Raising Awareness

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Open Science – the future for research?

As part of JISC’s ‘Research 3.0 – driving the knowledge economy’ activity which launches at the end of November, a new Open Science report released today trails key research trends that could have far-reaching implications for science, universities and UK society.

The report written by Dr. Liz Lyon, Director of UKOLN at the University of Bath and Associate Director of the Digital Curation Centre, identifies open-ness, predictive science based on massive data volumes and citizen involvement as being important features of tomorrow’s research practice.

It is hoped that this document will stimulate and contribute to community discussion in the UK, which is ranked second in the world for its output of quality research, but also fuel the open science debate on the global stage.

As part of JISC’s data management programme JISC is discussing with UK research funders and libraries on how best to build on recent initiatives, such as the HEFCE-funded UK Research Data Service feasibility study, so as to address the considerable challenges outlined in the Open Science report.

Neil Jacobs, programme manager at JISC, says, “There are important changes in the way science exploits the potential of digital technologies. We are not saying that the these trends go together - they may conflict - but what we are looking to find out is to what extent they are happening now and what researchers, librarians and others think their impact will be in the future.

“Where there is widespread access to the web, digital cameras and computers, then citizens can become active participants in science, for example collecting data on natural phenomena on a massive scale. While this has happened so far in isolated projects, the potential is now for a more general shift in public participation in science,” added Neil.

The Open Science report looks at how technologies can support the open movement to share data, workflows, methods and research outputs. It also illustrates the vital role librarians could have in supporting these new trends and the recognised need to build relationships between researchers and librarians to support the research of the future.

Read the Open Science report at:

Take part in the Open Science discussions and share your views at the ‘Research 3.0 – driving the knowledge economy’ blog