The Seminar aims to extend the open science analysis to the Iberian universities and share the experience of the most advanced countries in Europe on the application of the open science principles.
The Dutch approach has focused on career assessment through evaluation procedures, like the approach in focusing on the publication and other indirect metrics that don’t account for all the activities of research and neither the contribution to research and science. For example, data generation, curation, and sharing period. This approach is not the best device for collaboration and sharing even becoming a factor of bad practices.
A lot of universities and rectors are implementing better, broader, and more inclusive evaluation systems aligned with open science practices. The case of Portuguese change of the scientific career system has raised important issues about the evaluation of researchers raising some debate.
The majority of the scientists and the amount of data has grown exponentially. The existence of digital technology has provided the means to mine the data and to manage them and to make it useful.
Nowadays also the pandemic has driven a change towards collaboration. Currently, society demands transparency. With the aim to fight this challenge a lot of different institutions have collaborated with some advantages:
- Faster circulation of new ideas.
- Better return in innovation research investing.
- Mutual respect and understanding
- Ethics and fighting off bad research conduct.
A new balance in the recognition and rewards of academics. The approach of the Dutch universities to modernizing the systems of recognition and rewards based on:
- The need to keep connected the academia and society. Also, society to value and support academia.
- The need to use all our talent.
- The need to ensure that our organizations are healthy work-environments where current and future generations of excellent scientists and scholars will want to work.
For the Dutch universities is important to see the diversification of career tracks, identify the different talents that the academics have, and focus on them. Offering the opportunity to excel in other domains than research. Covering from the innovation in education, to creating impact with regard to the research. Rewarding the people focused on those strong areas instead of only rewarding what is done in research.
Thus, from the short experience of the Dutch universities, during the last two years some aspects have been identified to be needed to change:
- Enable diversification and vitalization of career paths. Promoting excellence in each of the key areas. (Education, research, impact, leadership and patient care)
Meaning that is not necessary to excel in all of the areas, but only some of them. Stimulating educational career paths. An innovator teacher and talented and has a national impact with its education (a leader in education) you should be able to grow in their career.
With regard to leadership, often it happens that we underestimate the necessity to guide people in the development to become an academic leader and to also know what it takes to be a leader and select or even deselect if you’re not a good leader. It is a way to assure that a person that is not the right leader is not playing that role
2. A better balance between individual and team performance.
Inspiring cooperation between organizations, disciplines and teams (Team science).
Many of the achievements are made by being a part of a Team. It is important to contribute to the department objectives and also the institution’s objectives. The contributions to the team should be recognized.
3. More focus on quality of work over quantitative results.
Good scientific research increases scientific knowledge and makes a contribution to solving societal challenges. A better balance for quality criteria is needed so the funding organizations are key to evaluate the quality.
- More emphasis on the value of academic leadership to set the course in research and education to achieve impact, and to ensure that teams of academics can do their work as well as possible.
- Open science becomes the norm and stimulates interaction between scientists and society.
Also, is important to ensure viability by recognition and reward mechanisms supported on three levels:
- During selection, supervision, development and evaluation of researchers.
- During evaluation of research proposals (Research funding).
- During quality assessment of research (with new Strategy Evaluation Protocol in the Netherlands)
In the case of Spain, top priorities in relation to Open Science are:
- Open Science publications exist, with a plan existing.
- Open access data with the European Open Science Cloud.
- Global Cooperation on Societal Challenges.
- Research Integrity with and updated OPM code.
- Citizen Science sharing best practices and recommendations.
- Rewards and incentives with the definition of fine lines and training.
- New metrics, an alternative indicator for measuring scientific output. Although they are at a very low level of activity, at least in Spain.
- Open access publications and research integrity are at a high level of progress.
- OpenEdge has global data about science in the medium.
Main obstacles in Spain:
- More or less agreed on the metric but not in the weight.
- Research warrants based on metrics. Affecting directly to the procedure to get research and projects.
- Best teachers with the best education results are not on the top of the metrics used to evaluate education. Still, there are some nonethical practices.
- The quality of teaching still is not well defined.
- The higher cost of the evaluation. Projects, institutions must be quantitative and qualitative evaluated which is more costly.
- Research proposal evaluation must change
Aspects are identified to promote the change in the Spanish universities towards the open science orientation. At an institutional level is easier, because society will push more and more to move in that direction. Society invests a lot of money in universities and citizens pay taxes that go to the universities and, thus, they ask for more and more results. The universities will be evaluated by their impact.
Knowledge Transfer is key to Open Science. Activities that are not only research, they include Patents, StartUps, Spin-off, Science dissemination, research collaboration outside academia, regional impact,….
In my opinion, the Spanish university system has quite a work to do. Most of the disciplines are old fashioned plenty of non-believers in new perspectives in research. Even if it has nothing to do with age. There are young researchers with old thoughts.
There is a lot of hard work to do to update the culture of research funding. Through the past years, especially as a consequence of the 2007 Crysis, research teams have become more and more conservative. That is a tendency to be reversed first to be able to work towards an open science perspective.
At last, there is an implantation of the leadership in the national system, and the evaluation and reward of good educational methods because, in my opinion, are the weakest points.
The finish with the need to implement better practices in the relationships between industry and academia. It is essential to develop better knowledge transfer methods because open science is based mainly on transparency and societal impact.
#IamAnOpenScientistBecause I believe in the value of the research as a whole. Thus, this wholeness has to be visible, transferrable, (e)valuated, and rewarded.