Research Area EPoS encourages „Open Science"

For about a year the University of Innsbruck has been a member of the "Austrian Social Science Data Archive" (AUSSDA). In order to encourage the commitment of researchers in the field of "Open Science" and to increase awareness of the AUSSDA services, the Research Area "Economy, Politics, and Society" (EPoS) organised a series of virtual lectures and discussions.
Lars Kaczmirek

Foto: Lars Kaczmirek head of AUSSDA © AUSSDA/


Together with the representatives of the University of Innsbruck in the AUSSDA Steering Committee, Franz Eder and Felix Holzmeister, more than 40 researchers from various faculties took part in the event on 18 January, which was characterised by two excellent presentations.

In the first part of the online workshop, Brian Nosek - professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and co-founder and executive director of the Center of Open Science - gave a talk on "Culture Change Toward More Open, Rigorous, and Reproducible Research". As a protagonist of the open science movement, Brian Nosek made a convincing case that advancing transparency, rigour and reproducibility in research is less a technical challenge than a social one. "Incentives for individual success are focused on getting it published, not on getting it right," says Nosek. To counteract this dysfunctional research culture that prioritises publication over accuracy and confidentiality over transparency, a coordinated change in rules, incentives and norms is needed across all stakeholders in the scientific apparatus. Some disciplines are already making significant progress in establishing an open science culture, demonstrating that it is possible to change the existing system in order to increase the trustworthiness of research.

In the second part of the event, the head of AUSSDA, Lars Kaczmirek, gave an instructive introduction to AUSSDA's extensive range of research support services. In particular, he highlighted the challenges of practising Open Science from the perspective of researchers, educators and organisations, and provided convincing arguments that making research data publicly available is an efficient way to use resources. Following the FAIR principles of organising and archiving research data in a way that makes it findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable, AUSSDA provides Austrian researchers with a variety of useful services and actively supports them in contributing to the shift towards an Open Data culture.

AUSSDA provides a data infrastructure for the social science community and offers a variety of research support services, including data archiving, data management, data use, licensing and data protection. AUSSDA makes social science data accessible and usable - for science and society.

"We are convinced that the two first-class presentations and the resulting discussions were able to contribute to raising awareness of the problems associated with a dysfunctional research culture and hope that the event will encourage researchers at the University of Innsbruck to become actively involved in the Open Science movement," concludes Felix Holzmeister, who co-organised the event.

(Felix Holzmeister)

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