Notes after my workshop entitled “Open Science. What is in it for me?”

In celebration of Open Access Week a few days ago I led a workshop entitled “Open Science. What is in for me?”. Workshop was organized by¬†Kaunas University of Technology & The Lithuanian Society of Young Researchers and took a place in the beatiful city of Kaunas. The slides are below:

 

Open Science workshop at Kaunas University of Technology from Pawel Szczesny

I’ve started with a brief overview of what Open Science is and how it relates to the way we conduct and communicate research. In principle, I’ve argued that Open Science is basically an intrinsic feature of science, codified by a set of good research practices. Thefore, it’s hard to be ‘fundamentally against’ Open Science, however not all of the practices of Open Science make sense to everybody and everyone. As many of such practices are the journey off the beaten path (in some fields there’s virtually no social or technical infrastructure for certain sharing practices), in our region (CEE) it makes a lot of sense to be pragmatic open scientist – embrace only those activities which don’t jeopardize one’s scientific career.

Participants of the workshop were young scientists (pre- and post-doctoral) and largely were not previously exposed to such a wide definition of Open Science (although were quite aware of what is Open Access and what are it’s benefits). Therefore I asked them first to brainstorm questions to which “Open Science” or more precise term is an answer for. For example, the valid question would be “What is the mechanism ensuring wide availability of scholarly works?” and Open Access is surely one of good answers. Then, we have collectively created set of personal recommendations for young Lithuanian researchers based on the questions that were brainstormed. We took a question one by one, and tried to form a good research practice that would address the problem in the question, but trying to make the recommendation as achievable as possible. Finally, I asked them individually to choose which one of them would be the most easy for them to actually implement.

Given that most of the participants had a very vague idea of what Open Science is I was very satisfied with the final outcome. See the list of recommendation that they have developed:

  • Submit published works to OA repository
  • Suggest and embrace use of plagiarism checking software at research institutions [this was to provide additional leverage to promote OA; without OA plagiarism checking has limited functionality]
  • Use Open Source to develop new products and services
  • Use social networks, subject repositories, teaching materials and press releases [for distributing one’s research outcomes]
  • Use CC licences and contribute to open networks [this related to maximization of added value of research outcomes]
  • Build professional profile on social networks, actively get in touch with other researchers, conferences (including online)
  • Embrace alternative metrics
  • Communicate ideas through as many channels as possible
  • Earn a trust of online scientists and ask them to comment on your paper [this related to improvement of scholarly works before final publication]
This was all their work – I only helped to put their ideas into words.
It is very practical list of activities that substantially advance Open Science in transparent and energy-efficient manner. Openness has a bright future if young scientists are thinking like that.
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