The road to OPSIN (OPen ScIeNce): Come see what it’s all about.

Much like opsins are activated by light, enlightenment on Open Science was the aim of the MBW PhD Event on Friday, May 3, 2019. “Open Science” reads like a tautology – a redundant use of words. Being that science strives to expand and spread knowledge, it should be open at its core. However, the system in which science is currently conducted is not set up to do so openly, i.e. transparently. In order to shed some light on the specific problem areas, the MBW PhD students wanted to raise awareness about the ideas of Open Science.

Niclas Jareborg

Open Science includes Open Methodology, Open Source, Open Data, Open Access, Open Peer Review and Open Educational Resources [1]. In order to expand on these topics, four experts in the areas of Open Methodology & Source, Open Data, Open Access and Open Science policy were invited: Gustav Nilsonne, Niclas Jareborg, Sofie Wennström and Anna Wetterbom, respectively. Anna gave a brief overview of EU-wide and Sweden-specific initiatives to push Open Science. Common motivations for Open Science include improving science by making it more accessible – not just the published articles, but the whole process of how new knowledge is created. The Open Science movement is more than 15 years old, however, like with any systemic change, it takes time to create the right incentives. “One of the aims in Open Science is to assure the quality of research by making it more reproducible, “ said Nilsonne. Jareborg added: “This makes data management a big part of Open Science,“ Both encouraged everyone to start any project with a data management plan and deposit their data into open data repositories. Wennström explained the difference between gold, green, yellow and hybrid open access publishing and stressed the importance of being aware of one’s rights as an author of a publication: “Authors should maintain the rights to their work, it shouldn’t be transferred to the publishing houses.” After the introductory talks, attendees had the opportunity to ask their questions during a panel discussion lead by MBW PhD student, Jutta Diessl. The conversation brought up interesting and theoretical points including, the future of impact factors for journal articles, monetization of open access, resources currently available to SU researchers offered by the SU library, and the pace of change in academia. One pressing question was raised by PhD student Malin Ueberschär, “How do we choose between high impact journals and open access journals at this point in our PhD careers?” The advice given by Wetterbom was to do both: “Knowing that we are currently in a changing system, it will be most strategic to appeal to all opinions.”

In the latter half of the event, PhD students were assigned roles such as Group Leader, PhD Student, Governmental Funding Agency Representative and Publishing House CEO. From these perspectives, the students discussed ideas around the implementation of Open Science with the invited speakers. “Impact factors shouldn’t be based on arbitrary metrics; they should mean something,” said Fredrik Hurtig, summarizing his group’s thoughts on how open science values could affect the current meritocracy system. In respect to alternative metrics, Gustav presented data indicating that openness and transparency could suffice as new metrics for  the quality of research.

Finally, the director of the SU library, Wilhelm Widmark closed the workshop with some insights about the work that the library offers: “The SU library is here to serve your [the researchers’] needs and act as a resource—we want to hear your direct requests.”

MBW PhD students

The event was organized by Jutta Diessl, Alexis Dziedziech, Yuan Guo, Carlotta Peselj, Ana Pinero, Taraneh Shiraz, Marcel Tarbier and Roshan Vaid. The whole MBW PhD Council thanks the department for supporting the event.

Find more resources on Open Science in the slides provided by the speakers:

[1] accessed May 13, 2019

- Jutta Diessl and Alexis Dziedziech