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Helmholtz Open Science Newsletter of June 16, 2021

Dear colleagues,

This is the 86th Helmholtz Open Science Newsletter brought to you by the Helmholtz Open Science Office in german and english language. With this newsletter, we provide you with a regular overview of the most important open science developments.

You can find the current newsletter and the newsletter archive on the Helmholtz Open Science Office website.

We appreciate you forwarding this newsletter to anyone interested.

For more information on the topic of open science: The internal mailing list os-pro-helmholtz “Helmholtz Open Science Professionals” supports members of the Helmholtz Association who are interested in open science topics, such as open access, open research data and open research software. In addition to information on current developments, practical discussions and information exchanges are facilitated. You can register for the mailing list here. (Please note: This list is only available for employees of the Helmholtz Association).

1. Save-the-Date: 59th Online Seminar on research data management

The 59th Helmholtz Open Science Online Seminar will take place on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 from 3:00 p. m. to 4:00 p. m. In this seminar, Prof. Dr. Frank Oliver Glöckner will present on the topic of research data management and focus on the context of biodiversity in the MOSAiC project.

Frank Oliver Glöckner is Head of Data at the AWI Computing and Data Center of the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Professor of Earth System Data Science at University of Bremen and Head of PANGAEA (Data Publisher for Earth and Environmental Sciences).

The one-hour event will be held in English and will be conducted via the video conferencing tool Zoom. The seminar will not be recorded.

To participate in the event (free of charge), please register here in advance. Further information can be found on the event's website.

2. News from the re3data COREF project: Poster wins poster award of the 17th Research Data Alliance (RDA) Plenary

The poster submitted by the re3data COREF project won first place at the poster competition of the 17th Research Data Alliance (RDA) plenary meeting! The poster highlights the collaboration between re3data, the FAIRsFAIR project, and DataCite. It describes joint activities to help users find research data repositories that support FAIR data practices. The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is a community-driven initiative that aims to build the social and technical infrastructures to enable open sharing and the re-use of data. In addition, the COREF project contributed with a presentation at virtual EGU General Assembly 2021 in April 2021.

Currently, the project is conducting a survey on data quality management for operators of research data repositories listed in re3data. The study results will be made available to the public and will be incorporated into further revisions of the re3data metadata schema (concerning the planned version 4.0). Comments and feedback were recently solicited for the first revised version 3.1 of the schema. The draft for version 3.1 is currently being edited and will be implemented in a timely manner.

Regular updates from the re3data COREF project will now also be published via the new project blog. The re3data COREF project, in which the Helmholtz Open Science Office is involved, has received funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) for three years, starting in January 2020, and is working on the further development of the re3data - Registry of Research Data Repositories service.

3. Updated list of research data repositories with Helmholtz participation on os.helmholtz.de

Since 2012, the Helmholtz Open Science Office has been involved in the operation of re3data - Registry of Research Data Repositories. This global service provides researchers, funding agencies, and other stakeholders with an overview of digital research infrastructures for making research data accessible. As of June 2021, the directory lists almost 2,700 repositories. Since January 2020, the DFG project re3data COREF is dedicated to the further development of re3data. An updated list of all research data repositories indexed in re3data with participation of Helmholtz Centers can be found on the Helmholtz Open Science Office’s website (see Newsletter 83).

4. Online Course “Gute Wissenschaftliche Praxis” by KIT

The online course “Gute Wissenschaftliche Praxis” (i. e. good research practice) was developed under the joint project management of the KIT Library and the “Schreiblabor” at the House of Competence of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). In this online course, students learn about rules and standards within science that are already relevant during their studies and how research can be carried out honestly. The course is part of the nationwide project helpBW, which is based at these two KIT institutions.

The online course “Gute wissenschaftlichen Praxis” is available (in German only) for KIT members on the Lernplattform ILIAS; external interested parties can access it via the Plattform Open Courses KIT.

The German Research Foundation (DFG) recommends this online course and has included it in the portal “Wissenschaftliche Integrität” (i.e., scientific integrity; available in German only) as an example of teaching good research practice. The portal serves to elucidate the DFG Code of Conduct “Guidelines for Safeguarding Good Research Practice” by providing examples and materials that complement the recommendations by the DFG. The DFG committee “German Research Ombudsman” also provides a link to the online course developed at KIT. This committee serves scientists in Germany as a contact point regarding questions and conflicts concerning ​​good research practice; the German Research Ombudsman also provides additional teaching materials (partly available in English). Further information (in German only): https://helpbw.de/2021/05/17/dfg-empfiehlt-den-onlinekurs-gute-wissenschaftliche-praxis.

5. DFG has signed DORA

In the DFG's “Code of Good Research Practice”, the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) is an important reference for guideline 5 “Dimensions of performance and assessment criteria”. A core statement of DORA is: "Do not use journal-based metrics, such as journal impact factors, as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, to assess an individual scientist's contributions, or in hiring, promotion, or funding decisions." More than 2200 institutions and organizations worldwide have already signed the declaration. So far, however, the number of signatories from Germany has been small. The German Research Foundation (DFG) has now led the way by setting a good example.

6. Report of Forum on Indicators for Open Science Now Available

Open access, open research data, and open research software: These topics shape current open science discussions in the Helmholtz Association. The question is, which indicators can be used to identify the cultural change towards open science? And which incentives do certain indicators set for the development of open access? The virtual Helmholtz Open Science Forum addressed these and other questions under the heading “Indicators for Open Science” on January 20, 2021 (see Newsletter 83). In the course of the event and by means of impulse and practical lectures, indicators for open science were presented and discussed with a broad audience from the Helmholtz Association. A corresponding report has now been published and summarizes the lectures and discussions that took place to provide a basis for further developments of this topic for the Association.

The report is available here: https://doi.org/10.48440/os.helmholtz.024 (available in German only).

7. Review: Helmholtz Open Science Forum “Helmholtz in the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI)”

With the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI), the federal and state governments are pursuing the goal of systematically making research data resources accessible in accordance with the FAIR principles so that they can be made available to third parties. The NFDI will be established as a network of consortia in three successive funding phases over a period of three years starting in 2019.

To promote dialogue on the NFDI within the Helmholtz Association, the Helmholtz Open Science Office hosted a digital Helmholtz Open Science Forum entitled “Helmholtz in the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI)” with almost one hundred participants on May 4, 2021. In addition to an introduction by the NFDI Directorate, exemplary presentations highlighted the range of NFDI participation in Helmholtz (e. g., practical reports from approved consortia, describing the role of the NFDI from the perspective of a center, a research field, and an incubator platform); the interaction of NFDI and EOSC was also highlighted. Helmholtz-specific aspects in the realization of the NFDI formed the core of the discussion. Documentation of the forum will be made available in a timely manner.

8. Review: Helmholtz Open Science Forum “Research Software”

On May 6, 2021, the workshop “Policies for Research Software” was held in collaboration with the Task Group Research Software, the HIFIS platform and the Helmholtz Open Science Office. The virtual event with more than one hundred participants showed the great interest of all Helmholtz Centers in the topic. The target group (primarily policy makers and team leaders in software development, e. g., from data centers, infrastructure, science management, libraries, law and technology transfer, and scientific software communities) was broadly represented.

The detailed programme can be found on the event's website. After the welcome address by Wolfgang Marquardt and the impulse presentations, a productive dialogue was set in motion in four Zoom breakout sessions – thanks once again for the active participation!

The results were documented on virtual whiteboards and form the basis for a further exchange process. Within this process, all Helmholtz stakeholders are welcome to actively participate in the collaborative elaboration of a checklist for the development and introduction of a policy in the Helmholtz Centers – the Research Software Forum is looking forward to a continued and productive exchange of ideas!

9. Review: 58th Online-Seminar with Irene Barbers on the Open Access Monitor

On the occasion of the 58th Helmholtz Open Science online seminar on April 28, 2021, Irene Barbers (Zentralbibliothek des Forschungszentrums Jülich) presented how the Open Access Monitor can be used to support the transformation towards open access. The online seminar was held in German and was accessible to all interested persons. Around 210 participants, with more than 30 participants from the Helmholtz Association, attended the presentation and the ensuing open discussion.

The slides of the presentation can be found here (available under CC BY 4.0 International). For further information, please refer to the event's website; the accompanying factsheet will be published there shortly.

10. Review: 5th ORCID DE Workshop

On June 2, 2021, the fifth ORCID DE Workshop on “ORCID in Publication and Information Infrastructures” took place. More than 370 participants from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland attended the event to learn about the integration possibilities of ORCID in current research information systems, research data repositories, and publication services such as OJS and open access repositories.

This overwhelming participation shows that the need for information about ORCID and its implementation possibilities remains high. The program can be found on the event's website (in German); the slides of the speakers and presenters of the breakout room sessions are published on Zenodo in the group “ORCID DE”. Please note that the workshop was held in German.

The ORCID DE project would like to thank all participants, speakers and presenters for this exciting workshop!

ORCID DE project partners are DataCite, the German National Library (DNB), the Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, the German National Library of Science and Technology Hannover (TIB), and the Bielefeld University Library. The project was initiated by the Deutsche Initiative für Netzwerkinformation (DINI) and is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

11. On our own behalf: Job offer

The Helmholtz Open Science Office at the Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is hiring. We are looking for an officer (f/m/d) for the collaboration in the BMBF project EcoDM – Ecosystem Data Management and in the Helmholtz Open Science Office. Applications can be handed in until June 20, 2021. Further information on the job description: https://www.gfz-potsdam.de/karriere/stellenangebote/job-detail/5265/

12. Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration (HMC) publishes new project call

Nine projects have been selected for funding in the first project call of the Helmholtz Incubator Platform Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration (HMC) with a total of 3.45 million euros – half of which is provided by the Helmholtz Initiative and Networking Fund. Twelve Helmholtz Centres are involved representing all six research areas of the Helmholtz Association. Each project will run for 24 months.

The mission of all projects is to promote metadata generation and enrichment activities within the Helmholtz Association. This includes, but is not limited to, stimulating metadata generation using interoperable metadata standards, vocabularies, and/or ontologies, as well as adapting or developing tools for data enrichment (e. g., automated metadata generation for describing datasets and workflows) and metadata quality and curation assessment measures (see Newsletter 85).

The new annual Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration (HMC) call for proposals for 2021 was released on June 7, 2021. Applications can be submitted until August 16, 2021.

13. KIT Develops Tool for Quality Assessment of Research Software

Although research software is of central importance for gaining new insights, time pressure and lack of money can lead to quality deficiencies during development. Computer scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) have designed the SoftWipe tool for the automated assessment of software quality and published their results in the Nature Scientific Reports journal. It is a pipeline written in Python3 that compiles and executes software to detect programming errors and calculate a quality score between 0 (bad) and 10 (very good).

14. The SoftWert Project Promotes a Transfer-Oriented Use of Scientific Software

The BMBF-funded project “SoftWert - Methodenbaukasten zur Verwertung von wissenschaftlicher Software” is a cooperation between Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), the Helmholtz Center Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) of the Leibniz Association, and Saarland University to create “a set of methods for the transfer of scientific software from basic research to other research centers and areas of application within research, but also to industrial applications”. The project sees a high demand for re-usability, partly also in combination with valuable research data and technologies. However, transfer is often significantly hampered by legal and ethical requirements and accordingly much potential is lost from developed software. Within the project, suitable methods for the transfer-oriented handling of scientific software in scientific institutions will be developed, tested, established, and made accessible in the form of guidelines, as well as prototypically implemented in institutions of the Helmholtz and Leibniz Association and leading universities.

15. Law passed to transpose DSM Directive into German copyright law

On June 7, the Act on the Adaptation of Copyright Law to the Requirements of the Digital Single Market, the latest amendment to the German Copyright Act, came into force. This law transposes EU Directive 2019/790 April 17, 2019 on copyright and related rights in the digital single market and amending Directives 96/9/EC and 2001/29/EC (hereinafter DSM Directive) into German law. The central concern of the European legislator was to increase the participation of rights holders in the profits of the major Internet platforms. This is to be achieved by strengthening the rights holders vis-à-vis the owners of these platforms. Until now, the latter have been protected from liability for copyright infringement through the unlicensed making available of copyrighted content. This protection is removed by the DSM Directive. In this context, the problem of upload filters and the concern about “overblocking” have been the subject of controversial discussion (cf. https://irights.info/artikel/referentenentwurf-des-bmjv-leitet-entscheidende-phase-fuer-umfassende-urheberrechtsreform-ein/30351).

For the scientific community, the DSM Directive and its implementation in German law are particularly significant in that the Directive obliges the Member States to include certain exceptions (permissions) for education and science in their copyright laws. In the German Copyright Act currently in force, these barriers already exist in Sections 60a et seq. However, in the last amendment to the Copyright Act, the German legislator had limited the validity of these exceptions up to and including February 2023. As a result of the DSM Directive, the German legislator was now obliged to remove this time limit for a part of the restrictions for education and science enshrined in the German Copyright Act. During the legislative process, the representatives of the scientific community and also the Bundesrat lobbied for the removal of time limits for all exceptions for education and science. This demand was met at the end of a difficult decision-making process. This increases legal certainty for science.

16. Reuse of public sector data – implementation of the EU Open Data Directive into German law

In July 2019, the EU Directive 2019/1024 of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 20, 2019 on open data and the re-use of public sector information (hereinafter the Open Data Directive) came into force. It is to be transposed into German law by two acts, the Act Amending the E-Government Act (2nd E-Government Act) and the Act on the Use of Public Sector Data (Data Use Act). The proposals for the two complementary laws are being litigated in the parliamentary process with a single draft bill (Bundestag Printed Paper 19/27442). Within the German government, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Building and the Home Affairs (2nd eGovernment Act) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Data Utilization Act), each have lead responsibility for one of the two laws. In the Bundestag, the Interior Committee is the lead committee.

The two laws are key components of the German government's open data strategy. In order to offer the interested public the opportunity to ask questions about the draft laws or to discuss them, both (partial) laws were presented on February 22, 2021 and April 30, 2021 in a joint public online event by the Helmholtz Open Science Office and the RDA-DE e.V. by the two responsible heads of department, Eileen Fuchs (BMI) and Andreas Hartl (BMWi).

In both events, the high number of participants, about 170 participants each, highlighted the great interest in this legislation. It also became clear from the lively discussion that many of those affected do not feel sufficiently informed. The legislative process has not yet been completed, although the EU member states are obliged to transpose the Open Data Directive into national law by July 17, 2021.

17. Royal Society sets targets for open access journal conversion

The Royal Society has announced in May 2021 that four of its traditional journals will be fully converted to open access once the proportion of published open access articles increases to 75 %. This commitment will apply to the “hybrid“ journals Biology Letters, Interface, Proceedings A, and Proceedings B. The transition is driven primarily by the expansion of “read-and-publish“ agreements with major research institutions, which allow their research results to be published as open access articles in the Society's journals.

For these journals, the Royal Society will seek the status of “transformative journals” from cOAlition S. This requires a commitment to convert the journals to OA from the 75 % threshold, to introduce transparent pricing and to increase the proportion of OA articles each year (see Newsletter 80).

18. Broad participation of the Helmholtz Open Science Office at the 109th German Librarians' Day (109. Bibliothekartag)

The Helmholtz Open Science Office is represented with several contributions at the 109th Librarians' Day this year, which will take place from June 16-18, 2021:

In the session “Autor*innenidentifikation und ORCID-Monitoring” on Thursday, June 17, from 9:00 a. m. to 10:00 a.m., Antonia Schrader and her colleagues from the ORCID DE project will talk about "Author Identification with ORCID at Scientific Institutions in Interaction with the GND" and present the newly developed ORICD DE monitor.

In the session “Repositorien: Verzeichnis und Betrieb” on Friday, June 18, 1:30 p. m. to 3:00 p. m., Nina Weisweiler will introduce the service re3data - Registry of Research Data Repositories and provide interesting updates from the re3data COREF.

In the session “Gute wissenschaftliche Praxis” on Friday, June 18, from 2:40 p. m. to 3:40 p. m., Lea Maria Ferguson will talk about "Good Research Practice and Open Science: On the Role of Libraries concerning the DFG Code".

Recommended Reading

Ausschuss für Wissenschaftliche Bibliotheken und Informationssysteme der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (2021). Datentracking in der Wissenschaft: Aggregation und Verwendung bzw. Verkauf von Nutzungsdaten durch Wissenschaftsverlage (Informationspapier). Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. https://www.dfg.de/download/pdf/foerderung/programme/lis/datentracking_papier_de.pdf

Fraser, N., Brierley, L., Dey, G., Polka, J. K., Pálfy, M., Nanni, F., & Coates, J. A. (2021). The evolving role of preprints in the dissemination of COVID-19 research and their impact on the science communication landscape. PLOS Biology, 19(4), e3000959. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000959

Hobert, A., Jahn, N., Mayr, P., Schmidt, B., & Taubert, N. (2021). Open access uptake in Germany 2010–2018: Adoption in a diverse research landscape. Scientometrics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11192-021-04002-0

Hrynaszkiewicz, I., Harney, J., & Cadwallader, L. (2021). A survey of code sharing practice and policy in computational biology [OSF Preprints]. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/f73a6

Kreutzer, T., & Lahmann, H. (2021). Rechtsfragen bei Open Science. Ein Leitfaden (2nd ed.). Hamburg University Press. https://doi.org/10.15460/HUP.195

Laakso, M., & Björk, B.-C. (2021). Open access journal publishing in the business disciplines: A closer look at the low uptake and discipline-specific considerations. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 09610006211006769. https://doi.org/10.1177/09610006211006769

Mittermaier, B. (2021). Auswirkungen des „DEAL“ auf das Publikationsverhalten. http://hdl.handle.net/2128/27787 

Weisweiler, N. L. (2021). Im Spannungsfeld zwischen Zweckrationalität und Idealismus – Eine Analyse des Fachdiskurses zu Projekt DEAL mit Fokus auf den Begriff „Open Access“. Bibliothek Forschung und Praxis, 45(1), 163–183. doi.org/10.1515/bfp-2020-0116


The Helmholtz Open Science Newsletter is published by the Helmholtz Open Science Office.

Editorial staff: Roland Bertelmann, Dr. Christoph Bruch, Lea Maria Ferguson, Dr. Reinhard Messerschmidt, Heinz Pampel, Antonia C. Schrader, Dr. Paul Schultze-Motel, and Nina Weisweiler.

Contact: open-science@helmholtz.de

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