The Open Science Conference 2019 is the 6th international conference of the Leibniz Research Alliance Science 2.0. It is dedicated to the Open Science movement and provides a unique forum for researchers, librarians, practitioners, infrastructure provider, policy makers, and other important stakeholders to discuss the latest and future developments in Open Science.
The Open Science movement made substantial progress and receives increasing recognition in the research system. The achievements of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and the FAIR data movement are only two popular examples for this development. However, establishing open science practices as natural component of daily scientific working routines is still a great challenge. Furthermore, the open movement is facing negative trends such as ‘predatory science’ that recently gained broader public attention.
FOSTER+ Contribution: Plenary Talk & Poster
Title: Change Culture, A Research Grant at a Time
Duration: 20 min
Research Evaluation criteria are increasingly placing importance on measurable real world impact beyond academia. The definition of “impact” is diverse and frequently difficult to quantify, and this challenge in itself has created an urgency to train the next generation of researchers in a range of “soft skills” to help them translate complex research in societal context.
Open Science is just one such “soft skill” in a spectrum of skills. More than one institution in Belgium and Germany has openly made Open Science practices a criteria for professorial chair candidates or internal research evaluation. Trough it relevance to reproducibility, re-used of research, return on investment for funder and Open Innovation, Open Science will very likely be a criteria in near future Research Evaluation Frameworks.
The EC has also funded a range of pan-EU projects on advocacy, training, and e-infrastructure development at disciplinary and generic level building capacity across the academic ecosystem to support uptake of best practices. Yet despite the clear urgency, documented benefits for researchers, maturing training approaches and a diversity of tools and infrastructures available, Open Science is still far from being the natural component of daily scientific working routines. What is the missing culture change ingredient?
The Open Science Clinique attempts to package all mature Open Science practices, tools and e-infrastructure and integrate them in one of the most competitive research grant tools: Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions. MSCA grants target the next generation of researchers, “soft skills” training and alternative careers are a pre-requisite for funding. The highly competitive nature of MSCA offers the ideal testing environment to quantify how and if Open Science adds a competitive edge to grant proposals.
In a multi-annual experiment (2014-2018), Open Science, knowledge transfer and science literacy were offered to MSCA applicants as a spectrum of soft skills than can improve the research method rigor, dissemination and exploitation of results, and overall project impact. As part of the Open Science Clinique, MSCA applicants were offered individual, proposal-specific advice on how to make Open Science part of the research method design.
The Open Science Clinique also has the underlying mission to force MSCA applicants to rely on, and include in the research design, local institutional Open Science experts, librarians, advocates and trainers in order to bridge the gap between researchers and research support communities advocating for Open Science.
The added value and competitive edge of the proposals was gauged via the Evaluation Summary Reports for each proposal, and compiled in a database that can be used by Open Science trainers and advocates, and ultimately future MSCA applying researchers.
Open Science, when coupled to pro-active knowledge transfer strategies and science literacy outreach activities, clearly adds a measurable competitive advantage to research grant proposals. The lessons learned are generic, and potentially easily transferable to any national funding research grant instrument.