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Student Initiative for
Open Science

October 2020 Newsletter

 


Hello and welcome open science fans! 👋 

SIOS is back this academic year to help promote, share, and discuss open science for students (with proper physical distancing, of course!). We've got some exciting events and projects planned - stay tuned! 
 
Open Science Q&A 
To begin, we wanted to thank everyone who came to our introduction event on September 25th! With so many new students interested in open science, we thought it might be best to reintroduce ourselves with a quick question-and-answer session.


Q: What is open science? 🧪

The goal of the open science movement is to make the research accessible on all levels. This includes making your methodology, code, data, etc., open so that other researchers can fully evaluate your work, and making the findings of scientific research accessible to the public (+ public taxes are usually funding research in the first place!). 
 
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Q: Why is open science important for researchers? 🧑‍🔬

Open science practices can help mitigate systemic issues in research. For example, psychology faces a "Replication Crisis" where numerous "significant" findings were not able to be recreated by other researchers. To help facilitate trust and confidence in a scientific finding, it helps to show your theoretical background, where your data came from, and how that data was analyzed. 


Q: What about students? 🧑‍💻

No one enters research with the initial goal of publishing a million p = 0.05 findings. Most of us are here because we were interested in a topic, and wanted to delve into it further. So wouldn't we want the findings of our research to be... real? Even if we have the best intentions, it can sometimes be tempting to HARK (hypothesizing after results are known) or deviate from our analysis plan to create a significant finding. Open science practice help keep our research open and honest, while also allowing us to better understand and evaluate work from other researchers. 
 
Not all scientists! But a mindset that we hope to avoid 😇
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Q: What does SIOS do? 🔎

SIOS was created to bring open science practices to students. Our founders saw a gap in the current open science landscape, where most open science initiatives and resources were directed at researchers rather than future-researchers (students!). We create lectures, workshops, and events for students to learn how to use open science in their research. For example, last year we hosted a Preregistration Workshop where students brought their own projects and learned how to preregister them on the OSF. In another event, we had Chris Chambers lecture on how he developed Registered Reports.

 
If we missed any questions, feel free to reach out via twitter, instagram, or email - and we might include your question in the next issue!
Upcoming Events 
We are still in the planning stages for our October event! Make sure to subscribe to our mailing list or follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to stay up-to-date! In the meantime, here are some non-SIOS open science events that we will be checking out this month...

🗓
RIOT Science Club
Weekly Seminars!

RIOT Science Club promotes Reproducible, Interpretable, Open, and Transparent (RIOT!) science and is hosting online seminars every Thursday. For example, on October 8th, Dr. Florian Markowetz will discuss 5 selfish reasons to engage in reproducible science, and on October 29th Dr. Eiko Fried will discuss theory building and testing. 

Here is the link to RIOT Club's events page and their twitter handle for more information! I learned about this event from the Open Research Calendar twitter account, and you can view the calendar here!

🧠
 
Carnegie Mellon Open Science Symposium
20 October 9-11h EST 🇺🇸 (15-17h CET 🇪🇺)
 

Information taken directly from the event: "We are excited to invite all students, data users, and researchers to join us at the third annual CMU Open Science Symposium, taking place virtually on Zoom. The symposium will build awareness and support for the adoption of open research practices and encourage innovative ideas about data sharing. The full day program will feature talks from researchers, tool developers, and publishers; panel discussions; and networking opportunities."

To learn more, register, or check out past symposiums, click here. Again, I learned about this event from the Open Research Calendar twitter account.
 
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Monthly Open Science News
If you have been following us since last year, you would know that we typically use the newsletter to highlight important open science news stories from the past month ( + doing our best to ensure it is from reputable and reliable sources! ). However, given our background as Psychology students in Europe, typically all of our stories centre around just that: psychology in Europe. This month, we've taken particular care to promote open science stories from other research fields and continents...


The Critical Impact of Open Science in Rare Disease Research 
  • Because rare diseases are... well... rare, often times doctors and researchers will encounter very few cases of a particular disease in their careers. This leads the research on these diseases being case studies for complex diseases that may affect dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people across the globe. 
  • Therefore, open data registries will have a massive impact on our understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of rare diseases.  
  • Current initiatives, such as the The Human Phenotype Ontology by the Monarch Initiative and Phenopackets are developing open source, anatomized databases with standardized definitions and data entry methods - so that data can be shared quickly and globally. 
 
  • The authors discuss how open science is not a common practice or discussion topic among Malaysian researchers, but wanted to find out why. 
  • Most researchers that were surveyed said that they knew about open science practices, but were hesitant to implement them over concerns for anonymity, credit for their data, other researchers misusing their data, and not sharing their data on a common platform.
  • Currently there are no policies within universities to encourage open science practices, which is something that the authors are hoping to change.
 
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization recently announced that it is developing a recommended framework for open science practices.
  • This framework will be adopted by 143 member states by 2021. 
  • The main goal of this initiative to to make research accessible and useful to the public.
 
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  • Last year, we excitedly reported on a story where the Trump administration was going to remove the paywall between federally funded research and the public.
  • It was quite the controversy, as multiple scientific institutions and publications did not approve of this initiative and wrote open letters to the white house discouraging the initative.
  • As a follow up, we decided to look into if anything ever came from this initiative. Despite there not being a public statement from the White House, it seems as though the open letters worked and the Trump administration never followed through on this initiative ☹️.
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