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Open Research London news

- October 31, 2017 in Event, Local Groups, OKFN Open Science

The next Open Research London event will be on Monday 27 Nov 2017 at the Francis Crick Institute, starting at 6pm.

Four speakers will address issues around research data:

Eventbrite registration page

Ardan Patwardhan

EMDB, EMPIAR and the plans for an EMBL-EBI Bioimaging archive

The Electron Microscopy Data Bank (EMDB) is a global openly-accessible archive of biomolecular and cellular 3D reconstructions derived from electron microscopy (EM) data. The Electron Microscopy Public Image Archive (EMPIAR) stores raw image data relating to EMDB structures and is now expanding to include scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and soft X-ray tomography data. EMBL-EBI is considering establishing a global multi-modal bioimaging archive to enable the resume of data from this rapidly growing field. I will present an overview of the status of the archives and plans for future developments.

Aadi Narayana Varma

Using technology to break cultural silos: towards open data/open science

Profeza is a start-up building Open Source and Open workflow software solutions to enhance Discoverability, Reusability and Reproducibility of the scholarly outputs. It was co-founded by two ex- Life Science researchers from India(Aadi Narayana Varma Dantuluri and Sheevendra Sharma). The Software suite aims to keep the process of enhancing reproducibility and reusability of data and published articles continuous in contrast to one-time event & simultaneously rewarding the researchers. They do this by providing better insights, Automating the process of Educating/training needed and provide an Infrastructure that aims to contribute towards the improvement of the quality of published article/data without affecting varied priorities of different stakeholders in the scholarly community. Their software tools are Open source, Inter-operable and comes without Vendor lock-ins. They are currently looking for pilot partners to potentially evaluate the usability of the solutions they have built with different stakeholders in the scholarly community.

Mark Hahnel

The State of Open Data

Open data has become more embedded in the research community – 82% of respondents to a recent survey are aware of open data sets and more researchers are curating their data for sharing. The global commonalities in incentivisation and awareness of open academic research data go to show the increasing momentum around open research becoming the standard. A recent report from Figshare shows a tangible shift in researchers’ attitudes and data sharing practices in just a single year, and gives a sense that momentum is building. The report also highlights the need for funders and institutions to keep educating their academics about data.

Bio: Mark Hahnel is the founder of figshare, an open data tool that allows researchers to publish all of their data in a citable, searchable, and sharable manner. Mark is passionate about open science and the potential it has to revolutionize the research community.

Kirstie Whitaker

Barriers to reproducible research (and how to overcome them)

This talk will discuss the perceived and actual barriers experienced by researchers attempting to do reproducible research in neuroscience, and give practical guidance on how they can be overcome. It will include suggestions on how to make your code and data available and usable for others (including a strong suggestion to document both clearly so you don’t have to reply to lots of email questions from future users). It will include a brief guide to version control, collaboration and dissemination using GitHub as well as a discussion of tools to help you work reproducibly from the start. Exercises and resources will be persistently available after the talk and all audience members will leave knowing there is something they can do to step towards making their research reproducible.

Bio: Kirstie Whitaker is a Research Fellow at The Alan Turing Institute (London, UK). She completed her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley in 2012 and holds a BSc in Physics from the University of Bristol and an MSc in Medical Physics from the University of British Columbia. She was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge from 2012 to 2017. Dr Whitaker uses magnetic resonance imaging to study child and adolescent brain development and is a passionate advocate for reproducible neuroscience. She is a Fulbright scholarship alumna and 2016/17 Mozilla Fellow for Science. Kirstie was named, with her collaborator Petra Vertes, as a 2016 Global Thinker by Foreign Policy magazine.

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Open Research London

- September 21, 2016 in Announcements, Local Groups, OKFN Open Science

Open Research London (ORL) is an informal group formed to promote the idea of sharing and collaboration of research. ORL is a community effort, involving early career researchers and library staff. More volunteers are welcome and needed!

Check out their web page here >>

More information

Contact: @OpenResLDN if you’d like to get involved in the group, to propose a talk, host a talk at your institution, or would like to know more…

Twitter: @OpenResLDN follow us to keep up-to-date with meeting announcements!

Next Meeting: 3 October 2018, 6-9pm. Francis Crick Institute. Further details coming soon.

Ideas? Comments? Contact us on or on Twitter @OpenResLDN


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.

Planet Open Science Now Open

- February 12, 2015 in Communites, OKFN, OKFN Open Science, Open *, Planet

In this post, I talked about building a Planet Open Science to collect the various posts from members of the Open Science community and I’m happy to announce that it is ready to use.  I created a thread where those who want to add their feed to the Planet can do so.  You can also use this contact form:


Home page of Planet Open Science

From Intrigued to Interested- What is Need to Get People in a Movement?

- December 28, 2014 in Comminutes, Communites, Lou Woodley, Movement, OKFN, OKFN Open Science, Open *, Open Notebook Science, Planet

In Lou Woodley’s blog, I saw an post about what is needed to sustain a movement.  There was one thing that is missing, at least to me, and that is getting people intrigued about the movement and it’s projects.  One of the easiest ways to get people intrigued is the use of tools that collect information in one place.  Three of tools are:

‘Planet’  Feed Aggregator

Going back to this post, this tool is a good one to collect all of the blog posts from those who have agreed for their posted to be imported via feed reader.  This allows new comers to see what various people are doing within that community and connect with them.

OKFN Open Science working group started to work on one which should be ready to be used in early 2015.


As one tool, this allows new comers to find events and people that are in that community/movement.  The only one example of a possible usage is within the OKFN Open Science working group [1,2] which should be also ready in 2015.



Resource List/Guide

This can be done via a wiki or other ways.  This tool allows new comers to easily see what projects/communities are within that movement.  One example is OARR: Open Access and Reproducible Research Compendium.

There are other tools out there but these are my top ones that should be used to generate more reason to join a movement.


Afterthought: I misread the title but I think it might be the same thing (intrigued and interested). I don’t know how I saw it as two different things. Maybe there are as levels.

Update: I told Lou Woodley about my post and she said,

Thanks. I think intrigued is probably the beginning stage of getting interested in something. I’ve been reading a bit about pyramids of engagement and “conversion funnels” recently too and those involve more than three stages, meaning that most stages are not entirely distinct from the previous or following stage.

Thoughts on Having a Meta Open Science Community

- October 1, 2014 in Mozilla Science Lab, OKFN, OKFN Open Science, Open *, Planet

Over the last week, I started to think about how to improve the collaboration between the Open Science groups and researchers and also between the groups themselves. One of the ideas that I thought about using simple tools that are around in other Open * places (mainly Open Source/Linux distros). These tools are your forums (Discourse and other ones), Planet feeds, and wikis. Using these creates a meta community where members of the community can start there and get themselves involved in one or more groups. Open Science seems to lack this meta community.

Even though I think that meta community is not present, I do think that there is one group that can maintain this meta community and that group is the Open Knowledge Foundation Network (OKFN). They have a working group for Open Science. Therefore, I think, if they take the time and the resources, then it could happen or else some other group can be created for this.

What this meta community tool-wise needs:

Planet Feeds

Since I’m an official Ubuntu Member, I’m allowed to add my blog’s feed to Planet Ubuntu.  Planet Ubuntu allows anyone to read blog posts from many Ubuntu Members because it’s one giant feed reader.  This is well needed for Open Science, as Reddit doesn’t work for academia.  I asked on the Open Science OKFN mailing list and five people e-mailed me saying that they are interested in seeing one.  My next goal is to ask the folks of Open Science OKFN for help on building a Planet for Open Science.


I can only think of one forum, which is the Mozilla Science Lab one, that I wrote about last a few hours ago.  Having some general forum allows users to talk about various projects to job posting for their groups.  I don’t know if Discourse would be the right platform for the forums.  To me, it’s dynamicness is a bit too much at times.


I have no idea if a wiki would work for this meta Open Science community but at least having a guide that introduces newcomers to the groups is worthwhile to have.  There is a plan for a guide.

I hope these ideas can be used by some group within the Open Science community and allow it the grow.