First Lancaster University Open Research Café 21 November 2018

Why have an Open Research Café?

During Data Conversations our researcher community demonstrated an interest in discussions that move beyond open data to broader discussions around open research paradigms and practices. The library explored possibilities with our Psychology department’s PROSPR (Promoting Open Science Practices) group about how we might provide a forum for those discussions. Enter the Open Research Café.

The Open Research Café is co-designed by PROSPR and the Library and will be a regular event built around the following principles:

  • Informal
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Community-led
  • Open to researchers and support staff from all levels
  • Facilitates discussions on different aspects of Open Research

What happened?

The current PROSPR Chair Dermot Lynott opened the Open Research Café. Dermot pointed out that pioneering researchers and policy makers are exploring ways in which research can become more open and transparent, but also that the term Open Research has many meanings to different people in different contexts.

The discussions that followed focused initially on what Open means to our researcher community. The conversations were diverse and touched upon Open Access publishing, Open Data, pre-registered studies and providing practical support for researchers who want to engage in open practices.

The Open Research Matrix

In order to gain a sense of researchers’ priorities we introduced a poster including eight areas of Open Research (loosely based on the Eight Pillars of Open Science as defined by the EU Commission). Attendees were asked to place six stickers on our poster in areas that interest them most. This will help us focus our attention and future themes of Open Research events considering our community’s interests.

We will use the matrix to inform future events and give priority to aspects of Open Research that are of most interest to our community.

What comes next?

The Open Research Café will return in spring 2019! In the meantime, our 7th Data Conversations The best laid plans… is on the 18th February 2019. We will talk about we will talk about developing research projects. How do we go about preparing for data collection or creation? How do we identify and use existing suitable datasets? How do we develop interdisciplinary projects with partners who may be at Lancaster University or elsewhere? How do we ensure that our data is well managed through the whole lifecycle and leveraged to its full potential?

 How can you get involved?

If you want to be part of the Lancaster Open Research Community please sign up to our mailing list by emailing Hardy: We will announce future events and other ways how you can engage in Lancaster’s Open Research Community.

By Hardy Schwamm & Joshua Sendall