And if you wondering whether your journal is going to let you do this, or whether your funding agency will pay for this you can check their policies at two awesome websites I hadn’t heard of before called Sherpa Romeo and Juliet.
We need to talk about the #ImpactFactor (even though we know it's incredibly flawed!!) @emckiernan13 #OpenConCam— Kirstie Whitaker (@kirstie_j) 24 November 2016
Erin also told us that for now we still need to talk about impact factor, even if we know it’s flawed -which it is, and you should sign the SF Dora commitment if you agree. While we still need to keep pushing for progress, meeting people/institutions closer to where they are now can make a big difference in terms of impact.
“Don’t let the good be the enemy of the perfect” is a sentiment that came through from Erin’s talk but was really brought home by Laura James who was previously CEO of the Open Knowledge Foundation. This idea is something I have always mixed feelings about. It is clearly a broad concept and it is something I often tangle with when thinking about politics politics as well as science politics. Young folk are often charged with being too idealistic, but it is often the case that if you want to see a small change you need to aim for a much bigger one.
As someone who has been swept up in Open ideals recently it was probably good for me to be reminded that Open is ultimately a means to an end. For Laura, it should not be a hard & fast principle for how to undertake any project but should instead be used wherever it will make things better. It is still hard for me to think of many places in science that would not benefit from being more open, but I will remember to keep why I want these areas to be more open in mind: what is the end goal and how will Open make that more achievable?
Open is "under the hood", don't talk about it explicitly but it has huge effect on humanitarian impact we can achieve. @LaurieJ #openconcam— Erin McKiernⓐn (@emckiernan13) 24 November 2016
Laura gave what seemed to me like two very different perspectives on Open Source while describing her work with Field Ready, a humanitarian project that uses 3D printing to make supplies in the field. Both seem equally valid and had me thinking for much of my 2 hour journey back to Oxford. Most people would agree that one of the aims of Open is to “empower the many rather than the few”. However we have to also consider that being in a position to use Open Source - i.e. being in a position to release your work for free - is a position of privilege. My take home is that we should be careful before imposing this condition on to others.
Interesting points about people from privileged positions being able to release designs for free #OpenConCam— Georgina Cronin (@senorcthulhu) 24 November 2016
During the afternoon session we got into groups and each discussed a single topic related to Open Access. I chose one entitled “Making a paper OA is not necessarily sharing it -perhaps we should be writing in a more understandable way”. When I read the first part of the questions I thought: “sure, making OA isn’t even close to sharing it. You also need to share the results, data and steps in between (usually code)”. I have thought for some time that publicly funded work should be publicly accessible. But what the author of this question was hitting on is that publicly accessible also means that we have to communicate what our work means clearly to the public. For sure, not everyone will be able to understand the article itself. And beyond all of the other great reasons for outreach, shouldn’t we have to justify to people why we are spending their taxes on our research anyway?
During the afternoon session we got into groups and each discussed a single topic related to Open Access. I chose one entitled “Making a paper OA is not necessarily sharing it -perhaps we should be writing in a more understandable way”. When I read the first part of the questions I thought, sure making OA isn’t even close to sharing it, you also need to share the results, data and steps in between (usually code). I have thought for some time that publicly-funded work should be publicly accessible. But, what the author of this question was hitting on, is that publicly accessible also means that we have to communicate what our work means. For sure, not everyone will be able to understand the article itself. And beyond all of the other great reasons for outreach shouldn’t we have to justify to people why we are spending their taxes on our research.
It is of course worth mentioning that with the ever-increasing pile of things scientists are expected to do it is important that funders/institutions provide sufficient support – and that researchers take advantage of this. This could be in the form of training, journalists, data-management experts etc. In a lot of cases this type of infrastructure is already in place, but many scientists do not know about it. So scientists, ask your librarian/funders for help! And librarians/funders, keep telling us what you have got!
That’s all I’ve got to say about OpenConCam 2016 for now. If want to find out more you can visit their website or you can catch up on all of the tweets at this storify. Oh and one final thing - the Wellcome trusts will be accepting pre-prints on grant applications soon … wooo!
@wellcometrust grant applications will accept #preprint citations for grant applications from next year #openscience #openaccess #OpenConCam— Alexander Morley (@alex__morley) 24 November 2016