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99th Helmholtz Open Science Newsletter

Issue of August 09, 2023

1. Open Access Share in Helmholtz Increases to 81 %

The share of open access publications in Helmholtz continues to rise: 81 % of journal articles published by Helmholtz Centers in the publication year of 2021 are open access (OA). This means that the goal of an OA quota for Helmholtz of at least 80 % by the end of 2022, which had been decided in 2016, has been achieved. The open access share of the Helmholtz Centers is surveyed annually by the Helmholtz Open Science Office. The Helmholtz Open Science Policy describes future open access targets. For more information, visit our Open Access web page.

2. Trilogue Negotiations of Data Act Concluded Successfully

At the end of June 2023, the trilogue negotiations on the Data Act (original proposal) were successfully concluded. The text of the agreement reached is not yet publicly available. The Act aims to regulate access rights to data, especially in the context of the Internet of Things. The EU Commission is thus implementing a further point of its data strategy, published in February 2020. The EU Commission is currently concerned with strengthening the interests of smaller market participants. For public authorities, the law creates the possibility of accessing data under the control of private companies in exceptional circumstances. Among the regulations that also have direct significance for consumers is the obligation of cloud service providers to ensure that their customers or their data can switch to other providers in a technically seamless manner. Ole-Christian Tech provides a helpful overview of the legislations and legislative projects of the European Commission in the context of data law in the current issue of DFN-Infobrief Recht (available in German only).

3. Swedish EU Presidency: Call for investment in open science and research data management

A priority of the recently concluded Swedish EU Presidency was to promote the reuse of research data. These efforts culminated in the conference “The potential of research data - How research infrastructures support new opportunities and benefits for society“ (June 19 to 20, 2023) and in the “Lund Declaration on Maximising the Benefits of Research Data“. The declaration once again emphasizes the conviction that a more comprehensive reuse of research data holds great potential for solving major societal challenges and for strengthening Europe's innovative capacity. Based on this assessment, the ministers call for the promotion of open science and investment in the necessary infrastructure.

4. Research Data Act: Discussion Impulse from the RfII

With its “Discussion Impulse: Requirements for the Design of a Research Data Act and a Data Institute“ (German version only), the German Council for Scientific Information Infrastructures (RfII) once again comments on a legislative project of the Federal Government, the exact contents of which are still unclear. In its coalition agreement, the government coalition – in line with the Lund Declaration on Maximising the Benefits of Research Data – agreed to pass a research data law. The objective of the legislative project, the promotion of the subsequent use of research data, is clear. Exactly which obstacles need to be cleared away for this and which instruments are most suitable for this purpose are less clear. For this reason, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), which has the lead responsibility in the federal government, has already conducted a written survey. The RfII's current statement, which supplements the RfII’s answers given in the BMBF survey, is worth reading because it identifies many issues (e.g., lack of legal certainty when linking data, licensing of data, as well as problems of delimiting personal and non-personal data) that should be taken into account in shaping the law.

5. Extension of the Evaluation Criteria ERC Work Program 2024

The new ERC’s 2024 Work Programme has been adopted by the European Commission in July 2023; it details the annual Work Programme for the European Research Council (ERC) funded by the European Union’s Horizon Europe Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The plan includes new elements in the assessment of research proposals and candidates’ CVs, as well as in the evaluation process. The programme also makes changes in the structure of evaluation panels. In addition to traditional bibliographic information, clarifications of "research products" are explicitly expected; these can also go beyond traditional publications, for example including research data, research software, or other contributions: “[…] the applicant will be expected to include – apart from standard biographical information – a list of up to ten research outputs that demonstrate how they have advanced knowledge in their field” (for further information, see press release).

6. NFDI Fund Basic Service Application for Persistent Identifier – PID4NFDI

The Consortia Assembly of the NFDI Association decided in its meeting on July, 7, 2023 to fund two basic service applications. In addition to “TS4NFDI“ (Terminology Services 4 NFDI), whose goal will be to standardize and harmonize terminology management within NFDI, the application of “PID4NFDI“ (Persistent Identifier Services for the German National Research Data Infrastructure) was accepted for funding.

The goal of the one-year initialization phase is to develop a common PID strategy for the NFDI through use case analysis and requirements engineering that captures existing solutions and requirements of the NFDI consortia. The PID4NFDI work program draws on proven PID infrastructure, experience, and materials. Among other things, a close cooperation between PID4NFDI and PID Network Germany is planned. Project partners in PID4NFDI are DataCite, the Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliche Datenverarbeitung Göttingen (GWDG), the Helmholtz Open Science Office, and TIB – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Technik und Naturwissenschaften und Universitätsbibliothek.

You can learn more here and at the first NFDI Conference on Research Data Infrastructures (CoRDI) in Karlsruhe. Our colleague Antonia Schrader will refer to the projects in this context in her presentation “Isn't a number and a URL enough? Why PIDs matter and technical solutions alone are not sufficient.“ on September 14, 2023, at 10:30 am.

7. FAIR for Jupyter Notebooks: A Practical Guide

The initiative Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) has published a practical guide with recommendations for adhering to FAIR principles in terms of discoverability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability of Jupyter notebooks. Jupyter notebooks are widely used in research and data science, but there are some challenges to making them FAIR for users and creators.

8. Helmholtz Incubator Software Award: Call

The President of the Helmholtz Association announces a new award, the Helmholtz Incubator Software Award. The call is open to members of Helmholtz Centers and is open until September 30, 2023. The award is intended to promote the development of professional and high-quality research software and to recognize the commitment to software as the foundation of modern Data Science. The call for proposals fits into the manifold activities in the Helmholtz centers for the implementation of the Helmholtz Open Science Policy.

9. New Supercomputer for the Innovation Laboratory hessian.AI at GSI

A new supercomputer for cutting-edge AI research has been inaugurated at the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research. The “fourtytwo“ is operated by the Innovation Laboratory of the Hessian Center for Artificial Intelligence (hessian.AI) at GSI's water-cooled Green IT Cube, one of the most sustainable computing infrastructures in the world in terms of energy use. The TU Darmstadt project, which is funded with around 10 million euros, serves as a contact point for companies, startups, and science with the central goal of providing access to an AI supercomputer infrastructure. Here, AI systems and applications can be developed, trained, tested, and evaluated. In addition, the reproducibility of scientific results and processes will be supported by integrating infrastructures for research data, software, and documentation in an interoperable manner into a modular digital research environment.

10. MetaROR – Science-owned Communication Channels in Science and Technology Studies

In the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies (STS), the initiative MetaResearch Open Review (MetaROR) aims to open up scholarly communication by addressing current challenges such as limited access to literature, the lack of community ownership, as well as limited openness of research methods. MetaROR aims to follow approaches similar to those of “Review Commons“ and “Peer Community In“ and does not aim to become a scientific journal itself. Following the “publish-review-curate“ model, MetaROR will coordinate the review of manuscripts published via preprint servers in a type of overlay concept and will subsequently publish an editorial evaluation. With this concept, MetaROR aims at an accelerated and more open scientific communication. This will not stand in the way of publishing in a scientific journal. Rather, partnerships are to be formed with relevant journals, which can make use of the reviews carried out via MetaROR to accelerate their own publication process. For the implementation of the idea, cooperation with technology providers is planned. The ownership of MetaROR will remain in the hands of the academic communities.

11. PID Network Germany: Upcoming Workshops and Online Seminars

As part of the PID Network Germany project, a series of on-site workshops and online seminars with a total of ten use cases of PIDs will be offered over the project run-time until 2026. The kick off will be a face-to-face workshop on “PIDs for text publications“, which will take place on September 27, 2023, as part of the Open Access Days in Berlin. On March 20, 2024, an on-site workshop on “PIDs for Open Access Publication Services and Research Information Systems“ will be organized at the University Library in Bielefeld. Furthermore, the dates for the first online events have been set: On October 19, 2023 (afternoon), an online seminar on “PIDs for Individuals“ will take place. And on February 15, 2024 (afternoon), an online seminar on “PIDs for Research Data“ will be organized as part of Love Data Week. More information will be communicated in a timely manner via the PID Dialog mailing list.

12. Retrospective: CERN/NASA Open Science Summit

On the occasion of the Year of Open Science 2023 declared in the US, CERN and NASA hosted a conference from July 10 to 14, 2023 focusing on open science policies under the title “Accelerating the Adoption of Open Science“. Helmholtz was able to contribute to the success of the conference by serving on the program committee. In a productive mixture of lectures and panel discussions (which were also recorded online) in the mornings, and discussions in small groups among the participants on site at CERN in the afternoons, there was an intensive exchange on the content of open science policies and implementation strategies. Discussion focused on open research data, open research software, open hardware, and related topics such as research evaluation and reproducibility, among others. Recordings of the presentations and panel discussion are available, slides can be found on Zenodo. The final talk by Tim Smith (CERN) gives an encompassing summary of the week (video recording).

13. Retroperspective: Third Helmholtz Open Science Forum on the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI)

The Helmholtz Open Science Office arranged the third Helmholtz Open Science Forum on the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) on June 22, 2023. The objective of this event was to offer insights into the NFDI activities within the Helmholtz Association. Multiple Centers demonstrated their engagement in different NFDI consortia, shared their experiences about synergies and exchange between different stakeholders. The presentations provided impulses for discussion regarding future and long-term development in the provision of infrastructures and service offerings, as well as cross-NFDI networking. The documentation of the forum will soon be available on the event page.

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

Borrego, Á. (2023). Article processing charges for open access journal publishing: A review. Learned Publishing, 36(3), 359-378. https://doi.org/10.1002/leap.1558)

Borycz, J., Olendorf, R., Specht, A., Grant, B., Crowston, K., Tenopir, C., Allard, S., Rice, N. M., Hu, R., & Sandusky, R. J. (2023). Perceived benefits of open data are improving but scientists still lack resources, skills, and rewards. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 10(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-023-01831-7

Champieux, R., Solomonides, A., Conte, M., Rojevsky, S., Phuong, J., Dorr, D. A., Zampino, E., Wilcox, A., Carson, M. B., & Holmes, K. (2023). Ten simple rules for organizations to support research data sharing. PLOS Computational Biology, 19(6), e1011136. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1011136

Frick, C., Blümm, M., Randall, N., Küçük, B., & Bailey, D. (2023). A reality check on research reproducibility in Open Science students’ projects. API Magazin, 4(2). https://doi.org/10.15460/apimagazin.2023.4.2.144

Labastida i Juan, I., Melinščak Zlodi, I., Proudman, V., & Treadway, J. (2023). Opening knowledge: retaining rights  and open licensing in Europe. SPARC Europe. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.8084051

Martin, L., & Neufend, M. (2023). Zukunftsmusik oder State of the Art – Experimentelle Formate für Bücher? Bericht zur Erhebung. open-access.network Report. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7990568

Mittermaier, B. (2023). DEAL: Wo stehen wir nach 10 Jahren? (Teil 2). b.i.t. online, 26(3), 217–225. https://b-i-t-online.de/heft/2023-03-fachbeitrag-mittermaier.pdf

Taubert, N., Sterzik, L., & Bruns, A. (2023). Mapping the German diamond open access journal landscape. arXiv. https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2306.13080

Wrzesinski, M. (Hrsg.) (2023). Wissenschaftsgeleitetes Publizieren. Sechs Handreichungen mit Praxistipps und Perspektiven. Alexander von Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.8169418

Yee, M., Surkis, A., Lamb, I., & Contaxis, N. (2023). The NYU Data Catalog: a modular, flexible infrastructure for data discovery. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. https://doi.org/10.1093/jamia/ocad125

Ziemann, M., Poulain, P., & Bora, A. (2023). The five pillars of computational reproducibility: Bioinformatics and beyond. OSF Preprints. https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/4pd9n

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