Theme: Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge
Graphics (incl. posters): http://www.openaccessweek.org/page/graphics
Events: Please also register you event at http://openaccessweek.org/events
Theme: Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge
Graphics (incl. posters): http://www.openaccessweek.org/page/graphics
Events: Please also register you event at http://openaccessweek.org/events
The programmes for IDW2018 are now online available!
Please support the African Open Science Platform Session on Skills-development in an increasingly data-driven science environment: an African perspective
Date: Tuesday 6 Nov. 2018
Time: 14:00 – 15:30
Venue: Gaborone International Convention Centre (The Grand Palm). Meeting room to be confirmed.
Please revisit the online programme regularly to monitor changes/new info added by the organisers.
The AOSP session has 8 papers:
AOSP is looking forward welcoming all to this very important event, putting research data high on the agenda of all stakeholders!
As part of the deliverables of the African Open Science Platform, frameworks are being developed to guide governments in countries in Africa towards trusted and responsible data curation. The timeline for the frameworks:
The draft frameworks will be subjected to various peer-review rounds following 15 January 2019. The developers of the frameworks/coordinators are:
The 69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting gives 500 to 600 outstanding young scientists the opportunity to discuss key questions in physics with 30 Nobel laureates. In 2019, the focus will be on cosmology, particle physics and quantum technology. Young scientists across Africa are encouraged to source funding and to also apply to attend this prestigious meeting.
The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DST), will be seeking and supporting South African candidates to participate in the 2019 Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting to be held from 30 June to 5 July 2019 in Lindau, Germany.
The 69th Meeting of Nobel Laureates will be dedicated to Physics. The meeting will be attended by Nobel Laureates in Physics and about 600 highly-talented young scientists from across the world.
As part of a Roadshow to create awareness, and to encourage young scientists to apply, AOSP participated and presented key notes on Open Science during the various interactions with the universities, creating more awareness of Open Science locally. Open Science includes the whole spectrum of openness – from open data repositories, to open access institutional repositories and open access scholarly journals, such as the journals listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). The events were financially sponsored by the ASSAf International and National Liaison Office. Inquiries can be directed to Ms Edith Shikumo at email@example.com
AOSP presentation during the third seminar in the Innovation for Inclusive Development (IID) series. The seminars are hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The information collected and the recommendations made will be used to inform and influence government policy via the DST.
Presented by Ina Smith, African Open Science Platform
The African Open Science Platform project aims to understand policies related to open science and open data on the continent. The project also considers infrastructure, capacity building and incentives. Research data inform government policies and decisions, and government data inform research. Access to quality data is increasingly important. Without data, one is just another person with an opinion.
Governments use taxpayers’ money and therefore need to build transparency, accountability and trust, much of which can be achieved through the correct management of open data. An example of this was the follow-up to the Ebola outbreak in Africa. Foreign national health and aid workers came to Africa and collected much data on the outbreak, which they took home with them when they left. Only after the outbreak was under control was there a call for good open data from researchers for use in possible future outbreaks. Collecting data is expensive, so re-using data and building on existing data is essential. Another example was the case of the high incidence of species substitution and mislabelling detected in meat products sold in South Africa. Unfortunately the complete research results were not made available to the public. Citizens have the right to see this type of data in order to make their own informed decisions.
Open data will streamline the dissemination of information, including the sharing of information between government departments. Open access will help democratise the country through the provision of equal access to all, and will provide information for better decision-making by policy-makers. Access to open data enables the targeting of resources, but deep understanding of how to curate valuable data resources is essential. To maximise the usefulness of data, it is essential that it is well curated, as open as possible, and as closed as necessary.
In order to address global challenges, international collaboration and the sharing of government data is very important. Unfortunately South Africa is lagging in this regard. The documents on the South Africa National Data Portal were uploaded in 2015 and nothing has been added since then. The Open Data Institute publishes some government information in their report Supporting sustainable development with open data, and also shows many examples of how data can help countries address socio-economic challenges.
Delegates were encouraged to attend International Data Week in Gaborone, Botswana from 5–8 November 2018. Information on the event is available at www.scidatacon.org/IDW2018/.
As part of its commitment to African STI cooperation, South Africa – through the African Open Science Platform (AOSP) project – is working towards the advancement of the open science agenda elsewhere on the continent and within regional frameworks, along with many other stakeholders. AOSP plays a strategic role, through which African-wide development and coordination of data policies, data training and data infrastructure, are leveraged, with the support of the SA Dept. of Science and Technology and the SA National Research Foundation (NRF). Valuable networks were established this far, and there is great support for future collaboration among those networks.
AOSP is currently heading towards the end of Year 2 of its 3-year term. A landscape study has been conducted, frameworks are being developed, and we are looking forward to further engagement with more African countries in the third year of the project.
The SA Dept. of Science and Technology, alongside the AOSP Advisory Council, hosted a high-level stakeholder meeting on 3 and 4 September 2018. The meeting brought together individuals discussing a proposed Phase 2 of AOSP: The African Open Science Platform – The Future of Science and Science for the Future. Contributions during the meeting will be incorporated into the proposal document, after which it will be circulated for further review.
The following presentations from this meeting are now online available (as more become available, it will be added to the AOSP web):
On the AOSP Calendar October to December 2018
The last couple of months of this year promises to be very busy and exciting. We hope to see you at some – if not all – of the following events.
Open Access Week, 22-28 October 2018, Everywhere
Read more at http://www.openaccessweek.org/
International Data Week 2018, 5-8 November 2018, Botswana
Registration is now open for all. The Early Bird option closes on 30 September 2018. AOSP will be presenting a session on capacity building in open science. Read more at http://internationaldataweek.org/
14th Annual Meeting of African Science Academies (AMASA-14), 12-14 November 2018, Benin
AOSP participation in a session focussing on Open Science. Read more about AMASA at http://www.knascience.org/index.php/amasa/about-amasa.
ASIS&T Annual Meeting, 10-14 November 2018, Vancouver, Canada
This is a meeting of the Global Association for Information Science & Technology Professionals. AOSP is the co-author of a conference proceeding, and will be participating in a panel discussion on Open Science: Development, Challenges and Practice in the Global Context. More information is available at https://www.asist.org/am18/
Science Granting Councils Initiative Strategic Meeting, 8 November 2018, Ivory Coast
AOSP participation in a session focussing on Open Science. This is a closed meeting. Read more about the Science Granting Councils Initiative at https://sgciafrica.org/en-za
CODATA-RDA Foundational School in Research Data Science, 22 October – 2 November 2018, Kigali, Rwanda
AOSP is a proud sponsor of a facilitator presenting at this event. Read more at http://www.codata.org/working-groups/research-data-science-summer-schools/kigali-2018
e-Age18 Conference, 2-3 December 2018, Amman, Jordan
AOSP is exploring presenting a paper on data infrastructure services that can be provided by NRENs. See the Call for Papers at http://asrenorg.net/eage18/?q=content/call-participation
Science Forum South Africa (SFSA), 12-14 December 2018, Pretoria, South Africa
Read more at http://www.sfsa.co.za/ AOSP will be presenting a session on “The Future of Science and Science for the Future”.
Science, technology and innovation enabling sustainable and inclusive development in a changing world
Also see the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 (Please share news on adoption of strategies within your countries with AOSP)
Full paper available at https://www.dst.gov.za/images/2018/Draft-White-paper–on-STI-7_09.pdf
Twenty years after the adoption of the first White Paper on Science and Technology (DST) in 1996, the SA Department of Science and Technology began developing a new draft White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), which was approved by Cabinet last week. The new document will ensure a growing role for STI in building a more prosperous and inclusive society. It focuses on using STI to accelerate inclusive economic growth, make the economy more competitive and improve people’s everyday lives.
The white paper says the following about Open Science and Open Innovation (pages 44-45):
“The OECD estimates that 30% of innovation in Europe is open in the sense of being shared. For example, the Philips Research Campus in Eindhoven invites industry participation with a view to facilitating collaboration between publicly funded and privately funded research. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation malaria project is also using data from a number of resources, because open innovation means that the disease can be addressed more quickly. It must be remembered, however, that open innovation does not mean “free”. Patents and intellectual property rights still apply, but only at the end of the innovation process.
The DST is actively examining the transition to open science and open innovation. This will call for appropriate regulatory frameworks and data skills development, as discussed below.
Incentives for open science will be fostered through education programmes and career development programmes for researchers. A focus on citizen science will also be introduced. Barriers to open science will be evaluated and where necessary removed, ensuring that legislation and practice support, rather than thwart, the principles of open and collaborative science. Government will therefore review these, taking into account certain aspects of intellectual property rights from publicly funded research and accepting that open science, open innovation and intellectual property, and the associated rights, are not mutually exclusive. Government will also review the policies and institutions governing access to research data and research publications.
As a general principle, publicly funded research and research data may, after a careful analysis, be made available (with some exceptions including data that can compromise sovereign security and which is of a confidential nature). Government will encourage researchers to deposit data arising from research in publicly accessible repositories, and to support open journal publishing and data sharing, providing access to data and other research outputs arising from publicly funded research. In this manner, research will be made more transparent, rigorous and efficient in stimulating innovation and promoting public engagement.
South Africa does not have formal protection for databases. Government will identify a licence system for depositing data and for the use of open data. What is in the public domain, what is not, or when it becomes available are pressing issues that need to be dealt with. Ensuring the needs and wants of the data provider are respected, and determining who can use the data, and under what conditions (research use, teaching and commercial use) are also important considerations. The Creative Commons licence is a good example for starting to draft specific licence types for different types of open data.
Contemporary open science and open innovation requires data to be findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) in the long-term, and these objectives are rapidly becoming expectations of funding agencies and publishers. The current Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Funded Research and Development Act will be reconsidered to ensure that it supports the FAIR guiding principles for scientific data management and storage.
National data storage is a further matter that needs to be addressed. The DST will develop a long-term sustainable business model for a South African research data cloud. Institutional data repositories will be encouraged. More support is also needed for the harmonisation of repositories, which can take place through the Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa (DIRISA).
The DST, in consultation with Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services and DHET, will produce a national open science (and data) framework consisting of principles and guidelines for the adoption of open science in South Africa. The framework will be used as a vehicle for awareness raising and training on good practice.
The DST will work with the higher education sector and the relevant government departments to ensure data related skills development for making efficient use of new scientific datasets, tools and methods.
Digital technologies are making the conduct of science and innovation more collaborative, international and open to citizens. In the next decade, as connectivity becomes ubiquitous, the shift to more distributed, networked and open organisational models will become commonplace. Those unable to make the change will be left behind.23• 24 Therefore, government will prioritise funding for the provision of digital resources to the communities and institutions that need them the most.
As part of its commitment to African STI cooperation, South Africa will also work to advance the open science agenda elsewhere on the continent and within regional frameworks. The strategic role of the African Open Science Platform, hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa, which promotes African-wide development and coordination of data policies, data training and data infrastructure, will be leveraged with the support of the DST and the National Research Foundation (NRF). In addition, South Africa is one of the founding members of the global Open Government Partnership, and took over the chair in 2015. As one of the signatories of this partnership, South Africa is committed to developing an open data policy framework and action plan.”
The SA Dept. of Science and Technology presented a valuable seminar on government data on 30 August 2018, as part of the series of Innovation for Inclusive Development Seminars. AOSP was also invited to participate in a panel discussion. The brief presentation is available here, and was one of three presented during the panel discussion.
Theme: “Deployment of Open Data Driven Solutions for Socio-Economic Value through Good Governance and Efficient Public Service Delivery”
The following might be of interest to you:
Open Data in Developing Economies: Toward Building an Evidence Base on What Works and How
Embedding open data practice: Developing indicators on the institutionalization of open data practice in two African governments
Supporting sustainable development with data
EU The economic benefits of data
Open Data to Support the Sustainable Development Goals
More and more disciplines across boundaries are grouping themselves together to benefit from the research conducted by others, and to collaborate, strengthening each other, and addressing global challenges. Collaboration is key, and unless researchers and research institutions are going to collaborate more, all will remain to be in competition, and consequently compete for funding. Through diversity and pooling knowledge together, researchers can accelerate discoveries. Through having a global view and addressing challenges in tandem, a careful balance can be maintained.
To collaborate effectively, infrastructure and governance need to be in place. The GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) – along with the SKA (Square Kilometre Array) and H3ABioNet (Pan African Bioinformatics network) communities – are examples of data intensive projects/initiatives where collaboration already takes place on especially a regional level, but also on a global scale. As far as biodiversity concerns, Africa has many biodiversity rich areas, but unfortunately – because of countries with limited access and capacities/resources – data are often unavailable.
The main objective of the past GBIF meeting (GBIC2: the 2nd Global Biodiversity Information Conference, 24-27 July 2018, Kopenhagen, Denmark) was to discuss future governance of the international biodiversity key stakeholders towards developing a network for all biodiversity information and data: what data does the GBIF community have/should GBIF get, how could data be combined, standards to apply, repositories, taxonomies, intellectual property, etc. The meeting was in agreement that – in order to advance biodiversity science – occurrences observed should be made immediately accessible in an interconnected way, working towards a vast resource base of digitally accessible data that can be searched and harvested. Organized views should be produced so that open data can be used meaningfully and immediately, without any delay.
Maria Uhle from the Belmont Forum provided a funders’ perspective. She provided some guidelines with the biodiversity community towards applying for funding:
The meeting also brought other funders to the table, among others Dr Don Doering (JRS Biodiversity Foundation) and Dr Roalnd Roberts (Division of Biological Infrastructure, National Science Foundation, US).
According to Donald Hobern (GBIF Executive Secretary), up to now, the GBIF network made use of relatively cheap infrastructures built on a small scale. The purpose of this meeting was to get all stakeholders together, to find ways the community can work together better and more. The ideal would be to make biodiversity occurrences observed and found immediately accessible in an interconnected way, and have a vast resource base of digitally accessible data that can be searched and harvested. Organized views of observations should be produced so that data can be used meaningfully and immediately. Tools that allow people to get meaningful views are required to answer critical questions. Biodiversity data from all parts of the world are important, and also from African countries, which have many biodiversity rich areas. Currently there are 2 GBIF nodes based in Africa, with 22 African participants part of the network. Read more at https://www.gbif.org/the-gbif-network/africa
Towards an AOSP (African Open Science Platform) ICT Infrastructure Framework
The work done by the GBIF network and others will help to inform the generic AOSP ICT Infrastructure Framework, in terms of ICT and data sharing needs experienced by researchers on a discipline specific level. The AOSP approach is however more generic, providing guidance to governments on what is required when preparing for effective data sharing.
A working group under Prof Benjamin Aribisala, assisted by Dr Ousmane Moussa Tessa who also attended the AOSP ICT Infrastructure meeting on 14 May 2018, has been established to explore existing work done this far, and to propose a roadmap towards implementation by governments. Prof Aribisala is also a member of the AOSP Technical Advisory Board.
This group comprises of the following, bringing the perspective from the NREN/ICT Infrastructure side, as well as the researcher side (incl. biodiversity):
Prof Benjamin Aribisala (Lagos State University & participant in Sci-GaIA project)
Dr Ousmane Moussa Tessa (NigeREN)
Dr Anwar Vahed (DIRISA)
Dr Sumir Panji (H3ABioNet)
Dr Bruce Becker (EGI Foundation & previously Sci-GaIA project)
Dr Renier van Heerden (SANREN)
Prof Jean Ganglo Cossi (GBIF)
Various opportunities have been identified for the proposed framework to be reviewed and to be tested during Year 3 (November 2018 – October 2019) of the AOSP project. The first opportunity will be during the upcoming Technical Advisory Board meeting on 3-4 November 2018, prior to the International Data Week 2018 conference – both to take place in Gaborone, Botswana. We want to thank all involved in taking this very important project forward.
Higher Education/Research Intensive Libraries play an important role in supporting researchers in terms of Research Data Management, Data Repositories, Open Science and Open Data in general, and are important key stakeholders.
If you are interested in staying up to date on new developments in this field, in order to communicate relevant information to researchers at your institution, but also to better align library services offered, please feel free to join the African Open Science Platform (AOSP) mailing list:
To become a member, please send a request to: firstname.lastname@example.org . This list is for all, and supports collaboration to advance science. To reduce the workload and duplication of emails, we will in future send relevant emails mostly via the AOSP mailing list. All most welcome to join!