Open Science Policy Platform – Open Science Working Group Representative

March 22, 2016 in Announcements, OKFN, OKFN Open Science

The following is an application submitted by Jenny Molloy to join the Open Science Policy Platform as a representative of Open Knowledge International and the global Open Science Working Group.

I am writing to apply for membership of the Open Science Policy Platform as a representative of Open Knowledge International and their global Open Science Working Group. This community was founded in 2008 and includes interested people and organisations from a broad spectrum of open science stakeholders including researchers, students, librarians, policy makers, funders and citizens who are interested in greater access to the mechanisms and outputs of science. Our mailing list reaches over 800 members from across the globe with a strong European grouping and active local representatives, affiliates or groups in UK, Germany, Austria, France, Finland, Italy, Spain and Sweden. Open Knowledge also has a vast network of over 20 working groups and over 40 local chapters or groups who collectively represent one of the largest and most influential grassroots communities in open data: from education to government to transport to hardware.

I was a founding member of the open science working group and became the volunteer global Coordinator in 2010. During that time we changed our name from ‘Open Data in Science’ to ‘Open Science’ to reflect the widening interest in open access to all research outputs and openness to participation in the scientific process and I watched open science grow from a niche topic of interest to a political priority. I have been involved with numerous community initiatives including promotion of the Panton Principles for Open Science; coordination of community building activities such as the science track at OKFest, the world’s largest open knowledge event; running global calls and local discussion groups and supporting members of the community with their own activities. I have the support of the leadership team at Open Knowledge International and written endorsements from community members via our mailing list, so I am confident that I can credibly represent their perspectives at the Policy Platform. These perspectives are many and diverse, which is exactly the strength of the open science community in that it allows so many voices to access and influence science and science policy.

As an early career researcher whose chosen role is now enabling and facilitating greater openness in the field of synthetic biology, I am acutely aware of the perspectives and needs of my direct peers in addition to my long-standing engagement with the broader open science community. I therefore put myself forward with the following special interests:

  • Open technologies for open science (software, hardware and wetware)
  • Rewards and incentives for open science
  • Education & skills
  • New models for research communication and publishing

I have experience with the European Commission Open Science Agenda having represented Open Knowledge in Brussels in 2013 at a consultation meeting on the Science 2.0 whitepaper. As an active community member and current or recently active scientific researcher I was in a minority of meeting participants and this experience cemented my strong belief that community-based organisations should be represented on official platforms alongside political organisations and formal institutions. I do not currently sit on any other international policy-oriented board but I coordinated working group responses to policy consultations such as the Hargreaves report into copyright exceptions for text and data mining in the UK and I’m a member of the Open Knowledge/ContentMine team in the H2020-funded FutureTDM consortium, who will provide policy recommendations for text and data mining to the Commission. I am a member of the Europe PubMedCentral Advisory Board and am frequently contacted for informal advice on openness in addition to numerous invitations to present or discuss openness in science at events on the national and international level.

My academic interests now extend into science and technology studies in an attempt to better understand the theoretical underpinning and implementation of cultural change in science. However, I am also happy to question the assumptions and goals of the open science agenda, which was necessary in coordinating an IDRC-funded scoping project on ‘Open and Collaborative Science in Development’. This ultimately led to OCSDNet, a network of 15 case study projects around open science in the global South and I have acted an an informal advisor to several of these. An advantage of affiliation with Open Knowledge is that I can also draw on knowledge of existing research on open government data and other areas of open knowledge, which are further advanced from a policy and implementation perspective and so offer a useful set of outcomes and critiques which may be relevant to comparative policies in science. Many similar questions and challenges are faced across the open knowledge movement and greater connectivity could only enrich discussions at the OSPP.

In conclusion, I bring eight years of experience in the open science community, a wealth of knowledge about different players and their interactions and personal dedication to seeing changes towards greater openness in science. I therefore believe that I am a well-placed representative for the segment of stakeholders described above and can bring a researcher, practitioner and community organiser perspective that will be valuable to the OSPP.

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