Guest Post — Year of Open Science Recap: Perspectives from a COS Ambassador

June 26th, 2024,

As a proud ambassador of the Center for Open Science (COS), I was thrilled to witness the culmination of efforts at the Year of Open Science Culminating Conference, supported by none other than NASA. This gathering symbolized the relentless commitment of COS to champion open research practices since its inception in 2013. With a mission to democratize access, foster inclusivity, and uphold integrity in scientific endeavors, COS has paved the way for transformative change in scholarly communication. The conference theme, "Embracing the Future," aptly reflects the forward-looking initiatives spearheaded by COS, aimed at fostering collaboration, inclusivity, and innovation in the realm of open science.

The conference offered a rich variety of session types tailored to cater to diverse interests and needs. Plenaries and invited sessions spanned the entire research lifecycle, delving into specific topics crucial to open science advancement. Lightning talks provided rapid-fire presentations, delivering quick insights and perspectives. Additionally, "Organizational Stories" sessions highlighted organizations sharing their experiences, with a particular focus on NASA's Open Science Goals, promoting collaboration and innovation within the scientific community.

Plenary A, “Reflections on a Year of Open Science: Initiatives and Achievements Realized and Where to Next”, provided a comprehensive reflection on the significant accomplishments of the Year of Open Science (YOS), featuring esteemed representatives from UNESCO, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and NASA, who shared invaluable insights and perspectives. In Plenary B, “The Critical Roles of Grassroots Initiatives and Communities in Increasing the Adoption of Open Science Practices”, the spotlight shifted to grassroots initiatives, emphasizing their indispensable role in fostering cultural change and widespread
adoption of open science principles. Throughout the conference, diverse session types, ranging from lightning talks to in-depth discussions, offered multifaceted perspectives on the evolving landscape of open science.

Plenary C, “Advances in Research Evaluation: Large-Scale Efforts in the US and Worldwide”, brought attention to groundbreaking initiatives like HELIOS Open and CoARA, which are spearheading efforts to reform research assessment practices on a global scale. Lastly, Plenary D, “Ongoing Activities to Advance Open Science at US Federal Agencies Following the Launch of a Year of Open Science”, shed light on the ongoing endeavors of prominent US Federal Agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Department of Energy (DOE) to champion open, equitable, and secure research practices.

This summary encapsulates the rich and insightful discussions held during the conference, addressing both the remarkable achievements and the pressing challenges facing the future of open science.

Digging into Open Science Policy: Key Insights from Invited Sessions 

Throughout the conference, a diverse array of sessions, including the highly anticipated Invited Sessions, delved into critical aspects of open science policy. "Open Science Plumbing" offered strategic insights into systemic approaches necessary for catalyzing cultural change within research communities. Meanwhile, "Community Engagement in Research & Data" underscored the importance of inclusive policies in fostering collaborative research environments. "Open Source Scientific Hardware" shed light on efforts to democratize scientific inquiry, while "Transparency Across the Research Lifespan" emphasized the pivotal role of methodological transparency in scientific endeavors. Additionally, "Security of Open Science Software & Data" sparked discussions on essential security measures within open science frameworks. These sessions not only facilitated robust discussions but also served as instrumental platforms for experts to propose innovative solutions, deepen understanding of crucial topics, and drive transformative change within the scientific community.

Conference Session Highlights: Shaping the Future of Open Science 

Throughout the conference, sessions illuminated a spectrum of strategies and initiatives critical for propelling open science forward. From pragmatic approaches to data sharing to the establishment of robust scholarly communication infrastructure, diverse topics took center stage. Noteworthy contributions from esteemed organizations such as NIH and NOAA Fisheries underscored the pivotal roles of policy advocacy, community engagement, and the evolution of skillsets. Deliberations further delved into the facilitation of open science through the implementation of persistent identifiers, validation of publications, and realignment of professional roles with open research principles. Of particular note were discussions surrounding collaborative endeavors, transparency enhancement, and the transformative potential of initiatives like The Turing Way and eLife's pioneering publishing model. Collectively, these dialogues are instrumental in shaping the trajectory of scientific inquiry and cultivating a research landscape that is both inclusive and transparent.

Lightning Talks Recap

The Lightning Talks session showcased a dynamic array of topics, spotlighting inventive strategies driving the advancement of open science. Highlights included the unveiling of the Open Science Persistent Demonstrator by OGC, aimed at integrating open science into geospatial workflows, and metaBUS's pioneering work in enhancing social science research dissemination through FAIR principles. Discussions also delved into the intricacies of assessing metadata quality in repositories and the imperative of responsible data reuse beyond FAIR principles. PathOS presented insights into assessing the impact of Open Science, while calls were made for government funders to enforce institutional investigation standards to bolster research integrity. Other notable initiatives featured included NASA Openscapes, supporting the transition of staff and researchers to open science, and the DART program, offering open-source education for biomedical researchers. Moreover, efforts to bolster the visibility of replication studies with TRACKREP and the integration of open science practices in sharing educational research data were underscored. The session further explored transparent peer review training, equitable peer review with PREreview, and the adoption of HTML at arXiv for enhanced accessibility, affirming a steadfast commitment to fostering inclusivity and transparency in scholarly communication.

Organizational Stories Highlights

The Organizational Stories sessions offered a rich tapestry of narratives, illuminating the diverse journeys and initiatives driving open science across different sectors. The first session unveiled the transformative impact of OLS Training in empowering researchers worldwide, while EMIT Mission's pioneering adoption of early open-source practices underscored the power of collaboration. JPL's Open Science Journey provided a compelling reflection on NASA's evolution and challenges in embracing openness, while FORRT's advocacy efforts in education showcased the vital role of open science in shaping the future of learning.

In the second session, the Transparent Replications Initiative in psychology and the State of Open Data 2023 report shed light on the evolving research landscape in the US, while initiatives like FLOES Fellowship and Food and Nutrition Open Science demonstrated a commitment to nurturing openness and equity in scholarship, particularly among underrepresented communities. Further sessions delved into regional perspectives, with Latin America addressing barriers to open science adoption and the Aquatic Sciences Community fostering global engagement.

The final set highlighted innovative models and projects driving data sharing and collaboration, including the NIH GREI Coopetition Model, OpenAIRE's OSTrails Project, NF-OSI's advancements in neurofibromatosis research, and the RDA Global Open Research Commons. The Year of Open Science (YOS) has served as a transformative celebration of openness, catalyzing global momentum and policy transformations, thanks to the tireless efforts of COS in organizing this landmark event and championing openness, integrity, and reproducibility in scientific research.

In closing, I extend my deepest gratitude to COS and associated partner organizations for spearheading and orchestrating this remarkable conference. Their unwavering commitment to advancing open science principles, fostering collaboration, and driving transformative change has been truly commendable.

As an ambassador of COS, I am inspired by the collective efforts of all participants and stakeholders in shaping the future of scientific research. Together, we have embarked on a journey toward a more open, inclusive, and transparent research landscape, and I am confident that our shared commitment will continue to propel us forward in the pursuit of knowledge and innovation.

About the author

With a demonstrated history in management and publishing consulting, Maryam Sayab has spent the past nine years honing her expertise in scholarly communication and publishing. Currently, she serves as the Director of Communications for the Asian Council of Science Editors and co-chair of the Peer Review Week Steering Committee 2024.

Maryam's skill set encompasses science communication, creative writing, peer review, open science, open access, and strategic planning and management. She has provided on-demand training courses for editors, early-career researchers, authors, publishers, and librarians. Her extensive experience has built a strong foundation in the scholarly publishing industry, and she is dedicated to using her skills to foster growth and
development in the field.

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