The Annual Meeting of CARMEN – The Worldwide Medieval Network – took place from the 26th until the 28th of August, hosted by the University of Tampere in Finland. The theme of the event was: “Passages: Beyond the Boundaries of Medieval Studies”. Not only does this perspective bear a strong resemblance to the PARTHENOS cross-disciplinary approach, but it also relates well to the ideal that data should be accessible “beyond boundaries”. For these reasons, this proved to be a great opportunity for a PARTHENOS workshop on Open Science, chaired by Dr. Ulrike Wuttke of University of Applied Sciences Potsdam (FHP).
Over the past days, the topic of Open Access has gained an increasing amount of media attention, due to the launch of ‘Plan S’ and ‘cOAlition S’. Under this initiative, a consortium of funding bodies will work closely together towards the goal of all public funded European research to be published in such a way that every interested citizen can access and read it. As a cluster project, PARTHENOS is in the unique position to play an important role in the creation of awareness around the topic of Open Access among a variety of disciplines in the broad sector of the Humanities and Cultural Heritage.
The PARTHENOS workshop on Open Science was made up of three parts. The first consisted of a lecture, in which the concepts of Open Access to scientific publications and Open Data & Research Data Management were explained and communication and dissemination methods were presented in-depth, such as social networks and blogs. The second part was a call for action. This part of the workshop consisted of a discussion in small groups about the uptake of specific methods and tools presented in the first part (among other approaches, the use of Twitter and the creation of research project videos were discussed). The third and last part of the session was a plenary brainstorming session about what needs to change for Open Access and Open Science to become a reality among medievalists. An interesting list of crucial action points was identified, which included (among others): awareness raising, education and a paradigm shift within the scholarly community. For example, scholars need to be aware of all the “closed” and Open Access options and students need to be taught digital literacy skills. Another important question is why a significant number of researchers chooses for a closed journal, rather than for an open access format, for their work to be published in. If the prestige that comes with publishing in established journals is the reason for this, a discussion on why that traditional model is so persistent is in order.
For a more detailed overview, we highly recommend reading Dr. Wuttke’s blog post.
The workshop slides are available can be downloaded from Zenodo (PPTX) and used for related training activities:
The PARTHENOS project Work Package 7 (Skills, Professional Development and Advancement), led by Dr. Jennifer Edmond, has recently launched with input from within PARTHENOS and beyond the training module “Manage, Improve and Open Up Your Research Data”. This module covers divers aspects of opening up research practices, sharing and preserving research data in the context of Humanities and Cultural Heritage. The training materials, such as videos and presentation slides, are also available for lecturers and trainers to use in their own courses. This module and many others can be accessed from the PARTHENOS Training Suite at: http://training.parthenos-project.eu.