Open Research Forum 7th July 2021

Thank you to all who attended our first Open Research Forum meeting on Wednesday. A recording of the meeting is available to view for University of Reading members via this link (University members only).

These regular meetings give an opportunity for Open Research Champions and others to share experiences with Open Research at the University of Reading, and updates for ongoing projects. Another meeting is planned in September, for more information email researchdata@reading.ac.uk and we’ll add to you to the Open Research mailing list.

Four presentations were given by Research Champions at this event, slides are downloadable below.

Open Research survey (Auvikki de Boon and Sophie Read)

Our Champions have been developing an Open Research survey to map the current landscape of Open Research practices at Reading, among both staff and students. The plan is to launch the survey at the beginning of Autumn term, with all respondents being entered into a prize draw.

The aim of this project is to better inform our work promoting Open Research across the University, and to guide our offering of Open Research training opportunities. For more information contact marcello.demaria@reading.ac.uk

Download Slides

An open hardware community for the University (Al Edwards)

Open Hardware is a movement which already has a large following outside of Research Science.  For researchers participating in Open Hardware is an opportunity to share information about equipment used in research platforms. This can assist with reproducibility, showing other researchers the exact instrumentation used to produce results, and is in line with the values promoted by the Open Research movement. Al’s interest in Open Hardware grew out of a project in 2019 with a 3D printer and a Raspberry Pi which you can read more about here.

Al would like to grow an open hardware community at the University of Reading. Are you interested in making low-cost easily reproducible scientific equipment? Al is especially keen to work with developers of open software, as there is so much overlap between software and hardware, not least in 3D CAD for printing exciting random plastic things. There are also plans for an Open Hardware Hackathon in September. Contact r.sariyer@pgr.reading.ac.uk if you’d like to take part.

Electronic lab notebooks pilot project (Cristiana Bercea)

Electronic lab notebooks are software systems for documenting research work, intended to replace the use of paper notebooks. They are easy to use and offer extra functionality over traditional lab books. This includes simple collaborative features, making the notebook searchable, timestamping entries and integration with other software and data sources.

Cristiana is leading a project to pilot electronic lab notebooks in the Schools of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy and Biological Sciences. The pilot group will start in August and test three different platforms for the Notebooks. If you are interested in taking part you can find out more here and let Cristiana know at c.bercea@reading.ac.uk

Download Slides

Open data and land corruption (Marcello De Maria)

Marcello and PhD student Niko Howai recently won funding to explore the use of open data to counteract land corruption. Marcello discussed their final report and the broader impact open data can make in this important area. Their methodology has informed a number of other studies, showing the role open research practices can allowing interaction with a larger community of stakeholders.

There is growing availability of digital land data, but openness remains limited; 1% of countries have land ownership records open and in digital form. The report made a number of recommendations, in particular highlighting the need for public engagement, tech know-how, pollical will and a strong legal framework to achieve concrete change towards open platforms. You can read the full report online here.

Download Slides

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