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Lightning talk

Research services step forward! Our role advancing understanding of Open Science

  • 26 September 2023 |
  • 16:00 |
  • Session 2 |
  • Auditorium 200

What we mean by Open Research is not necessarily well understood among the research ecosystem, let alone among the public in general. Increasing public understanding of Open Science will advance the wider agenda of public understanding of research. We believe that there is a role for research services on this quest.

In the UK, a recent survey by the Campaign for Science Engineering (CaSE) has shown that “giving R&D a sense of location can help it connect with people”1. This is important because only about a third of people can identify limited research and development activities within their own region – citing tangible examples such as hospitals, businesses and universities. The same survey found that of those living in the East Midlands, 54% did not associate research and development activities with the region. About two-thirds of people say they don’t know much about R&D happening in their area, but a similar proportion would like to hear more about it.

At the University of Lincoln, we are committed to our civic mission, as reflected in our strategic plan. We strive to shape and transform our city and region through effective engagement2. Working collaboratively with local partners we aim to develop educational opportunities and support innovation through research and development.

We believe that fostering relationships with local communities supports Open Science by encouraging engagement and developing trust within the community. An example of where our institutional reputation has already paid dividends is in research conducted by the Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health into health inequalities in coastal regions. One of our projects explores mechanisms for effective engagement with so called ‘difficult to reach’ groups. This coproduction approach involving community-based partnerships and health and social care support services will inform future large-scale projects including an ambitious longitudinal coastal community cohort study.3

Interconnectivity between research, innovation, businesses, communities and professionals across the University is encouraged. Open Science, Open Access, Scholarly communications, impact and public engagement with research are at the core of our activity and we want to bring these viewpoints to the public as part of our regionally embedded civic mission.

This year we are piloting one new initiative who will advance Open Science in our region and our city.

For the first time ever at Lincoln, one of our Repository Officers is delivering a public presentation during a Café Scientific event: “What is Open Research, should you care?” will allow us to bring science to life at a local level and spark debate around the role of researchers, universities, and science more generally. As part of the initiative, we will conduct our own survey of attitudes towards local R&D before and after the event to understand how this intervention can advance the Open Science cause. This session will focus on the results of this survey and how we plan to use these findings to shape our services for the future, both for researchers and their research projects and our communities.


Jade King

Jade King is a Research Repository and Research Data Officer for the University of Lincoln. Outside of her role, Jade is a poet, editor, and multi-disciplinary artist. Her work is published or forthcoming in 3:AM Magazine, Schlag Magazine, *82 Review, The Abandoned Playground and Poetry Salzburg Review. Broken Sleep Books will publish King's first collection of poetry, Sucker Punch, in December 2023.

Charlotte Mitchell

Charlotte Mitchell is the Research Repository and Research Data Officer at the University of Lincoln. Department Responsibilities I am based in the Research and Industrial Partnership team within Research and Enterprise supporting a range of research activities at the University. This includes the administration of the institutional research repository: checking compliance of records with funder open access policies and updating records as outputs move through the publication process. I support open access publication by administering our transitional agreements and advocating for open research within the University. I am responsible for maintaining the Open Access and Repository webpages and provide training to staff and students on open access, the research repository, funder policies, and data management.