AVOTT has continued on the path set by ATT – Finland has created its own model for national cooperation in open science

Think Open 2018 revisited! The third blog post of 29 May 2018 is about the open science and data action plan, including the launch of the national coordination of open science under the auspices of the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (TSV). The past five years have been an energetic period of implementation the action plan. According to Ilmari Jauhiainen, member of the national open science secretariat, of the eight-point programme, only securing funding for open science has – so far – remained uncharted territory.

(Tämä artikkeli on saatavissa myös suomeksi.)

The Think Open blog will be five years old in May 2023. Check out our revisits of the articles from the opening month of 2018!

”The recent open science and data plan continues the work of the Ministry of education and culture’s ATT project, and proposes eight actions for the scientific community to promote a culture of open science. The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies (TSV) will have a coordinating role in national open science issues”, summarises the abstract of the blog post, Avoimen tieteen ohjelma julki – TSV saa kansallisen koordinoijan roolin (Open science programme launched – TSV takes on national coordinating role), at the end of May 2018.

The pioneering open science project ATT (Avoin tiede ja tutkimus, Open science and research) from 2014 to 2017 has continued to make progress in the national open science network – now called AVOTT (Avoin tiede ja tutkimus), coordinated by the TSV. In the context of national cooperation, AVOTT has worked hard in recent years on a number of policies, recommendations, reports and studies.

Open education alongside publications, data and culture

According to Ilmari Jauhiainen, AVOTT is based on the work of volunteer experts. Photo: AVOTT

Ilmari Jauhiainen, an expert in the TSV’s open science secretariat, joined the coordination in September 2018, just a few months after the publication of the open science operational programme (Avoin tiede ja data – toimenpideohjelma suomalaiselle tiedeyhteisölle).

”During these few months, the field of open science had already come to life and, for example, the areas of culture of open scholarship, open access publishing and FAIR data outlined in the programme had been joined by an area of open education”, Jauhiainen says.

”Even after this, the open science landscape has not stayed still for long, and the map of open science has become more and more detailed. For example, the open access policy mentioned in the operational programme has gradually expanded into a multifaceted set of open science policies. The landscape has also undergone some reshaping, as the reform of research careers, linked to open science in the operational programme, has grown into its own set of responsible assessment.”

Volunteering and established models

The Finnish model for developing open science is based on voluntary networking, coordinated by TSV. The model has also been used as a basis for more permanent elements of open science in Finland.

”In five years, the AVOTT coordination and its secretariat have become a permanent and well-established working instrument, as hoped for. Special thanks are owed to our volunteer experts, whose cooperation makes the coordination work. The national monitoring of open science and the research reference architecture to be completed this year will further enhance the effectiveness of the coordination’s activities. Both will contribute to the implementation of common policies in individual organisations”, Jauhiainen says.

In May 2018, the open science and data action plan for the Finnish scientific community was published. It contains eight goals: (1) Establishment of a coordinating body for open science; (2) Ensuring funding for open science; (3) Commitment to the DORA declaration and recognition of openness as a career-enhancing merit; (4) Implementation of the data citation roadmap; (5) Strengthening the demand-driven nature of research services; (6) Providing one-stop research services; (8) Commitment to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) declaration.

Funding still to be ensured

The action plan published in 2018 has not remained a dead letter. Progress has been made on almost all eight points.

”I think that coordination has been very successful in colouring the contours of the action plan. The only terra incognita remains in the second point of the plan, namely ensuring funding for open science. Broad issues such as open science are best promoted on a piecemeal basis, and the time is now ripe to tackle this piece as well, as the working group on funding for open science and research will start its work”, Jauhiainen says.

The national coordination of open science has gone hand in hand with the Think Open blog. A summary of the five years of AVOTT coordination will be completed in the late spring and published on the TSV website. A more detailed review of the coordination’s expert work will be published on the AVOTT website.

Think Open 2018 revisited: