What is Open Science, and how it can make scientists' lives easier


In July, RNP, the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), and the Brazilian Institute for Information on Science and Technology (Ibict) concluded a tripartite cooperation agreement for the building of a national federation of repositories of research data. 

The initiative arose from the previously existing cooperation and the work carried out by the institutions in the context of Commitment 3 in the 4th National Plan of Action for Open Government for the advancement of Open Science in Brazil. But do you know how Open Science can make scientists' lives easier?

What is Open Science?

Open Science is an umbrella term that covers open data practice that follows the principles of transparency and collaboration in science. Currently, this is a strategic topic for several countries, which have already adopted it as a public policy so that research organizations can incorporate it gradually as the guiding principle of their activities.

The opening of data started being perceived as a strategy because it promotes the development of infrastructure and technology that stimulate its availability, and it facilitates the exchange and interoperability of data between different systems.

What are the research data repositories?

The research data repositories are, like other repositories, a database of digital data focused on meeting the demands for storing, organizing, and delivering digital objects. In this case, they contain data collected during scientific research.

Benefits to the scientific community

In addition to bringing several benefits to the process of scientific communication, such as greater speed, reliability, and cost reduction, the data stored in repositories are citable, which characterizes them as legitimate and recognized scientific productions. Thus, they contribute to increasing the visibility of national scientific production.

What are the Open Science initiatives in Brazil

One of the topics of Open Science is the sharing of research data, something that is already encouraged by funding agencies such as the CNPq, which is promoting the creation of a National Consortium for Open Science (conscience). It intends to bring together institutions that wish to have Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) associated with their datasets, in addition to developing its own data repository (LattesData) so that its beneficiaries can store research data associated with projects financed by CNPq.

In addition, RNP, along with CNPq and Ibict, has published an open call inviting Brazilian research institutions that have already begun internal discussions for the deployment of their institutional repository of research data. Submissions of proposals will be accepted until 01/08.

For the associate director of P&D of RNP, Leandro Ciuffo, with the new paradigm of Open Science, "we believe that universities and research institutes will inevitably, sooner or later, need to create their own institutional repositories for research data". 

According to the coordinator and researcher of Ibict, Washington Segundo, institutions selected will receive support to create their research data repositories, through training and knowledge transfer initiatives, during an incubation period of nine months. "The learning generated by this project could benefit the entire institution that wishes to create its research data repository, in particular libraries of Brazilian educational and research institutions, which will be the target of the call," he said.