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Breaking new ground: the African Open Science Platform


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The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) takes proud in the implementation of this new initiative. We are looking forward working with all African continents in populating this platform with information.

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Breaking new ground: the African Open Science Platform

  1. 1. Breaking new ground: the African Open Science Platform Presented by Susan Veldsman & Ina Smith
  2. 2. Agenda • About the African Open Science Platform (AOSP) incl. ICSU, CODATA, ASSAf • Key stakeholders • Accord on Open Data in a Big Data World • Open Science in the context of AOSP • Rationale for & value of an African Open Science Platform • Focus areas of AOSP • Challenges faced in terms of open science, open data
  3. 3. About the African Open Science Platform (AOSP) • Funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) (SA Dept. of Science and Technology) • Directed by CODATA (ICSU) • Managed by Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
  4. 4. About ICSU & CODATA • ICSU: International Council for Science – consists of 17 interdisciplinary bodies e.g. CODATA • CODATA: Committee on Data for Science and Technology • Mission: Strengthen international science for the benefit of society by promoting improved scientific and technical data management and use.
  5. 5. About ASSAf (1) • Recognise scholarly achievement & excellence • Mobilise members in the service of society • Conduct systematic & evidence-based studies on issues of national importance • Promote the development of an indigenous system of South African research • Publish science-focused journal
  6. 6. About ASSAf (2) • Develop productive partnerships with national, regional and international organisations to building capacity within the National System of Innovation (NSI) • Create diversified sources of funding for sustainable functioning and growth of a national academy • Communicate with relevant stakeholders
  7. 7. AOSP Governance • Advisory Council • Terms of Reference • Technical Advisory Board • Terms of Reference • Platform Office (ASSAf) & ICSU/CODATA Office • CODATA Executive Director • 2x Senior Project Officers • 1x Junior Project Officer
  8. 8. Key Stakeholders • Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) (ICSU) • The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) • Regional Office for Africa (ROA)(ICSU) • World Data System (WDS)(ICSU) • Research Data Alliance (RDA) • SCiGAIA (Science Gateways and e-Infrastructures in Africa) • Association of African Universities (AAU) • African Research Councils • African Universities • African Governments • NRENs (Internet Service Providers for Education) • Other
  9. 9. Accord: Open Data in a Big Data World • Values of open data in emerging scientific culture of big data • Need for an international framework • Proposes comprehensive set of principles • Provides framework & plan for African data science capacity mobilization initiative • Proposes African Platform
  10. 10. Open Science Defined (1) “Open Science is the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods.” - FOSTER Project, funded by the European Commission.
  11. 11. Open Science Defined (2) “Open Science moves beyond open access research articles, towards encompassing other research objects such as data, software codes, protocols and workflows. The intention is for people to use, re-use and distribute content without legal, technological or social restrictions. In some cases, Open Science also entails the opening up of the entire research process from agenda-setting to the dissemination of findings.” - Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network project, funded by IDRC.
  12. 12. Open Data, Open Science and the Research Lifecycle (Foster)
  13. 13. African Open Science Example
  14. 14. AOSP Deliverable
  15. 15. Rationale for an African Platform • AOSP will be basis for shared investment in infrastructure • Harvest and circulate good ideas • Spread and support good practice • Develop capacities of individuals and institutions • Promote key applications of relevance to African economies and societies • Act as conduit for links with international open data and open science programmes and standards, vital for it to flourish • Coordinate and develop activities to enhance capacity of individuals, institutions, national systems • AOSP to become basis for Open Science in Africa
  16. 16. Value of an African Platform (1) • Properly manage African research data, overview • Showcase African research data • Contribute to global knowledgebase • Increase the return on investment • Track usage and impact • Identify lack of data/opportunities/gaps
  17. 17. Value of an African Platform (2) • Cross-use data across disciplines/studies • Protect Intellectual Property (IP) • Protect privacy of research participants • Make data more discoverable/visible • Participate in collective problem-solving • Avoid duplication of effort
  18. 18. 5 Focus Areas • Promote development & adoption of data policies, principles, practice • Determine infrastructure available • Address issues of incentives, best practice, benefits • Foster training & capacity building activities • Create an awareness, stimulate dialogue (frontiers)
  19. 19. Challenges faced in terms of Data
  20. 20.
  21. 21. data-showed-vaccines-caused-autism-children/#cZz6lzEjivPoTZ80.99
  22. 22. SA Weather Service Climate Databank
  23. 23. Managing Intellectual Property
  24. 24. Protecting Privacy ster-kinekor-website-leaked-clients-private-data.html
  25. 25. Power & Internet Access
  26. 26. Incentives for Data Sharing
  27. 27. Capacity Building
  28. 28. Stimulate Dialogue
  29. 29. OA to Scientific Information in Emerging Countries
  30. 30. Survey: Status of Openness in Africa • Preliminary findings from survey • Launched 1 November 2016; due date 31 January 2017 • 35 responses received
  31. 31. Focus of data initiatives 69% = training; 60% = stewardship; 54% = policy
  32. 32. Funding of data initiatives 51% = host institution; 34% = international grant; 20% = national grant
  33. 33. AOSP Actions & Deliverables 2017 • SFSA Side Event & Panel Discussion • Visit • Planning Phase • Advisory Council & Technical Advisory Board Next: • Identify & train representative on national level (each country actively producing data, with research interest) • Coordinate national workshops to introduce AOSP, Open Data, Open Science • Desktop research to Identify initiatives on national level & populate database • Engage on meetings as opportunities arise, engage with stakeholders
  34. 34. Sci-GaIA Open Science Platform
  35. 35. Conclusion • Africa to manage & share data – contribute to the international knowledgebase • Survey & country representatives to contribute information; desktop research • Africa has lots to offer, if all work together
  36. 36. Acknowledgments • SA Dept. of Science & Technology • National Research Foundation (NRF) • CODATA • All African partners