Do we need a Community of Open Scholars at Galway?

NUI Galway’s new Open Scholarship Librarian Hardy Schwamm with a few thoughts on an Open Community.

Appetite for Openness?

“Many researchers are interested to adopt Open Science practices in the way they do research.” This the first statement of the OSC Utrecht About page. I think this is true! In my previous role at Lancaster University we did a survey and 86 per cent of Lancaster researchers agreed that Open Research should be an institutional priority. I believe the same survey at NUI Galway would produce similar results.

Connecting Open Enthusiasts

In my first few weeks at NUI Galway (I arrived here in mid-August) I have spoken to quite a few researchers who support Open principles in many different ways. However, it appeared that most of them were not connected to each other. In short, there wasn’t a “community”.

So what to do about it?

A model for Galway? Open Science Communities in the Netherlands

The Netherlands are in many ways leading on Open Scholarship (or Open Science as they call it) in Europe. They have a growing network of Open Science Communities (OSCs) with the Open Science Community Utrecht the first (?) and very active. OSC Utrecht have even written a step-by-step tutorial on how to start your own OSC!

The Galway flavour

So looking at the Utrecht OSC model, can we pull off something similar in Galway? I think yes, that seems like a great way to connect Open enthusiasts, share our knowledge and experience and get others on board!

One of the principles we agreed early on is that this is a Community for all of Galway, not just NUI Galway. We are reaching out to other institutions like GMIT and the Marine Institute and are hopeful that we can build a welcoming Community.

More details will emerge after our first meeting on 25 November 2019. This is an exciting initiative with hopefully lots more to come!