Tag Archives: open science

W-log #6: EOSC Symposium, National Scientific Qualification, CoARA

What happened? A few weeks ago, the EOSC Symposium 2024 organisers opened registration for the event. The symposium is the annual venue to present and discuss all the activities behind the European Open Science Cloud (a.k.a. EOSC) that aims to develop a web of FAIR Data and services for science in Europe. On this occasion, the new task forces initiated by the EOSC Association will be formally presented and start working on new guidelines and specifications to help infrastructures, adopters and enthusiasts to be part of the Cloud. If you are curious, the outputs developed by the task forces of the previous calls are available on the EOSC website.

What I did. I was involved in an unusual lecture for the students of the PhD programme in Cultural Heritage in the Digital Ecosystem, which also saw the presence of several postdocs and early-stage researchers. The topic of the lecture was entirely dedicated to the mechanics of the Italian academic system, with a focus on the academic career and the process of the National Scientific Qualification, i.e. the mandatory requirement a scholar must have to become a professor in an Italian university. We have analysed such a scenario from three distinct perspectives, representing the related research and teaching areas of my Department: (a) antiquities, philology, literary studies, and art history; (b) history, philosophy, pedagogy and psychology; (c) mathematics and informatics. There were great discussions in the middle and end of the lecture, followed by some (informal) ethical considerations about the procedures introduced, with a final hope: that the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) can address, in some way, at least part of the problems in the current procedures.

What to read. Since I’ve just mentioned it, in case you did not have the chance to explore more about this topic, I would strongly suggest looking at the work done by CoARA with the development of the principles and commitments for reforming current research assessment practices within research-performing organisations:

Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment. (2022). Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment [Policy]. European Science Foundation. https://coara.eu/agreement/the-agreement-full-text/

W-log #3: Application of maturity dimensions for catalogues, digitisation of museums, responsible use of indicators

What happened? In the previous log, I introduced the article I’ve co-authored describing the work done in the context of the EOSC Task Force on Semantic Interoperability on identifying twelve maturity dimensions (and related sub-features) for assessing catalogues of semantic artefacts. A few days ago, FAIR Sharing, one of the catalogues we assessed in the article above, published a blog post that revised and updated the analysis regarding their service.

What I did. The Creators Day 2024 was an event organised in Bologna, focused on sharing with society the effort and dedication that several institutions, including the University of Bologna, put into the Cultural and Creative Industries. I had the honour to be part of the programme as one of the speakers, bringing my personal experience gained in the past year thanks to plenty of researchers working at the University of Bologna and the Institute of Heritage Science of the Italian National Research Council, on the digitisation of museums and, more generally, cultural heritage.

What to read. Over the past years, thanks to several initiatives worldwide supported by several institutions, the Open Science community has often participated in discussions about research assessment and the importance of responsible use of quantitative indicators. One of the most recent contributions to this discussion was disclosed by DORA very recently. It is a short and pleasant reading on why to avoid the misuse of specific indicators – e.g. the Journal Impact Factor and the Hirsch Index – and how to guide interested communities in using such quantitative indicators in research assessment exercises:

Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). (2024). Guidance on the responsible use of quantitative indicators in research assessment. Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.11156568

W-log #2: Italian situation on digital cultural heritage, semantic artefacts, science and society

What happened? One year ago, the Italian Ministry of Culture published some guidelines that imposed heavy payments, even for scientific publications derived from publicly funded (e.g. by the European Union) research, in case of (re)use of images of state-owned cultural heritage objects (CHOs). These guidelines were contrary to the indication of the European Union on the digitisation of cultural heritage, which pushed for years to implement measures to guarantee the broadest possible openness and compliance with FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) principles of digitised CHOs (DCHOs) that are in the public domain for any purpose – the motto here is: what is in the public domain stays in the public domain. Thus, a few weeks ago and after several months of objections, the Italian Ministry of Culture revised its guidelines to relax the conditions for applying such heavy payments in case of scientific publications. However, we are far from the goal, considering that there are still massive restrictions, regulated by law, on the application of open access licenses (e.g. the Creative Commons CC0, CC-BY, CC-BY-SA) to these DCHOs, which is a mandatory requirement in several funding programmes, including Horizon Europe.

What I did. As the corresponding author, I’ve finalised the bureaucracy with the publisher for an open-access publication of a work co-authored with Andras, Clement, Emanuele, Fajar, Ivan, and Oscar, just published in Scientific Data. The article, entitled A maturity model for catalogues of semantic artefacts, is entirely focused on the key components that enable the implementation of semantic interoperability, i.e. semantic artefacts, that are a machine-actionable formalisation of a conceptualisation enabling sharing and reuse by humans and machines. In particular, we reflected on the catalogues where semantic artefacts are stored – i.e. web-based systems that foster the availability, discoverability and long-term preservation and maintenance of semantic artefacts – and provided a set of twelve dimensions for measuring the maturity of such catalogues.

What to read. Since its introduction, in the last lecture of my course on Open Science within the second-cycle degree in Digital Humanities and Digital Knowledge, I invite an expert to talk about the current status of Open Science in Europe. This year, continuing with the tradition of the previous course editions, I had the pleasure of having a friend of mine, Elena Giglia, who gave a presentation entitled Open Science: in dialogue with society. My reading suggestion for this week is the slides of her talk that have been deposited on Zenodo:

Giglia, E. (2024, May 7). Open Science: In dialogue with society. Open Science course, a.a. 2023/2024, Digital Humanities and Digital Knowledge, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.11127310