Open scholarship is at the core of Knowledge Exchange’s (KE) mission: “enabling open scholarship by supporting an information infrastructure on an international level”. But what does it really mean for KE, its partners and their research communities?
KE has recently published a report on Open Scholarship offering a framework for the work of KE around Open Scholarship. Building on former KE expert work around research data and open access, this shared vision of the KE partners points to areas where the shift towards open should happen. It identifies actions to give the ecosystem of open scholarship a decent push to get to our envisioned reality of top level research.
Clarifying the concepts
One of the most valuable parts of the new report is to initiate a discussion of concepts on the expert level. Openness and Open Scholarship is something that many are talking about; many projects and initiatives are trying to improve conditions for opening up science. With this report KE aims to reduce the complexity of implementing Open Scholarship through better understanding of the concepts.
Therefore this report includes a first draft of the KE Open Scholarship Framework and a categorisation of some existing pieces of work. It brings together processes, phases and other dimensions that have an influence on, or hold a stake in, the overall functioning of open scholarship.
The conceptual work for this report has been carried out by an advisory group, which includes open scholarship experts from both inside and outside of the KE partner organisations, and this work was coordinated and edited by Cameron Neylon (Curtin University, Western Australia).
Activities to take up
Next to providing a framework of thinking, this report identifies two major topics with many questions still unanswered for when science wants to be more open:
- Firstly, the Economy of Open Scholarship is about improving our economic understanding of the processes, supporting services, and organisational forms that underpin the full research cycle.
- Second topic is the Output and Evaluation from the Researcher’s Perspective, highlighting that the key to changing scholarly practice lies in incentives and therefore in the evaluation mechanisms that researchers experience.
These two topics will be the starting point of possible activities to be carried out by KE over the next years. The report highlights gaps in work that looks beyond single case studies and interventions, to try and build understanding from the bottom up. After publication of the report, on September 27th and 28th KE hosted a workshop in Paris to discuss the Open Scholarship Framework with researchers, librarians and other participants from the 6 partner countries and beyond. In break-out groups the first concrete activities for the coming years were suggested.
As the Dutch National Plan Open Science (www.openscience.nl) was launched earlier this year, 10 major stakeholders for open science, including SURF, have agreed to work on ambitions in four areas of Open Science. Two examples are “100% open access publishing by 2020” and “the optimisation of research date for re-use”. Knowledge Exchange gives SURF and other stakeholders the opportunity to share open scholarship experiences and to learn from best practices and case studies from other KE partner countries. It is an honour and an advantage to be part of this international initiative creating new knowledge regarding Open Scholarship.