Open Research Working Group Drop-In Sessions

Members of the Open Research Working Group will be hosting monthly open research drop-in sessions, on the last Thursday of each month, between 12:15-13:00. These will be hybrid – someone will be around to speak to in person but you can also use the Google Meet links below to speak to someone over the tinterweb.

These drop-in sessions are intended to provide support and advice, or signposting to other relevant support, for any questions or areas of work you have related to open research. For example, if you’re considering writing your first preregistration but not sure where to start; you don’t know how to go about making your data open and FAIR; or you just want to find out more about open research in general and how it can be applied in your own work. Feel free to come along to a drop-in session!

  • 25 January – Student Union View Room 4
  • 29 February – Student Union View Room 4
  • 28 March – Student Union View Room 1
  • 25 April – Student Union View Room 4
  • 30 May – Student Union View Room 4
  • 27 June – Student Union View Room 4
  • 25 July – Student Union View Room 4 

All scheduled events have been added to the Events Calendar. If you are unable to attend in person you can do so remotely using this link.

Open Research Conversations – Spring 2024

The University of Sheffield is pleased to announce its Spring 2024 schedule for its popular Open Research Conversations. These are free, online and open to all. Each focuses on a specific aspect of open research and features talks from 2-3 speakers followed by questions and discussion.

For full details please visit Open Research Conversations – Spring 2024. Summaries in the events calendar which includes links to book your place are linked below.

We look forward to seeing you over the coming months at these popular events.

Annual open research lecture – December 2023

Annual open research lecture – December 2023

Open research – the set of practices that enable us to increase our work’s reach and impact by opening up research outputs and methodologies to a wider audience – is quickly gaining momentum in the Higher Education landscape. Our Annual Open Research Lecture, introduced in 2022, offers an opportunity to think through some of these ideas and their underlying philosophies and politics, in an inclusive and collegial atmosphere.

This session will be held in-person, with a hybrid option also available. It would be fantastic if as many people as possible can join us in person for the lecture and reception, but please do of course join online if this is not possible.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception for all attendees.

This year’s lecture will be presented by:

Dr Matthew Hanchard

Research Associate, Department of Sociological Studies and iHuman institute

Qualitative research: Towards a new socio-technical imaginary of open research

From the 1665 publication of Philosophical Transactions onwards, there has been a clear sociotechnical imaginary – or collective vision of what science ought to be – centring on openness, sharing, and transparency. This openness enables claims to be disproved (or not), which lies in conflict with any closing-down of knowledge-sharing for commercial reasons. These contradictory forces of openness and commercially-motivated closedness led to developments like the internet and Web drawing on reconfigured imaginaries which include some elements of both. As a closed military defence project opened to a small academic community, and then the wider public, the development of the Web was steeped in a free and open-source ethos, albeit with private ventures reaping rewards of collective endeavours. In doing so, it followed a post-World War II configuration of pure science being state-funded or citizen-led, with applied derivatives left to a free market. Operating within this environment, and amidst a turn to neoliberalism, scientific research and publication met monopoly capitalism in the early 2000s, raising concerns over the future accessibility and openness of both pure and applied science.

By the early 2010s, the US Office of the President, European Commission, UNESCO and several funding bodies mandated that the research they fund must be published open access – a move to reassert accessibility, openness, and transparency, for non-applied science at least. This has recently been extended to data, posing challenges for qualitative research – often steeped in interpretivism, which makes data hard to verify. Building on the notion of ‘renderability’ to articulate claims to transparency from non-STEM research, in place of concepts of reproducibility or replicability, this lecture examines existing examples of open qualitative research to theorise the contours of a new landscape emerging around open qualitative research.

When : Wednesday 6 December 2023 3:00pm

Where : The Diamond, LT5 / hybrid, The University of Sheffield, 32 Leavygreave Road, Sheffield, S3 7RD

Book Your Place

‘How to Share…’ seminar series

‘How to Share…’ seminar series

Our How to Share.. series contains short, bitesize seminars that look at how best to share different research data types to help you make your research outputs more FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) and open.

Informed by success stories across the University, researchers will help share their knowledge and experience of the tasks and processes required to get your outputs in the best shape possible for sharing.

Coming up

How to Share… Survey Data

7th November 2023, 13:00 – 13:30, The Wave & online

In this session, Aneta Piekut from the Sheffield Methods Institute explores both the positive and negative experiences she has had with sharing survey data, as well as imparting helpful, actionable guidance, focusing on the main philosophy that sharing data is easier if preparation is done across the project.

Aneta’s most recent dataset is an exemplar deposit of survey data. This has been made openly available to allow other researchers to benefit from the work Aneta and team did in collecting and processing the data.

Book your place

Unleash your data and software: bid for an award of up to £5000

Research students and staff at the University of Sheffield can now apply for an award of up to £5000 for a project to make their research data or software more visible and reusable.  

The funding competition is open to all researchers at the University of Sheffield, including postgraduate research students and those in research-related roles.

We strongly encourage applications from researchers from a diverse range of backgrounds, identities and communities. In order to facilitate inclusion and eliminate the possibility of implicit bias, applications will be judged on a name-blind basis.

The deadline for applications is 1st December 2023 at 10:00. For more information and details of how to apply please see here.

Editorial mass resignations: Collective action in the movement to open research

Wednesday 10th January 2024, 12-1pm

Recent times have witnessed a number of high profile mass resignations of journal editorial boards, with editors rejecting the conditions of (in)accessibility and commercial profit underlying their existing publishers.

In this Open Research Conversation, we hear from key participants in this growing mode of collective action. Johan Rooryck, now of Plan S, was editor-in-chief at the hybrid Elsevier journal Lingua before resigning to establish the OA alternative Glossa. Judith Green edited and co-edited Critical Public Health between 2010-2023 before a mass resignation to found a new journal on an open source platform, and Chris Chambers was among the editorial team at NeuroImage who resigned in protest against publisher profiteering in April 2023. From different disciplinary contexts, these scholars share their overlapping experiences of the pursuit of equity, openness and academic freedom in publishing, examining the potential of collective action and open access alternatives to provide a corrective to publishing oligopolies.

Judith Green: The Editorial Board of Critical Public Health, a Taylor & Francis owned journal, resigned en masse in July 2023 to start a new journal on an open source platform. The editorial team had for some decades managed the tensions between curating a home for a community of scholars and contributing to a commercial product, as discussed in an earlier editorial. However, corporate requirements for standardisation of processes, pressures to increase page volume, and an APC model of cost recovery for open access had eroded our ability to maintain the ‘spirit’ of the journal. The fate of the new journal will test whether evoking a ‘community of scholars’ or ‘the spirit of a journal’ is mere nostalgia, in a market where readers access papers not journals.

Judith Green is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Wellcome Centre for Cultures & Environments of Health at the University of Exeter. She was Editor or Co-Editor of Critical Public Health between 2010-2023.

Chris Chambers: When enough is enough – my experience of being part of the collective editorial resignation from NeuroImage, and what happened next.

Book your place here

Open Research Conversations x Lunchbytes session:  Making research software more visible and reusable: Open Source Software and FAIR4RS

Wednesday 6th December 2023, 12-1pm

Taking place as part of both the Open Research Conversations seminar series and the University of Sheffield Research Software Engineering team’s Lunchbytes series, this session explores the FAIR4RS principles, which seek to make research software more visible and accessible to, and reusable by, potential future users.

In this conversation, experts from the University’s Research Software community explore how the FAIR principles – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable – can be applied to research software. With reference to specific projects they have supported, our speakers will detail how the FAIR practices increased the software’s potential impact and created possibilities for valuable future collaborations.

Book your place here

How to build an open research community: Inter-institutional perspectives

Wednesday 29th November 2023, 12-1pm

While centrally-led and policy-driven initiatives can be effective in supporting uptake of open research practices, the development of peer-led communities is nevertheless crucial in establishing an inclusive, sustainable and meaningful open research culture. But how do we best support the development of grass-roots open research communities? In this session, researchers and research-related colleagues from a range of institutions share their experiences of the key considerations and strategies that inform open research community-building.

From the University of Sheffield, Neil Shephard will discuss the Open Scholarship Community Sheffield, a new initiative which is part of the International Network of Open Science and Scholarship Communities (INOSC) and aims to create space for peer-to-peer support outside of the formal structure of top-down policies. Lufti Bin Othman and Kim Clugston will explore the Data Champions Scheme and other initiatives from the University of Cambridge, and Hardy Schwamm will discuss community-building strategies and activities at the University of Galway. These talks will be followed by an open discussion of the possibilities and challenges of community-building around open research.

Lufti Bin Othman and Kim Clugston: In our short presentation, we will introduce the Data Champions Programme at the University of Cambridge, a valuable community through which Research Data Management is advocated for and supported at the University. We will describe the community in terms of its demographics and the areas of subject specialisations that the Data Champions represent, and we will also give a little insight into how the Research Data Team maintain this programme. We will also give a short introduction to the establishment of an Open Research Community on behalf of the newly appointed Open Research Community Manager.

Hardy Schwamm: In 2019, Open Scholarship enthusiasts in the West of Ireland founded the Open Scholarship Community Galway (OSCG), based on the Dutch Open Science Community model. Countless Open Scholarship Cafés and three Open Scholarship Weeks later, we relaunched OSCG this summer. Open Scholarship Librarian Hardy Schwamm will outline why an OSC is a good idea and what lessons we have learned in the last few years.

Neil Shephard: How I started an Open Scholarship Community by mistake – Neil will talk about his experience of undertaking the INOSC Incubator Programme and how it guided the structure and launch of OSC Sheffield.

Book your place here

Scholars are doing it for themselves: The challenges and opportunities of open access scholar-led publishing

Monday 23 October 2023, 12-1pm

Scholar-led publishing – publishing which is managed and led by academics rather than commercial publishers or other institutions or bodies – provides an opportunity for researchers to determine the conditions under which academic work is circulated. Consequently, it can present a range of opportunities for the open, equitable, diverse and inclusive circulation of knowledge.

In this session, we explore a range of perspectives from researchers operating in and engaged analytically with this space, including Toby Steiner (Flavours of Open), Meredith Warren (co-editor-in-chief of the open access scholar-led Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies) and Emma Cheatle and Luis Hernan of the open access scholar-led architecture journal Field.

Luis Hernan and Emma Cheatle: In this talk we share our experience in editing field:. The journal launched in 2007 as the first open-access publication in the field and, in the following decade, it gained a reputation for its ability to attract rigorous research whilst providing a forum to a diverse set of voices and disciplinary traditions. We took over the journal a few years later, facing the multiple challenges of updating its infrastructure and rethinking its ethos and editorial processes in the face of an evolving landscape of open-access publishing.

Meredith Warren: This talk will focus on the development of the Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies, the flagship journal of the Sheffield Centre for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies. This open-access, scholar-run journal published its first issue in 2018. I will discuss the origin story of JIBS, featuring the challenges and benefits of ‘DIY’ open access, including database indexing, DOAJ acceptance, and promoting a small journal in the vast ocean of corporate publishing.

Meredith Warren: This talk will focus on the development of the Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies, the flagship journal of the Sheffield Centre for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies. This open-access, scholar-run journal published its first issue in 2018. I will discuss the origin story of JIBS, featuring the challenges and benefits of ‘DIY’ open access, including database indexing, DOAJ acceptance, and promoting a small journal in the vast ocean of corporate publishing.

Toby Steiner Collaboration over competition: On the role of scholar-led publishing and Open Access in the Humanities and Social Sciences – This presentation will provide a bit of a closer look at the practice of scholar-led publishing within the Humanities and Social Sciences, with a particular focus on Media Studies. Following an introductory framing of what is meant by ‘scholar-led’ in this context, the presentation will take a diachronic approach to showcase early proponents as well as recent open access initiatives that focus on providing scholar- and community-led alternatives to publishing via large commercial entities.

Book your place here