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102nd Helmholtz Open Science Newsletter

Issue of February 07, 2024

1. Recommendations for Open Science Publications in Helmholtz

In line with the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science and the anchoring of open science in German, European, and international science policy, Helmholtz adopted its Open Science Policy in September 2022. The Helmholtz Centers call on their employees to publish research results that they have achieved alone or in collaboration with other researchers as part of their work for Helmholtz according to the principle of intelligent openness – that is, ”as open as possible and as closed as necessary”. This will help ensure that their work results are easily accessible to science, industry, and society with minimal barriers.

An open science culture considers research products such as datasets and code equally important as articles and other text publications. To provide Helmholtz scientists with practical assistance for the open publication of their texts, data and software the Helmholtz Open Science Office has developed recommendations for open science publications in Helmholtz. The document contains useful hints, references and information on the open science requirements at Helmholtz and the requirements of selected funding organizations. In addition, a handout on preprints has been developed concerning textual publications, which provides suggestions for dealing with preprints and illustrates best practices from the Helmholtz Association.

The recommendations are available here: https://doi.org/10.48440/os.helmholtz.068

The handout on preprints at Helmholtz can be found here: https://doi.org/10.48440/os.helmholtz.069

2. Transform2Open Workshop Report on Transformative Journal Contracts with Publication Service Providers

As part of the DFG project Transform2Open, the Helmholtz Open Science Office is working with the project partners - the Central Library of Forschungszentrum Jülich and the University Library of the University of Potsdam - to further develop and internationalize the Alliance's Recommendations for Transformative Journal Contracts with Publication Service Providers into an internationally applicable catalog of criteria. The recommendations had originally been developed as part of the Open Access Strategy of the Alliance of German Science Organizations. To prepare this planned further development, Transform2Open hosted an online workshop on October 16, 2023, inviting GASCO members from German institutions, members of the Forum 13+ working group, research funders (German Research Foundation) and the authors of the Alliance paper. Together, challenges in the implementation of the recommendations, potentially missing aspects as well as existing best practices were identified. In addition, valuable ideas and processes for the further development of the recommendations were discussed. A report documents the event: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10379825 . The findings will be presented to the Alliance of German Science Organizations for the further development of the recommendations.

3. Further Development of the oa.finder

Scientists who want to publish their research results in open access are often faced with the question of how to find a suitable journal for their manuscript. The online tool oa.finder, which has been developed at Bielefeld University Library as part of the BMBF-funded open-access.network project, can help with this. The search takes into account criteria such as open access, academic discipline, thematic suitability as well as the amount of potential publication fees.

In the current second funding phase of open-access.network, oa.finder has been further developed, including the option to search for publishers publishing open access books. Other new features include sorting options according to preference for diamond or "scholar-led" open access and the addition of new transformation contracts. The oa.finder database on journals and open access at German academic institutions is updated on an ongoing basis.

4. KIT Library Introduces the Open-Source Library Management System Koha

The use of proprietary software often entails the risk of dependencies on companies for maintenance, servicing, and further development of the used systems. This also applies to libraries and other information institutions, which are dependent on integrated library management systems from few commercial providers to fulfill their tasks. The library of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is now the first university library in Germany to switch to the open source library system Koha. Without external funding, the migration from an in-house developed solution to one of the world's most widespread community-based library management systems was achieved in 20 months of project-time. The KIT Library is thus not only in good Koha company worldwide, but also in the Helmholtz Association, where the Library of the Wissenschaftspark Albert Einstein (c/o GFZ) and the library of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), among others, have already been successfully using the open source solution for some time.

5. OpenAlex: Open Catalog of the Global Research System

In April 2022, we presented OpenAlex as part of an online seminar (Factsheet accompanying the event). The initiative has since developed very positively and is well on the way to actually becoming the open catalog for the global academic system. The search and filter options are constantly being expanded, and it is now a good idea to use the link to OpenAlex as a standard search tool, for example to link prominently on library pages in order to make this open infrastructure more widely visible. For example, CNRS recently withdrew from a subscription to the Elsevier service Scopus with reference to OpenAlex, and the Sorbonne argued similarly with regard to the termination of the Web of Science. Furthermore, infrastructures such as the OA Monitor now also use OpenAlex as a source.

6. PID4NFDI Launched for the Implementation of Persistent Identifiers for the National Research Data Infrastructure

In January 2024, the one-year launch phase of the NFDI-wide basic service PID4NFDI (Persistent Identifier Services for the German National Research Data Infrastructure) was officially launched with the participation of DataCite, GWDG Göttingen, TIB Hannover, and the Helmholtz Open Science Office. PIDs are of crucial importance for FAIR research data management, as they provide a permanent and unique reference to publications and research information. PID-related metadata support their findability, reusability and reproducibility.

The various disciplines and NFDI consortia are at different stages of development in the implementation of PIDs. PID4NFDI will address these challenges and develop a work program for the development of an NFDI basic service on established PID infrastructures based on case studies. PID4NFDI and the PID Network Germany will work closely together in this endeavor. The PID4NFDI project will present itself as part of the NFDItalks on February 19, 2024.

7. News from PID Network Germany

The first events of the PID Network Germany project, in which the Helmholtz Open Science Office, DataCite, the German National Library (DNB), the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB), and Bielefeld University Library are involved, have been successfully completed. The results of the online seminar on PIDs for individuals, which took place on October 19, 2023, can now be found on the event page (in German). The documentation of the workshop on PIDs for text publications, which took place on September 27, 2023, as part of the Open Access Days in Berlin, has also been published on Zenodo (in German).

Next month, on March 20, 2024, the next on-site workshop will take place in Bielefeld and focus on "PIDs for open access publication services and research information systems". Further information on the program and registration options can be found on the event website (in German). Registration is still possible until February 26, 2024. Those who cannot attend on-site have the opportunity to follow the presentations online.

Our colleagues have also authored a guest article for the DINI AG FIS & EPUB blog (in German) summarizing the first half year of the project period.

8. PIDfest - Call for Submissions until February 26, 2024

From June 11 to 13, 2024, the PIDfest will take place in Prague (Czech Republic). The conference serves as an international summit of talks, activities and workshops focusing on the use, application and challenges of persistent identifiers (PIDs) in the global research landscape. For the second day of the conference, submissions for 30- and 60-minute sessions consisting of presentations and panel discussions on various PID topics can be submitted from now until February 26, 2024 (more information here). The conference is organized by the National Library of Technology (Prague) and the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). The Helmholtz Open Science Office is involved in the program committee of the PIDfest through its participation in the DFG project PID Network Germany. We look forward to receiving numerous submissions!

9. Five Years of Research Organization Registry (ROR)

As of January 2024, the Research Organization Registry (ROR) marks five years since its establishment. Since its foundation, the global, community-led registry became one of the central services for the provision of an open persistent identifier for research organizations (ROR ID). ROR makes it easy for anyone or any system to disambiguate institutional names and connect research organizations with researchers and research outputs. The recognition of ROR is reflected in the use of ROR’s API (27 million requests per month at the end of 2023), as well as, in the discontinuation of the GRID database in favor of ROR in 2021. To celebrate the anniversary, numerous events were organized to reflect on the past years and discuss the future of ROR together with the participants. The recordings of the events will soon be available on the website.

The "PID Network Germany" project also supports the use of ROR and focuses on the PID system in its work. Find out more here.

10. Participation of the Helmholtz Open Science Office at the Love Data Week 2024

The Helmholtz Open Science Office will be active with various contributions around the International Love Data Week 2024 from February 12 to 16, 2024.

Helmholtz employees have the opportunity to participate in the Helmholtz Open Science Forum "Towards Open Digital Research Ecosystems – Interconnecting Infrastructures" on February 14, 2024 from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm. The event will focus on the integration of open digital infrastructures and their crucial role in the entire research cycle. They support literature research, help with data collection and analysis, facilitate the creation and publication of scientific papers and ensure thorough documentation and long-term storage of research results. You can register for the forum here.

On February 15, 2024 from 1:00 to 4:30 pm the DFG project PID Network Deutschland will organize an online seminar on PIDs for research data. In addition to keynote speeches on best practices and concrete use cases for the persistent addressing of research data, needs and challenges will be discussed in an interactive session. More information can be found here.

Following the Love Data Week, RDA Deutschland e.V., in cooperation with the Helmholtz Open Science Office and the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, is organizing the RDA Germany Conference 2024. Registration for the face-to-face event, from February 20 to 21, 2024 at the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, is open.

11. White Paper on a Vision for Helmholtz Quality Indicators for Data and Software Products Published

International initiatives such as the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) or the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) focus on the inclusion of recognition of the diverse practices and activities in research in the assessment systems for the evaluation of research. Considerations on the further development of simplifying metrics and indicators (e.g., number of scientific articles, journal impact factors) are fundamental to this. The Helmholtz Association has already introduced the test integration of citable research data and research software publications into its internal key performance indicator system in 2022. In addition, the Helmholtz Open Science Policy also stipulates that this indicator is to be replaced in the medium term by a Helmholtz quality indicator for research data and research software publications.

The Task Group Helmholtz Quality Indicators for Data and Software Products is working on a corresponding concept. Authors from the task group have now set out the vision, concept and challenges of quality indicators in a white paper published on the arXiv preprint platform and encourage the community to discuss them. A regular publication of the approach in a relevant journal is planned. The outlined approach pursues three main goals in the sense of CoARA and other initiatives: 1) to create awareness and appreciation for the diversity of research output; 2) to align the assessment of research and research practice to the conditions of digitalization and openness of science, and c) as a stimulus and incentive for scientists to improve their data and software publications related to specific quality criteria, and thus, to improve the quality and trustworthiness of science as a whole.

12. Launch of New Tool: DORA Reformscape

The initiative Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) has recently launched their new tool DORA Reformscape (as part of Project TARA). DORA is committed to supporting the development of new policies and practices for responsible research assessment. DORA Reformscape is a curated, searchable collection of criteria and standards for hiring, review, promotion, and tenure from academic institutions. Institutions can add information on what they are doing to transform research assessment and by sharing this information inspire others as well as discover new developments themselves. Further information and FAQs.

13. "Health Data Use Act" and "Act to Accelerate the Digitization of the Healthcare System" - Balancing Between Promoting Research and Protecting Privacy

On 14 December 2023, the German Bundestag passed the Health Data Usage Act (GDNG) and the Act to Accelerate the Digitalization of the Healthcare System (Digital Act - DigiG). A central point of the first law is the replacement of patients' consent to the use of their data with an objection procedure. The second law focuses on the mandatory introduction of electronic patient records. Here too, the changeover will take place without obtaining the patient's consent. Patients are merely given the opportunity to object.

The increased use of data - in this case patient data - is intended both to provide economic impetus and to help solve urgent medical problems. A legal framework should ensure that the use of data, in particular personal data, is in line with European values. The Conference of Independent Federal and State Data Protection Supervisory Authorities had clearly criticized the Health Data Usage Act during the legislative process. Five members of the Bundestag from Bündnis90/Die Grünen refused to approve the drafts of both laws due to privacy concerns.

The benefits of facilitating the use of patient data for commercial and non-commercial research and how patients will react to the new legal situation cannot be predicted at present.

14. Retrospective: 2nd Helmholtz Open Science Forum on Open Science and Transfer

On January 22, 2024, the Helmholtz Open Science Office hosted the second virtual Helmholtz Open Science Forum on Open Science and Transfer. The approximately 75 participants at the internal Helmholtz event were given exciting insights into current projects and initiatives relating to transfer to society, business and industry, including an overview of Helmholtz initiatives for citizen participation in research projects (Citizen Science) and the successful practical implementation of Open Hardware projects. The forum focused in particular on the aspect that open science practices and exploitation (as an aspect of transfer) are not mutually exclusive, contrary to what is often assumed. In this context, the extensive collection of good practices, tools and other helpful information from the BMBF project Softwert on the successful exploitation of research software should be particularly emphasized. Particularly with their deal database, the project team from the Helmholtz Centers Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases e.V. (DZNE) and Saarland University offer an exciting compendium of successfully completed software-related transfer cases in mutual exchange.

Save the Dates

  • September 10 to 12, 2024,  Cologne

    The Open Access Days are the central annual conference on Open Access and Open Science in the German-speaking area. They will take place from September 10 to 12,…

  • 18.-19. September 2024

    Die 25. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Initiative für Netzwerkinformation (DINI) findet an der Universität Potsdam statt und steht unter dem Motto "Gemeinsame Infrastrukturen für…

  • 30. September and 1. October 2024 in Dresden

    You can expect a varied programme consisting of presentations on current topics in the field of open source hardware, interactive workshops, discussion…

  • 21-23 October 2024

    The EOSC Symposium 2024 will be a decisive event on the path to EOSC post-2027. It is a key event to network and exchange ideas with policy makers, funders, and representatives of…

Recommended Reading

Belliard, F., Maineri, A. M., Plomp, E., Padilla, A. F. R., Sun, J., & Jeddi, M. Z. (2023). Ten simple rules for starting FAIR discussions in your community. PLOS Computational Biology, 19(12), e1011668. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1011668

Dilger, H., Eid, M., Gresser, A., Gross, C., Heuer, J.-O., Lüdtke, O., Matiaske, W., Seelkopf, L., Strübing, J., & Eilers, M. (2023). Research data management for small research projects. A practical guide (RatSWD Output Series 7. Appointment Period No. 3). German Data Forum (RatSWD). https://doi.org/10.17620/02671.84

Frisch, K. (2023). Wie Forschungsdatenmanagement und gute wissenschaftliche Praxis voneinander profitieren. Zeitschrift für Bibliothekswesen und Bibliographie, 70(6), 318–325. https://doi.org/10.3196/186429502370653https://doi.org/10.3196/186429502370653

Hourlay, L. (2023). Improving the visibility of the institution, researchers, and publications by introducing specific identifiers (PIDs). JEAHIL [Internet]. https://doi.org/10.32384/jeahil19579

Koenig, M. (2023) Zur Reform der Forschungsbewertung: Initiativen und Perspektiven. In Beiträge zur Hochschulforschung 2023(2), 92-98. ISSN (Online) 2567-8841, Link to article

Meistring, M., & Ferguson, L. M. (2023). Satelliten-Konferenz „Wissenschaftsgeleitetes Open- Access-Publizieren“ zu den Open-Access-Tagen 2023 am 26. September 2023. o-bib - das offene Bibliotheksjournal, 10(4), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.5282/o-bib/6001

Shearer, K., Nakano Koga, S. M., Rodrigues, E., Manola, N., Pronk, M., & Proudman, V. (2023). Current state and future directions for open repositories in Europe. Report. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.10255559

Strecker, D., Pampel, H., Schabinger, R., & Weisweiler, N. L. (2023). Disappearing repositories: Taking an infrastructure perspective on the long-term availability of research data. Quantitative Science Studies, 4(4), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1162/qss_a_00277

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Hrsg.) (2023). Open science outlook 1: status and trends around the world. https://doi.org/10.54677/GIIC6829

Weisweiler, N. L., Bertelmann, R., Bruch, C., Ferguson, L. M., Genderjahn, S., Meistring, M., Messerschmidt, L., Pampel, H., Schrader, A. C., Schultze-Motel, P. (2023): Helmholtz Open Science Briefing: Recommendations for open science publications in the Helmholtz Association. https://doi.org/10.48440/os.helmholtz.068

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