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1st OPEN SCIENCE FAIR Report, Athens, September 2017 (First Part)

A reflective overview of plenaries and workshop sessions during the Open Science Fair 2017, by Sant-Geronikolou Stavroula. 6-8 September 2017

Photo Crefits: Stavroula Sant-Geronikolou

Bringing together a wide international audience, Open Science Fair inaugural edition, an initiative of OpenAIRE, OpenUp, FOSTER and OMTD EU projects and locally curated by the National Kapodestrian University of Athens and Athena Research and Innovation Center under the co-sponsorship of the National Library of Greece, managed effectively and time-efficiently addressing major critical questions associated with Open Science ecosystem requirements, risks, challenges and perspectives, showcasing at the same time a great variety of innovative solutions, tools and methods and bringing to the fore the Open peer review and OS metrics case.

Organizers have resourcefully combined disperse information on OA / OS specific research initiatives, we only had so far been able to sneak peek during webinars and half-day conferences, enabling the research community and librarians among other stakeholders to enjoy a comprehensive 360o view of current international field dynamics deployed around three major axes- OS policies and processes, OS impact and FAIR data and Services- and a thorough initiation to short and long-term visions of what is coming next and what, according to OS leading experts the next top priorities should be in order to speed up the transition to OS from all different stakeholder perspectives.

“Open Science is about democratization of research processes and outputs”
Jon Tennant, Communications Director, ScienceOpen

While opening and keynote presentations were the pacemakers of the event highlighting challenges and benefits associated with the scholarly communication and research dissemination paradigm shift stressing the importance of continuous methodological education and all stakeholders’ interests alignment

”… the interests of all these people who want to publish, who want to get funding, who want to translate and who want to make profit and which necessarily is not very easy [to align]”
Pr. JPA Ioannidis, Stanford University

as the way to resolving the current scenario ambivalence, parallel sessions and workshops offered an OS emerging framework outline and additionally a hands-on approach to

  • Evaluating OS drivers importance from researchers standpoint
  • Testing the Knowledge maps interface and potential
  • Becoming familiar with the OpenUp Hub innovative dissemination toolbox properties
  • Critically analyzing the FAIR principles web-based assessment tool’s effectiveness and adequacy

More specifically, presenters stressed the importance of communication and coordinated efforts (Tsimpoglou, Tennant), transparency in terms of OA funding and costs along with the need to get out of the box to see how OA relates to the community (Manola), train data scientists, establish adequate reward systems (Tavernarakis), move away from present indicators, flawed metrics of JIF and related measures (Matthias, Markie), promote the engineering spirit (Sachs), support advocacy and exchange

opportunities and establish a transparent social network over repositories (Knoth) in order to overcome legal, political, economic, organizational, technical, sociocultural, informational related OS barriers that lead to inertia (Tennant), challenges associated with publication and research data sharing culture diversity, discipline specific infrastructural availability, the degree of publishers’ support of selfarchiving policies and publishers’ compliance with funders’ OA requirements (Tavernarakis), bonds and interrelations between society and publishing status quo that have to be tackled in order to move forward [Markie], the difficulty to inspiring the community and to redirect some of the library funds to support OA (Shearer), and science falsification, reproducibility (Gavrouglou, JPA Ioannidis) and copyright considerations (Georgopoulou) in their fight against skepticism surrounding OA publications and scientists’ fear of the possibility that their work could be under-evaluated or compromised.

During plenaries and selected parallel sessions, we had the opportunity to attend OS experts addressing a set of critical questions around

  • Inefficiencies of existing publishing system [Shearer, Fecher]
  • Reasons for launching OS institutional platforms [Fecher]
  • Open reviewer quality and conflicts of interests issues potentially involved in the open peer
  • review process [Fenter]
  • Ways to balance open Access with incentives
  • The confusion surrounding Europe’s existing growth model [Sachs]
  • Building momentum around incentivizing community to adopt the new standards [Shearer]
  • Policies and mandates adequacy to really helping overcome OS barriers [Tennant]
  • People’s fear OS could compromise their career
  • Ways Altmetrics could feed back into science [Gauch]
  • Media impact on the value system of science [Gauch]
  • New Generation Repository (NGR) characteristics [Knoth]

making the case for Open Peer Review and Open Publishing Platforms, proposing practical solutions such as

  • The Communalist approach to the infrastructural issue where public infrastructures are highlighted as the solution to the realization of the Journal Flipping Model that will serve the public while managed by academics.[Fecher]
  • OA views and downloads mapping to feed the conversation as to where the most vibrant open access hubs and supporters are located
  • Continuous methodological Education (CME) for catching up with methods and tools as a solution to OS blockers [JPA Ioannidis]
  • Nanopublications in LOD [Penev]
  • The Journal Flipping Model managed by academics through a public infrastructure [Fecher]
  • Going beyond metadata in a combination of activity and descriptive data that enables bulk data transfer, navigation and notifications

along with offering a quick overview of OS community long-term visions of repositioning the institution and the library at the center of scholarly communications, making libraries operate as open trusted durable interdisciplinary, interoperable content platforms (Shearer), bringing repositories back to the central of the research community and closer to the researcher (Rodrigues), adopting extended functionalities within repositories (Shearer), making researchers embrace the new paradigm and finally creating an Open Research Central platform where platforms will be merging across space and disciplines (Markie).

To that direction, national and international institutions and organizations in their effort to improve the virtual research environment to support collaboration and knowledge sharing (Bossy) have been engaged over the past few years in prioritizing and promoting the OA/OS case by forming interdisciplinary OA working groups (ERC), organizing surveys and workshops aiming to raising awareness of the importance of research dissemination to non-academic audiences, developing Innovative Dissemination Tool boxes (OpenUp Hub), semantic text data mining (LitPath Explorer) and topic modelling services (OpenAIRE), Taxonomies, OS license matrices and research data assessment tools (DANS FAIR), global scientific output search optimization platforms (Linknovate), expertise directories, Open textbook networks and finally instituting Open Science Award Scheme to promote OA/OS practices among researchers (University of California, Berkeley)

This report was written by Sant-Geronikolou Stavroula and originally posted on Zanodo. View original report

Photo Credits: Stavroula Sant-Geronikolou

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