NASEM Roundtable Releases Open Science Toolkit

It contains modular elements that can be adapted and adopted for a range of use cases, including language for hiring, tenure & promotion, and grantmaking; primers on good practices for openly sharing articles, data, and a number of other resource types, and an Open Science Success Stories Database, which compiles research articles, perspectives, case studies, news stories, and other materials that demonstrate the myriad ways in which Open Science benefits researchers and society alike. Notably, the National Academies is publishing the toolkit under a CC-BY license.

OA Books Workouts: Scholars at work. Episode 1 with Janneke Adema. Tue, Oct 19, 2021 @ 3:00 PM (CEST) | Eventbrite

The Open Access Books Network organises a series of online events where scholars from different academic fields will present their open access book project. During the session they will briefly present their project, followed by a conversation about how the project came to be an open access book and what challenges they’ve encountered. During this talk we will also dive into how technologies like new publishing software, workflow processes, book sprinting and open peer review have shaped the project. The audience is invited to join the conversation and share thoughts, ideas and good practices.

Impostor Phenomenon and Skills Confidence among Scholarly Communications Librarians in the United States | Owens | College & Research Libraries

Abstract:  This survey-based study sought to measure the experience of impostor phenomenon among library personnel supporting scholarly communications in academic libraries in the United States. Additionally, the survey sought to assess confidence levels in key, professionally defined competencies and the factors most significantly affecting those confidence levels. Results indicated that, on average, scholarly communications librarians experience impostor phenomenon more frequently and intensely than academic librarians more broadly. The length of time spent working in libraries was negatively correlated with levels of impostor phenomenon, as were hours spent in specialized continuing education activities and number of research publications. Implications for improving training and mentoring opportunities to decrease impostor phenomenon are discussed.


Developing a Toolkit for Fostering Open Science Practices: Public Release Registration, Thu, Sep 30, 2021 at 3:30 PM | Eventbrite

“The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science will host a public release of Developing a Toolkit for Fostering Open Science Practices: Proceedings of a Workshop on Thursday, September 30, 2021 from 3:30-4:30 pm EDT. Please register in advance to receive information on how to participate in the event.”

Developing a Toolkit for Fostering Open Science Practices: Proceedings of a Workshop | The National Academies Press

“The National Academies Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Science, established in 2019, has taken on an important role in addressing issues with open science. The roundtable convenes critical stakeholders to discuss the effectiveness of current incentives for adopting open science practices, current barriers of all types, and ways to move forward in order to align reward structures and institutional values. The Roundtable convened a virtual public workshop on fostering open science practices on November 5, 2020. The broad goal of the workshop was to identify paths to growing the nascent coalition of stakeholders committed to reenvisioning credit/reward systems (e.g., academic hiring, tenure and promotion, and grants)to fully incentivize open science practices. The workshop explored the information and resource needs of researchers, research institutions, government agencies, philanthropies, professional societies, and other stakeholders interested in further supporting and implementing open science practices. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussion of the workshop.”

Central licensing and invoicing deals with PALCI and GWLA, and new participation deadline for Direct to Open from the MIT Press | The MIT Press

“Today, the MIT Press announced two new consortial relationships with the Partnership for Academic Library Collaboration and Innovation (PALCI) and the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA) for Direct to Open (D2O) and extended the deadline for libraries to commit to support the collective action model to November 30, 2021.

Libraries that commit to support Direct to Open before November 30, 2021 will earn exclusive benefits. They gain immediate, term access to an archive of gated monographs, including classic works from Rosalind Krauss, Daniel Dennett, Noam Chomsky, Paul Krugman, Sherry Turkle, and many more. D2O participating libraries also receive special discounting on the MIT Press’s trade books collection on the MIT Press Direct platform. If D2O does not reach the success threshold for 2022, participating libraries are assured term access to the archive collection without paying the fee. ”

European Open Science Cloud: small projects, big plans and 1 billion EUR

by Claudia Sittner

Prof. Dr Klaus Tochtermann is Director of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Member of the German Council for Scientific Information Infrastructures (RfII) and board member of the recently established European Open Science Cloud Association (EOSC Association). He was a member of the EOSC’s High Level Expert Group and the EOSC working group for sustainability for many years. He also founded, in 2012, the Leibniz Research Alliance Open Science, the international Open Science Conference and the associated Barcamp Open Science.

Recently, he was interviewed by host Dr Doreen Siegfried (ZBW) in the ZBW podcast “The Future is Open Science” on the future of the European Open Science Cloud and the complexity of the landscape for research data. This blog post is a shortened version of the podcast episode “European Open Science Cloud – Internet of FAIR Data and Services” with Klaus Tochtermann. You can listen to the entire episode (35 minutes) here (German).

Why the name European Open Science Cloud never fitted

Something that will surprise many people: “The terminology of the EOSC was never appropriate – even in 2015”, according to Tochtermann. Back then – as the initial ideas for the EOSC were being developed and small projects were commencing – it was neither European, nor Open, nor Science nor a Cloud:

“It isn’t European – because research doesn’t stop at the regional borders of Europe, but instead many research groups are internationally networked. It isn’t open – because even in science there is data that requires protection such as patient data. It isn’t science – because many scientific research projects also use data from economy. And it isn’t cloud – because the point is not to deposit all data centrally in a cloud solution”, explains Klaus Tochtermann. The term was specified by the European Commission at the time and is now established. Among experts, the term “Internet of FAIR Data and Services” (IFDS) is preferred, says Tochtermann.

Preparatory phase 2015 to 2020

The EOSC started in 2015 with the aim “to provide European researchers, innovators, companies and citizens with a federated and open multi-disciplinary environment where they can publish, find and re-use data, tools and services for research, innovation and educational purposes.” (European Commission).

Since then, 320 million EUR have been deployed to fund 50 projects relating to research data management. These have however only shed light on individual aspects of the EOSC. “In fact, we are still a long way from being able to offer EOSC operationally in the scientific system”, says Tochtermann.

The funds were integrated into a research framework programme that only financed smaller projects at a time – this is owing to the way the European Commission functions and how it funds research. That’s why there was never one big EOSC project, but many small individual projects. These examined issues such as: “What would a search engine for research data look like? How can identifiers for research data be managed?”, explains the ZBW director.

Large projects EOSC Secretariat and EOSC Future

Then the EOSC went into the next phase with two large projects: EOSC Secretariat and EOSC Future. Running time: 30 months. Budget: 41 million EUR. Both are intended to bring together all previous projects in the direction of EOSC, i.e. to enable convergence and actually draw up a “System EOSC”. All puzzle parts from earlier small projects are now being put together to form a large EOSC blueprint.

Founding of the EOSC Association

The EOSC Association was founded in 2020. It is a formal institution and a foundation under Belgian law. It is headquartered in Brussels and will consolidate all activities. A board of directors has been appointed to coordinate the activities, made up of the president Karl Luyben and a further eight members, including Klaus Tochtermann.

In February 2021, the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA, PDF) laid down what the EOSC Association should achieve over the next few years. From now on, all EOSC projects must be orientated on these SRIA guidelines.

Initial time plan for the European Open Science Cloud

The Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda anticipates various development stages with precisely defined timetables. Basis functionalities are classified as “EOSC Core”, a level that should be implemented by 2023. Here, elements such as search, storage/save or a log-in function will be realised. This will be followed by the launch of “EOSC Exchange”, which deals with more complex functionalities and services for special data analyses of research datasets.

Collaboration between the EOSC Association and the European Commission

On the question of how the European Open Science Cloud Association and the European Commission cooperate with each other, Tochtermann emphasises the good relationship to the Commission. The so called partnership model, which is new for everyone and first needs to be experienced, forms the framework for this. However, sometimes the time windows in which the Commission wants reactions from the EOSC Association are very narrow. “I’m glad we have a very strong president of the EOSC Association, who also has the backbone to ensure that we are not always confronted with such short time windows, where reactions are sometimes simply not possible because the subject matter is too complex. But overall it works well”, Tochtermann sums up.

Financing the EOSC Association: 1 billion EUR

For the next ten years, 1 billion EUR is being made available for the development of the EOSC – half from the European Commission and half by the 27 member states of the EU. This was negotiated between the European Commission and the EOSC Association from December 2020 to July 2021 and laid down in an agreement (PDF, the Memorandum of Understanding for the Co-progammed Euroepean Partnership on the European Open Science Cloud.

The EOSC Association also raises further funds through membership fees. According to Klaus Tochtermann: “Members are not individuals, but organisations such as the ZBW or the NFDI Association in Germany. (…) Members can choose between full membership, meaning they can take part in all votes and currently pay a contribution of 10,000 EUR per year. Or they can be an observer, where (…) they have a less active role and are not allowed to vote in the annual general meeting. As an observer, you pay 2,000 EUR.” The contributions of the 200 members currently generate a budget of around 1.5 million EUR for the EOSC Association. This is being utilised to build up staff in the office, among other things.

EOSC, NFDI and Gaia-X: a confusing mishmash?

As well as the EOSC, there are further projects in Germany and Europe aimed at implementing large research data infrastructures. The most well-known from a German perspective are the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) and Gaia-X. All three projects – EOSC, NFDI and Gaia-X are technically linked. They are all technical infrastructures. But how do they differ?

  • National Research Data Infrastructure

    As well as the European EOSC, there is the NFDI (German) in Germany, which was founded by the German Council for Scientific Information Infrastructures (RfII).

    The NFDI – similarly to the EOSC – deals with the technical infrastructure for research data, but is also concerned with the networking people, i.e. the scientific community, says Tochtermann. The NFDI thereby focusses on individual disciplines such as economics, social sciences, material sciences or chemistry.

    The NFDI directorate, a central coordinating body, brings the individual NFDI initiatives together, so that they interact. This takes places through working groups and applies above all to cross-discipline or discipline-independent topics. Klaus Tochtermann gives the following examples:

    • digital long-term archiving of research data,
    • allocation of unique identifiers for a data set,
    • single login or single sign-in for the research data infrastructure NFDI,
    • interoperability of systems,
    • uniform metadata standards and
    • uniform protocols.
  • Gaia-X

    On the other hand, there is Gaia-X: “Gaia-X is an initiative which aims to offer companies in Germany and Europe a European infrastructure for the management, i.e. storage of their data, for example, because many of them opt for services from America or China”, explains Tochtermann. As well as in its target group (including industry, companies), Gaia-X also differs from the EOSC and the NFDI in relation to the major role that the topic of data sovereignty plays in the project. Klaus Tochtermann summarises this as follows: “Data sovereignty means that when I generate data, I can follow who is using my data for what purposes at any time. And if I don’t want this, then I can also say, ’I don’t want my data to go there.’”

How can you learn more about the EOSC?

The EOSC Portal is an information platform that gives details about the services that will be playing a role at the EOSC at a later date. These include services such as European research data repositories. It’s a good place to start if you want to find out more about the EOSC.

Take part in the development of the EOSC

Anyone who wants to get involved in the EOSC can do so in the Advisory Groups. Six of these have been set up initially, to explore topics such as curricula in the field of research data, FAIR data and metadata standards. There was an open call to participate in these groups, for which around 500 applications were received. Most of them came from France (18 percent) and Germany (17 percent) which shows how much the EOSC has already caught on in both countries, says Tochtermann. A selection from these 500 applications will now be used to fill the six working groups.

On the website of the EOSC Association, you will also find regular “Calls and Grants”, which people can apply for, or job applications For up-to-date information, you can subscribe to the monthly newsletter or follow the EOSC Association on Twitter @eoscassociation.

This blogpost is a translation from German.

Related Links

This might also interest you:

  • Episode 12 of the ZBW podcast „The Future is Open Science“ with Prof. Dr Klaus Tochtermann on the European Open Science Cloud (German)
  • The post European Open Science Cloud: small projects, big plans and 1 billion EUR first appeared on ZBW MediaTalk.

    An open chat with…Stuart Ferguson – Wright – – FEBS Open Bio – Wiley Online Library

    “[Q] What is your opinion on Open Access versus the traditional subscription publishing model?

    [A] I start with the observation that there was not one traditional publishing model. On the one hand, there are commercial publishers such as Elsevier but also Nature, Cell Press, etc., who published a whole range of journals from the very prestigious to the not so prominent and made their money by charging often high fees to libraries and in some cases individual subscribers. These attracted increasing disapproval because they were publishing work that had been funded by public bodies and/or charities who were interested in discoveries and not publications/publishers’ profits. On the other hand, there are journals published by learned societies such as the Biochemical Journal (UK) and the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Here, the income, again mainly from libraries, was used to support the scholarly activities of the sponsoring societies, but even here there was variation; some journals such as the Journal of Biological Chemistry charged their authors’ page charges, whereas others, such as the Biochemical Journal, did not. In general, those that did not impose page charges charged higher prices to libraries. A third model was that of FEBS who have always worked with commercial publishers to generate revenue for FEBS from their journals. All these journals made additional money from the sale of reprints. Most of the content of these journals was available only to subscribers, of which the majority were affiliated to institutional or company subscribers. The idea that all publicly funded knowledge should be available to all was given impetus by the move to online publication when it became feasible for an individual, almost anywhere in the world and without institutional or company connection, to gain access to all publications provided there was no paywall. I have always questioned how many such individuals exist, but to make publications truly open access, the costs of publication have had to shift to investigators and their institutions. At my own institution, the large sums allocated for this purpose were exhausted before the financial year was complete, thus leading to delays in publication. It is now understood that spending large sums of money this way instead of on research is unsustainable. The dream, of course, is deposition of papers on the internet at close to zero cost, but then who would organize review and proper presentation? Some will argue that we don’t need review—rubbish will sink ignored—but then how would we know about papers hosted only on an institutional website? Overall, I am inclined to think the traditional model had much to recommend it and it is not clear to me how the scientific community can stop profit-driven commercial publishing, an original aim of open access, other than boycotting of certain journals….”

    Australian funder backflips on controversial preprint ban

    “Australia’s major research funding body has backtracked on a rule that banned the mention of preprints in grant applications, under pressure from researchers who decried the ruling as “astonishing” and “outdated”.

    The policy adjustment by the Australian Research Council (ARC) comes nearly four weeks after an anonymous researcher behind the ARC Tracker account on Twitter revealed that dozens of applications for early-career funding schemes had been rejected for citing preprints. More than 30 applications, worth Aus$22 million (US$16 million), were ruled ineligible.

    Several rejected applicants, who can’t apply again because fellowship-application attempts are limited, told Nature last month that the decision had effectively ended their careers….”

    An Open-Publishing Response to the COVID-19 Infodemic

    Abstract:  The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed the rapid dissemination of papers and preprints investigating the disease and its associated virus, SARS-CoV-2. The multifaceted nature of COVID-19 demands a multidisciplinary approach, but the urgency of the crisis combined with the need for social distancing measures present unique challenges to collaborative science. We applied a massive online open publishing approach to this problem using Manubot. Through GitHub, collaborators summarized and critiqued COVID-19 literature, creating a review manuscript. Manubot automatically compiled citation information for referenced preprints, journal publications, websites, and clinical trials. Continuous integration workflows retrieved up-to-date data from online sources nightly, regenerating some of the manuscript’s figures and statistics. Manubot rendered the manuscript into PDF, HTML, LaTeX, and DOCX outputs, immediately updating the version available online upon the integration of new content. Through this effort, we organized over 50 scientists from a range of backgrounds who evaluated over 1,500 sources and developed seven literature reviews. While many efforts from the computational community have focused on mining COVID-19 literature, our project illustrates the power of open publishing to organize both technical and non-technical scientists to aggregate and disseminate information in response to an evolving crisis.


    Open Access Data Analyst

    “The Open Access Data Analyst will join a highly team-based environment within the California Digital Library’s Shared Collections Program, supporting the transition to open access publishing by engaging in complex data analysis projects, gathering data from a variety of sources and synthesizing it into outputs offering insights and predictive models to help guide strategy and inform discussions with publishers. The Open Access Data Analyst will support work both within the UC system and with other partner institutions, creating reports and visualizations which can communicate results to technical and nontechnical stakeholders throughout the library and university administration. A successful candidate will be able to embed data analysis into the transformative agreement negotiation and implementation processes, producing meaningful results to guide strategy and constantly iterating based on feedback and changing priorities to be responsive and sensitive to a dynamic environment.”

    OASPA Comes of Age – OASPA

    “At the end of this month, as the new OASPA Board’s annual term begins, Caroline Sutton will step down from the OASPA Board after 14 years of service. Caroline has been involved with OASPA since a shared idea became reality back in 2007.  She was our founding President and is the last of the founding members to leave the board. For us, her departure offers a chance to reflect on both the end of a critical, formative stage in open access, and to look forward ambitiously to a new and incredibly exciting phase, secure in the knowledge that Caroline, in common with all of our founding members, has helped create a robust foundation on which to build towards realising our mission. …”