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Open Access week 2021 – Open in Practice

Kirsty6 October 2021

For Open Access week this year we are going to be focusing on the practical side of Open, not just Open Access, but Open Data, Code, Software, Licensing, you name it, we are aiming to talk about it!

We have three events lined up for our UCL audience, you can get full details about those below. They are all very different to each other and we are hoping to see you there! We also have daily blog posts in the pipeline and the latest edition of the Office for Open Science & Scholarship Newsletter coming out during the week too. It’s going to be a busy one so make sure you follow us on twitter or subscribe to the blog for regular updates!

Tuesday 26th October 2-3pm – New UKRI Open Access Policy Briefing

The new UKRI open access policy announced in August 2020 affects academics publishing work that acknowledges UK Research Council funding. The policy requires open access on publication under the CC BY licence (or, exceptionally, CC BY-ND) for articles and conference papers submitted on or after 1 April 2022. It also requires open access no later than 12 months after publication for monographs, book chapters and edited collections resulting from a grant from one of the UK Research Councils, published on or after 1 January 2024. The UKRI policy will inform the open access policy for the next REF.

In this first UCL briefing session on the UKRI policy, Catherine Sharp (Head of Open Access Services) will set out the key policy points and compliant routes to publishing in journal articles and conference papers. Lara Speicher (Head of Publishing, UCL Press) will explore the details of the new UKRI monograph requirements, and their implications for authors. Professor Margot Finn (UCL History and immediate past President of the Royal Historical Society) will also join the session to discuss these changes and the implications for authors of monographs in the humanities and social sciences in particular.

Given the importance of the UKRI policy in shaping UK open access requirements, all researchers who publish are encouraged to attend a briefing on the UKRI policy, and to bring questions from their own disciplines.

Please register online.

Wednesday 27th October 2-3pm – UCL Press as eTextbook Publisher

The debate over access and affordability of eTextbooks is high on the agenda for many institutional libraries and publishers and many are calling for an open access solution.

In response, UCL Press is currently developing a new programme of open access textbooks, for undergraduate and postgraduate courses and modules, across disciplines. The new textbook programme will be the first OA textbook list in the UK and builds on the success of the Press’s publishing output and the significant increase in requirements for digital resources, in a changing teaching and learning environment. The programme offers the Press an opportunity to showcase and promote teaching excellence across a broad range of fields and contribute to the open culture UCL is continuing to build.

In this webinar we will discuss in more depth, why and how UCL Press are creating their open access programme and the opportunities, practicalities, and benefits of committing to, publishing and disseminating home-grown textbooks.

We will also focus on other initiatives and projects from UCL and from around the world to provide a forum for lively discussion about open access textbooks and education resources more broadly.

We encourage you to join us to hearing more about this programme and other OA initiatives, please register online.

Thursday 28th October 4-5pm – Opening data & code: Who is your audience?

To achieve the potential impact of a particular research project in academia or in the wider world, research outputs need to be managed, shared and used effectively.

Open Research enables replicable tools to be accessible to a wide audience of users. The session will showcase three projects and discuss the potentials of reuse of data and software and how to adapt to different types of user.

Join our speakers and panel discussion to:

  • understand the potential of sharing your data and software
  • learn about how projects share their software and data with different audiences and how they tailored their open data & code to different audiences appreciate the needs of different types of user (e.g. industry based, policy maker, citizen scientists)

Please register online.

The benefits and barriers to code sharing as an Early Career Researcher

Kirsty14 September 2021

Guest post by Louise Mc Grath-Lone, Research Fellow (UCL Institute of Health Informatics), Rachel Pearson, Research Assistant (UCL Institute of Child Health) and Ania Zylbersztejn, Research Fellow (UCL Institute of Child Health)

In July 2021, we held a session on code sharing as part of the UCL Festival of Code and were thrilled to have almost 90 attendees from 9 out of UCL’s 11 faculties – highlighting that researchers from across a wide range of disciplines are interested in sharing their code.

The aims of the session were to highlight the benefits of code sharing, to explore some of the barriers to code sharing that Early Carly Researchers may experience, and to offer some practical advice about establishing, maintaining and contributing to a code repository.

In this blog, we summarise the benefits and barriers to code sharing we discussed in the session taking into account the views that participants shared.

What is code sharing and what are the benefits?

Code sharing covers a range of activities, including sharing code privately (e.g., with your colleagues as part of internal code review) or publicly (e.g., as part of a journal article submission).

For Early Career Researchers in academia, there are many benefits to sharing code including:

Reducing duplication of effort: For activities such as data cleaning and preparation, code sharing is an important method of reducing duplication of effort among the research community.

Capturing the work you put into data management: The processes of managing large datasets are time-consuming, but this effort is often not apparent in traditional research outputs (such as journal articles). Sharing code is one way of demonstrating the work that goes into data management activities.

Improving the transparency and reproducibility of your work: Code sharing allows others to understand, validate and extend what you did in your research.

Enabling the continuity of your work: Many researchers spend the early years of their career on fixed-term contracts. Code sharing is a way to enable the continuity of your work after you’ve moved on by allowing others to build on it. This increases the chances of it reaching the publication stage and your efforts and inputs being recognised in the form of a journal article.

Building your reputation and networks: Code sharing is a way to build your reputation and grow your networks which can lead to opportunities for collaboration.

Providing opportunities for teaching and learning: By sharing code and by looking at code that others have shared, Early Career Researchers have opportunities to both teach and learn.

Demonstrating a commitment to Open Science principles: Code sharing is increasingly valued by research funders (e.g. the Wellcome Trust) and is a tangible way to show your commitment to Open Science principles which are part of UCL’s Academic Framework and important for career progression.

Despite the clear benefits to code sharing, at the start of our session just 1 in 4 participants (26%) said that they often or always share code. However, by the end of the session, almost all participants (90%) said that they definitely or probably will share their code in the future.

What are the barriers to code sharing as an Early Career Researcher and how we can overcome them?

We asked participants what has put them off sharing their code in the past. The most common responses were:

The time and effort required: Ideally, you would write perfectly formatted and commented code on the first go – however, in reality, it often does not work out like this. As you update code and encounter bugs, code can often become messy and considerable time/effort needed to get it to point it can be understood by someone outside the research project. We discussed the importance shifting your perception of ‘shareable’ code. Sharing any code, even if messy, is far more helpful than sharing nothing at all.

Lack of confidence and concerns about criticism: Many researchers who write code as part of their work have very little (or no!) formal training. This means that sharing code can be daunting. For example, researchers may be worried about others finding errors in their code; however, sharing code can help to catch bugs in code early on and can bolster your confidence and reassure you that your code is correct. In the session, we also discussed how getting involved with online coding communities that emphasize inclusivity and support (e.g., R Ladies, Tidy Tuesday or one of the UCL Coding Clubs) can help grow confidence and provide a kinder environment in which to share code publicly.

Not knowing how to share or who to share with: A lack of formal training means that many researchers are unsure about where or how to share code, including not knowing which license to use to enable appropriate reuse of code. We discussed the need for more training opportunities, encouraged setting up your own code review groups (like a journal club, but for sharing and discussing code).

Worry that code will be reused without permission: Some participants were worried about plagiarism and their hard work being re-used without their knowledge or permission. However, hosting your code in a repository like GitHub allows you to choose suitable licence for re-use of your code to prevent undesired use while still supporting open science! You can also see how many people have accessed your code.

How can Early Career Researchers get started with code sharing?

Preparing code to share can take time and, as they work to secure their future within academia, many Early Career Researchers may already feel overloaded and pulled in different directions (e.g., teaching, institutional citizenship, engagement work, producing publications, attending conferences, research management, etc.). However, code sharing is hugely beneficial for a career in academia and so we would encourage all Early Career Researchers to try to find the time to share code by viewing it as an opportunity to invest in your future self. For example, you could:

  • Adopt a coding style guide to help produce clear and uniform code with good comments from the outset. This will reduce effort end when you come to share code (and help your future self when you look at your code many years later and have inevitably forgotten what it all does!
  • Join a UCL Coding Clubs or online community to learn tips from others about coding and sharing code.
  • Learn to use a code repository like GitHub. As part of our session, we delivered an introductory tutorial on how to use GitHub with links to other useful resources (available here).

How can UCL support Early Career Researchers to share code?

We ended the session by asking the participants how UCL could better support them to share their code. Some of the ideas suggested by Early Career Researchers were:

More training on writing and sharing code: For example, one suggestion was that UCL could create a Moodle training course for code sharing. Training about best practice in coding (across several languages) to help Early Career Researchers to write code right the first time would also be helpful.

Simple, accessible guidance about code sharing: This might include checklists or 1-to-1 advice sessions, in particular, to help Early Career Researchers to select the right licenses.

Embed code sharing as best practice at all levels: Encouraging and supporting senior researchers to share code so that it becomes embedded as good practice at all levels would provide a good example for and encourage more junior members of staff. It would also help to ensure that the time and training required to prepare code for sharing is built into grant applications.

Knowledge sharing opportunities: More events and opportunities to discuss how research groups share code to share best practice across faculties throughout UCL.

 

We would like to thank everyone who attended our session – “Code sharing for Early Career Researchers: the good the bad and the ugly!” – at the UCL Festival of Code for their time and contributions to the lively discussions. All the materials from the session are available here, including an introductory tutorial to getting started with code sharing using GitHub. We would also like to thank the organisers of the UCL Festival of Code for their help and support.

Upcoming webinar: Focus on Open Science

Kirsty1 June 2021

The UCL Office for Open Science & Scholarship is collaborating with the University of Stockholm and Scientific Knowledge Services on organising an Open Science Webinar on 18 June.

Open Science started as a vision, aiming to address matters like research reproducibility and access to the results of publicly-funded research. The vision was generally welcomed by academic and research institutions and has benefited from a great advocacy movement. It’s high time now to build on practice and effective management.

It is generally accepted in Europe that research should be as open as possible and as closed as necessary. Finding the borderline between the two is one of the most important tasks for practitioners, whether they belong to funders, research organisations, their partners or researchers themselves. This borderline is not sufficiently explored. Guidelines based on feedback and learning from practice should be created, sooner rather than later. This innovative approach to research has further potential: to address existing inequalities and matters like inclusivity, ethics, better assessment or the missing links between science and society or to re-shape public-private partnerships.

Emphasizing research practices, we will discuss the role of research organisations to support this transition, both acting local and internationally.

The webinar is a part of the #FocusOpenScience series. The language of the presentations will be English.

Visit https://www.focusopenscience.org/book/21stockholm/ for further details, and to register.

Upcoming event: UCL Festival of Code

Kirsty24 May 2021

The UCL Festival of Code (14-18 June 2021) celebrates the contribution software and coding communities make to research and innovation.  Register for the opportunity to learn new skills, tools and insights, as well as to build your network across UCL. The nine events include interactive workshops, a hackathon, panel discussions, speakers and competitions. The Festival brings together academics, researchers, technical professionals and students to Celebrate Communities, Explore Open Science, Create Impact, discover R Projects and participate in a collaborative Hackday! Its going to be a great week –  Book your spot online.

We would like to especially highlight Tuesday 15th June 2021, where the festival will be Exploring Open Science, and the day will be opened by Dr Paul Ayris (Head of the UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship).

10:00 – 11:00  An Introduction to Open Science Practices: From Code to Data and Beyond

Find out about the benefits of open science and explore practices of code and data sharing, replications, as well as open access publishing. Learn about tools/platforms which can help you to embed open science in your work flow.

Organised by Dr Sandy Schumann (UCL Department of Security and Crime Science) | UCL JDI Open | @JDI_Open

 

11:15 – 12:15  Code sharing as an Early Career Researcher: the good, the bad and the ugly

Join us to discuss the benefits and barriers to code sharing for Early Career Researchers, get practical advice about how to do it (e.g. via GitHub), and explore ways it can be encouraged at UCL.

Organised by Louise McGrath-Lone (Institute of Health Informatics), Ania Zylbersztejn, Rachel Pearson ( bothGOS Institute of Child Health) | UCL Code Club | @UCL_CodeClub

 

14:00 – 16:00   Use of Docker for Efficient Software Development & Reproducible Research

A valid piece of code can produce different results based on its computational environment, libraries and other dependences. Join this interactive workshop to learn how to use Docker to overcome these issues and improve the reproducibility of your research.

Organised by Mian Ahmad | UCL Computer Science Technical Support Group | Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences

 

The Festival is coordinated by the UCL eResearch Domain and we would like to thank our colleagues from across UCL who have organised these events.

Brexit and Beyond – what does copyright look like post-Brexit?

Kirsty20 May 2021

On Monday 17th May, we brought together three experts for an in depth look at the impact that Brexit has already had on copyright in the UK and what could be coming next.

Catherine Stihler (CEO Creative Commons), Ben White (Researcher, Centre for Intellectual Property Policy and Management, Bournemouth University) and Dr Emily Hudson (Reader in Law, King’s College London) all brought their own distinct backgrounds and experiences to bear on this topic for a truly interesting discussion.

Open in Media Central or view below

Brexit and beyond webinar in conjunction with Copyright4Knowledge

Kirsty4 May 2021

On the back of our successful #EbookSOS webinar we are doing it again – join us for another collaboration with Copyright4Knowledge, this time on the subject of the post-Brexit copyright world.

What will the copyright environment be like post-Brexit? How can we best advocate for more library- and research-friendly copyright legislation? The European Union and the European Court of Justice have long exercised a major influence on UK copyright law and the decisions of UK courts in copyright matters. What will happen post-Brexit, given that EU copyright law no longer applies directly in the UK?

Brexit poses many questions for the Library and Research communities and we will endeavour to explore some of them in our Brexit and beyond webinar on 17th May 2021, from 11.00 to 12.30. You are invited to join our three expert speakers to discuss the copyright environment for HE and Research post Brexit.  What are the challenges post-Brexit and does Brexit also present opportunities?

There will be an opportunity to put your questions to the panel in a final Q and A session.

The webinar is free to attend but if you would like to join us please register via Eventbrite

Draft programme

  • 00-11.10  Welcome and introduction
  • 10-11.30 European digital policy and why it still matters to the UK, Catherine Stihler (CEO Creative Commons)
  • 11.30-11.50 Will the UK fall behind the EU in important areas of digital research and online access to 20th century cultural heritage? Benjamin White (Researcher, Centre for Intellectual Property Policy and Management, Bournemouth University)
  • 11.50-12.10 Some suggestions for copyright advocacy in the post-Brexit world, Dr Emily Hudson (Reader in Law, King’s College London)
  • 12.10-12.30 Q&A

UCL Open Science Conference Day 2: Tuesday 27th April

Kirsty30 April 2021

We have now collated all of the recordings and uploaded them to UCL Media Central, a full write-up of the event and some remaining questions will follow next week.

Day 1 content is also available

13:10 – 13:30 Count-erproductive? The role of metrics in the advancement of Open Science: Lizzie Gadd

Open in Media Central or view below

13:40 – 14:00 Toolkit for Transparency, Reproducibility & Quality in Energy Research: Gesche Huebner & Mike Fell

Full paper link https://journal-buildingscities.org/articles/10.5334/bc.67/

Open in Media Central or view below

14:20 – 15:00 Reproducibility, Transparency & Metrics panel

Open in Media Central or view below

15:25 – 16:05 Citizen science panel

Open in Media Central or view below

Links to Monica’s projects:

UCL Open Science Conference Day 1: Monday 26th April

Kirsty30 April 2021

We have now collated all of the recordings and uploaded them to UCL Media Central, a full write-up of the event and some remaining questions will follow next week.

Day 2 content is also available

13:10 – 13:40 Open Science – looking to the future: Jean-Claude Burgelman

13:40 – 13:55 Open Science at UCL – looking to our future: Paul Ayris

Open in Media Central or view below

14:20 – 15:00 Future of Open Science panel

Open in Media Central or view below

15:25 – 16:05 Technical solutions panel

Open in Media Central or view below

Upcoming Reproducibility seminars from Leiden University

Kirsty1 April 2021

Leiden University Libraries (UBL) are hosting a series of online seminars on the challenges involved in achieving reproducibility in research.

The seminars aim to identify best practices that can help to overcome central challenges around reproducibility, and to convey several concrete guidelines that can help researchers during their attempts to make their own research transparent and verifiable. While discussions of crucial theoretical concepts will get ample attention, the seminars will also showcase experiences gained during various case studies.

The seminars will be held on Thursday 22 April, 29 April and Wednesday 12 May. For more information and to book visit their website.

These events were recorded and written up after the fact, so if you couldn’t make it, take a look now on their website.

UCL Open Science Conference 2021 – Programme now available

Kirsty26 March 2021

Thank you once more to everyone that submitted their ideas to the Call for Papers – we had so many and are so grateful that we have been able to create a packed programme.

All of the information about our Keynotes was revealed back in January, but we can now reveal the full programme and our 4 panels!

Day 1: Monday 26th April

Time Title
13:00 – 13:10 Welcome, housekeeping
13:10 – 13:40 Open Science – looking to the future
Jean-Claude Burgelman
13:40 – 13:55 Open Science at UCL – looking to our future
Paul Ayris
13:55 – 14:10 Q&A Discussion
  Break
14:20 – 15:00 Future of Open Science panel
15:00 – 15:15 Panel Q&A
  Break
15:25 – 16:05 Technical solutions panel
16:05 – 16:20 Panel Q&A
16:20 – 16:30 Summary and close

Day 2: Tuesday 27th April

Time Title
13:00 – 13:10 Welcome, housekeeping
13:10 – 13:30 Count-erproductive? The role of metrics in the advancement of Open Science
Lizzie Gadd
13:30 – 13:40 Q&A
13:40 – 14:00 Toolkit for Transparency, Reproducibility & Quality in Energy Research
Gesche Huebner & Mike Fell
14:00 – 14:10 Q&A
  Break
14:20 – 15:00 Reproducibility, Transparency & Metrics panel
15:00 – 15:15 Panel Q&A
  Break
15:25 – 16:05 Citizen science panel
16:05 – 16:20 Panel Q&A
16:20 – 16:30 Summary and close

Download the Draft Programme and details of all of our panellists (pdf)

Get your tickets now!