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Open Scholarship

What do Trinity Researchers' think about Open Scholarship?

Unboxing Open Scholarship is a programme of events advancing engagement and debate around what Open Scholarship means for the Trinity College Dublin community.

The rationale for developing a series of events exploring Open Scholarship is to: 

  1. Ascertain the levels of Open Scholarship knowledge that exist across the Trinity community 
  2. Gain an insight into how researchers might react to the increasing number of Open Scholarship mandates 
  3. Facilitate reflection on individual and collective scholarly practice 
  4. Identify skills gaps/knowledge deficits to inform future work of the task force  
  5. Provide a test-bed for sentiment towards Open Scholarship which will prove useful at a later date, should university policy be reviewed. The figure below identifies some of the events that have taken place so far this year.

Closing the Loop 

The publication of Plan S in September 2018 and the subsequent public consultation on its implementation guidance document in early 2019, provided a substantial number of responses from researchers, representative bodies, universities, publishers and libraries. The taskforce conducted some comparative analysis on data gathered during the unboxing open scholarship events to identify key issues raised during discussions. In figure 2, a word-cloud analyses of the discourse from our March and April focus group sessions provides a sense of the substantive issues.


The major themes that have arisen during the unboxing events series are: 

Quality Assurance: necessity for the same scientific rigor in how publications are reviewed for quality purposes (including the importance of the peer-review process, fostering prestige in OA journals) 

Resources: funding is required for appropriate infrastructure, training and people with expertise to assist with implementing Open Scholarship practices (inc. FAIR Data, data storage, informational repository for quality OA journals etc.) 

Equity of Access: new forms of scholarly publishing and communication should not be exclusionary to researchers from any background on any basis (inc. Global South, underfunded disciplines etc.) 

Incentivisation: research performing organisations (including universities & funders) need to implement policies that incentivise and promote practices which align with OS principles (inc. reviewing academic career frameworks, challenging research culture, FAIR data principles etc.) 

These themes have guided the work of the taskforce; in order to understand concerns around incentivisation, the taskforce considered the approaches of other institutions to research assessment for the purposes of recruitment, promotions and tenure, most notably the Academic Career Framework and Promotions Processes of University College London. Researchers’ thoughts on the global Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) which seeks to improve the way scholarly research is valued, have been tabled at the University’s Research Committee. Furthermore, a ‘Cultures of Evaluation’ event is being arranged for September 2019, which will explore how we evaluate the quality of research and initiate a forum for discussion about this in TCD. Other planned events include a workshop on FAIR data principles; a Citizen Science themed event; a workshop on EU Copyright law and a panel event exploring the practicalities of Plan S. 

The taskforce is currently engaging with TCD student journals and publications to identify how they can embrace OS, celebrate existing and future research, as well as increase the reach of student scholarship to a global audience.