract:  A common motivation for increasing open access to research findings and data is the potential to create economic benefits—but evidence is patchy and diverse. This study systematically reviewed the evidence on what kinds of economic impacts (positive and negative) open science can have, how these comes about, and how benefits could be maximized. Use of open science outputs often leaves no obvious trace, so most evidence of impacts is based on interviews, surveys, inference based on existing costs, and modelling approaches. There is indicative evidence that open access to findings/data can lead to savings in access costs, labour costs and transaction costs. There are examples of open science enabling new products, services, companies, research and collaborations. Modelling studies suggest higher returns to R&D if open access permits greater accessibility and efficiency of use of findings. Barriers include lack of skills capacity in search, interpretation and text mining, and lack of clarity around where benefits accrue. There are also contextual considerations around who benefits most from open science (e.g., sectors, small vs. larger companies, types of dataset). Recommendations captured in the review include more research, monitoring and evaluation (including developing metrics), promoting benefits, capacity building and making outputs more audience-friendly.

Significant economic benefits? Enhancing the impact of open science for knowledge users | Impact of Social Sciences

“A key political driver of open access and open science policies has been the potential economic benefits that they could deliver to public and private knowledge users. However, the empirical evidence for these claims is rarely substantiated. In this post Michael Fell, discusses how open research can lead to economic benefits and suggests that if these benefits are to be more widely realised, future open research policies should focus on developing research discovery, translation and the capacity for research utilisation outside of the academy….”

Crossing the Borders: Re-Use of Smart Learning Objects in Advanced Content Access Systems

Abstract:  Researchers in many disciplines are developing novel interactive smart learning objects like exercises and visualizations. Meanwhile, Learning Management Systems (LMS) and eTextbook systems are also becoming more sophisticated in their ability to use standard protocols to make use of third party smart learning objects. But at this time, educational tool developers do not always make best use of the interoperability standards and need exemplars to guide and motivate their development efforts. In this paper we present a case study where the two large educational ecosystems use the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard to allow cross-sharing of their educational materials. At the end of our development process, Virginia Tech’s OpenDSA eTextbook system became able to import materials from Aalto University’s ACOS smart learning content server, such as python programming exercises and Parsons problems. Meanwhile, University of Pittsburgh’s Mastery Grids (which already uses the ACOS exercises) was made to support CodeWorkout programming exercises (a system already used within OpenDSA). Thus, four major projects in CS Education became inter-operable. 

Academic Engagement and Open Education Librarian

“The Academic Engagement and Open Education Librarian is a full-time, 12-month, exempt staff position reporting to the Library Director. This position will focus on creating a more equitable, inclusive academic experience for Fort Lewis College students by fostering the use of open education resources in higher education; support faculty research and teaching needs by serving as a resource for scholarly communication and copyright information; and communicate the Library’s services and resources through programs, activities and social media. Minimum qualifications: ALA accredited master’s degree in library or information science or equivalent and requisite skills and experience to perform duties….”

OSFair – open-access-tracking-project-the-most-comprehensive-tool-to-stay-up-to-date-with-the-most-recent-open-access-developments

“The Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) is a crowd-sourced project, aiming to provide a comprehensive Open Science (OS) feed, covering all OS subtopics, in all academic fields and regions of the world and in all languages. 

The project aims to tag new OS developments and disseminates this information to the end user in eight different types of feeds: 1) HTML, 2) RSS feed, 3) Atom, 4) JSONP, 5) Email, 6) Twitter, 7) PushBullet, and 8) Reddit. The OATP is the most comprehensive and easy to use tool where the whole OS community can contribute with tagging and capturing the open scholarly communications developments in open access, funders’ policies, copyright and open licenses, open data, research data management, and open tools and infrastructures, etc. 

Currently 80 taggers have tagged more than 77000 items in the OATP offering a comprehensive list of news items with self-sufficient summaries from experts, occasional comments, links to relevant developments and a searchable archive. Each tagged item offers also record metadata information, such as the date of the tag and the name of the tagger, while the tagged items range from blog posts, discussion forums, newspaper articles, open access books, journal articles, YouTube videos and many more. 

The OATP though is not merely an alert service, but also a classification system; it enables users to classify OS developments even when they are not new. The two most important facts about these “subtopic tags” is that they are all optional and they are all user-defined, which helps users track new items on the subtopics they care about. 

The OATP calls the OS community to become an OATP tagger by capturing OS related information that takes place in their own fields, countries and languages. …”

Using ORCID to Re-imagine Research Attribution | ORCID

“The objective of Rescognito is not to “disrupt” or to “dis-intermediate”, but to work with existing scholarly societies and other participants, keeping them at the heart of research evaluation and reputation management. Rescognito does not store content, it is not a social network nor workflow system; it is just a thin layer exclusively focused on recognition of a wide variety of research contributions. 

Using our platform, recognition is attributed using a counter called a “COG” (short for ReCOGnition) and the ORCID iD of the person granting the recognition. By themselves COG totals are a relatively superficial metric; but because they are open, transparent and attributable, we anticipate that layers of analytics, visualization and possibly AI will provide valuable insights into research trends and people.

We use the CRediT taxonomy, supplemented with a continuously-evolving list of home-grown recognition reasons (feedback welcome!) useful for recognizing non-article-based contributions and non-science works in the humanities and arts….

Thanks to ORCID our system can reliably identify research professionals (for example, the aforementioned Stephen Curry, along with his works:….

Rescognito also allows self-recognition as a way to claim/assign CRediT for a previously published work (for example,….”

Figshare announces data repository partnership with the National Institutes of Health to store and reuse research data

“Figshare, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announces the pilot launch of a new generalist data repository for all NIH-funded researchers, continuing the NIH’s efforts toward a permanent home for all datasets generated by the research funded by the NIH. The curated NIH data repository is available to use now at

All NIH-funded researchers can immediately make use of the repository to upload data and publish datasets that underlie publication figures or enhance rigor and reproducible research results. At the point of journal article publication, NIH-funded researchers should make available all of the digital files needed to reproduce the findings. By uploading data to NIH Figshare, researchers will be able to take advantage of an easy-to-use interface, usage metrics to assist in measuring impact, and a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) for persistently and publicly identifying and citing data for use in annual reviews about re-use….”

Enhancing Scientific Reproducibility through Transparent Reporting – A Workshop : Health and Medicine Division

“An ad hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is convening a public workshop to discuss the current state of transparency in reporting pre-clinical biomedical research (e.g., disclosure of the availability and location of data, materials, analysis, and methodology) and to explore the possibility of improving the harmonization of guidelines across journals and funding agencies so that biomedical researchers propose and report data in a consistent manner. This workshop is sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, Cell Press, The Lancet, and Nature Research.


Highlight current efforts by researchers, institutions, funders, and journals to increase transparency in proposing and reporting pre-clinical biomedical research;
Discuss journal and funder assessments of researchers’ adherence to reporting guidelines, including a discussion of the effectiveness of checklists;
Consider lessons learned from field-specific best practices for increased transparency in reporting rigor elements (i.e., research design, methodology, analysis, interpretation and reporting of results) that are generalizable across biomedical research domains;
Discuss opportunities for improving the consistency of reporting guidelines and requirements for rigor and transparency by journals, funders, and institutions across the biomedical research lifecycle; and
Consider approaches to compare reporting of rigor elements proposed in grant applications to those included in publications.

The committee will plan and organize the workshop, develop the agenda, select and invite speakers and discussants, and moderate or identify moderators for the discussions. The agenda will include a panel discussion on facilitating the development of consistent guidelines (e.g. a common set of minimal reporting standards) that could be applied across journals and funders to increase transparency in proposing and reporting biomedical research.

A proceedings of the presentations and discussions at the workshop will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with institutional guidelines….”

Commentary: UC Library’s hasty implementation of a complex plan means academic researchers lose | CalMatters

“A UC Library-commissioned study similarly found the plan “extremely complex, with significant risk on many sides.” If you thought that such a plan would be reworked, or at least scrutinized by university administrators, you would be wrong.

The library’s commissioned study found that a flip from a subscription to a pay-to-publish model would result in a significant funding gap for research-intensive institutions such as UC. The proposed plan would require UC researchers to pay to publish their own output and still obtain access to the vast majority, 85%, of peer-reviewed scientific literature that is subscription-based today. 

To solve this funding gap, the UC Library study asks that millions of dollars in grant funding be diverted away from research and used to “top off” library budgets. 

When surveyed, this plan drew “extremely negative” reactions from researchers, with the majority of survey respondents indicating that they would not support any research funds from being diverted into a library-led pay-to-publish model. Clearly, there is more work to be done….”

The British Academy response misrepresents Plan S and OA | Martin Paul Eve | Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing

“The British Academy has responded to the revised Plan S consultation. It’s nice of them to grudgingly accept there have been some improvements but I remain dismayed by the continued misrepresentation of Plan S within their documents. I will here quote some of the elements of their response that I believe misread or misrepresent Plan S. This post is strictly my personal opinion based on my academic expertise….”

Open science included in new Serbian law | EIFL

“The Serbian government has passed a new law on science and research that recognizes open science as a fundamental principle of science and research.

The new Law on Science and Research, passed on 8 July 2019, confirms Serbia’s commitment to open science. It comes just a year after the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development (MESTD), the main national funder of research in Serbia, adopted a national open science policy, the Platform for Open Science, mandating open science to all publicly funded research….”

RDA and COAR Collaborate to Progress Research Data Management Internationally | RDA

“The Research Data Alliance (RDA) and the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) are pleased to announce an agreement to work together to strengthen and expand capacities for research data management within the international data repository community.

COAR and RDA have a shared mission to improve access and use of research outputs, leading to better research and new discoveries. As part of this agreement, the organizations intend to coordinate more closely on strategic initiatives of shared interest, regularly exchange information about activities, and conduct joint webinars and events to support common aims….”