Recently, the Dakar Declaration on Open Science in Africa was made, recognising issues of access, reproducibility, re-usability, discoverability and impact of African scholarship. The declaration has been signed by several prominent university and research infrastructure bodies in Europe and Africa.
Research infrastructures – in particularly e-Infrastructures – can of course play a crucial role in the enabling of an Open Science paradigm. Indeed, many aspects of Open Science cannot be enabled without access to network, data, repositories and computational infrastructures, as well as platforms for the publication and re-use of scientific software.
However, to what extent are our current and planned research infrastructures actually able to implement our Open Science aspirations ?
Several related questions arise :
- What does current experience in using our research infrastructures say about motivators and inhibitors of the actual endeavour of Open research ?
- The European Commission has developed high-level roadmap on an Open Science Cloud - how is Africa situated with respect to this view ?
- How will e-Infrastructures being developed to satisfy the needs of specific research communities be able to accommodate sharing and interoperability with existing and peer infrastructures ?
- What role do e-Research centres play in enabling the full exploitation of the wide range of research infrastructures available to researchers ?
- To what extent are Open principles embedded in STEM curricula, and what can be done to improve this ?
There are many paths to success in opening science, but also many roadblocks.
Aim of the event
The workshop is one of the fringe events of the prestigious International Conference on Research Infrastructures (ICRI 2016) and it will tackle two main questions of Open Science as it pertains to Research Infrastructures, particularly e-Infrastructures :
- How are individual African scientists and students adopting open science practices ?
- What does the African research infrastructures ecosystem inhibit or promote open science ?
Organisation of the event
Our event will :
- Invite champions on various scientific fields in the region to express their challenges and solutions to issues facing them, during their open science endeavour
- Relate the recent UCT e-Research experience in enabling open science at an institutional and regional level
- Demonstrate a open science platform developed in the context of the Sci-GaIA project.
- Provide a space to investigate and critically examine the issues around open science, through a brainstorming and discussion session
The event will be open to researchers, content creators, educators, developers and policy makers in research infrastructures, with specific use cases in fields including, but not restricted to bioinformatics, health, agent-based simulation, human language technologies, earth sciences, climate, weather etc.
There will be particular focus on infrastructure interoperability and reproducibility of research using collaborative platforms.
There will be invited speakers from research communities across Africa, including but not restricted to, the communities of practice supported by the Sci-GaIA project.