CEU Library and Partners Host Open Science Conference

January 29, 2018

What effect does open science have on academic competition? Who really pays for open access to the scholarly literature?  What ethical considerations are there to open data sharing?  These were just some of the questions debated at a November 22 conference held at CEU on the challenges and opportunities of open science. Co-organized by CEU Library, the Electronic Information Services National Programme of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Scientific Knowledge Services, the conference brought together an audience of over 100 librarians, students, professors, publishers, and government and NGO representatives from Hungary and the region.

In his welcome remarks, CEU Provost Liviu Matei commented on the aptness of holding such a conference in Budapest. It was here, 15 years ago, that one of the major defining events of the open access movement, the Budapest Open Access Initiative, took place. That initiative aimed to make research free and available to anyone with a computer and an internet connection. As Matei noted, much progress has been made since that pioneering event, but much more remains to be done. Ideas for furthering the open science agenda framed the day’s proceedings. Speakers from across Europe presented on topics such as the role of libraries in supporting open science, best practices and lessons learned in consortium negotiations with publishers, and citizen science.

A highlight of the day was a panel moderated by CEU Library Director Diane Geraci. Featuring two CEU professors, Roberta Sinatra, assistant professor at the Center for Network Science and in the Department of Mathematics and Its Applications, and Maria Kronfeldner, associate professor in the Department of Philosophy, and Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost of the Library Services at the University College London, the panel addressed a variety of provocative issues in the open science sphere. These included how to foster more openness around the process of doing research not just the published results; how to address the tension between openness and personal data protection; how to handle data that could harm, rather than help, society; and how to navigate complex legal contracts to publish more openly while retaining author rights.

The conference was open to the public with registration, helping to realize the University’s vision for its Nador 15 building as a collaborative resource for the Hungarian and regional community.