In recent years, open science has progressed in leaps and bounds in both Finland and other countries. In autumn 2022, the University of Helsinki set up an open science coordination group, with representatives from every campus as well as research management and services. The group is tasked with coordinating the development of open science and teaching at the University. In this blog post, the group’s members discuss the work ahead and the related challenges.
The annual review on open science 2021 brings together key topics and news from last year. The main themes in Finland were the renewal of open science legislation, funding of domestic scholarly journals and the achievements of national coordination in open science.
”I think the benefit about opening research data is that other people can build their research and get new insights from the data that has already been developed”, says researcher Matias Heino (Aalto University). In this short interview, he also explains other benefits of open data such as the effective use of resources and verifying research results. Heino is one of the speakers at ”Open Science Afternoon 2021 – Open Data Matters”.
”To maintain faith in scientific institutions, our data needs to be available for public and journalistic scrutiny”, says researcher Ivo Neefjes (University of Helsinki). In this interview, he stresses the need to make research data accessible for other researchers with sufficient metadata. Neefjes is attending the event ”Open Science Afternoon 2021 – Open Data Matters” where he is presenting Molecular Clusters video, that won Science journal’s Dance Your PhD competition in the spring.
”Personally for me open research data is an enormous opportunity to do research and answer questions others have not yet asked”, says microbiologist Antti Karkman (University of Helsinki). In this short interview, he speaks on the advantages of open data in his own research and the research in general. Karkman is one of the speakers at ”Open Science Afternoon 2021 – Open Data Matters”.
The challenges – as well as the opportunities – of open data are affecting more and more researchers, and regardless of the discipline, the same questions come up again and again: Can I open the research data I have collected? What does it require? How to deal with sensitive material? In March 2021, the University of Helsinki’s Data Support, in cooperation with data repositories, organized a webinar that brought together researchers and data management experts from various fields. The webinar focused on what it takes to open data and how open materials can be used. This blog post sums up the event.
If you could choose one way to advance opening data (regardless of costs), what would it be? Francesca Morello would choose data stewards as part of every research group: ”Data steward, as an expert professional, would be capable to support researchers’ choices on daily bases and could help them promote the optimal reuse of their data: both positive results but also negative findings.” Morello is one of the speakers at the webinar event ”What it takes: Open your research data” that takes place on 25 March 2021.
After Laji.fi portal was opened in 2015, it has become a weekly tool for biologist and journalist Jouni Tikkanen as he searches for basic information on the Finnish species. Tikkanen hopes that also Finnish National Forest Inventory (VMI) data will also be opened up, as it would offer great opportunities for non-researchers as well: ”With that data as a groundwork I could build both magazine articles, podcast series and books.”
”I think open research data promotes honesty and transparency in science. Once a data set is well described, citable and available on clear terms, it is easy to discover and to reuse, and studies done on the data set are easier to replicate and to improve on”, says Mietta Lennes, Project Planning Officer for FIN-CLARIN consortium, which coordinates the Language Bank of Finland (Kielipankki). Lennes is one of the speakers at the webinar event ”What it takes: Open your research data” that takes place on 25 March 2021.
Do you get enough and the right kind of information about open science? Please respond to the Think Open Blog user survey by April 15th and share your views.