February 14, 2022

YERUN Open Science Awards 2021: congratulations to the winners!

The Awards ceremony of the YERUN Open Science Awards 2021 took place on Monday 14 February, online. Around 50 participants from YERUN institutions and beyond took part in the joyful event, which contributed to raising awareness about the need to foster Open Science in universities.

The YERUN Secretary General, Ms. Silvia Gomez, welcomed participants and gave an overview of the network’s commitment on Open Science. Indeed, Open Science has been a priority for YERUN since its establishment. In this 2018 statement on Open Science, YERUN acknowledges that “the transition to OS requires not only investments in infrastructures and skills-building, but also a cultural shift in the way research is performed and rewarded”, and this is exactly what the YERUN Open Science Awards aim to achieve.

The event was opened by an introductory speech by Mr. Kostas Glinos, Head of Unit for Open Science in DG Research and Innovation, in the European Commission (EC). Mr. Glinos provided a very informative overview of the initiatives that the EC is leading in Open Science. He open his intervention by quoting Newton’s famous phrase “If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants”, in a very nice parallelism to what Open Science is about: giving and take, facilitating the flow of knowledge between researchers, disciplines, and between science and society. “Open Science is not just an idealistic endeavour, but it is necessary to increase the quality and trustworthiness of science.”

Afterwards, the two winners have been announced by the final evaluation panel, which was composed by Mr. Robert Darby (Research Data Manager at the University of Reading), who participated as external evaluator; Ms. Sylvia Koukounidou (Coordinator of Digitisation and Archives Office at the University of Cyprus) and Ms. Lena Dreher (Member of the Open Science Team at the Communication, Information Media Centre (KIM) of the University of Konstanz). Mr. Darby presented the outcomes on behalf of the panel. He explained that the evaluation panel made their choice in a very collegial spirit and they were all extremely impressed by the quality and creativity of the submitted entries, which included case studies on organising Open Access weeks and workshops for students, projects to promote Registered reports and open educational resources, a nation-wide Open Science survey, and a programme to develop Open Science skills among early career researchers. This gives a flair of the breadth of initiatives that are going on in universities to develop and promote an Open Science culture.

The two winners are:

  • Prof. Manuel Martínez Neira, from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. This entry describes a long-term collaboration between a university press and researchers to develop and promote Open Access publication of historical and legal scholarship. To know more about this practice, please click here (or refer to the recording link below).
  • Dr. Elaine Toomey, from the University of Limerick, in collaboration with Dr Emma Norris from Brunel University London. The entry describes the activities of the Open Science Special Interest Group of the European Health Psychology Society, established and chaired by the two entrants. To know more about this practice, please click here(or refer to the recording link below).

YERUN is extremely grateful for the involvement of the colleagues participating in the YERUN ad hoc group on Open Science, whose contribution in shaping the call and acting as evaluators was absolutely key. Without them, this awards would not have been possible.

A particular thank you goes to the three members of the final evaluation panel, Robert, Sylvia and Lena, who did a fantastic job in reviewing the shortlisted applications and deciding on the winners in a collegial and collaborative spirit.

While only two practices were awarded this year, YERUN is very grateful to all 30 applicants who have submitted their entries to this pilot call. The initiatives proposed were all extremely valuable, innovative and each of them contributes in its own way to fostering a more open, democratic and trustworthy research environment.

Have you missed the ceremony? Click here to see the recording!