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Open Scholarship

Unboxing Open Scholarship - Scroll Below for Recordings

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

Date Title Approach Number of Attendees
8th February & 23rd April 2019 Open Scholarship – Starting the Trinity Conversation!  Focus group sessions with TCD community that focused on what open scholarship is; asked how Trinity should engage with it; explored staff and student concerns regarding open scholarship and potential areas of opportunity TCD could explore. These events are utilised in part to inform the agenda of the taskforce and future events.  61
12th March 2019 ‘Open Research – Take Back Control’ with Dr. Conor O’Carroll, SciPol  Dr. Conor O’Carroll provided a comprehensive introduction to key concepts and processes focusing primarily on Open Access to Publications; research culture as a barrier to embracing Open Scholarship and measures universities can introduce to incentivise researchers to embrace Open Scholarship. Listen to the event here!  45
26th April 2019 Curing the Pathologies of Academic Publishing with Prof. Mike Eisen Prof. Eisen, a renowned Biology Professor at UC Berkeley & co-founder of the Public Library of Science (PLOS) spoke about disrupting research cultures. In conversation with the College Librarian and Archivist, he shared his views on the disadvantages of journals and offered his predictions for the future of academic publishing.  The Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund supported this event. 
View the event here! 
1st May 2019 'The Hidden World of Academic Publishing' - Screening of Paywall movie followed by Discussion As part of Trinity Week 2019, a screening of the movie ‘Paywall: The Business of Scholarship’ was followed by an interactive audience-response to the film’s major findings by taskforce member Dr James Smith. Watch the movie here!  19
28th August 2019 Citizen Science Mapping Accessibility Event As part of TCD's Postgraduate Orientation Week 2019, TCD Staff and Students came together to map the accessibility of various restaurants, hotels, bars, shops and parking spaces around the vicinity of TCD. Over 300 locations were mapped and in excess of 150 were rated using an App called AccessEarth which was developed by TCD Graduate Matt McCann. The data generated from this event will be shared at an upcoming workshop on September 11th.  120+
11th September 2019 Citizen Science & Open Scholarship Workshop

This workshop focused on a practical example of the web-based Application 'Access Earth' that enables Citizen Science. The Access Earth team facilitated a presentation that covered the App's functionality, utility, as well as highlighting data that was generated during an accessibility mapping event on Aug 28th. 

This was followed by a discussion on the utility, purpose,legal and ethical considerations regarding open data, as well as exploring what engaged research is, why it is important, how to source funding for citizen science enterprises like Access Earth, and ways to validate citizen science generated data.

11th September 2019 Celebration of TCD Student Publications TCD is host to over 25 student-led publications and titles covering a wide breadth of activity and disciplines. During this event, we learned more about the various publications, their history and research focus, their plans for the coming academic year and how their work continues to put research at the heart of Trinity College Dublin. We also learned more about the exciting new Student Open Access Project SOAPbox where College aims to work with student publications to fully integrate their work into the Open Research environment. The event began with an address from the Provost, followed by a speech from the Chair of Trinity Publications. 100
18th September Symposium: Research Impact & Evaluation in an Open Scholarship Era On September 18th, Trinity Long Room Hub was at full capacity for a thought-provoking informative symposium that dealt with the topic of research evaluation and impact within a research eco-system that is increasingly becoming more 'open'. The keynote was from Prof. Stephen Curry, Chair of the DORA Steering Committee and the symposium also included expert presentations and panel discussions. 120


15th October: ‘The role of researchers within the European Open Science Cloud framework’ – with Gareth O’Neill

What is the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)? How will it benefit researchers and the the research environment more generally? How is EOSC contributing to addressing the great societal challenges we face? Why are the FAIR data principles important to EOSC?​

The EOSC is built to provide more than 1.7 million researchers with FAIR data and services infrastructure in order to advance interdisciplinary research in Europe. This talk was provided by Gareth O'Neill, the Principal Open Science Consultant at the Technopolis Group who is currently acting as EOSC Adviser to the EOSC Secretariat & an Open Access Ambassador for cOAlition S and Plan S. Gareth gave insights into the latest EOSC related developments, offered a vision for the future of open infrastructures and data sharing and much more.

We were delighted to facilitate this webinar in conjunction with OpenAIRE as part of Trinity’s important role as Ireland’s National Open Access Desk. 

8th October: 'Unboxing the Humanities: Without Discipline there's no Open Scholarship' with Prof. Margot Finn, President of the Royal Historical Society

Open Scholarship maximises the impact of research and its potential to do good in society but disagreements surface in how rigid the scholarly community believes mandates in Open Access, Licensing, Research Data and other related fields should be. Many cite the ‘unintended consequences’ of not respecting the need for discipline specific approaches in the formation and dissemination of scholarship. Seeking to reconcile these concerns is crucial if we as a community are to deliver an ‘inclusive’ knowledge society and avoid moving the dial of inequality from access to production.

On October 8th, we were joined by distinguished Prof. Margot Finn, the President of the Royal Historical Society (RHS) and University College London’s Chair in Modern British History, for a webinar in conjunction with Trinity’s Long Room Hub, where we discussed Open Scholarship in the humanities and the issues this presents for researchers. Prof. Finn authored the RHS guidance paper on “Plan S and the History Journal Landscape” published in October 2019.

Unboxing Open Scholarship: 'Open Data in the Social Sciences' March 4th 2020

A session dedicated to discussing the implications of Open Data within the Social Sciences for Trinity and the wider community. We learned about the FAIR Data principles and how these need to be embedded within the mind-set and cultures of organisations through a presentation by Niamh Brennan before Dr. Catherine Conlon provided insight into her own epistemological considerations in Open Data and steps she is taking to, in the first instance preserve her historical data-sets, before considering whether to make this information open. We learn about the infrastructure that supports Open Data in the Social Sciences with Dr. Aileen O’Carroll, Policy Manager for the Irish Qualitative Data Archive facilitating a presentation, followed by Dr. Jenny O’Neill, Data Manager for the Irish Social Science Data Archive. This event was part of the Unboxing Open Scholarship series at Trinity College Dublin and in association with TRiSS - Trinity Research in the Social Sciences.

Unboxing Open Scholarship: 'Open Education Talks' 26th February 2020

Universities have undergone a transition, from being the birthplace of radical ideas to being conservative, slow-moving beasts. In a world where there is widespread distrust in experts, how can universities once again promote activism through fearless engagement with science and evidence, and demonstrate a change in mindset from closed to open culture?

This ‘Open Education Talks’ event involved Dr. Andrea Bandelli (Director of Science Gallery Dublin and Executive Director of Science Gallery International) in conversation with TCD’s Dean of Research Prof. Linda Doyle about the role of Education in Universities, the World Economic Forum’s “Schools of the Future” initiative, activism, citizenship and fearlessness, as well as learning opportunities which develop technological competency and literacy.

This talk was part of the Unboxing Open Scholarship series at Trinity College Dublin, as well as Science Gallery Dublin's week-long Reboot series.

More info on the World Economic Forum 'Schools of the Future' is available Here!

You can also find information regarding Accenture's 'Seeking Responsible Leadership' Report, which was referenced during the talk Here!

'Research in the Public Interest' - Dr. Richard Gallagher, President & Editor-in-Chief at Annual Reviews - 11th October 2019

Dr. Richard Gallagher, the current President & Editor-in-Chief of Annual Reviews, a Palo Alto, California-based independent nonprofit science publisher, joined us on October 11th to share his views on Open Access Publishing and the future trajectory of research. With over 25 years of experience in science editing and publishing, he is now leading efforts to position Annual Reviews, one of the world’s most prized repositories of scientific knowledge, as a public resource to promote engagement with research and enable rational debate on key societal issues.

In Richard's presentation, he highlighted how Annual Reviews have been engaging with Open Access, what measures they have introduced to embrace the Open Research environment and his views on what the future entails for academic publishing. Annual Reviews are trying a “subscribe-to-open” model in which its papers are offered for free once it reaches enough subscription revenue to cover costs. This approach has recently been discussed in Open Access circles across the world. 

After Richard's presentation, he sat down with TCD's Librarian & College Archivist Ms. Helen Shenton to explore further some of the pertinent themes addressed during his presentation before the session was opened to the floor for questions and comments.

eLife's Support for a Culture Change in Academia to help Researchers Thrive - 24th September

eLife is a non-profit organisation inspired by research funders and led by scientists. Their mission is to help researchers accelerate discovery by operating a platform for research communication that encourages and recognises the most responsible behaviours in science. eLife was founded in 2012 an since then has been pushing the boundaries of conventional research to innovative new methods of peer review, open source software and cultural change in academic. Whilst eLife is focused primarily on biomedical and life sciences, there are lessons all disciplines can take away from their engagement and initiatives in Open Scholarship which stand to benefit the wider research eco-system.

On September 24th, we were joined by eLife's Community Manager Kora Korzec who spoke about eLife's initiatives that aim to shift what is valued in research so that the basic paradigms of 'Publish or perish' give space to 'Share and shine' for the benefit of research and all involved in conducting and learning from it.

Morning Symposium 18th September - 'Research Impact & Evaluation in an Open Scholarship Era'

At a time when there is increasing demand for measurement of research impact, there are also broader concerns about over-reliance on citation metrics for recruitment, promotion and research funding. How do we then incentivise open research behaviour in a system that rewards publishing in so-called ‘high impact’, often closed, journals? This symposium sought to answer this question, and more including:

  • What are responsible research metrics and why are these important?
  • What is the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA)?
  • What does DORA mean for Academic Careers and the practice of research more generally?
  • What initiatives are Ireland’s funding agencies introducing to embrace DORA and other responsible research metrics principles?
  • What role, if any, do funders have in influencing institutions’ research assessment practices?
  • How does Trinity currently evaluate research assessment?
  • What does the future of research assessment look like?

Professor Stephen Curry, the Assistant Provost for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Imperial College London and the current Chair of the DORA Steering Committee provided an insightful thought-provoking keynote before a detailed presentation on TCD Research Assessment metrics was provided. This was followed by a funders' panel chaired by Dr. Graham Love, before a researchers' panel chaired by Dr. James Smith took to the stage to share their perspectives. Associate Dean of Research, Prof. Lorraine Leeson summarised very effectively the main conclusions arising from the event prior to its conclusion. 

This event was kindly supported by the Wellcome Institutional Strategic Support Fund.

The Hidden World of Academic Publishing

1st May 12:00pm-2:00pm, Robert Emmet Theatre, Arts Building.

A screening of the documentary ‘Paywall: The Business of Scholarship’ took place as part of Trinity Week's series of events exploring the theme 'Silence'. Dr. James Smith (Research Fellow, Department of Geography and Taskforce member) provided a reflection on the documentary's major findings before discussion opened to the audience.

“Curing the Pathologies of Academic Publishing” with Mike Eisen, a lunchtime event organised by Trinity’s Open Scholarship Taskforce and Science Gallery Dublin

26th April, 12:00pm-2:00pm, Paccar Theatre, Science Gallery Dublin.

Michael Eisen is a renowned Biology Professor at UC Berkeley and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He works primarily on flies, and his research encompasses evolution, development, genetics, genomics, chemical ecology and behaviour. He is a strong proponent of Open Access publishing and Open Scholarship, and a co-founder of the Public Library of Science (PLOS), a San Francisco based non-profit advocacy organisation and publisher dedicated to making the world’s scientific and medical literature freely available. Mike also recently became Editor-in-Chief of the prestigious Open Access Journal eLife.

Mike gave a talk about his background, of how research culture can be an obstacle to embracing Open Scholarship, his concerns regarding Publishers, as well as the context for establishing PLOS in the early 2000s. The Librarian and College Archivist Ms. Helen Shenton was then ‘In conversation’ with Mike before the event was opened to the audience for their questions.

'Unboxing' Open Scholarship - Starting the Trinity Conversation!

23rd April, 1:00pm - 2:30pm, Studio 1, Science Gallery.

This session brought together the TCD community to identify where Trinity wants to be in the open scholarship landscape. What is or will be mandatory? Where will we lead? Where should we follow and how best should we support our research community? These questions and more were explored. 

'Open Research - Take Back Control' with Dr Conor O'Carroll

‘Why researchers should take responsibility for ensuring their work is of the highest quality and disseminated globally to the widest possible audience’ - Presentation by Dr Conor O’Carroll (SciPol)


In the first unboxing open scholarship event, participants were asked to consider what Open Scholarship means for our college community. A key concern raised at that event was of quality: how do we ensure that Open Access publications across disciplinary divides will receive the same rigorous attention currently in place. To address this, and the issue of how research culture can function as a barrier to embracing Open Scholarship, SciPol’s Dr. Conor O’Carroll facilitated an informative and engaging discussion. Conor is an internationally renowned expert in the development and implementation of national and European research and innovation policies and strategies. His current focus is on researcher career development and mobility in the context of Open Scholarship.