Slovenian National Association’s event on open science: thinking globally, acting locally

Last year was a big year for the open access movement with the launch of the Plan S initiative in September. Eurodoc endorsed the plan in a joint statement with the Marie Curie Alumni Association and the Young Academy of Europe, and Eurodoc’s president, Gareth O’Neill, explained its significance and limitations in an article within the open access week series.

It was a busy year also for me, being the newly elected co-coordinator of the Eurodoc’s Open Science WG. Based on the results of the survey conducted by the Open Science Skills Working Group in 2017, researchers are still poorly aware of the importance of open science and they lack the skills, the competencies, the institutional support and the incentives that are needed to practice open science. I spoke about this at the ESOF 2018 event in Toulouse where I represented Eurodoc in the session entitled “Open Science: from concept to implementation”.

One way to increase open science literacy is by organising events and thinking globally while acting locally, so I initiated the organisation of an event on the topic of open science  in my country, Slovenia. The Slovenian Research Agency is one of the members of cOAlition S, which makes it even more crucial for Slovenian researchers to familiarise themselves with Plan S. The event took place in December 2018 and was co-organised by Mlada akademija, the Slovenian national association of doctoral candidates and early career researchers, and the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. It covered three aspects of open science: open access, open data and citizen science. It was attended by about 90 participants.

At the forefront of the event was the session on Plan S and open access that I moderated. The hour and fifteen minutes allocated to the discussion was not enough to go into detail of all of the topics raised by the panelists, which went from article processing charges to incentives for researchers. The open data aspects were covered in a presentation from the Slovenian Social Science Data Archive that included the Open Science Training Handbook and the CESSDA Data Management Expert Guide. The event ended with a roundtable on citizen science with four guests that represented different examples of citizen science, from a jellyfish-spotting campaign and bird watching to the GreenLight WorldFlight project and research on the use of crowdsourcing to validate synonyms.

A longer report of the event was published on LinkedIn. The event received positive feedback from the participants and we hope to make it a traditional yearly event in Slovenia. I hope the success of our event will inspire other associations to organise open science events in their countries.

Ana Slavec,
Eurodoc Open Science Working Group Coordinator
Member of Management committee of “Mlada akademija” (Young Academy of Slovenia), the association of Slovenian doctoral students and early career researchers