On 1 September, the National Open Science Festival took place at the VU Amsterdam. Hundreds of people involved in the development and implementation of Open Science research practices gathered to exchange ideas, knowledge and best practices. ODISSEI was represented in various parts of the programme, including presentations during multiple sessions, participation of our Scientific Director Pearl Dykstra in a panel in the Open Science and Policy track, and with an information booth in the Marketplace.
During the morning workshops, Erik-Jan van Kesteren, Raoul Schram and Thom Volker of the ODISSEI Social Data Science (SoDa) team at Utrecht University led a session on synthetic data, an important tool for Open Science. Often, data cannot be made available because of restrictions, such as privacy regulations. In such cases, a ‘fake’ version of the data can be used. This workshop focused on ways in which you can generate such synthetic data, and how you can reach a variety of levels of privacy. At the same time, these levels impact the ways in which you can apply synthetic data for research and teaching purposes.
In another workshop, on FAIR data and the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), ODISSEI CTO Lucas van der Meer presented his vision on FAIR to answer the big scientific questions of these times. How does one find or link datasets? Turn a thousand datasets into a network of the Netherlands? Link the constructs and measurements of survey questions to one another? Determine access conditions for sensitive datasets? Stimulate machine-readability of code? The answer: a FAIR, automated, scalable infrastructure. FAIR doesn’t just apply to data, but also to metadata, measurements, researcher properties, dataset licences, and code (slides available here).
In the Open Science in Practice track in the afternoon, ODISSEI data manager Angelica Maineri was involved in the session “Starting FAIR discussions: increasing standardisation in your research community”, organised together with Esther Plomp, Frédérique Belliard and Junzi Sun (TU Delft). Many research communities are starting discussions to define which standards should be adopted to effectively implement FAIR in their community, in line with FAIR principle R1.3. The goal of the session was to involve the audience to co-develop a checklist of recommendations for those interested in facilitating community discussions on the adoption of FAIR standards. To this end, five roundtables were organized, structuring the discussions around 5 topics: data collection, publishing, community engagement, data sharing, and data reuse. The insights gathered during the session are used as input for a short article: consult the draft here and let Angelica know if you want to contribute.
In a festive afternoon session on discovering data with the ODISSEI Portal, the first prototype of the Portal was launched. The ODISSEI Portal, developed with DANS, SURF and VU, combines metadata from a wide variety of research data repositories into a single interface, which is already searchable and which in future will allow for advanced semantic queries to support further findability and will facilitate data access to social science datasets in the Netherlands (slides available here).
Finally, in the Open Science and Policy track, ODISSEI Scientific Director Pearl Dykstra participated in a panel, discussing the ways in which ODISSEI strives to make data as open as possible, while adhering to the strict privacy protections that are in place. Furthermore, she emphasised how open data are not free data, given the high costs of data collection. More on these and related discussions can be found on Scienceguide.nl.