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.

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

The recording of the following session, part of the ‘Open Research Conversations‘ seminar series at the University of Sheffield (organised by the University Library, Scholarly Communications Team), held on 29 November 2023 is available to view:

The abstract of this Open Conversation is:

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. Lutfi 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.

OSC-NL and NLRN team-up to collaborate on Open and Reproducible Science in the Netherlands

On November 27th, the Dutch Reproducibility Network was launched (NLRN). NLRN is a national network with the goal to increase the quality and efficiency of research in the Netherlands by coordinating, supporting and strengthening initiatives on reproducibility and transparency in all scholarly disciplines.

We congratulate our colleagues from NLRN with this milestone!

OSC-NL and NLRN share many goals, as Open Science and Reproducibility are topics that go hand-in-hand. It is therefore natural for OSC-NL and NLRN to collaborate. In fact, many members of OSC-NL are already active in NLRN, either in the NLRN steering committee or advisory board. At the NLRN Launch Event, possibilities for future collaborations were explore, for example on joint efforts to stimulate and facilitate ReproHacks.

With the addition of NLRN to the Dutch academic landscape, it is also relevant to indicate how and where OSC-NL and NLRN differ in their strategies and roles, and how they complement one another. To this extent, OSC-NL and NLRN have published a collective statement that explains where these initiatives overlap, and what sets them apart.

In short, OSC-NL is a national community of researchers and research supporters who make their OS practices visible and accessible to their peers, and provides input to policy, infrastructure and services to both local and national stakeholders. NLRN, on the other hand, is a network that brings togethers institutes, local initiatives and other stakeholders to increase the reproducibility of science, focussing on stakeholders alignment and agenda-setting.

Making the overlap and differences explicit is not only relevant for the Netherlands, but also for other countries where OSCs and RNs co-exist – which happens ever more often, as the number of OSC and RNs continues to rise across the globe.

With OSC and RNs teaming-up, you can expect many new events and initiatives to stimulate Open and Reproducible Science!

Event OSCG: Celebrating Openness: Open Research & Public Engagement

📅 Save the Date: November 23, 2023

⏰ Time: 13:00 – 17:00

📍 Where: UMCG, Keuningzaal (3214.0063)

💰 Price: Free

Celebrating Openness: Open Research & Public Engagement

The Open Science Community Groningen (OSCG) will be hosting the Celebrating Openness: Open Research & Public Engagementevent on the 23rd of November, at the Keuningzaal (3214.0063), UMCG (Antonius Deusinglaan 1, 9713 AV Groningen). The event will focus on public engagement and its importance for Open research dissemination to the general public. 

The event will kick off with a keynote talk by Yorick Karseboom who will give a talk on Science Shops – what are they and how they facilitate public engagement. Following, we have the three winners of the Open Research Award present their work in 3 lightning talks. The Open Research Awards are organized together with the university library and celebrate the many ways in which academics make their research more accessible, transparent or reproducible. We end with an interactive panel discussion about the internalization of public engagement: challenges, hurdles and opportunities.

There will be catering for coffee and cakes so make sure to save your spot. Mark the details in your calendar and follow us for more details.

Please register here

We hope to see you the 23rd of November!

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

Apply now for the Open Science Retreat / 25 – 29 March 2024 / Schoorl, the Netherlands

We are thrilled to invite you to the 2nd edition of the Open Science Retreat, from the 25th to the 29th of March, 2024 in Schoorl, the Netherlands. After a successful first German edition, organised by Heidi Seibold, this year the Netherlands Open Science Communities (OSC-NL) are in the lead. Join us for a week in which researchers from various disciplines come together to share knowledge, experiences, and best practices related to open science in the serene surroundings of dunes, a fairytale forest and the sea, the perfect backdrop for teamwork,  one-on-one talks, creativity and rejuvenation.

How to participate?

To join the Open Science Retreat, you can apply here. If you apply before December 1st, we will get back to you before the end of the year to let you know if your application is accepted. We welcome researchers at all stages of their careers. No prior experience with open science is required—just an eagerness to learn, share, and contribute.

Due to support via the NWO Open Science Fund, we have been able to keep costs relatively low for all. There is also a stipend fund to lower participation costs to 200,- for those who have difficulties to get reimbursement via their institution, mainly aimed at Early Career Researchers.

Why should you attend?

• Learn from peers who will share their insights and experiences in open science and build valuable collaborations. Be prepared to be inspired and challenged!

• Participate in a hands-on unconference style team in the mornings to develop practical skills in open science methodologies.

• Engage in thought-provoking discussions around the challenges and opportunities in implementing open science practices. Your voice matters!

• Benefit from coaching and join our mentoring scheme.

Programme and location

Please visit the website for details on the programme and the location of the retreat. Here you can also find a recap of the first Open Science Retreat in Kochel, Germany.

We hope to see you all there!

The Open Science Retreat Team


Open Access in Sweden moving beyond transformative agreements

In our latest Open Voices blog post we talked to to Wilhelm Widmark, Library Director at Stockholm University Library, about the Open Access strategy of Swedish universities and research institutes who are organised in the Bibsam Consortium.

Wilhelm and his colleagues in Sweden have been thinking hard about how to move beyond transformative agreements, which might involve walking away from some deals! Read the full interview with Wilhelm here:

New blog post on Open Science training from OSCG member Rory Coyne

In this Open Voices blog post we are talking to Rory Coyne about Open Science training! Rory is a PhD student in Health Psychology at the University of Galway. He completed the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at University of Galway in 2020, and the Master of Science in Health Psychology at University of Galway in 2021. His research interests are in the areas of digital health, psychophysiology, and human-machine interaction. Rory is also actively involved in the promotion of Open Science practices in research, and is a committee member on the European Health Psychology Society’s Open Science Special Interest Group.

You can read the interview with Rory on the Hardiblog of the University of Galway Library:

Here’s what Fotis Mystakopoulos got from participating in the INOSC Open Science Community Incubator Program

I had the privilege to participate in the 2023 Spring Edition of the Incubator Program, an initiative funded by Skills4EOSC and AURORA Alliance and run by the International Network of Open Science & Scholarship Communities (INOSC).

In this short piece, I wanted to reflect on the experience of the Incubator Program and the lessons learnt.

Globe with local Open Science Communities depicted as flowers

Open Science: a new horizon for research culture

Before we talk about the program, it’s important to note that I am a librarian by degree. Libraries and librarians have always been supportive of the honest intentions of the Openness movement, starting with Open Access (OA) two decades ago, and now that movement has been expanded to include more than OA in research articles. I, too, subscribe to the belief that openness (and its derivatives – transparency, integrity, collaboration, equity, the list goes on…) is beneficial to the reputation of science and important to the scientific method itself. Therefore, Open Science has become the core of my work and I am trying to find ways to contribute to this ongoing change of research culture. So why the Incubator program?

Incubator Program: a how-to guide for creating a community.

Being a librarian for the better part of a decade in the UK, I’ve learned to appreciate the importance of being part of a community. The value of an organized network rests with its ability to tackle challenges in a cooperative fashion. That’s where you identify colleagues with the expertise to support you in your journey, and it is exactly what I needed at the time that I applied for the program. Working as a research data manager, I was learning about the policies governing open science in projects funded by the European Commission through Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. I had a lot of questions about how to write reports for Data Management Plans, and how to structure research data management activities for large consortiums, and as such I felt the need to turn to a network of people much like the CILIP community I was part of in the UK. Alas, I was not able to locate the network of people to reach out to, and I decided to explore options of creating one! The caveat here is that of course there are networks out there that cater to the different needs of the researchers, but as a support staff myself, I wanted to feel again that I belonged to a community that shared the same values and beliefs as I did, and together to do our work of supporting researchers.

After a bit of searching and asking around, I came across INOSC. My timing couldn’t be better, and I was lucky enough to be included in this small cohort of participants for the Spring program in 2023. How would I summarise the Incubator program? I would say that its essence lies in nurturing skills for individuals that are invested in Open Science giving participants the tools to create a local Open Science Community. It is not a simple process, and it requires devotion and perseverance on the participant’s part to make this happen. Having said that, the incubator program provided us with more than enough tools, resources, and guidance through regular meetings on how to start a community in our own institution, and further how to maintain them. The challenges around growth, added value, and sustainability remain, but this is the work that needs to be done. What were taught can be can be found at the INOSC website, but here is a list of the modules:

  1. Mission and Vision
  2. Community Engagement
  3. Communication Strategy
  4. Stakeholder Engagement
  5. Governance and Sustainability
  6. Open!

Program Structure

The program lasted 3.5 months. We had weekly meetings of about 2 hours each, and during those meetings half of them were devoted for instructional materials and exercises presented and delivered by Anita Eerland and Loek Brinkman who were running this iteration of the program, and half of the meetings were catch up sessions between the participants to track progress.

The sessions were well structured, and I quite enjoyed the silent note taking exercises at the end of each part of the session (either at the end of the hour, or at the end of the 2nd hour of the session). This is where we were encouraged to write our thoughts positive and negative about our experience, and seeing the shared document being filled with ideas and comments from the participants was exciting and very emotional to see how everyone was experience the journey, and how individuals from different backgrounds actually shared similar ideas and thoughts with you about the Open Science movement. Lots of excellent advice was shared in these documents and I still revisit the documents for inspiration.

How we stayed in touch in between sessions? INOSC as a whole maintains a Slack workspace and a specific channel was created for the incubator program participants. While not heavily used it did allow us to share links and news about various activities and helped with creating a stronger bond between participants. Of course, the channel is still active and for example, a kind colleague shared a contact with me that would help me with setting up my own community in Athens.

There were plenty of useful exercises and materials for us to use and review, but the most essential document of it all was the Master Plan Template for creating a community that we had to develop during the program. The benefit is that at the end of the program you have a tangible plan to follow (including a minimum viable community checklist) and a lot of notes and ideas across the various modules on how to organize and progress with setting up your community. Which is what I need to do next!

Something that is very hard to capture in these paragraphs is the actual feeling of participating in something bigger than ourselves, the moments where we connected with participants through our mutual and also different challenges. Being able to share what makes my position unique through the cultural variable of where I live and work. We were often put in small groups to discuss exercises, and so many times the combination of ideas produced an actually coherent response that could be adopted by various people of the program. Anita and Loek were always there to nudge us toward new ways of thinking about our problems (how to attract members, how to seek funding, how to set up events) and asking us meaningful questions that would allow us to rethink our approach on a certain situation. I am grateful to every participant that was with us on this cohort, as they showed us how to be positive and how to work on our intentions to create Open Science communities.

Open Science Community – Athens (OSCA)

The most valuable experience has been to meet people from various parts of Europe (in this case) and see how passionate everyone is and what challenges everyone faces. And in creating a community here in Athens where I am now based, my hope is to meet like-minded people and for us to find ways to implement Open Science practices.

I am committed to starting the Open Science Community in Athens and put this city on the wonderful map that INOSC is proudly demonstrating on their website.

Logo of Open Science Community Athens

Part of this journey is to find people that are equally committed and passionate about Open Science and for us to figure out how to shape the community. This post is also an open invitation for anyone from the Greek research community who wishes to support setting up the community with me. This endeavor requires a group of people to deliver on the organizational aspects necessary to achieve success in relation to the vision and mission of the community.

What do you need to start a community?

If I could choose three things for anyone wishing to start an Open Science Community, that would be:

Passion. Running and participating in a community requires each and every one of us to devote time that we normally don’t have. Unless you are passionate about it, very little will come of it.

Support. You’ll need the support of the people from INOSC as they are experienced in supporting many communities. However, make sure you have the support of your local team at the place of employment so you can be afforded time to develop that community.

Open Science Community Starter Kit. While passion and support can take you a long way, you’ll need specifics. The starter kit will provide with a narrative on the why of your community and how to get started.

Open Science at its core, like any other worthwhile initiative is driven by people and individuals passionate enough to change things and do something of their own volition by volunteering their time. I feel privileged and honoured to be able to associate myself with INOSC and beyond that to have found a path to contribute to the paradigm shifting era that we are undergoing in terms of how science is documented and organized for our modern times.

Author: Fotis Mystakopoulos (ORCiD), Project Policy Officer, OPERAS Research Infrastructure (