Open science mini projects: Institutional support and strategic funding as a tool for increasing researchers’ open science initiatives
- 26 September 2023 |
- 16:00 |
- Session 2 |
- Auditorium 200
How to get more researchers involved in open science activities? This lightning talk will focus on the concept and experiences of “open science mini projects” at Åbo Akademi University (Finland). The open science mini projects are small-scale projects, initiated by researchers as responses to an open call for funding provided by the university.
The aim of this supportive funding instrument and institutional support is to increase awareness and engage affiliated researchers at a grass-root level in open science initiatives, by opening up the agenda-setting of open science activities. In other words, the purpose of the open science mini projects is to encourage researchers to create their own open science initiatives, and thus root open science activities at the university in the researchers’ own needs and interests, in ways that are relevant within their fields of research or subjects. The open science mini projects are a form of researcher service and a researcher engagement tool, which was developed in 2021 as a collaboration between the library and vice-rector for research at Åbo Akademi University. The coordination of the open science mini project service, and open science activities overall, is placed at the library.
In 2021–2023, researchers from all faculties and a diversity of subjects and research fields have applied for funding and carried out mini projects. The mini projects have included activities such as producing open educational resources, arranging tailored seminars and workshops on open science-related topics, workshops for using open-source software, creating tailored guides on open science-related topics, and arranging open science-related competitions.
The projects are recruited through open calls within the university and all affiliated researchers and staff may apply. A central element of this support is, apart from the financial support, the assistance given mainly by the open science team at ÅAU library and other researcher service units when needed. The assistance starts already at the application level – only few applications are rejected, while most are assisted and encouraged to enhance the open science aspects of their projects.
In this session, the design of the service and the ways it engages researchers, will be presented: the application process, the evaluation criteria, the call content, and the resulting projects. Challenges and opportunities in conducting the projects are discussed, as well as an assessment on how this form of facilitating engagement succeeds in supporting researchers’ independent initiatives in making science and research more open, in ways that are relevant in specific disciplines and fields of research.