Knowledge sector takes major step forward in new approach to recognising and rewarding academics

“Academics can excel in many areas, but thus far they have primarily been assessed based on research achievements. From now on, the public knowledge institutions and research funders want to consider academics’ knowledge and expertise more broadly in determining career policy and grant requirements. In doing so, our aim is to ensure that the recognition and rewards system is better suited to the core tasks of the knowledge institutions in the areas of education, research, impact and patient care, and that the appreciation academics receive is better aligned with society’s needs.

 

A change is urgently needed in the way universities recognise and reward their academic staff. Research achievements have long determined academics’ career paths, and this dominance is becoming increasingly at odds with reality. Education and impact are also crucial to the success of a modern knowledge institution, as is patient care for our university medical centres. New developments relating to Open Access and Open Science are placing different demands on modern-day academics as well. Tackling complex scientific and social issues requires greater collaboration. At the moment, there are still insufficient career prospects for staff who (in addition to doing good research) mainly excel in education….”

TU Delft Strategic Plan Open Science 2020-2024 | TU Delft Repositories

Abstract:  Open Science is creating new forms of scientific interaction that were impossible or undreamed of in an earlier age. This has a strong impact on core academic processes like research, education and innovation. It is, for instance, easier to replicate an experiment if the relevant data sets are digitally available to any scientist who wishes to corroborate her colleague’s findings.TU Delft has a long history of engagement with Open Science. Yet, with its Open Science Programme 2020-2024, Research and Education in the Open Era, TU Delft wishes to take Open Science to the next level: a situation in which Open Science has become the default way of practising research and education, and the “information era” has become the “open era”. It is TU Delft’s ambition to be frontrunner in this revolutionary process. This is reflected in the TU Delft Strategic Framework 2018-2024, with “openness” as one of its major principles.The TU Delft Open Science Programme 2020-2024 tackles all areas of scholarly engagement where restrictions limit the flow of academic knowledge. It proposes new approaches to the process of research, education and innovation, with a strong focus on transparency, integrity and efficiency.The programme consists of five interrelated projects: Open Education, Open Access, Open Publishing Platform, FAIR Data, and FAIR Software. The projects are aimed at creating and disseminating various types of resources for the benefit of TU Delft researchers, teachers and students, as well as the general public. They will range from educational materials and software to a publishing platform. All outputs of the programme will be as ‘FAIR’ as possible: findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable.

Open Science Programme 2020-2024

“On Tuesday 26 November, the Executive Board of TU Delft endorsed the Open Science Programme 2020 – 2024, ‘Research and Education in the Open Era’. Over the next four years, the university will further its efforts to make open research and education a standard part of scientific practice. Prof. dr. Rob Mudde, vice-rector magnificus of TU Delft: “It is our ambition to be the frontrunner in this area.  Our aim is that Open Science becomes the default setting for research and education at TU Delft.” …”

Elsevier Progresses in Open-Access Deal Making | The Scientist Magazine®

“Last summer, dozens of academic institutions in Sweden let their Elsevier subscriptions lapse, forgoing permission to read new content in the scholarly publisher’s journals. Like other groups in Europe and the US, they were pushing for increased open access and contained costs—and had reached a deadlock in negotiations with the publisher. On Friday (November 22), the two sides announced that they had finally come to an agreement, establishing a so-called transformative deal that includes access to paywalled articles and open-accessing publishing into one fee….”

[Quoting] Wilhelm Widmark, the library director at Stockholm University and a member of the steering committee for the Bibsam consortium, which negotiates on behalf of more than 80 Swedish institutions. “I think Elsevier has become more flexible during the last couple of months.”

Just a day before the Swedish deal was made public, Elsevier and Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania announced a similar deal. These are the latest of several agreements Elsevier has forged to pilot open-access elements since the beginning of 2019. Earlier this year, for example, Hungary and Norway—both countries that had cancelled their subscriptions with the publisher after stagnant negotiations—also announced new contracts with the publisher….

As Elsevier is successfully forging deals on both sides of the Atlantic, there are still two major academic groups missing from these announcements: the University of California (UC) system, which includes 10 campuses, and Project DEAL, which represents around 700 academic institutions in Germany….”

Room for everyone’s talent: Toward a new balance in the recognition and reward of academics

Dutch public knowledge institutions and funders call for a modernization of the academic system of recognition and rewards, in particular in five key areas: education, research, impact, leadership and (for university medical centres) patient care. Sicco de Knecht writes, for ScienceGuide, that a culture change and national and international cooperation is required to achieve such modernization. 

“Many academics feel there is a one-sided emphasis on research performance, frequently leading to the undervaluation of the other key areas such as education, impact, leadership and (for university medical centres) patient care. This puts strain on the ambitions that exist in these areas. The assessment system must be adapted and improved in each of the areas and in the connections between them.”

New Landscapes on the Road of Open Science: 6 key issues to address for research data management in the Netherlands | Open Working

“The road to Open Science is not a short one. As the chairman of the Executive Board of the European Open Science Cloud, Karel Luyben, is keen to point out, it will take at least 10 or 15 years of travel until we reach a point where Open Science is simply absorbed into ordinary, everyday science.

Within the Netherlands, and for research data in particular, we have made many strides towards that final point. We have knowledge networks such as LCRDM, a suite of archives covered by the Research Data Netherlands umbrella, and the groundbreaking work done by the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences.

But there is still much travel to be done; many new landscapes to be traversed. Data sharing is still far from being the norm (see here for a visualisation of these results).

The authors of this blog post have put together six areas that, in their opinion, deserve attention on our Open Science journey….”

Leaked document prompts fears of big publisher ‘lock in’ | Times Higher Education (THE)

Only this fragment of the first sentence is OA: “Elsevier could sell Dutch universities a bundle of journal access rights and software, raising concerns that universities could become stuck in one publisher’s software ecosystem….”

Dutch universities and research funders move away from the impact factor – ScienceGuide

“By the end of 2019, all parties involved in this project pledge to have signed DORA  . This commitment has to be more than an empty gesture. For example, norms such as ‘four publications to obtain a PhD’ will be abolished, and NWO and ZonMw will no longer inquire about h-index or journal impact factor when academics submit grant applications. Instead of asking for a publication list and CV, they will ask for a more ‘narrative’ approach – inquiring about why this research is important, and why the applicant is the right person to carry it out.

This change will be fast, but not instant. The parties involved acknowledge that change takes time. Considering that to focus metrics such as impact factors took decades to become part of established practices, unlearning these routines will require a considerable amount of time, energy and perseverance. Correctly identifying diverse forms of talent and ‘good research’ will be a learning experience: “To accelerate the desired cultural change in recognition and rewards, we at NWO and ZonMW will strongly focus on training and instruction for our grant evaluation committees.” …”

News – The National Library of the Netherlands joins OLH LPS model

“We are delighted to announce that the National Library of the Netherlands has joined the Open Library of Humanities’ Library Partnership Subsidy system. The National Library of the Netherlands (Dutch: KB) is based in The Hague and was founded in 1798. The institution became independent of the state in 1996, although it is financed by the Department of Education, Culture and Science. The mission of the National Library of the Netherlands is to promote the visibility, usability and longevity of the Dutch Library Collection, defined as the collective holdings of all publicly funded libraries in the Netherlands. Unhindered access to these collections furthers the development of new ideas and allows researchers to build upon the ideas of their predecessors. The library houses two collections: the deposit collection and the scholarly collection. The deposit collection contains nearly all material published in the Netherlands. The scholarly collection of the National Library focuses traditionally on the humanities and more recently also on the social sciences.

The National Library has been supporting open access for some years now. It has recently published a “how to find open access publications guidance” and it participates in the National Platform Open Science….”