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New Open Science Resources for 22-23

Kirsty21 September 2022

The team at the UCL Office for Open Science & Scholarship are pleased to be able to share two brand new resources for the 2022-23 academic year!

Open Science & Scholarship video

The first, a new video giving an overview of Open Science at UCL. Dr Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice Provost for Library, Culture, Collections & Open Science (LCCOS) opens the discussion and outlines the context, before local experts delve into each of the core areas that we support. It is accompanied by a short quiz to affirm your new understanding of each area.

This video was created with the support of grants from Research England and Horizon 2020. It was produced by Scientific Knowledge Services (SKS).

After watching the video, you can take the quiz! If you are interested in learning more about anything you heard, visit the OOSS training and support pages for this and further resources.

Guide to Open Science for PhD students

The second resource is entitled Open Science – a practical guide for PhD students. This guide has been designed especially for UCL’s community of PhD students, aiming to introduce the principles of Open Science, but linking them directly to stages of the PhD journey and showing the benefits of embracing Open from the start of their academic journey.

This guide is developed from the original which was published by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research.

This and other resources to help and support you in your Open Science journey can be found on our website.

 

Altmetric – now available at UCL!

Kirsty2 September 2022

Guest post by Andrew Gray (Bibliometrics Support Officer)

What is it? 

Altmetrics are the concept of “alternative metrics” – measuring the impact of research beyond scholarly literature. It encompasses a wide range of activity in diverse sources  social media (eg twitter, blogs), news publications, and grey literature (eg policy documents). This can help to get a wider sense of the impact of papers that might otherwise be missed were we to focus just on traditional academic citations. 

The primary commercial database for these is Altmetric (https://altmetric.com) – UCL has just taken out a one-year subscription to this service. We hope it will be useful for anyone interested in public engagement or research impact, as well as individual researchers looking at the response to their own work. 

It is open to everyone at UCL by visiting https://www.altmetric.com/explorer/login and entering your UCL email address. It will then authenticate through the UCL single-sign-on system. 

How does it work? 

Altmetric tracks a range of individual sources looking for DOIs, links to papers, or free-text descriptions of articles. It then matches these to the underlying paper and produces an index of the mentions. Here we can see the range of responses to a climate-change study. 

You will also sometimes see this coloured “doughnut” on publisher or repository sites – clicking through will get you to this same page. 

The most interesting part of the service, however, is the dashboard. This aggregates the results from all individual papers, and we can then filter down by subject area, date, publication venue, etc., to produce a more specific analysis. It is also possible to search for keywords to see the change in activity around a specific topic – one like “artificial intelligence” tends to show a steady level of interest, while one like “gravitational waves” shows very dramatic spikes connected with major discoveries. 

What can we do with it? 

The dashboard has been integrated with UCL’s RPS service, so it has a dataset of UCL papers since 2013, each linked to the faculty/department of the authors. This means we can do the same types of analysis for just UCL papers – or just those from a specific department or a specific author. 

The search can also be tweaked to identify specific topics. Here we can see policy documents published in 2022 which cite a Bartlett paper. 

Policy documents are one of the key strengths of Altmetric – they can be used as evidence of wider impact, especially for the social sciences. While they are formal documents, and very distinct from more ephemeral news or social media mentions, they are not indexed in most citation databases and so this impact can often be hard to trace. 

Altmetric data can also be exported – any set of results can be exported so that we can do detailed offline analysis of sets of papers, or at the individual mentions that make up the score. This data includes identifiers such as DOIs and ISBNs, meaning it can be linked up to other datasets easily 

What next? 

We are very keen to get this tool in the hands of as many people at UCL as possible and find how it can be used most effectively. Please have a go and let us know what you think! 

UCL-specific training and guidance is currently under development, and will be published in September 2022. Until then, please feel free to get in touch with the team (bibliometrics@ucl.ac.uk) with queries or requests for assistance. We are happy to arrange training as well. 

The tool is currently provided with a static dataset drawn from RPS, covering papers published 1 January 2013 up to 12 August 2022. We are working with the providers to improve the integration so that it will include “live” data, refreshed from RPS every night; until then, we plan to make periodic updates so that publications are added on a rolling basis. 

 

 

 

Sensitive data – where and how to archive

Kirsty16 August 2022

Guest post by James Houghton, Research Data Support Officer

It is always essential to protect the personal identity of participants or information that could jeopardise the safety of a building, an endangered species, or similar. Deleting data at the end of a project is often necessary to guarantee privacy and security. But this data is sometimes of immense value. The potential usefulness of data could be weighed against the likelihood of an accidental release and the risk of harm if an unintentional release did occur.

There are options for archiving data with access controls for researchers who feel strongly that their data should be preserved. Some repositories have built-in access controls that ensure sensitive data can only be accessed by specific persons who have undergone an application process. Only a few data repositories offer this feature and will still have a remit controlling what data they can accept. Here are some examples.

  • ReShare (UK Data Service) – This site is a social data research repository created to share data for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded projects but is open for submissions from other sources!
  • The European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) – The EGA offers service for permanent archiving and sharing of personally identifiable clinical data generated for biomedical research projects or in the context of research-focused healthcare systems

The UK Data Service, which runs the ReShare archive, provides functional on-data access control and explains how to implement it.

If you are concerned about storing the data live, even with access controls, consider storing the raw data offline. The existence of the data can be advertised online by creating an entry in a repository that announces the data’s presence and explains how to access it. The repository record will also assign a DOI to cite the dataset properly. Making sure the offline information is stored securely can be challenging, however. There needs to be a specific process to ensure the data is secure and accessible on request.

Dealing with the long-term archiving of sensitive data is complicated. The UCL Research Data Management Team can assist with this. Get in touch if you need support!

Office for Open Science & Scholarship Newsletter – Issue 6

Kirsty8 June 2022

Welcome to the sixth issue of the Open Science and Scholarship Newsletter!

This termly newsletter has updates across the 8 Pillars of Open Science, and contributions from colleagues across the university. If you would like to get involved, give feedback or write something for a future issue, please get in touch using the details at the end of the newsletter.

In this issue:

  • Editorial
  • Update from the Head of the Office for Open Science & Scholarship
  • Community voice – Extreme Citizen Science: Analysis and
    Visualisation (ECSAnVis) project
  • Special Feature – UCL Press Open Access eTextbooks project
  • Deep Dive – Highlights from the Blog
  • News and Events

Go to the newsletter on Sway, or view it below. If you use the version below, we recommend clicking the ‘full screen’ button to get the full experience!

When viewing a Sway, you can turn on Accessibility view. This view displays a high-contrast style for easier reading, disables any animations, and supports keyboard navigation for use with screen readers.

To turn on Accessibility view:

  • If you’re using a mouse or touchscreen, on the More options menu (shown as three dots on the Sway toolbar), choose Accessibility view.
  • If you’re using a screen reader, on the More options menu, when Accessibility view is selected, you hear “Displays this Sway in a high contrast design with full keyboard functionality and screen reader access to all content.”

How does Citizen Science Change us? Write up from the UCL Open Science Conference 2022

Kirsty26 May 2022

Guest post by Israel Amoah-Norman (IGP Research Intern)

The UCL Open Science Conference took place last month. Thanks to Covid, most of the sessions were online. However, on 6th April, the UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship invited the Institute for Global Prosperity (IGP) to host a hybrid discussion themed ‘How Does Citizen Science Change Us?’. The IGP bases its activities around citizen-led research. For example, it launched its first study in September 2021: where citizen scientists trained by the IGP in qualitative data collection explored the effects of regeneration on household prosperity. The session on 6th April invited members of the research team to discuss how the experience had impacted them. It also invited academic researchers outside of the IGP to present their research and discuss how citizen science (CS) had impacted them and the local communities where their studies had taken place.

A quick side note: open science is focused on inclusive approaches to producing and evaluating research i.e., it opens research beyond the realms of academia to the wider community.

Now, back to the event. The conference was split into three parts:

Dr Rita Campos began proceedings with a thought-provoking opening statement about the benefits of CS. She stated that CS provides an innovative and methodological framework for projects – a move from a top-down approach to a bottom-up approach, and helps to create opportunities for scientists and researchers to learn together.

Following her opening remarks, citizen scientists and academic researchers discussed their research projects. In total, we had the pleasure of listening to 7 presentations. It was clear that from a societal angle, CS allows the examination of issues that really matter in local communities. It also builds stronger connections between members of communities who might not have otherwise spoken to each other. In terms of the individual impacts of CS, one of the presenters who was researching air quality in a community in Liverpool realised that a data-only approach would not help mobilise communities to make a difference. A former citizen scientist trained by the IGP who is now a local council candidate expressed how CS had built her confidence in public speaking.The final part of the conference invited Pye Nyunt (left) (Former Head of Insight & Innovation at the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham) and Dominic Murphy (right) (Principal Participation Officer from the London Borough of Camden) to discuss how CS work had impacted them and policy processes in their boroughs.

Dominic discussed his involvement in the Good Life Euston program and explained how the initiative made him realise that there is a route in understanding the issues of planning and regeneration based upon the experiences of Camden citizens. He also made a comedic analogy to citizens being like the councils’ nervous system (I enjoyed that). CS work also gave him the desire to replace public consultants with citizen scientists to survey local people about their experiences in Camden.

Pye explained that CS had taught him the importance of qualitative research. Realising that in his council, a qualitative data team was non-existent, he hired service designers to fix this.  He also noted that CS initiatives such as the Community Food Club created in his borough not only help local people but indirectly relieves the financial burden on the council.

The final segment opened the floor to members of the audience – other citizen scientists and researchers asked important questions about CS. Methods for assuring that CS is inclusive, whether CS training should be standardised, and the benefits and potential drawbacks of CS were topics of discussion.

Apart from the technical difficulties of the hybrid event, it went incredibly well. I had never heard of citizen science until January of this year. I always thought of scientific research as an area which could not be accessed by local people. This event made me realise how important it is for citizens to be included in research.

Catch up on the session in full below, or on UCL MediaCentral.

Using games to engage with Open Access (and beyond!)

Kirsty18 May 2022

Guest post by Petra Zahnhausen-Stuber, Open Access Team, UCL Library (LCCOS)

In recent years, ‘Gamification’, the use of game elements in non-gaming settings to improve user experience, has been embraced by Research Support Services at Higher Education Institutes. Research Support Games cover various topics including research data management, copyright and/or open access and address an audience ranging from early career researchers and academics to support staff.

For the organisers of the Research Support Games Days (RSGD), games can be an effective tool to communicate with scholars about often complex concepts. In its third instalment since 2019, this event promotes the use of game-based learning among Research Support Services by presenting games, online tools and platforms that could be beneficial for training purposes. Here it was also highlighted, that most of these games were designed to be played in person. However, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 was a catalyst for developing more virtual games as a way of continuing the engagement with researchers when face-to-face training was not possible. Despite any the challenges of creating digital games, their advantage of reaching a wider audience outside the physical environment of research institutions becomes apparent in the following examples of Open Access themed online games.

The Publishing Trap (UK Copyright Literacy), this game about scholarly communication focuses on helping researchers understand the effect of different publishing models, copyright and finances on the dissemination of their research. First launched as a board game in 2017, in response to the pandemic a digital version was created in 2020. In both versions participants form up to 4 teams representing four scholars in different career scenarios and make decisions about how to best publish their research. Retaining most of the original features, the online version uses interactive PowerPoint slides and can be played via any virtual classroom software with a break-out room functionality, so that the element of team discussions from the board game is being replicated.

A group of people doing a jigsaw puzzle on the floor

Open Access Escape Room in action at the 2022 EARMA conference

Similarly, in 2020, the role-playing Open Access Mystery game developed by Katrine Sundsbo uses downloadable slides. It was also designed for online platforms (i.e. Zoom) to allow for immediate verbal interaction between players who are tasked with finding the culprit responsible for a global lockdown of all research. The Open Access Escape Room, also by the same author, was originally created in 2018 as a physical game and digitally adapted in 2020 under the name The Puzzling Hunt for Open Access. Both versions follow the narrative of all research being locked away by a villain and are aimed at academic staff to gain an understanding of the concepts of Open Access. The players have to find clues and solve various Open Access themed puzzles in order to unlock research. Despite not replicating the original escape room format, where participants interact with each other in teams, the online game offers more flexibility as the mixed media-based puzzles can be completed by a single player at their own pace. Like most Research Support Games, all materials are published under a CC BY licence resulting in both versions having been played and adapted further in and outside the UK.

The single-player Open Axis: The Open Access Video Game (UCLA) was always designed for a remote learning environment intending to reach a worldwide audience of graduates and undergraduates. Created in 2020, this “choose your own adventure” can be played in a web browser, is predominantly text based but features classic 8-bit video games. The player chooses between several characters portraying scholars of various backgrounds. Following a non-linear narrative, the player’s decision impact the course of the in-game stories around themes of open access, scholarly publishing and research practices.

Choosing another approach of getting scholars interested in Open Access, the team at Robert Gordon University developed five online puzzles in 2021, including memory, crosswords and a scavenger hunt. Since puzzles can be played quicker than games, it makes them suitable for bite-sized learning during icebreakers or coffee breaks.
These games form by no means an exhaustive list and it is worth delving into the manifold resources of the Research Support Games Day Proceedings (below), where the benefits and challenges involved in taking games online are further explored.

For more information on Research Support Games Days and Gamification:

Adaptions of the “Open Access Escape Room”:

UCL Open Science Conference 2022 – Day 2 Recordings

Kirsty11 April 2022

Thank you to everyone that attended the UCL Open Science conference last week. We had a great time and hope you did too. We have sent all of the left over questions to our speakers but we wanted to share the recordings right away! If you missed the day 1 recordings, they are already available.

UKRI Town Hall

Host: David Price
Panellists: Duncan Wingham, Rachel Bruce, Margot Finn, Jonathan Butterworth.

Open and the Global South

Host: James Houghton
Panellists: Katie Foxall, Wouter Schallier, Sally Rumsay, Ernesto Priego.

Don’t forget, you can get full details of all of the speakers in the programme.

Bookings now open for UCL Open Science Conference 2022

Kirsty15 March 2022

We are very pleased to finally be able to announce that bookings are officially open for the UCL Open Science conference 2022!

The conference is taking place online across two days, and as a special trial run this year we have selected one session to be run as a hybrid event, which will be available online and in person on the UCL campus. If you want to attend the conference online, and the Citizen Science session in person you will need a ticket for both.

Tickets are free and open to everyone that is interested. Sessions will be recorded and the recordings will be shared on the blog and via social media after the event.

Download the programme

DAY 1 – 6th April –

Morning Session: 10.00 -12.30 ONLINE

What does Open Science mean to me?

Here at UCL, the phrase ‘Open Science’ routinely refers to the steps taken to open up the research process to the benefit of the wider research community and beyond. Consequently, members of the UCL community are being actively encouraged to embrace open science practices – and the cultural changes that inevitably follow. Plus, we are subsequently well placed to explore related potential opportunities including greater transparency of the research process, maximising research potential of existing resources and embedding a greater sense of trustworthiness and accountability to your research.

However, it seems the deeper we delve into the concept of Open Science, the more we seek to contextualise this phrase and question what it means to an individual’s working practices.

Kickstart your research with Open Data and Code

This session will look at some of the approaches you can take to go beyond simply sharing your data and code and instead making it Open and FAIR – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. Assuming little prior knowledge, we will hear from researchers and research technology professionals about how they approach making research software open source, techniques for openness when dealing with computational research, the role that can be played by Electronic Lab Notebooks, and data repositories in the Open Science ecosystem

Afternoon Session: 1.30-3.30pm ONLINE & IN PERSON:

How does Citizen Science change us?

Recent research about the impact of citizen science projects tends to focus on how public ‘participation’ in scientific research enhances knowledge outcomes for projects, or enhances the scientific literacy of participating citizen scientists. The benefits to participating individuals and communities are often assumed, and very little literature examines the personal dilemmas and challenges that individuals negotiate, or how citizen science projects change the behaviour of policymakers.

We aim to explore these gaps by inviting different perspectives on the question “How does citizen science change us?” Discussions will examine how participation in citizen science projects impacts on the different individuals involved – the citizen scientists, academic researchers, community members, policymakers – and ask how impacts on individuals can translate into wider political, societal and organisational transformations

This session will be online using the same link as the main conference. If you want to join this session in person, please also register on Eventbrite.

DAY 2 – 7th April – ONLINE 10.00 -12.30

10.10-11.20 UKRI Town Hall

The new UKRI Open Access policy has dominated discussions of the future of Open Access in the last year. This session proposes to allow the audience free rein to openly discuss the new policy with key members of the team at UKRI. After a brief presentation of the policy and guidance as it stands, the audience will be invited to pose their questions in an open forum.

11.20-12.30 Open Science and the Global South

Open Access publishing has been broadly embraced as a solution to the issue of paywalls which are often barriers to accessing research articles and, therefore, barriers to research itself. Open Access publishing removes the cost for those that may wish to read an article, but the publication process must still be paid for. Finding sustainable ways of doing this is a challenge, especially for institutions based in the global south where budgets may be more limited.

 

Office for Open Science & Scholarship Newsletter – Issue 5

Kirsty3 March 2022

Welcome to the fifth issue of the Open Science and Scholarship Newsletter!

This termly newsletter has updates across the 8 Pillars of Open Science, and contributions from colleagues across the university. If you would like to get involved, give feedback or write something for a future issue, please get in touch using the details at the end of the newsletter.

In this issue:

  • Editorial
  • Update from the Head of the Office for Open Science & Scholarship
  • Community voice – Creating a digital organism through Open Science
  • Special Feature – UCL Press announce the launch of a new translation initiative
  • Deep Dive – Highlights from the Blog
  • News and Events

Go to the newsletter on Sway, or view it below. If you use the version below, we recommend clicking the ‘full screen’ button to get the full experience!

When viewing a Sway, you can turn on Accessibility view. This view displays a high-contrast style for easier reading, disables any animations, and supports keyboard navigation for use with screen readers.

To turn on Accessibility view:

  • If you’re using a mouse or touchscreen, on the More options menu (shown as three dots on the Sway toolbar), choose Accessibility view.
  • If you’re using a screen reader, on the More options menu, when Accessibility view is selected, you hear “Displays this Sway in a high contrast design with full keyboard functionality and screen reader access to all content.”

Call for Contributions: How does citizen science change us?

Kirsty25 February 2022

Exploring the impacts on ‘citizens’, ‘researchers’, ‘policymakers’, and social action at the UCL Open Science Conference

6 April – Cruciform Building LT2, UCL Campus and Online

Citizen Science is the involvement of non-professionals in the creation of knowledge. It can be a powerful tool for amplifying researchers’ capacity to collect large amounts of data by involving thousands of people in research activities, for engaging non-professionals in research on major societal issues such as climate change, and for empowering communities to generate knowledge about their environments.

Whilst Citizen Science is a promising step forward for open science, it is not fully understood how Citizen Science has an impact on the policies and practices which shape the world we live in.

This event will focus on exploring the question of ‘impact’ from different perspectives. Recent research about the impact of citizen science projects tends to focus on how public ‘participation’ in scientific research enhances knowledge outcomes for projects, or enhances the scientific literacy of participating citizen scientists. The benefits to participating individuals and communities are often assumed, and very little literature examines the personal dilemmas and challenges that individuals negotiate, or how citizen science projects change the behaviour of policymakers.

We aim to explore these gaps by inviting different perspectives on the question “How does citizen science change us?” Discussions will examine how participation in citizen science projects impacts on the different individuals involved – the citizen scientists, academic researchers, community members, policymakers – and ask how impacts on individuals can translate into wider political, societal and organisational transformations.

The event is divided into an exhibition, a presentation session and a discussion session. These bring together citizen scientists, academic and applied researchers, policymakers and voluntary sector organisations/networks interested in the impacts of citizen science. Each are represented as speakers, moderators and attendees. Please see below for session breakdowns.

We invite UCL Citizen Science projects to participate in the exhibition and the presentations, and to put out a call through networks and partners to invite contributions from other projects. We welcome project representatives from inside and outside academia to participate.

Exhibition

We invite submissions for an online exhibition of photographs and visualisations which illustrate the impact of Citizen Science. Each submission should be accompanied by a short (250 word) text explaining the project and its impact, and any relevant links to project websites or other resources.

Impacts can be related to impacts on the individual (including Citizen Scientists, policy-makers, researchers etc.), the institution, and wider society.

These will be compiled into an online exhibition and resource bank about Citizen Science projects and their impacts. The exhibition website will include a comments box, so that virtual attendees can respond to the exhibition and to projects with their own visualisations and accompanying text, thereby building on the resource bank.

Presentations

We invite presenters to speak about the impacts of a Citizen Science project on any or all of the following: the individual (including Citizen Scientists, policy-makers, researchers etc.), the institution, wider society. Presenters are asked to describe:

  1. What the project was
  2. What the impact was
  3. How the impact was achieved/happened

Each presentation will last for 7 minutes. The session will end with a 25-minute Q&A with attendees. Slides with photographs or simple images are welcome!

To apply

To contribute to the exhibition, please email your photograph/visual in jpeg format, and your accompanying text as a Word document.

To present, please email with your name, role in the project, a 250-word statement about your project and the impact you will discuss.

Please email hannah.sender@ucl.ac.uk with your submissions by 14 March.