In 2020, the Italian NOAD started a new project on training. The initial idea was to design a set of events to show the way the general and cross-sectoral topic of Open Science was embedded in a particular discipline, delving into aspects and tools specific for a single research area. A first webinar for earth and environmental sciences was held in May: it was a single and introductory webinar on the principles and motivation of Open Science.
The involved community showed a clear interest in the openness of knowledge, in the principles of Open Science and Open Access and in a collaborative way of working. But it was immediately clear that the tools for OA in that specific discipline needed to be addressed in detail.
So, in late November and early December 2020, an in-depth, discipline-specific course was held for the same research area, consisting in four webinars of two and a half hours each. Around 200 people enrolled and between 100 and 150 attended each webinar. 49 participants responded to the evaluation form that was distributed after the course. The course was organised with EOSC-Pillar, the EOSC regional project involving Italy, and EPOS, the Research Infrastructure for solid Earth science.
Q - What did you appreciate the most?
A - The way the lack of correlation between research evaluation and the adoption of Open Access and application of FAIR principles in the everyday life of a researcher was presented.From the evaluation form
The most commented topic - both during the live event and in the Virtual Research Environment set up for the course - was the evaluation of research, clearly perceived as a bottleneck for the full uptake of Open Science practices. Participants expressed a clear interest in the topic and all seemed to agree with the principle that science and knowledge should be shared as much as possible. But many noted that this process is hampered in the use of bibliometric indices in the evaluation process. They asked for details and news on this topic, expressing a clear interest in the creation of new methods and paradigms for research assessment. This strong interest led to the idea of organizing a specific workshop on the issues related to the evaluation of science.
But a second request deserves attention. It is the idea of a follow-up to be regularly updated on what is changing and what is coming on in the Open Science related topics. Our intention is therefore to organize update workshops on what is new in OS, in particular from a discipline specific perspective (in this case, Earth and environmental sciences).
Furthermore, among the feedback received through the evaluation form, the topic of data ownership and licensing was appreciated or mentioned as an important aspect that researchers need to be trained on.
This feedback renewed in us the idea of improving the narrative and concepts presented on this topic, trying to show with practical cases that sharing research data without harming anyone - not even one's own career - is possible. And that, although data sharing has precise legal rules to deal with, it is a fundamental contribution to science and knowledge.