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Dear <<First Name>>,

The November newsletter touches on the advantages and obstacles of open access, open data, open education and other pillars of Open Science. In a time where timely access to credible sources of information is needed, and where misinformation, disinformation, and fake news hinder the quality and credibility of research and researchers, there is urgent need for critically assessing and interpreting information, as well as for openness, transparency, and accessibility. In light of these needs, this newsletter addresses the benefits and challenges of open science within and beyond academia. How to increase data sharing and advance the impact of science on society. How to influence policy makers through enhancing quality of data. What are the benefits of making research outputs more accessible in a time of crisis? These are only a few of the many questions to consider this month.

We would like to thank all the contributors for their input. We hope you enjoy yet another issue of the AESIS Newsletter!
Disclaimer: Any views or opinions depicted in this newsletter are of the contributors, not the AESIS network or any of its employees.
AESIS Expert Interview Series
Daniel Huppmann is a Research Scholar that coordinates the research theme 'Scenario Services and Scientific Software' in the IIASA Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) Program. He and his team develop tools and software packages for scenario ensemble compilation, validation, analysis, and dissemination in line with best-practice of scientific-software development and FAIR data management. In the November episode for the AESIS Expert Interview Series, we asked Daniel to explain the need for the research community to move beyond “only open-source” and how to tackle certain challenges in the documentation of code and compilation of data.
Open Science, Misinformation & Publishing Beyond Academics
The institutional barriers of “Open Access”[i]
Loet Leydesdorff, Science Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Notwithstanding the programmatic statements about its value, Open Access (OA) is another financing model: the costs of the publications are no longer placed with the libraries but with the researchers who have to pay to be allowed to publish. As a result, dependence of researchers on organizations for research funding is growing. In the universities where money is always short, choices will have to be made between who can and cannot be paid additionally to publish. In that process, the relationships are very uneven, because a PhD student, for example, depends on the supervisor.
The power shifts from editorial control to institutional relationships. Under the system of academic freedom, anyone can send something to a scientific journal, without asking for permission. It is then assessed by peers on its merits and not on its financeability. The system of OA is forced upon academia by funding agencies with the argument that there will then be transparency and free access to the public. However, one can already freely enter most  libraries and view a magazine; much literature is available online in preprint form. Otherwise, one can ask the author for a pdf.
The ability to publish unhindered is crucial for innovation and for the development of society. With hindsight, it was highly symbolic that Louis Elzevir himself smuggled Galilei’s manuscript from Italy to print it in Leiden.

[i] This text is an updated and translated version of a Letter to the Editor, NRC, 12 Nov. 2018
Covid-19 and Open Science: opportunities and challenges
Marc Vanholsbeeck, Head of the Directorate of Scientific Research, Ministry of Wallonia-Brussels Federation, and chair of the ERAC SWG OSI, Belgium
In its Opinion on Open Science and Open Innovation in times of pandemic, the European Research Area Committee Standing Working Group on Open Science and Innovation (ERAC SWG OSI) considers that the pandemic works as a catalyst for Open Science. Preprints have shown their potential for fastened discussion of research results between peers and a certain ability to auto-correct, while the benefits of opening the access to research outputs in all disciplines has been made obvious.
Challenges include the need to ensure the reliability and the immediate accessibility of research outputs, including FAIR data, while the traditional peer reviewing process shows its limitations. Absence of contextualization in some media coverage may also jeopardize public confidence in scientists’ work. Hence, the Working Group recommends that open access to publications resulting from publicly funded research activities should be generalised in all disciplines. Proper data standards should be agreed early on, taking into account the disciplinary specificities, while interoperable and federated ecosystems of FAIR data have to be implemented, as well as distributed analytics and machine learning. Furthermore the group recommends that research assessment and research integrity policies take the requirements connected to Open Science more into account.

The Opinion can be downloaded here.

An article on the same topic by Marc Vanholsbeeck and Bernard Rentier, Professor Emeritus of Virology and Viral Immunology (University of Liège), can be read here (in French only).
The African Open Science Platform – increasing access to data and information to advance science impact
Sepo Hachigonta, Director: Strategy Partnerships, National Research Foundation, South Africa
The digital revolution is changing society, economies and the lives of individuals in unprecedented ways, with enormous potential for science. It has led to the emergence of a powerful new paradigm of ‘open science’ that enhances the efficiency of science through sharing of information, knowledge, data and ideas. Data-driven science, supercharged by technological advancement including artificial intelligence, has the potential to address the inherent complexity of major global challenges, including the SDGs. The African Open Science Platform (AOSP) - a multi-institutional initiative - makes a case for bold actions to mobilise the African scientific community in response to the opportunities and challenges presented by the digital revolution through the new paradigm of “Open Science”.
This ambitious platform provides African scientists with the necessary tools and concepts for open science, the stimulus for excellence in science, and pathways to its application in the environment, business and society. The platform acts as a vehicle to strengthen the research enterprise on the African continent by adopting an integrated approach to policy; infrastructure and human capacity development in support of data intensive research and innovation.
The pilot phase of AOSP was launched in 2017. Since 2020, the AOSP Project Office is hosted by the National Research Foundation of South Africa, for the next five years. The AOSP is supported by the South African Department of Science and Innovation, the International Science Council, CODATA, the Academy of Science of South Africa, Bibliotheca Alexandrina and other prominent regional networks.

Please read more here.
Are you interested in Open Science?
Do you want to explore strategies for open access, data and education?
Then join us in our
Open Science & Societal Impact Seminar.
Sitting on data is power, sharing data is even more power
Koen Verlaeckt, Secretary General at Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR) & Peter Van Humbeeck, Senior Policy Advisor at Social-Economic Council of Flanders (SERV), Belgium
 
Political ambitions for data-driven government have been multiple. High-quality data are rightly seen as the cornerstone for a long-term public risk management strategy,  a prerequisite for better policy-oriented research, and an engine for better policy. However, as the Covid-19 crisis continues to show,  the road to achievement is still long.VLIR and SERV have joined forces in formulating recommendations to the Belgian authorities.
They identify four areas where progress is needed:
  • The quality and availability of data are not always sufficient for researchers or policy-makers. Problems include delays in making data available, lack of longitudinal data and data gaps.
  • The findability and accessibility of data should be improved. Relevant data sets are scattered across different government actors.
  • Privacy procedures, although crucial from an ethical point of view, are not always applied in a user-friendly way. Sometimes they are invoked as an alibi for not having to share data.
  • Government actors tend to guard data as their property. They underestimate the added value of sharing data.
Better data lead to more proportionate policy decisions. They save time, energy and lives. Enhancing the quality of data management and data governance, and increasing the level of data literacy should be taken up as a joint effort by government, science and other relevant societal stakeholders.
ERIC Forum publishes recommendations to increase reproducibility in academic research
Anne-Charlotte Fauvel, Head of European Affairs at the European Research Infrastructure for Translational Medicine (EATRIS), the Netherlands
Reproducibility in academic research is frequently mentioned in publications as a limitation of current scientific practices. As European research infrastructures facilitating the research process, European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERICs) have a role to play in providing solutions to the research community and to increase the degree of reproducible and high quality science. In February 2021, EATRIS organised a two-day inter-disciplinary workshop on the subject of “Research Quality and Reproducibility”.
The workshop provided a wide range of stakeholders from academia, industry and policy-making with the opportunity to exchange best practices and explore challenges in the design and execution phase of research. Drawing on insightful contributions from speakers, participants and panel discussions at the workshop, Anne-Charlotte Fauvel (Head of EU Affairs at EATRIS) has written a report summarises the main points.
The report includes seven ways to increase research quality and reproducibility ranging from reporting, communications, quality management and funding among others. 
The report makes clear that funders have an important role to play to accompany cultural changes and motivate researchers to improve their routine practices. The changes implemented by research funders such as the Wellcome Trust and the European Commission have seemed to show the path for other research funders in Europe, and globally. Funders can, for example, require best scientific practice in their eligibility criteria, and make the open sharing of research outputs the new normal, thus prompting research institutions to re-consider their institutional research culture strategy or their criteria for appointment and promotion. Furthermore, funders could consider funding research that helps to further identify and measure factors associated with reproducibility and the effectiveness of interventions to improve reproducibility, and fund confirmation studies.

Read more about the report here.
"Access to EU Research Funding by Stimulating &
Demonstrating Societal Impact" Online Course


8-10 December, Online,
Hosted from Brussels, Belgium 

This 3-day interactive course invites grant officers and funding advisors to profit from the knowledge of our Impact and EU experts to put their insights to practice. The course will map out recent insights and results on measuring the impact of EU research and outline how the Union defines societal and economic impact. We will discuss how universities and universities of applied sciences can improve the demonstration of “impact” in their EU research funding applications and provide tools to optimise this.

Read more on our webpage.
"Institutional structures
for societal impact of science
"
Online Course

1 - 4 March 2022,
Online via Zoom

Research institutions need to undergo a culture change, in which policy, strategy, structure, mindset and skills are adjusted to be able to stimulate societal impact of research, and demonstrate the pathways through which they took place. In this four-day workshop you will be able to discuss best practices to find solutions to shared problems and strengthen both research excellence as well as societal impact within your institution, together with experts in the field and other participants from all over North America.

Read more on our webpage.
Going for Gold - Why Gold open access matters for research impact and reach
Nick Campbell, Vice President Funder Relations Academic Affairs, Springer Nature, UK
Creating a more efficient research system starts with ensuring that the final version of research is immediately and openly accessible upon publication to be used, re-used, cited, shared and built upon. This is why Springer Nature continues to advocate for full (Gold) OA as the best, most complete and most sustainable route to having all primary research immediately available, and continues to take an evidence-based approach to supporting that. Our latest white paper, Going for gold: exploring the reach and impact of Gold open access articles in hybrid journals, is a core example of this outreach.
Looking at citations, downloads and Altmetric scores, the research confirms that Gold OA articles achieve greater reach and impact compared to non-OA articles, and compared to subscription articles with earlier versions available e.g. via Green OA routes.
Transitioning to full OA is at the heart of our business, and has been for the past twenty years - we continue to put this commitment into action by adapting our business, being strong advocates for open access, and continuing to be an active voice in discussions and debates.
We continue to welcome ongoing and open conversations with our community and would encourage you to get in touch.
 
More information on the white paper can be found here, and above mentioned activities can be found as part of our open research outreach here.
ORION resources to help put Open Science into practice
Maria Hagardt, International Relations & Communications Manager, Vetenskap & Allmänhet, VA, Stockholm, Sweden
September marked the official end of the ORION Open Science EU project, whose aim was to trigger institutional, cultural and behavioural changes in Research Funding and Performing Organisations towards Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). ORION leaves behind an impressive collection of resources that package the learnings gained throughout the project, freely available to reuse by anyone wishing to put Open Science into practice.
Many methodologies were developed and tested throughout the project ranging from citizen science, gamification, public dialogues and science & art collaborations to training, podcasts, funding and award mechanisms. In the Inspiring stories booklet you’ll find a compilation of stories, which capture the "EUREKA moment", highlighting successes and learnings from activities conducted during ORION. Training materials, including the ORION MOOC for Open Science in the Life Sciences and 44 episodes of the ORION podcast on every aspect of Open Science, from data sharing to citizen science and from peer review to professional development, are also available. Plus the ORION partners’ institutional open science action plans can also now be viewed.
The ORION final conference, held online on 27-28 September, was an opportunity to review ORION’s achievements and share key lessons and experiences.  You can view any parts of the final conference or access a summary of the event on the ORION website too. The ORION Open Science project has now officially come to an end but the legacy will continue and hopefully spread further. Let's put Open Science into practice!

Please check out the ORION Open Science film on YouTube.
Podcasting, publishing and outreach
ResearchPod, UK ft Prof Matthew Fox, Departments of Epidemiology and Global Health, Boston University, US
Will Podcasting and Social Media Replace Journals and Traditional Science Communication? No, but…” is the perhaps controversially titled paper by Prof Matt Fox and a team at Boston University School for Public Health. And, if the answer is no, what role can they play in the future? In the August episode of ResearchPod, Matt and our host Will discussed the open access and the current state of academic publishing, the risks and opportunities of social networks for science, and integrating digital outreach into scientific practice.
Plus, how scientists in communications roles can help tackle misinformation by centring conversations around shared human experiences rather than deficit-model ideas of being ‘An Expert’. Listen to more from Dr Fox on The Free Associations Podcast and Serious Epidemiology Podcast, or follow him on Twitter. Read his original article here.

More from ResearchPod can be found on our website, Twitter, and LinkedIn
Listen to the new Research 2030 podcast with AESIS
on blending societal impact and research strategy
produced by Elsevier
In this episode of the series Research 2030 podcast, Director of AESIS Anika S. Duut van Goor and senior institutional capacity builder Toñi Caro, discuss the nuts and bolts of societal impact.
They consider:
  • What it will take to build a true societal impact culture
  • Who can play a key role
  • The importance of patience and perseverance
  • The power of ambassadors of change
"[For societal impact] you need the incentives, you need the policies, you need the skills, you need the people who are excited to move forward, you need the infrastructures… it is an all-encompassing way of working." - Anika S. Duut van Goor
Calendar
1-2 December 2021


2-3 December 2021

8-10 December 2021


16 December 2021

20 January 2022


1-4 March 2022


14 April 2022

22-24 June 2022
Evidence for Policymakers, The Hague, The Netherlands (ScienceWorks)

Masterclass Negotiations - Online, via Zoom (Snitts)

Access to EU Research Funding by Stimulating & Demonstrating Societal Impact - Online, Hosted from Brussels, Belgium

Broader Impacts Identity Webinar, Online (ARIS)

Digital Event: The Logical Framework Approach for grant writing (EARMA)

Institutional structures for societal impact of science - Online, via Zoom

Open Science & Socielal Impact - Helsinki, Finland

Impact of Science Conference - Leiden, the Netherlands
More from our Members
The latest achievements of UAS4EUROPE
European Innovation Area

On 8 October 2021, UAS4EUROPE has presented its Innovation Action Plan in the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the EU in the presence of Commissioner Gabriel, Slovenian Minister Kustec as well as other high-level representatives of the European institutions and the applied research & innovation community. The Action Plan contains 12 specific recommendations for the planned European Innovation Area from the UAS community.

Read more here.
Sustainable Development Goals

Between March and July 2021, UAS4EUROPE reached out to its researchers, EU advisors and administrative officers to identify challenges and opportunities related to the SDG framework from the perspective of European Universities of Applied Sciences.

You can now read the results and full SDG survey report here.
A meaningful approach to understanding and assessing research impact
Dr Sarah Morton, Co-director of Matter of Focus and Honorary Fellow of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
No one wants to do research that goes unused. As researchers, we aspire to making a contribution, however small, to enriching our world with evidence and insight. But it can be hard to unpick the impacts that research has had and even more challenging to demonstrate those impacts with robust evidence. At Matter of Focus, we have pioneered a participatory approach to using contribution analysis to understand and achieve impact. Contribution analysis is really helpful for this work because it helps to avoid crass measures and helps focus on measuring what matters.
The roots of our approach – currently used within more than 100 public service organisations and initiatives – are grounded in the Research Development Framework, which I developed through my mid-life PhD and has since been used in seven independent impact studies. We have worked hard to make our approach to understanding and assessing research impact meaningful and manageable – to break down the challenges of evidencing research impact. Having worked on assessing the impact of research and evidence-to-action projects and programmes, and advising others on impact assessment for the last 13 years, my advice is to just make a start! Small steps quickly add up to robust evidence. Here are 4 simple steps to start evidencing your research impact.

If you'd like to join me at my online Research Impact School in 2022, I'm offering two fully funded places to readers of this newsletter. Get in touch and I’ll send you a brief set of questions to apply for one of these free places!
Workshop series on science communication: theonlinescientist.com
Science communication company The Online Scientist developed a workshop series to teach academics how to share their work beyond peers. Scientists have to become much more vocal to counterbalance misinformation and fake news, but it's key that they also understand that this communication requires a thorough approach.
The workshops focus on various aspects of science communication. For example, how to get to know your audience and tailor your message to them? Or, more advanced: what is the relationship between science and the media, and how can you navigate this confusing yet exciting landscape as a researcher? But there is also a world to win in how scientists portray their work visually, which is why some workshops focus on making better science presentations and using design to convey a message. In the end, it all comes down to understanding how your communication efforts are perceived, and to improve them where necessary.

Find the full series on the website of The Online Scientist.
THE CALL FOR ABSTRACTS FOR THE OPEN INNOVATION IN SCIENCE (OIS) RESEARCH CONFERENCE 2022 IS NOW OPEN!
Marion Poetz, Associate Professor, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
When: May 11-13, 2022
Where: It will be a hybrid conference at CERN IdeaSquare, Geneva, with online and offline elements to enable physical and virtual contributions and participation
How: Submit your 250-500 word abstract via Easychair by January 16.

Started in 2019, this conference brings together scholars from across disciplines who are interested in investigating and discussing the role and value of openness and collaboration in science and science-based innovation (Beck et al. 2020). In addition to inspirational paper sessions and panel discussions, we also “walk the talk” by experimenting with novel ways to do our own research. 
 
If you would like to get a little taste of the stimulating atmosphere that saturates our OIS Research Conferences, check out this short video from the 2021 online conference.

Click HERE for a direct link to the conference call.
AESIS members are invited to submit articles for the next newsletter. Not a member yet? Becoming one is free! Register now.
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