“The basic policy framework recommended in this document highlights the institution’s ability to play a central role in the stewardship of the scholarly record generated by its faculty. The framework is straightforward; campus OA policies require authors to make manuscripts available for deposit in an institution’s repository at the time they are accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Authors automatically grant the institution the right to make their manuscripts openly accessible. At the same time, authors may request a waiver, or “opt out,” of the institutional license for a given article if needed to accommodate a pressing individual circumstance….”
On October 10 2016 the Centre Virchow-Villermé hosted a workshop on ‘Fostering Open Science in Global Health – the case of datasharing in Public Health Emergenices’. Featuring a diverse panel with representatives from different fields and different parts of the world, the workshop identified barriers and bottlenecks of an open approach to datasharing and science in general.
More than just data, more than just emergencies
Public health emergencies like the recent Zika and Ebola outbreaks illustrate the need for a more collaborative approach to research. Keeping information on screened viral genomes in situations where time counts the most is directly delaying the development of adequate responses.
However, Katherine Littler from the Wellcome Trust pointed out very early in the workshop ‘What is good for Public Health Emergencies is good for any research’, ‘There is no reason to hold information back.’ Comments from the audience sounded even more drastic: ‘There are no other reason for not sharing research data but prestige or selfishness.’
Katherine Littler of the Wellcome Trust describing how much more effort is needed to change practises in science. (Image: World Health Summit)
Dr Ali Sié, a researcher from Nuna in Burkina Faso generally supported ‘Open Science’ as a concept. Nevertheless, immediate sharing of clinical trial data would lead to even greater North-South inequalities in the research communities. He argued that those collecting data are not necessarily those with the biggest computing power. When making raw data directly acces- and processible, researchers in the global north could use technological expertise and piggy back on this and leverage the data faster than those who collected it in the global south.
As long as scientific reputation is based on publications in high impact journals, sharing is not incentivized. A paradigm shift in recognizing the value of shared data sets is highly needed.
Dr Diallo from the Guinean Ministry of Health and Professor at the University of Conakry pointed out that data itself is only valuable when seen in the context of its creation. The community aspect of research, especially in outbreak situation, needs to be considered when opening datasets to the public.
Sceptisism meets interest – impressions from the workshop (Image: World Health Summit)
How to open science
Eventhough data and information on trials are technically available, they are often spread out on the Internet and difficult to find. ‘Open Trials‘, an initiative by Open Knowledge International aims to do something about this issue by collecting ‘all the data on all the trials, Linked.’ They launched the public beta version on our workshop.
Researchers, the private sector, as well as government representatives present agreed, that in fact early career researchers need to sustain the movement in favour of more open and collaborative science as the default option within academia. Some questions remain unanswered – but the Centre Virchow-Villermé remains committed to offer a platform of exchange to discuss and support a shift in current practises.
You can read more about the workshop in this BMJ Blog:
“In April 2016, the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR) launched a working group to help identify new functionalities and technologies for repositories and develop a road map for their adoption. For the past several months, the group has been working to define a vision for repositories and sketch out the priority user stories and scenarios that will help guide the development of new functionalities.
The vision is to position repositories as the foundation for a distributed, globally networked infrastructure for scholarly communication, on top of which layers of value added services will be deployed, thereby transforming the system, making it more research-centric, open to and supportive of innovation, while also collectively managed by the scholarly community.
Underlying this vision is the idea that a distributed network of repositories can and should be a powerful tool to promote the transformation of the scholarly communication ecosystem. In this context, repositories will provide access to published articles as well as a broad range of artifacts beyond traditional publications such as datasets, pre-prints, working papers, images, software, and so on….”
“The Coalition for Publishing Data in the Earth and Space Sciences (COPDESS) connects Earth and space science publishers and data facilities to help translate the aspirations of open, available, and useful data from policy into practice. COPDESS has developed a statement of commitment, now signed by most leading publishers and repositories, and provides a directory of repositories for publishers and recommended best practices around data and identifiers (see links on left)….”
“Migrating from Academia.edu to Zenodo.org
I fully advocate leaving Academia.edu, but what purpose does it serve to simply delete your account? You are removing publications that are, in the very least, freely and openly available at the moment. Essentially, the best decision is to migrate documents to Zenodo.org, and allow at least one week for Google to fully index migrated content before deleting the Academia.edu account. My MA thesis entitled ‘Recent Advances in Roman Numismatics,’ about the application of Linked Open Data methodologies toward Roman numismatics with Nomisma.org and Online Coins of the Roman Empire, had been available in both the ANS Digital Library and Academia.edu as of January 28, 2016. Due to our superior use of microdata and full-text indexing, the ANS Digital Library version surpassed Academia days after it was published. I uploaded my thesis to Zenodo.org January 29, 2016, and it was already on the first page of Google three days later.
Many of us have uploaded a substantial number of documents to Academia.edu, and it might be tedious to re-upload these documents into a new system, especially with regard to re-entering publication metadata. I have sought to rectify this by facilitating a more efficient migration system. I have developed a framework that is capable of parsing metadata from an Academia.edu profile (although not all publications are listed when the profile page loads), accepting re-uploaded documents (since these cannot be extracted from Academia.edu directly), and uploading these contents into Zenodo.org. This framework itself is open source and available on Github. I will save the technical discussion for different venue.”
“Assuming that providing research results in open access is beneficial to many stakeholders and will lead to better research, this document suggests a number of activities by which participants in the Global Research Council (GRC) can foster the open exchange of research results. After briefly introducing the concept and the benefits of open access, some common principles for transitioning to open access are suggested as a basis for the action plan. The proposed activities aim at raising awareness for open access, at promoting and supporting open access, and at assessing the implementation of the actions suggested. The action plan is designed to take into account that participants in the GRC come from various backgrounds, have various degrees of expertise in dealing with open access, and have different remits. Thus, funding agencies need to consider which of the proposed activities are appropriate to be taken up by (possibly consortia of) participants in the GRC….”
“The Swedish Research Council has been tasked by the Government to develop national guidelinesfor open access to scientific information and presents in this report its proposal for how theguidelines should be formulated. The report also includes suggestions for further assignments, investigations and allocation of responsibilities, together with a proposal that a nationalcoordination function be set up at the appropriate authority, with the mandate to coordinate the work….”
:This OA2020 roadmap, prepared in principle by the Max Planck Digital Library, is incorporated by reference in the OA2020 Expression of Interest (EoI), but is not binding on EoI signatories. Rather, this roadmap is intended to offer potential frameworks or guidelines for practical steps that can be taken to prepare for the envisaged open access transformation. As the EoI acknowledges, the large-scale transition to Open Access is intended to reflect community-specific publication preferences. While the roadmap will endeavor to encompass a broad range of approaches being adopted by various stakeholder communities as they are developed, the specific undertakings by any particular institution working toward OA2020 may not necessarily align with or conform to the roadmap’s suggestions. Entities that have signed the EoI may develop their own roadmaps reflective of institutional or community needs.
This roadmap is also designed as a living document. At the moment it focuses on the ‘activation phase’ in which some initial steps towards the OA2020 transformation are described; it will evolve as momentum develops. Max Planck Digital Library intends to solicit OA2020 community input to the roadmap on an ongoing basis. For reasons explained below, this document addresses mainly the library level within the structural organization of a research institution….”
“The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities has called for significant increases in European funding through Horizon 2020 and the next Framework Programme, FP9, and improved success rates for applicants, to ensure continued applications and optimal impact….The guild supports the work on ‘open innovation’ including the creation of the European Innovation Council to coordinate the open, radical and disruptive innovation driven by universities, industry and entrepreneurs, although it wants the funding to come from additional funds, not from Horizon 2020. It also supports measures on ‘open access’. …”
“The [Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities] is a recently established network of eighteen research-intensive universities from thirteen countries across Europe….We make nine core propositions for how European funding through Horizon 2020 (H2020) and the next Framework Programme (FP9) can strengthen research and innovation: …We welcome the three Os: Open Innovation, Open Science and Open to the World and urge a focus on the ‘quick wins’, removing barriers and enhancing initiatives to collaboration….We support measures to improve Open Access, and the inclusion of the Open Access requirement (with the possibility of opt-outs) for H2020-funded research. We also support the work of the Open Science Policy Platform (OSSP) and the High-Level Expert Groups reporting into it. At the same time, we urge that: [a] Open Science can relate to national initiatives effectively, and that it builds on, rather than duplicates, relevant aspects of the ERA (notably the development, under ESFRI, of einfrastructures). [b] The requirement to publish on Open Access does not transfer resource from research and innovation to the publishing industry. The Commission needs to have an active coordinating role in bringing publishers and universities together to agree optimal ways of ensuring Access. [c] There is an active engagement with national university representations and research councils to consider questions around (i) career advancement and recognition for researchers engaged in Open Science; (ii) research parameters; and (iii) challenges to achieve research integrity, including the reproducibility of research results….”