Report: Open in order to Advance Science


Open Access week will not go unnoticed as the Belgian universities combined forces for a two day event exploring the ever broadening and deepening topic of Open Science.

The event called ‘Open in order to advance science’, had a two day programme with the first day dedicated to sketch a general view of the challenges and opportunities of Open Science. The second day looked into more advanced topics regarding scholarly communication, legal issues, infrastructure and research data management. The conference was primarily aimed at PhD’s, research support staff, researchers, librarians and data providers.

The introductory day was a thorough initiation to the complex landscape of opportunities and challenges that are presented when moving towards Open Science. During the presentations and sessions on the first day OS experts, funders and researchers addressed a set of critical questions:

  • How is the current OS framework evolving?part1
  • Can you increase impact and visibility through OA?
  • What are the limitation and possibilities to the copyright legislation with regards to OS?
  • Are flipping the system into an APC market, block grants or offsetting agreements valuable alternatives to the subscription-based system?
  • What is the added value of ORCID registration?
  • How to start managing your data and how to use the online DMP-planning tools?
  • What can you do to identify yourself as a researcher in an open way?
  • What can the role of libraries  be in the changing landscape of scholarly communication?
  • The importance and evolution of European policy for the transition to a open scientific framework
  • What is the connection between open science and citizen science, what are the possibilities to involve the public and the benefits or limitations of this approach?

The second day gave way to discussions about how to handle new challenges such as research data management, legal aspects such as data protection, infrastructure needs and new publishing models.

part_2Rethinking incentives to encourage open research and embedding them transversally rather then just adding them, was the key message of the first talk.  An update on the framework of the new general data protection regulation in Belgium and the state of affairs in Europe followed. In addition an overview of relevant copyright regulations and the exciting prospect of a possible exception for researchers to make the author manuscript available no matter where copyrights lay, if the publication is financed by public money for at least 50% was presented.

The correlation of traditional metrics of scientific impact and the way research is conducted seems to be at the core of changing the system. A next presentation gave insights into what alternative metrics have to offer and what they can mean for the future.

The conversation was continued with the particular example of OA in the Royal library and a quick view on industry trends for repositories.  A view on the European Open Science infrastructure and network OpenAIRE made clear how important services were to the success of Open Science practices.

In the afternoon the topic of research data management was introduced by means of presenting the survey preceding the VLIR white paper with suggestions and requirements for RDM from the Flemish universities. The survey uncovered that advantages of good research data management are generally recognized but legal issues and lack of time are often a hindrances for putting it into practice.

The joint policy statement of the VLIR recommends  investment in infrastructure, education, and to provide clear legislation and incentives for open science.

Finally some practices already in place at federal as well as university level where presented, from the tool to RDM policy frameworks, training and RDM working groups.

You can find all the presentations here:

Programme ‘Discover’ on 23 October 2017.

09:00 – 09:30 Registration
09:30 – 10:00 Open Science: an introduction Valentino Cavalli (LIBER)
10:00 – 10:30 Visibility and Impact through Open Access Valérie Durieux (ULB)
10:30 – 11:00 Know your copyright Julien Cabay (ULB/ULiège)
11:00 – 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 – 11:45 APC: Why must the Author Pay the Costs? Carl Demeyere (KU Leuven)
11:45 – 12:15 Metrics for research evaluation: good or bad? It depends! Marco Seeber (UGent)
12:15 – 12:25 ORCID – why to register? Ulrike Kenens (KU Leuven)
12:25 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:00 How to start managing your data: DMPs explained Ulrike Kenens (KU Leuven) and Myriam Mertens (UGent)
14:00 – 14:30 Identify yourself as a researcher in an open way Jord Hanus (UA)
14:30 – 15:00 The changing roles of libraries and librarians in scholarly communication Demmy Verbeke (KU Leuven)
15:00 – 15:15 Coffee break
15:15 – 15:45 Open Access in Europe: EC policy Jean-Claude Burgelman (EC)
15:45 – 16:45 Citizen science

Catherine Linard (UNamur), Mahsa Shabani (KU Leuven), Roeland Samson (UA)
16:45 – 17:00 Conclusion of the day

Programme ‘Advanced’ on 24 October 2017.

09:00 – 09:30 Registration
09:30 – 10:00 Evaluations and incentives in an Open Science context Karen Vandevelde (UGent)
10:00 – 10:30 General Data Protection Regulation Willem Debeuckelaere (CBPL)
10:30 – 11:00 Open Access and evolving business models in publishing Aude Alexandre (BICFB)
11:00 – 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 – 11:45 Legal aspects in Belgium: where are we now? Joris Deene (Everest Advocaten)
11:45 – 12:15 Altmetrics and metrics Raf Guns (UA)
12:15 – 12:35 The Open Access strategy of the Royal library Sophie Vandepontseele (KBR)
12:35 – 12:45 Repositories: Industry Trends Atmire
12:40 – 13:40 Lunch
13:40 – 14:10 European infrastructure for Open Science Emilie Hermans and Inge Van Nieuwerburgh (UGent)
14:10 – 15:10 Session – Implementing Research Data Management (RDM)
Lucy Amez (VUB)
  • White paper RDM in Flanders – Main conclusions
Hannelore Vanhaverbeke (KULeuven)
Myriam Mertens (UGent)
Anthony Leroy (ULB), Sadia Vancauwenbergh (UHasselt), Inge Van Nieuwerburgh (UGent)
15:10 – 15:20 Conclusion

With the support of:

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