STATUS: This module is currently IN DEVELOPMENT.
To innovate in a field frequently implies moving against prevailing trends and cultural inertia. Open Science is no different. No matter how convinced you are, you will come across resistance from peers and colleagues, and the best defence is strong personal conviction that what you are doing may not be perfect now, but is the right decision in the long run. This module will introduce the guiding principles of the ‘open movement’, the different actors involved, and the impact that they are having.
- The researcher will be able to describe the ethical, legal, social, economic, and research impact arguments for and against Open Science.
- After deciding which platforms/tools/services are most useful for themselves and their community, the researcher will develop a personal profile for showcasing their research profile and outputs.
- After reflecting on the status of Open Science within their research group or lab, the researcher will devise concrete ways to locally improve open practices.
- Using the guidelines published by their research laboratories, departments, or institutes, researchers will identify the policies for career progression and assessment, publishing and open access, data sharing, and intellectual property.
- Researchers will collaborate with colleagues and international peers to develop a shared definition of Open Science.
Virtual Research Environments (VRE) are the way of the future in collaboration across continents, time zones and disciplines. While the definition of a VRE may be up for grabs, they provide powerful examples of high-performing modern research tools. In this module you will develop an understanding of collaborative platforms that work today, and how they can greatly enhance your research workflows.
- The researcher will become familiar with the range of options available to you to aid greater collaborative research.
- After deciding what works optimally for their workflow, the researcher will be able to use collaborative tools such as GitHub and the Open Science Framework for increased collaboration for the research process, writing/authoring, and sharing your research outputs.
- The researcher will be able to collaborate with colleagues to annotate preprints or other published articles, and share this discussion with the original authors and wider research community.
Reproducible Research and Data Analysis
Rationale Reproducible research is at the heart of science. There has been an increased need and willingness to open and share research from the data collection right through to the interpretations of results. This has come with its own set of challenges, which include designing workflows that can be adopted by collaborators in a way that does not compromise the integrity of their contribution. This module will introduce the necessary tools required for transparent reporting which is reproducible and readable.
- Researchers will be able to describe the key factors that affect the reproducibility of research, including workflow design, data management, and reporting.
- The researcher will be able to use a range of resources to create and implement a workflow for reproducible research, including using lab notebooks and tools for sharing code and data.
Open Research Data
Rationale Open research data refers to the publishing the data underpinning scientific research results so that they have no restrictions on their access. Openly sharing data opens it up to inspection and re-use, forms the basis for research verification and reproducibility, and opens up a path to broader collaboration. In this module, you will gain insight into the importance of data sharing for reproducible research and how to curate and share your own research data.
- The researcher will be able to define the characteristics of open data, the advantages and disadvantages associated with sharing different types of data openly, and the FAIR principles.
- Researchers will be able to share their research data openly to a relevant public repository in a way that conforms to the FAIR principles.
- The researcher will be able to locate and re-use datasets for their research from relevant disciplinary repositories.
Open Research Software and Open Source
STATUS: The first release for this module is now ready, and has been published on Zenodo:
To cite this work, please use the following:
Tennant, J. et al. (01/08/2018) Open Science MOOC: Module 5, Open Research Software and Open Source (Version 1.0) Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1325081
Rationale Software and technology underpin modern science. There is an increasing demand for more sophisticated open source software, matched by an increasing willingness for researchers to openly collaborate on new tools. These developments come with a specific ethical, legal and economic challenges that impact upon research workflows. This module will introduce the necessary tools required for transforming software into something that can be openly accessed and re-used by others.
- The researcher will be able to define the characteristics of open source research software, and the ethical, legal, economic and research impact arguments for and against it.
- Based on community standards, researchers will be able to describe the quality requirements of sharing and re-using open code.
- The researcher will be able to use a range of research tools that utilise open source software.
- Individual researchers will be able to transform code designed for their personal use into code that is accessible and re-usable by others.
Open Access to Research Papers
Rationale Making scholarly research outputs openly available is easy, legal, and has demonstrable benefits to authors, making it a good beginning step for a researcher just beginning to explore the open world. There is a set of knowledge required to navigate the Open Access landscape, involving copyright, article status, repositories, and economics. This module will introduce key concepts and tools that can help a researcher make their work openly available and maximize the benefits to themselves and others.
- The researcher will become familiar with the history of scholarly publishing, and development of the present Open Access landscape.
- The researcher will gain a multi-stakeholder insight into Open Access, and be able to convey a balanced overview of the perceived advantages and disadvantages associated with Open Access publishing.
- The researcher will be able to describe some of the complexities of the current the Open Access landscape, including allowances for self-archiving and embargoes, copyright transfer, and publishing contracts.
- Based on community-specific practices, the researcher will be able to use the different types of outlets (repositories) available for self-archiving, as well as the range of Open Access journal types available to them.
- Each researcher will able to make all of their own research papers Open Access through a combination of journals and development of a personal self-archiving protocol.
- Researchers will be able to describe the current ebb and flow in the debates around preprints, and be able to locate and use relevant disciplinary preprint platforms.
- Researchers will be able to use services like ImpactStory to track the proportion of their research that is Open Access.
Rationale Concurrent with broader developments in Open Science and increased transparency in research, Open Peer Review is a complex, and rapidly evolving topic. Alongside this, more diverse criteria of research evaluation beyond traditional methods are emerging, and with these come a range of practical, ethical, and social factors to consider. This module will provide insight into current developments in Open Peer Review and research evaluation.
- The researcher will be able to describe the history of peer review in the context of scholarly publishing, the criticisms levied against ‘traditional’ peer review, and the ongoing developments with Open Peer Review.
- The researcher will be able to use a range of post-publication review, commenting, and annotation services.
- The researcher will be able to describe the issues associated with the use of ‘traditional’ metrics in research evaluation, and the role that peer evaluation and ‘next-generation’ metrics (or ‘altmetrics’) play in this.
- The researcher will be able to use a range of services to build and demonstrate their personal research impact profile, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
- The researcher will become familiar with the relevant criteria for research evaluation to them, and be able to have a critical discussion about them with their colleagues and those who drafted them.
Public Engagement with Science
Rationale Science communication is often seen as a unidirectional process from scientist to non-scientists, but with careful and strategic engagement it can be so much more. For this, a deeper understanding of the basics and existing structures is needed, as well as the capabilities of newer channels like social media. This module will teach effective techniques for communicating your research with a wider audience, as well as engaging them with the process itself. Learning outcomes
- The researcher will be able to identify and describe some of the major different types of audience and stakeholder involved in science communication, what their needs and viewpoints are, and the importance of citizen science and public engagement with science.
- By working either individually or their research group, each researcher will be able to use a range of communication channels, including social media, to strategically engage different types of audience with their research.
- If there are relevant policy-related issues to their discipline, the researcher will be able to engage with them through available channels and make sure that their research field is appropriately represented.
- Each researcher will be able to identify relevant press/communication contacts at their institute, and be able to convey to them why their research is of importance for wider dissemination.
- The researcher will be able to write a blog post or non-specialist summary about either their own research or research that they are familiar with, and communicate this to wider non-academic audiences.
Open Educational Resources
Rationale Open Educational Resources (OERs) are freely accessible, openly licensed materials for teaching and learning, and represent a paradigm shift compared to traditional methods of education. They are intrinsically related to developments in Open Science, due to the wider implications of access to knowledge in education in our global societies. This module will provide an understanding of the motivations behind OERs and how to develop your own. Learning outcomes
- The researcher will be able to convey the motivations behind the OER movement, and the relationship that this has with Open Science.
- The researcher will be able to identify and implement the steps to either prepare content for educational re-use purposes, or be able to design their own OER.
- The researcher will be able to either identify relevant places where their research can be integrated into Wikipedia, or integrate it themselves if they are a user.
Rationale Now that you are an expert at applying Open Science at each step of your research lifecycle, here are some basics on becoming a pro-active ambassador for open scholarship in any discipline. This module will teach you how to effectively engage researchers and other stakeholders in scholarly communication with the various aspects of Open Science. Learning outcomes
- The researcher will gain an appreciation of, and be able to identify, the diversity of different communities and stakeholders in scholarly communication, and the potential impact that Open Science can have on them.
- The researcher will become an effective leader in Open Science, and use their skills and knowledge to empower others.
- By working either alone or with like-minded colleagues, the researcher will either join or establish a local open science advocacy group or meet-up, and identify concrete action steps that they can take together.
- The research will prepare an open science statement to distribute to administrative staff at their research institute, as well as any other relevant local stakeholders.
- Together with like-minded colleagues, the researcher will start the ‘open access conversation’ with the editorial board of a relevant journal in their field.