As part of Newcastle University’s Research Strategy, we are evolving our research culture in collaboration with the whole research community. We invite the research community across career stages, job families, and disciplines, to join this first Skills Academy Research Culture workshop: Towards Open Research.
The workshop will invite participants to consider open research practices and reflect on how they and the university can move towards a culture of more open research. In this workshop, we will consider open research principles and practices that increase transparency and rigour and accelerate the reach of our research.
Open research describes approaches to increase openness throughout the research cycle, including collaborative working, sharing and making research methodology, software, code, data, documentation and publications freely available online under terms that enable their reuse. Open research thereby increases the transparency, rigour and reproducibility of the research process and so can promote inclusivity, accelerate impact and improve public trust. However, understanding and adopting open research practices can be challenging. This workshop therefore will explore strategies for culture change here at Newcastle University.
Our transformative agreements allow researchers to publish their articles as open access for free in thousands of journals from publishers including Wiley, Springer, T&F, OUP, CUP, BMJ and the Royal Society.
To help familiarise authors with the publishing workflows of these new agreements we are running an online ‘open publishing week’ where publishers will present details of how the agreements work in practice, explaining what authors should expect at each stage of the publication process.
Authors will also be required to apply a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence all their accepted manuscripts and inform the publisher of this when submitting articles to journals. This is intended to allow authors to retain rights to comply with the policy in otherwise non-compliant journals.
To find out more about the new policy and how we can support you with it, register for one of our online briefings.
To celebrate Open Access Week, 19– 25 October, data.ncl through Figshare ran a competition to encourage data to be uploaded and shared. We promoted Open Access Week on this blog, NUConnect, social media and in schools to help promote data.ncl and the merits of data sharing.
Anil Yildiz, Research Associate, in the School of Engineering has long embraced open data and has shared several datasets and supporting scripts from his research projects in data.ncl. The idea of a competition piqued his interest as an incentive for researchers to share data but also switched on his inquisitive nature as he wondered if it leads to an increase in uploads.
Figshare has an API that allows anyone to access a wide range of data and after we chatted Anil took an interest in the following four item types: figures; media; dataset; and software. He ran a query through the API between 06/07/2020 and 26/10/2020 on those four item types.
The graph above shows that the variation in uploads is not significant between the weeks examined but there were slight increases in media and software during open access week. Taking a deeper look into when these items are uploaded it indicated that Thursday are the most common day for researchers to archive and share data. And unsurprisingly weekends were found to be the quietest days.
Open Access Week 2020 didn’t result in an upload frenzy. However, the sharing of these four item types is consistent across the timeframe analysed and Figshare is one of many data repositories that researchers can use to openly share their data. The bigger picture is that open research data is of growing importance as we look to increase transparency, reproducibility and reuse of data produced by our researchers. Data.ncl can archive all four item types and we are keen to see an increase in these deposits across all research data repositories. When data is archived elsewhere you can create a record of it in data.ncl to help increase the impact and visibility of the data.
At Newcastle this is the first time we have promoted the competition so it will take time for Open Access Week and data sharing to be on the radar of our researchers. It is interesting that Thursday is a particularly popular day to share data so perhaps we need a Thor inspired sharing initiative – data sharers assemble, anyone?
For Open Access Week (October 19-25), Figshare is running a research data upload competition, offering prizes for participating institutions who upload the most items and researchers who upload during that week.
Data.ncl, Newcastle’s Research Data Repository, is powered by Figshare so all data uploaders – regardless of whether we are a winning institution – will have a chance to win one of five £100 Amazon gift vouchers, distributed virtually. Figshare will also be making a $500 donation to Resourcing Racial Justice, an organization that supports individuals and communities working towards racial justice.
Items must be uploaded to data.ncl between 12am on 19th October until 11:59pm on 25th October. Where possible we would encourage the data to be openly available, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be published if you require more time to prepare the dataset.
This is a little incentive to find some time during Open Access Week to prepare and share that dataset you been sitting on or meaning to archive. Some of the key benefits of sharing data through data.ncl are:
The data is assigned a persistent identifier (DOI) and a citation provided, so the data can be formally attributed
The persistent identifier helps to make the data discoverable through Google and other search engines to maximise visibility and impact of the research
Data can be located and accessed by you, without having to actively manage it
Since data.ncl was launched in April 2019, Newcastle researchers and PGRs have archived and shared 486 datasets, which have been viewed nearly 270,000 times across the world. Datasets have also been downloaded over 50,000 times and cited by researchers who have went on to reuse the data.
Data.ncl is not just for data but also code/ software and methodology so you can archive and share on the research process as well as any data outputs. There is guidance on how to archive data in data.ncl and you can get in touch with the Research Data Service on support in planning, managing and sharing research data at firstname.lastname@example.org.