Octopus Demonstration

In collaboration with Northumbria University we are hosting an online demonstration and discussion of Octopus on November 28th, 1-2pm. Please find event details below and I hope you will be able to join us to learn more about how Octopus aims to support open research. 

Octopus is a new publishing platform that is designed to be the primary research record, sitting alongside journal articles which have a more narrative style. Funded by UKRI and built in association with Jisc, it is the place where researchers can record their work in small units, and where the research’s quality can be assessed through peer review and ratings. It is designed to incentivize best practices in research and to make it easy for researchers to establish their priority and get their work ‘out there’ in a way that is fast, fair and free.

  • Presenter: Dr Alexandra Freeman, Creator of Octopus.
  • Date: 28th November, 2022
  • Time: 1-2pm
  • Location: On Zoom

Open Research Award Winners

The inaugural Newcastle University Open Research Awards culminated in a celebration event where candidates shortlisted for an award we invited to present their case studies. We heard excellent presentations on the benefits and challenges of making research more open from postgraduates and researchers working in a range of disciplines and the winning case studies are presented below.

We’d like to thank all of the candidates who submitted a case study. The submissions we received were all of a high standard and we were delighted by the range of open research practices they described. We’d also like to thank the awards panel (Dr Stephen Parnell, Professor Neil Boonham, Dr Chris Emmerson and Jill Taylor-Roe) for their help with the very difficult job of choosing the winners.

These awards were made possible thanks to Newcastle University’s QR Enhancing Research Culture Project Fund 2022 in support of the University’s developing Research Culture Action Plan. A key strand of this plan seeks to make our research more transparent and reproducible and our data more accessible, to facilitate re-use and extend impact.

Award Winning Case Studies

Special commendations

Lenka Pelechova, Leanne Hobbs, Nadia Rostami, Natalie Partridge

This case study described the design of open version control software to facilitate increased transparency in Cell Engineering. The panel felt this case study gave an excellent account of how this innovative open approach would increase public trust in research in a discipline where this is vital.


Courtney Neal

The panel felt this case study gave a frank and refreshing take on being open from the very start of a research project. It clearly outlined the benefits of openness through study pre-registration and replication. Although not part of the award criteria, it was heartening that a postgraduate student has adopted these principles so quickly in their research career. 

Third prize winner

Elizabeth Lewis

This case study described the challenges and societal benefits of combining climate data from diverse sources and adapting them so that they were suitable for release as open datasets with associated open software. The panel also commended their commitment to training early career researchers in open practices.

Second prize winner

Renae Stefanetti

Led by Renae J. Stefanetti (Exercise Physiologist), Alasdair Blain (Statistician), Linda Errington (Medical librarian), Laura Brown (Trial Manager), Jane Newman, Cecilia Jimenez Moreno (Physiotherapists), Robert McFarland (Paediatric Neurologist), Yi Shiau Ng, Doug Turnbull, and Gráinne S Gorman (Adult Neurologists).

This case study described a wide range of open research practices within their research, including open peer review, open access publication, the sharing of data and fully documented code and the creation of an interactive database of systematic review data. The challenges and benefits of these approaches were well articulated and it offered an excellent example of a group adopting the principles of open research.

First prize winner

Sam Orange

Our winning case study described a consistently open approach across several research projects, using a wide range of open practices. They showed a clear understanding of the challenges, offered pragmatic solutions to overcome them and made a strong case for open research as a means to promote scientific progress. They also demonstrated a commitment to championing open research with both colleagues and students

Our thanks also go to Professor Candy Rowe, Dean of Research Culture and Strategy for helping us present these awards and for enabling them through funding from the University’s QR Enhancing Research Culture fund.

Open Research Awards Celebration Event

Tuesday 5th July, 12.00 – 14.00, Devonshire G21/22.

Celebrating with Fireworks

All colleagues are invited to attend the Open Research Awards celebration event on Tuesday 5th July from 12.00 to hear presentations from the shortlisted entries and to enjoy a networking lunch.

The Open Research Awards recognise staff and students who have used open practices to make research more accessible, transparent or reproducible, and demonstrate an understanding of the aims of Open Research.

If you would like to attend the celebration event please book below to allow us to cater for the appropriate number of people and for any special dietary requirements.

Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

Research Culture Workshop: Towards Open Research

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.

Workshop Details

Date: Thursday 30th September, 10.00 – 12.00.
Venue: Online.
Facilitators: Chris Emmerson and Steve Boneham.

Programme

  1. Introduction to open research
  2. Researcher perspectives on open research:
    1. Melissa Bateson – Professor of Ethology – Biosciences
    2. Greg Mutch – NU Academic Track Fellow – Engineering
    3. David Johnson – PhD Researcher – History, Classics and Archaeology
  3. Comfort break
  4. Breakout groups

    To discuss how the university can move towards a culture of open research by considering core aspects of the Center for Open Science strategy for culture change

    1. Systems and tools – what systems and research tools are needed to facilitate open sharing and documentation
    2. Support and training – what research support and training researchers require to undertake open research activities 
    3. Recognition and rewards – how open research behaviours can be encouraged, recognised and rewarded
    4. Policy – the role policy changes and interventions that require change to occur in open research practices at Newcastle

4. Reflections and next steps

*** This event is now fully booked. Please email RDM@ncl.ac.uk should you wish to discuss future Open Research events. ***