This week, I attended the International Open Science Conference in Berlin. I attended this event last year, and found it so inspiring, I was keen to attend again this year. Open Science, or Open Research, as we tend to refer to it here in Edinburgh is an important development which will fundamentally change the way researchers and those who support them will work over the coming years.
We are in the process of adopting the LERU Roadmap on Open Science and are working with colleagues across the University with the aim of implementing as many of its 41 recommendations as possible.
The programme was comprehensive and there were far too many good ideas to summarise here, so instead I’d like to focus on a number of key take-home messages I came away with in no particular order:
- I need to get to grips with the European Open Science Cloud. It’s such a major intiative and I need to get to grips with what it is, how it works, and how it applies in the Edinburgh context (in an increasingly likely post-Brexit world).
- I’m very keen to work more closely with our Research Support Office to see what more we can do to ‘hack’ research proposals before they are submitted to make them more open right from the opurset. Thanks to Ivo Grigorov’s FOSTER Open Science CLINIQUE for the inspiration!
- Peter Kraker’s powerful presentation highlighted the risks we leave ourselves open to by allowing commercial monopolies to form within the research lifecycle. I’m increasingly worried that we are sleepwalking from a monopolistic market for library subscriptions to an even more dangerous situation with just one or two for-profit companies owning all the tools that are essential to the research endeavour. We need to do more to make open infrastructure sustainable. #dontleaveittogoogle
So, from my reams and reams of notes, those are my three key action points to take forward within the University of Edinburgh.
It was really great to hear Eva Mendez re-stress the importance of seeing the transition to open science as a process of manged, complex, cultural change. I think that is something I and my colleagues already understand very well, but it’s good to have this re-affirmed! It was also useful to think about how we need a complete picture of vision, skills, incentives, resources and action plans to avoid confusion, anxiety, resistance, frustration and false starts.
I’d highly recommend this conference and would encourage anyone with an interest in Open Research to attend again next year. #OSC2019