ATT-foorumi teki katsauksen hankkeen saavutuksiin ja avoimeen tulevaisuuteen

Open Science and Research Forum takes a look at the project achievements and an open future

Pinja Ahola

The Open Science and Research Forum was held on 16 November 2017 at Congress Centre Paasitorni in Helsinki. The theme of the forum was open access to knowledge and scientific publishing. The achievements of the Open Science and Research (OSR) project were presented at the forum, with the focus being moved to the future, to the time after completion of the project. Tools and ideas for advancing the openness of science and research as well as adopting permanent operating approaches were provided at the forum.

The Openness prize was awarded at the forum. The prize is intended for a society, association or organisation whose activity contributes to the promotion of openness in scientific publishing. This year, the prize went to the Open Knowledge Finland Open Science Working Group.

Launched by the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2014, the OSR project promotes access to knowledge and open science. It is based on extensive co-operation between ministries, higher education institutions, research institutes and providers of research funding.

Finland leading the way

Counsellor for Science Affairs Erja Heikkinen of the Ministry of Education and Culture kicked off the day with the opening speech. Heikkinen stated that Finland is a pioneer in open science, and Finland's contributions to open science and research have also been noticed elsewhere in Europe. One of the contributing factors to this advancement is CSC's research data reserve, which makes research data universally available.

"Our hope is that all scientific publications will be open by the year 2020."



Heikkinen also addressed how openness in research, along with conducting research in general, must be increased. Likewise, openness should become the default operating approach. The EU's objective is for researcher training programmes to increase the amount of training in open science, with an aim to make all scientific publications open by the year 2020.

Reiterating Heikkinen's statement, Vice President for Research Riitta Maijala of the Academy of Finland also said that Finland is at the forefront of open science. According to Maijala, openness must be, above all, achieved intelligently: thought must be given to how openness will be realised and in what form, not to mention what the degree of trust will be and how data should be stored. Openness in and of itself is not enough - open data must also be usable. Indeed, although openness in science is a value unto itself, it also contributes to the high quality and broader, more comprehensive impact of research.

The audience in the Paasitorni auditorium was keen to learn more about the OSR project.

A global and open future?

Jukka Mönkkönen, Rector of the University of Eastern Finland, pointed out that openness can make science truly global. In this sense, openness and open science can create an entirely new academic culture, in which research is not only kept within the confines of an individual institute, but is instead made broadly available, thus making it possible for researchers all over the world to participate in the research.

Scientific impact is inextricably linked to this. Open publications are easily and extensively available, as opposed to being restricted to the channels and distribution used by individual publishers. This is why the discussion on openness should not be limited to science, but rather expand it to include society as a whole and its openness.

The afternoon panel discussion presented the principles and practices for publishing research results in the future and described what future publishing processes might look like. The processes in open publishing are challenging in a variety of ways, admits Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen, Director of Library Network Services at the National Library of Finland (NLF). Hormia-Poutanen served as a panel representative for the FinELib consortium, whose mission is to improve and secure the availability of electronic resources.

In addition to facilitating publishing processes, there is also work to be done toward ensuring openness. In particular, competition between publishing platforms and channels is needed. The panelists pointed out that competition would serve to, among other things, prevent publications from ending up out of reach behind paywalls. The OSR provides an outstanding starting point for tackling future challenges.

Launched by the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2014, the Open Science and Research project promotes access to knowledge and open science. The other goals of the project include promoting the reliability of science and research, supporting the inclusion of open science and research approaches in the research community, and increasing the social impact of research and science.



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