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The new Wellcome Trust OA policy and DORA: a UCL webinar

Kirsty18 November 2020

Here at the Office for Open Science and Scholarship we are pleased to announce another webinar!

This time we have David Carr from the Wellcome Trust leading this fascinating webinar based around their new Open Access policy which comes into force in January.

  • David Carr: New Wellcome Trust OA policy outline and overview of changes
  • Ralitsa Madsen: Proposal on DORA alignment across multiple funders
  • Dr Paul Ayris & Catherine Sharp: How we are implementing the new policy at UCL

Join us on Wednesday 16th December at 12 noon for a lunchtime webinar, and plenty of time to ask all of your questions!

Sign up on Eventbrite to get your link to join the session


Full event description:

In their new Open Access policy, which will come into force in January 2021, the Wellcome Trust has introduced a requirement that organisations receiving funding must commit to the core principles set out by DORA.

In this webinar we will be hearing from David Carr, the Programme Manager for Open Research at the Wellcome Trust, who will be outlining this policy and sharing his thoughts on these changes. Following that we will be hearing from Dr Ralitsa Madsen, Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow at the UCL Cancer Institute about her proposal to develop a protocol on DORA alignment that all research funders should follow. The final speakers of the session will be our own Dr Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice Provost for UCL Library Services and the Office for Open Science & Scholarship, and Catherine Sharp, Head of Open Access Services with an outline of how UCL is implementing both the DORA principles, and the Wellcome policy in general.

We will have plenty of time for discussion among our speakers and for them to answer your questions so please join us for an interesting session before the policy comes into force

Open Access Week: the first ReproHack ♻ @ UCL

Kirsty17 November 2020

The Research Software Development Group hosted the first ReproHack at UCL as part of the Open Access Week events run this year by the Office for Open Science and Scholarship. This was not only the first event of this type at UCL, but the first time a reprohack ran for a full week.

What’s a Reprohack?

A ReproHack is a hands-on reproducibility hackathon where participants attempt to reproduce the results of a research paper from published code and data and share their experiences with the group and the papers authors.

As it normally happens on hackathons, this is also a learning experience! During a Reprohack the participants, besides contributing to measure the reproducibility of published papers, also learn how to implement better reproducibility practices into their research and appreciate the high value of sharing code for Open Science.

An important aspect of the Reprohacks is that the authors themselves are the ones who put forward their papers to be tested. If you’ve published a paper and provided code and data with it, you can submit your papers for future editions of Reprohack! Your paper may be chosen by future reprohackers and provide you with feedback about the reproducibility of your paper! The feedback form is well designed so you get a complete overview of what went well and what could be improved.

Reprohacks are open to all domains! Any programming language used in the papers are accepted, however papers with code using open source programming languages are more likely to be to chosen by the participants as it may be easier to install it on their computers.

In this particular edition, the UCL Research Software Development Group was available throughout the week to provide support to the reprohackers.

What did I miss?

This was the first Reprohack at UCL! You missed all the excitement that first-time events bring with them! But do not worry, there will be more Reprohacks!

This event was particularly challenging with the same difficulties we have been fighting for the last nine months trying to run events online, but we had gain some experience already with other workshops and training sessions we run so everything went smoothly!

The event started with a brief introduction of what the event was going to be like, an ice-breaker to get the participants talking and a wonderful keynote by Daniela Ballari entitled “Why computational reproducibility is important?”. Daniela provided a great introduction to the event (did you know that only a ~20% of the published literature has only the “potential” of being computationally reproduced? and that most of it can’t be because either the software is not free, the data provided is incomplete, or it misses which version of the software was used? [Culina, 2020]), linking to resources like The Turing Way and providing five selfish reasons to work on reproducibility. She put these reasons in context of our circles of influences like how these practices benefits the author, their team, the reviewers and the overall community. The questions and answers that followed the talk were also very insightful! Daniela is a researcher in Geoinformation and Geostatics and never trained as a software developer, so she had to learn her way to make her research reproducible and her efforts in that front were highlighted in the selfish reasons she proposed in her talk.

The rest of the event consisted on ReproHacking-hacking-hacking! We separated into groups and started to choose papers. We then disconnected from the call and each participant or team worked as they preferred over the next days to try to reproduce the paper(s) they chose. At the end of the week we reconvened together to share how far we’d got and what we learned on the way.

In total we reviewed four papers, only one participant managed to reproduce the whole paper, the rest (me included) were stuck on the process. We found that full reproducibility is not easy! If the version of a software is not mentioned, then it becomes very difficult to find why something is not working as it should. But we also had a lot of fun and the participants were happy that there is a community at UCL that fights for reproducibility!

This ReproHack also counted with Peter Schmidt interviewing various participants for Code for thought, a podcast that will be published soon! Right now he’s the person running RSE Stories on this side of the Atlantic, a podcast hosted by Vanessa Sochat.

What’s next?

We will run this again! When? Not sure. We would like to run it twice a year, maybe again during the Open Access week and another session sometime between March-April. Are you interested in helping to organise it? Give me a shout! We can make a ReproHack that fits better for our needs (and our researchers!)

Thanks

Million thanks to Daniela Ballari, her talk was very illustrative and helpful to set the goals of the event!

Million thanks to Anna Krystalli too, a fellow Research Software Engineer at the University of Sheffield as she was the creator of this event and provided a lot of help to get us ready! She’s a Software Sustainability Institute Fellow and the SSI gave the initial push for this to exist. We also want to thank the RSE group at Sheffield as we were using some of their resources to run the event!

I also want to thank the organisers of ReproHack in LatinR (thanks Florencia!) as their event was just weeks before ours and seeing how they organised was super helpful!

Reproducibility events and initiatives from the UKRN

Kirsty11 November 2020

Improve your workflow for reproducible science: We recently hosted this workshop on reproducible data analysis in R Markdown and Git, led by data scientist Mine Cetinkaya-Rundel. The recording can be found here and the materials here.

Open science in covid-19 research, ReproducibiliTea journal club (Dec 2nd):Dr Lonni Besançon will present his paper ‘Open Science Saves Lives: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic’. Further details and registration can be found here.

Funding for activities to develop data skills/software: UCL are offering £3000 for projects (£600 each) that support community-based activities which either contribute to the development of software and data skills, foster interdisciplinary research through the reuse of tools and resources (e.g. algorithms, data and software) or strengthen positive attributes of the community. The aim is also to provide PhD students, research and professional service staff opportunities to develop their leadership and advocacy skills. Deadline to apply is the 23 November 2020 (noon). Further details can be found here. 

 

Office for Open Science & Scholarship Launch week – summary, links and thanks!

Kirsty29 October 2020

Last week, 19-23rd October, saw the launch of the new Office for Open Science and Scholarship, coinciding with International Open Access Week. What a week it was!

As well as launching our Office Newsletter, the many and varied events we held last week were a huge undertaking for all involved. This post reflects the information shared in each session; it comes with huge thanks to everyone who took part and helped out behind the scenes with promotion and organisation.


The week started with the official launch of the Office – Dr Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost for Library Services, and Head of the Office for Open Science and Scholarship, opened the first session with an overview of the development of the Office, and the current status of Open Science at UCL. This was followed by lightning talks highlighting just some of the teams that are linked to the Office and available for supporting researchers in a number of aspects of Open Science.

  • Lara Speicher from UCL Press gave an overview of the work of the Press since its launch, and its current work publishing Open Access books, monographs and journals:
    uclpress.co.uk
  • Catherine Sharp from the Open Access Team outlined the service and policy support that her team provides. She also described UCL’s new range of transformative publisher agreements and new web pages on open access funding:
    ucl.ac.uk/library/open-access
  • James Houghton from the Research Data Management (RDM) Team talked about the RDM Team’s responsibilities and areas of support, including Data Management Planning, FAIR Data, and the UCL Research Data Repository:
    ucl.ac.uk/library/research-support/research-data-management
  • Andrew Gray from the Bibliometrics Team discussed the origins of responsible metrics and the principles behind the new Bibliometrics Policy recently launched at UCL:
    ucl.ac.uk/library/research-support/bibliometrics
  • Grace Gottlieb from OVPR discussed definitions and the importance of Research Transparency, Integrity and Reproducibility and introduced the support and training available, as well as the institutional contacts for the UK Reproducibility Network:
    ucl.ac.uk/research/integrity

This event was recorded and it and all of the slides are available on MediaCentral.

Later that afternoon, our colleagues in Research IT Services, led by David Perez-Suarez, kicked off UCL’s first ever ReproHack. This is a hands-on reproducibility hackathon where participants attempted to reproduce the results of a research paper from published code and data. The outcomes were then collated and shared with the group. These outcomes will also be fed back to the paper’s authors. David is going to be writing us a guest blog post about this event – so watch this space!

Tuesday saw the first of our sessions with the different teams, starting with a training session with the Bibliometrics Team entitled ‘Introduction to InCites’- a metrics tool that UCL subscribes to. This tool can be used to compare research output across different institutions, analyse publication data for UCL at department and faculty levels, and understand activity in a research field as a whole. This session was not recorded but there is a full range of Bibliometrics training including an InCites session available on the bibliometrics website. The Open Access Team also hosted an afternoon drop in session for UCL researchers in which they discussed transformative agreements, open access funding and the importance of UCL’s Bibliometrics Policy in freeing researchers to publish in a wider range of journals.

Wednesday was another exciting day, giving us the second of our three webinars of the week – this one focused on Citizen Science. This session began with an overview of the history and development of Citizen Science at UCL by Professor Muki Haklay, and included a wide range of examples of how the principles of Citizen Science can be used in practice. This was followed up by a series of lightning talks where colleagues from across the university shared their projects and experiences of working on vastly different Citizen Science projects:

  • First, Rosie Brigham shared with us the details of her PhD study, Monument Monitor. This project invites visitors to historic sites to share photographs of their visits using social media in order to monitor structural and visitor-related changes to the monuments.
  • Mayssa Jallad gave us an overview of the work of the Institute for Global Prosperity and the RELIEF Project that trains local people as Citizen Scientists in neighbourhoods in Hamra (Beirut) and Mina (Lebanon).
  • Kate Jones followed up with a completely different project, truly highlighting the variety of applications of Citizen Science. The Bat Detective Project used volunteers to collect and then later identify audio recordings of bat sonar, which was used to train a machine learning algorithm for the next stage of the project.
  • Danielle Purkiss was our final speaker, talking about the Big Compost Experiment, which is a truly massive undertaking, with numerous participants all contributing to a research experiment looking at compostable and biodegradable plastics in their own back gardens!

This event was recorded and it and all of the slides are available on MediaCentral

Wednesday afternoon and Thursday were dedicated to drop in sessions from both the UCL Press and Research Data Management teams. The teams had some good conversations with researchers. The UCL Press Q&A focused on prospective authors, and commissioning editors were available to answer questions about the benefits of publishing Open Access. The RDM Team was available to discuss data management planning and answer questions about managing, publishing and archiving all kinds of data and supporting evidence from research.

These sessions were not recorded but the teams are both available to answer questions by email. The RDM team also has FAQs and training available online.

Friday gave us our third and final webinar, this time hosted by UCL Press and entitled ‘Author Experiences of Publishing Open Access books’. This session featured in-depth interviews of two authors who have published with UCL Press, Prof Eleanor Robson and Prof Bob Shiel. Their publications with the press were distinctly different but both were able to share insights from the process and give a brilliant behind the scenes look at the inner workings of the press. The entire discussion provided a really positive look at the importance of Open Access presses, and challenged lots of this misconceptions people have about them.

This event was recorded and is available on MediaCentral.

We’re delighted that so many colleagues from inside the university and from around the world were able to join us at these events. We’re also looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on how the Office for Open Science and Scholarship can support researchers, colleagues and students here at UCL. All of your feedback will be used to develop the next events that we plan, so please do get in touch with us here by commenting below, by email, or on Twitter.

Upcoming events – Focus Open Science and Reproducibility

Kirsty13 October 2020

Focus Open Science events open for booking

This years Focus on Open Science programme of events is taking shape and the first sessions have been launched for booking. The programme this year will all be virtual so all sessions are free and open to all!

The aim of the Focus on Open Science Workshops is to address the challenges posed by Open Science, using the 8 pillars of Open Science identified by the European Commission in its Open Science Policy Platform.

Improve your workflow for reproducible science (10th November 2020)

Join a 2-hour virtual workshop on reproducible data science using R, led by data scientist and lecturer Dr. Mine Çetinkaya-Rundel. Open to all and free to join.

Details and registration on Eventbrite.

Office for Open Science and Scholarship – Launch events roundup!

Kirsty28 September 2020

The UCL Office for Open Science & Scholarship is designed to create a virtual body which can work with academic colleagues, departments, and research groups to develop and publicise all our Open Science activities across the institution. The Office’s website has a section on Community and Support and this is the place where we hope to reach out to Open Science & Scholarship communities across the whole of UCL, to engage with them and to help create a UCL-wide community of Open Science Practice.

The Office for Open Science and Scholarship will be launched in two phases. The soft launch at the start of the academic year 2020-2021, and a full launch with a week of events timetabled for Open Access week, 19-23 October. The full schedule can be found with sign up links below! If you are planning something for Open Access week please let us know at openscience@ucl.ac.uk.

Launch week events

During the week of 19th October, we are going to be launching the Office for Open Science and Scholarship with a week of events celebrating all of the aspects of Open Science and coinciding with International Open Access week – some events are open to UCL members only, please see below for details.

There are no costs for attendance but we are asking people to sign up so that we can share the links and keep track of numbers for the Drop-in events.

Monday 19th October

  • UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship Launch – Lunchtime Webinar: 1-2pm

Join the Head of the Office for Open Science and Scholarship, Dr Paul Ayris, and a number of teams from across the university to celebrate the next steps in Open Science support at UCL. This webinar will tell you all you need to know about the new office, and what it can do to support you to embrace Open Science and Scholarship in your work.

Sign up via Eventbrite to receive a link to join the session – Now Open to non-UCL bookings

  • ReproHack @ UCL – Introductory session 2-4pm

A ReproHack is a hands-on reproducibility hackathon where participants attempt to reproduce the results of a research paper from published code and data and share their experiences with the group and the papers authors. During this week you will learn how to implement better reproducibility practices into your research and appreciate the high value of sharing code for Open Science. This event is open to all domains, all we need is a published paper that has included some code with it. During this week we will try to reproduce papers you propose in small teams, supported by members of the Research Software Development Group and RITS. On Friday afternoon we will have a catch-up session to show how each team did and to share experiences.

Sign up via Eventbrite to receive a link to join the session!

Tuesday 20th October

  • Introduction to InCites – 11am-12noon
This session will give an overview of what is contained in InCites, and a demonstration of how to use it.
The InCites tool (https://incites.clarivate.com/) uses Web of Science data on publications to give a wider overview of research activity, with aggregated data and visualisations. We can use it to compare research output across different institutions, analyse publication data for UCL at the department and faculty levels, and understand activity in a research field as a whole.
It also gives us access to normalised citation metrics, which give more complex and informative information than the simple citation counts available through Web of Science or Scopus. These take account of the different citation practices in different fields, allowing more meaningful and responsible analysis to be made.

Sign up via Eventbrite to receive a link to join the session

  • OA Week: Ask UCL’s Open Access Team – 2.30-3.30 pm

This event, for UCL researchers, is an opportunity to ask questions about the new open access funding arrangements, including transformative agreements, that UCL has introduced this year, and to make sure that you’re confident about the open access requirements that affect you. Researchers are encouraged to submit questions in advance.

Sign up via Eventbrite to receive a link to join the session

  • RELIEF Centre Launch: Hamra (Beirut), Neighbourhood Profile and Prosperity Interventions – 11am-1pm

RELIEF Centre and UN-Habitat Lebanon present a new neighbourhood profile for Hamra, Beirut. Through participatory citizen science research, the Hamra Neighbourhood Profile offers original spatialized data and analysis on the living conditions in one of the most culturally diverse neighbourhoods in Lebanon

Join us for the launch of this incredible new data resource. Hear from UN-Habitat and RELIEF Centre researchers on the purpose and process of creating the profile. Drawing on the profile’s data, RELIEF citizen scientists will also present three neighbourhood interventions and lead a discussion on how multisectoral and multicohort data from profiles can inform integrated programming for neighbourhoods in ways that can benefit all residents in the long term.

Sign up via Eventbrite to receive a link to join the session – Open to non-UCL bookings

Wednesday 21st October

  • Introduction to Citizen Science at UCL – Lunchtime Webinar: 1-2pm

One of the eight pillars of Open Science, Citizen Science is a rapidly developing area full of exciting opportunities to try something new with your research. Join us and find out more about Citizen Science, what you can use it for, and how to get started using it in your own research, as well as showcasing examples from across UCL. Featuring an introduction to Citizen Science and lightning talks from across the university, we aim to show you the breadth of possibilities and hope that you will be able to join the discussion, learn about Citizen Science, and get some ideas for your next project!

Sign up via Eventbrite to get a link to join the session – Now Open to non-UCL bookings

  • UCL Press and OA Monograph publishing: A drop-in session for prospective authors: 3-4pm

This session will be an opportunity to meet with commissioning editors and other staff from UCL Press who will describe the benefits of publishing OA and the global reach that can be achieved through its extensive OA dissemination and marketing activities. Commissioning editors will also be on hand to discuss new book proposals and the submissions process.

Sign up via Eventbrite to receive a link to join the session

Thursday 22nd October

  • OA Week: Research Data Management Team Drop-in Q&A session: 3-4pm

Join the Research Data Management team to get an overview of their work and ask all of your questions about how to manage, publish and archive all kinds of data, materials and other outputs of research projects.

Sign up via Eventbrite to receive a link to join the session

Friday 23rd October

  • UCL Press: Author Experiences of publishing OA books: Lunchtime Webinar: 1-2pm

Join UCL Press authors to explore how their experiences of publishing have changed their perspective on open access books.
Confirmed participants include:

  • Professor Eleanor Robson (UCL History), author of Ancient Knowledge Networks: A Social Geography of Cuneiform Scholarship in First-Millennium Assyria and Babylonia (UCL Press)
  • Professor Bob Sheil (Bartlett School of Architecture), editor of the Fabricate series

Sign up via Eventbrite to receive a link to join the session – Now Open to non-UCL bookings

  • ReproHack closing session – 3-4pm

See full details on Monday for how to get involved.