We were happy to have been given the opportunity to represent the international network of open science communities at the 2023 annual convention of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) in Washington D.C. Alexandra Sarafoglou (coordinator of OSCA) was invited to speak about the importance of grassroot communities in the symposium titled “Open Science 2.0: Moving Beyond Statistical Reforms to Improve Psychological Science”.
Alexandra highlighted the main challenge in adopting open science practices: engaging the academic community across disciplines and beyond the open science bubble. Researchers are at the center of the transition to open science, and it is the academic community that ultimately sets the norms and standards in the field. Open science communities can address these challenges by promoting open science practices among researchers, making them visible and accessible. They also advocate for the research community’s needs and can articulate them to policy makers at both local and national levels, as seen in the Netherlands. Drawing from these experiences, Alexandra advocated the establishment of open science communities in more institutions.
The symposium, chaired and organized by Eiko Fried, and emphasized not only the significance of grassroot initiatives but also highlighted the need to prioritizing diversity (speaker: Sakshi Ghai), education (speaker: Flavio Azevedo), and theory formation (speaker: Donald Robinaugh) when moving toward cumulative, global, and truly open psychological science. The symposium slides are openly available and can be accessed on: https://osf.io/u7wba/
We are truly inspired by the amazing work from our fellow speakers and the great open science initiatives that were represented at the conference. In particular, we would like to shout out the great work done by team members of the FORRT project which aims to advance open science through pedagogical reform and meta-scientific research (Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Training; https://forrt.org) and by team members of the CREP project which provides training, support, and professional growth opportunities for students and instructors completing replication projects (Collaborative Education and Replication Project; https://www.crep-psych.org).
Eduarda Centeno (OSC Amsterdam), representing OSC-NL, attended the first national Tripartite event in the Netherlands on April 11th, which focused on the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and how to connect stakeholders to the infrastructure being created in the context of Open Science in Europe. The event was hosted by SURF, OCW, and EZK ministries and brought together around 50 attendees, including representatives from researchers, Open Science programs, Digital Competence Centers, funding organizations, and delegates from national governments, the European Commission, the EOSC steering board, and the EOSC association.
During the first panel, Eduarda discussed the importance of Local and Thematic Digital Competence Centers and their challenges in the Dutch landscape. Eduarda shared her experience as a researcher trying to implement Open Science practices at the VUmc in Amsterdam and the challenges she faced in finding relevant resources and training. She highlighted the gap between top-down policies, infrastructure/training, and day-to-day implementation by researchers, who often do not understand how to change their practices according to the new directives nor have the time to do so. She explained how her strategy was to become a member of the OSCA board and try to be closer to the Open Science community around her. The OSCA gave her access to relevant information, training, and networking opportunities throughout the Netherlands, which helped her immensely to streamline her search towards adequate solutions.
Eduarda stressed the need for policymakers to recognize OSCs as critical allies in bridging the gap between top-down decisions and the bottom-up reality of researchers and educators. She argued that it is crucial to fund these communities sustainably rather than relying on volunteer efforts from community board managers. By investing in OSCs, policymakers could establish a mutually beneficial relationship with stakeholders, ultimately improving the effectiveness of Open Science infrastructure. Eduarda emphasized the potential of OSCs to help bridge the gap between higher-up projects and policies with the reality of researchers and educators, ultimately merging the needs of the different stakeholders.
In conclusion, on behalf of the OSC-NL, Eduarda’s point of view was that Open Science infrastructure and training are crucial for modern scientific research. However, it must reach the target audience to realize its potential. OSCs are vital in connecting researchers and educators to the infrastructure tailored to their needs. Funding these communities would be a great step towards merging the needs of the different stakeholders, and policymakers must engage with OSCs to ensure policies are effectively communicated and implemented.
More on the event here: National Tripartite Event Netherlands | EOSC Association
On November 1st the LCRDM networking day took place in Utrecht where we as OSC-NL also participated. The networking event was mainly focused on research data management but also had an event that was specifically aimed at communities in the Netherlands. During the “Meet the Communities” event we met many familiar faces – for example DANS Data Stations were represented, SURF and 4TU.ResearchData who organise the Dutch Data Prize.
We were also particularly happy to meet initiatives that emerged from the bottom up and that we ourselves were not yet aware of, such as, Young Science in Transition (https://scienceintransition.nl) in which early career researchers at the Utrecht UMC engage in topics of recognition and rewards and open science or the national postdoc network (https://www.postdocnl.com). In this sense, this meeting was particularly successful as we found great new connections.