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OPENing UP new methods, indicators and tools for peer review, impact measurement and dissemination of research results

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - OpenUP (OPENing UP new methods, indicators and tools for peer review, impact measurement and dissemination of research results)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2018-11-30

Open Access, Open Science, Open Scholarship accompanied by sharing enabling technologies, have revolutionized the way scholarly artefacts are evaluated, published and assessed. These developments have also changed the requirements and practices of the stakeholders involved in the research process. The exponentially growing research output, the increasing demand for a more open, transparent and reproducible science, as well as apparent shortcomings in present quality assurance and evaluation methods require re-thinking how the quality of research products is assessed. Traditional ways of publication and evaluation do not satisfy the needs of this changing landscape.
The review-disseminate-assess cycle of the scientific research is a multifaceted process involving different stakeholders, including publishers, researchers, funders, policy makers, industry and citizens. OpenUP aspired to facilitate the process of bringing all these stakeholders for an open dialogue to identify and spread the review-disseminate-assess mechanisms fit for the evolving practices of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in an Open Science context. Through analysis, consultation ans hands-on engagement of the stakeholders, OpenUP aimed to a) set a framework that defines roles and processes, benefits and opportunities for take up of novel practices, b) validate the proposed mechanisms through a series of pilots involving researchers from four scientific communities, and c) come up with practical policy recommendations to be used by EU, national and institutional policymakers at different settings. OpenUP also aimed to engage stakeholders via a series of outreach and training events, and creation of an OpenUP Hub, a collaborative web-based Knowledge Base of open tools/services, methodologies, best practices from various disciplines or settings and success stories. Through a bottom-up and community-driven approach OpenUP has successfully mobilised the stakeholders in debate on and promotion of more open practices in peer review, research dissemination and alternative impact measurement. The project partners also derived policy recommendations and actions targeting the key stakeholders of the review-disseminate-access cycle.
OpenUP addressed key aspects and challenges of the currently transforming science landscape in terms of quality assurance of scientific publications, communication of scientific outputs, and impact assessment with a focus on Open Science. It mapped out and promoted new solutions that better suit the needs of researchers, innovators, the public and funding bodies. Through analysis, consultation, hands-on stakeholder engagement, OpenUP:
- developed frameworks that define methods, roles and processes, benefits and opportunities for uptake of open peer review, innovative research dissemination and impact measurement methods
- built an interactive knowledge-base, the OpenUP Hub that hosts information, toolkits, guidelines and other resources on peer review, research dissemination and alternative metrics
- validated the proposed mechanisms through pilots involving researchers from four scientific communities - Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities and Energy
- derived practical policy recommendations to be used by EU, national and institutional policymakers, publishers, libraries, research funders, community-based initiatives and alternative metrics providers.
OpenUP methodology involved several stages. The first project year was dedicated to primary research such as landscaping and surveying. Project partners conducted structured analyses of the three key project topics - peer review, research dissemination and alternative metrics. These efforts resulted in broad and indepth overviews of the topics addressing the latest developments in the areas. In addition, OpenUP research team surveyed researchers across Europe on peer review, innovative dissemination and altmetrics. The anonymised data of the survey are openly available.
The second project stage OpenUP piloted and validated initial findings. Seven pilots were implemented testing aspects of the review-disseminate-assess cycle in different scientific communities. OpenUP also organised a high-level expert workshop in Brussels and several validation workshops to bring all the relevant stakeholders together to discuss and provide feedback for OpenUP’s interim results. All the project's activities fed into the formation of the OpenUP policy recommendations. In parallel, all research outputs were captured and made publicly available via the OpenUP Hub. The OpenUP consortium implemented various dissemination activities and events, including presence on social media, blogging, participation in and organisation of conferences, poster presentations, as well as training and workshop organisation.
Open scholarship can greatly contribute to a universal access to knowledge for anyone across the globe, including lower-resource countries. Open Science can also facilitate reuse of scientific information and foster innovation and creation of new products and services. OpenUP has built an advanced and shared knowledge base as well as collaborative network that will support the transformation towards more open scholarship across Europe. During the project, the OpenUP team established OpenUP Hub, a knowledge base of peer review, innovative dissemination and alternative metrics by delivering overview of the key developments in these areas. The OpenUP Hub platform serves as the reference point for the community regarding issues related to the review-assessment-dissemination phases of the research lifecycle. The project partners also built up a collaborative network by producing dissemination material and engaging interested communities through the seven pilots, events and dissemination channels and raising awareness on the proposed open science approaches. The pilots successfully connected and collaborated with the targeted communities, empowering them to apply and adopt innovative open science approaches relevant to the review-assessment-dissemination aspects. The OpenUP project organised Open Science events and conferences. An indicative example is the Open Science Fair 2017, which was the first out of a series of conference for all topics related to Open Science, organised by OpenUP in liaison with three EU funded projects (OpenAIRE, FOSTER and OpenMinTeD). OpenUP used the social media channels to share news about the project, but also to open the discussion on important aspects of Open Science, Research and Innovation and gender in science. More than 1.780 digital community members (OS and R&I stakeholders and projects) are following our activity. Through its activities, OpenUP presented opportunities for implementation of more transparent quality assurance processes and impact measurements that can be applied to all kinds of dissemination and communication processes. In addition, through an array of engagement activities (workshops, dissemination activities and the Final OpenUP conference), OpenUP had a significant impact on several sectors and stakeholders: academic communities, researchers, publishers, funders, but also the general public.