On the 23rd of November the network of Chilean researchers in the Netherlands (In-NL: Red de Investigadores Chilenos en los Países Bajos) organized its 4th annual conference at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). The conference topic was “High Impact Open Science”.
The conference consisted of two keynote lectures and short presentations by Chilean researchers working at Dutch universities. Additionally the 4TU.ResearchData organized and sponsored a session on Open Science.
The session commenced with a question to the audience about their knowledge of Open Science. Most audience members (18 of 21 respondents) said they know what Open Science is - a good start!
When asked which areas of Open Science they were familiar with, the majority indicated that they know about Open Access and Open Data.
In the second session, TU Delft Data Champions Raúl Ortiz (Faculty of Applied Sciences), Natalia Romero and José Urra (both from the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering) contributed with presentations on how they integrate Open Science in their research areas.
Raúl presented “Open science with not-so-open data: Yeast Biotech Examples”, where he reflected on how lack of access to research data can slow the progress of research. He shared his experience about trying to advance a research project, yet where access to different datasets that were not always available nor interoperable with one another hampered his progress. For Raul, access to research data is a crucial part of the scientific publishing process, and can bring great benefits by also ensuring the reproducibility of research results.
TU Delft Data Champion Natalia Romero then presented “Design for our Future”. Natalia reflected on the challenges within the field of design engineering to find solutions that fulfill the needs of citizens. She showed several examples where the use of data and interaction with the communities are relevant to design meaningful solutions. Including community members in the research process increases their awareness about the impact of their decisions, empowering them to shape the design to their exact needs.
The final presentation was made by Data Champion José Urra on “Open Hardware in Science: what, how and why?”. The participants were submerged in the inspirational journey of the origins of the Open Hardware movement! José reflected on how this movement has evolved, always having as its main driver the desire to bring the open commons to the people.
The session ended with a panel discussion where the presenters answered questions from the audience, which generated a very interesting discussion about the barriers researchers perceive when trying to move towards Open Science. For example, the high costs of publishing in Gold Open Access is a challenge for Chilean researchers who struggle to make project budgets stretch under regular circumstance (Chile invests only 0.4% of the GDP in Research & Development according to the OECD). Also, the evaluation system of researchers - currently based on Impact Factor and number of citations - makes it more difficult to switch the focus towards data publication. Questions also arose about copyright and data licensing, and how this is regulated in the Web.
At the conclusion of this lively and interactive session several researchers committed to getting started with Open Science right away while others still wanted to think about it further. And, a few researchers remain skeptical, which is fine!
Moving towards Open Science requires a cultural change and such change takes time, as it takes time for a plant to grow and bloom. In the meantime, 4TU.ResearchData, TU Delft Data Stewards and Data Champions will continue taking any opportunity to plant seeds that allow the Open Science community to grow, until Open becomes the default of Science.
Authors: Paula Martinez Lavanchy and Heather Andrews Mancilla, 4 December 2019.