When I started this course about Open Science, even after seeing the agenda, I remember thinking “well, for my professional development, all this content sounds familiar to me, I have read about this at some point …. ” I knew the difference between Open Science and Open Access to publications, I could talk about Plan S, I knew the FAIR principles, the importance of data management plans, I had even participated in an exporadic way in some citizen science project related to health, terms like metadata, repositories, green/gold open access, interoperability or reuse, are present in my vocabulary almost weekly, but always to support other researchers.
However, although I was aware of the strengths and weaknesses of these subjects, I did not dimension how complex this universe is.
Once I finished the course, I felt like I had the puzzle pieces and they fit, making the whole picture start to be visible to me. I have realised how important Open Science is in the whole research process.
Open Science is changing the way people understand the research process. It’s not limited to Open Access, to publications or data, it includes open peer review, citizen science and others. Open Science is a new paradigm to generating and sharing knowledge, and beyond that, to support an equity society with no one left behind even in those low resourced environments.
Another relevant aspect I found is the importance of the Research Data Management Plan. As a researcher I will prepare a Data Management Plan to establish what kind of data I am going to collect or generate and analyse, if I’ll need to get some special permissions to reuse them, where I am going to save and preserve those datas, or how open they are thought to be.
Establishing a strategy of our research considering Open Science should be one of the priorities in our research process in order to build an open network that reinforces collaborations, open knowledge transfer, open innovation and implementation of our research. This strategy will also improve the visibility and dissemination of the research.
Science should be easily accessible, and published in a fast way in order to prevent duplicate projects and get better results by exposing research achievements although it sometimes implies a mentality or cultural change to be retracted or criticised, making visible mistakes, not enough (or gaps) evidence to get conclusions or things like that. Anyway, all of this generates knowledge.
Some tools and apps have been used for me during last years as mendeley, zotero, zenodo, open metrics tools, social media tools, creative commons licences, sherpa romeo, although I have discovered new tools and apps as RIO, Authorea, Lens, Core, or Pubpeer, as well as amazing initiatives as open science MOOC, Research Data Alliance or EOSC that I am sure they can help me along my researcher life.
Nevertheless, we also found weakness in this movement. Despite the huge effort from European Commision and some governments, there are still difficulties with many policy makers, governments or institution managers who don’t support this new paradigm and hold to the old structure.
Publishers play a critical role in this Open Science Movement. On one hand, most of them are adapting their policies to publishing, providing Open Access options with the same quality standards, including Open Peer Review, and asking for open data to validate research. Here, one of the problems is the expensive price of some APC for instance. Other issues we have to deal with are predatory journals which found an extraordinary way to earn money publishing low quality articles or cheating authors with unreal Impact Factors.
Policy makers also play an essential role in funding, developing rules and strategies and providing needed structures to incorporate Open Science to every single statement of our society from citizens to institutions, etc.
And last but not least, institutions who support and assess research should implement a complete change in the rewarding system.
As PhD student I think that actions like to design a strategy for publication and dissemination, to use social media, to use and update unique and persistent identifiers (ORCID, research ID..) to use open licencies, to share my research outcomes in an open way (publishing preprints, making my data FAIR, using open repositories….), or add some tools or apps studied along these Open Science Sessions, are essentials to become an Open Scientist.
As an Information Specialist I am sure all the knowledge I got will be absolutely useful in my daily routine supporting my colleagues.