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The African Open Science Platform (AOSP)/Susan Veldsman


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Presentation during the 14th Association of African Universities (AAU) Conference and African Open Science Platform (AOSP)/Research Data Alliance (RDA) Workshop in Accra, Ghana, 7-8 June 2017.

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The African Open Science Platform (AOSP)/Susan Veldsman

  1. 1. The African Open Science Platform (AOSP) AAU General Conference 6 June 2017, Accra, Ghana
  2. 2. Agenda • About the African Open Science Platform (AOSP) • Rationale for AOSP • Accord on Open Data in a Big Data World • Focus areas of AOSP • Closing Remarks
  3. 3. About the African Open Science Platform (AOSP) • Funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) supported by SA Dept. of Science and Technology • Directed by CODATA (ICSU) • Managed by Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) • Through ASSAf hosting ICSU Regional Office for Africa (ICSU ROA)
  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 (ASSAf OA Repository) • Promote the development of an indigenous system of South African research • Publish science-focused journals (SciELO SA) • Training in Open Journal Systems (OJS) • Criteria for high quality OA journals • Ambassador for Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  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 • Association of African Universities (AAU) DATAD-R harvester of OA repositories • Evaluation instrument – harvesting IRs adhering to criteria for best practice (ISO 16363, Data Seal of Approval etc.)
  7. 7. AOSP Governance • Advisory Council (Chair: Prof Khotso Mokhele) • Terms of Reference • Technical Advisory Board • Terms of Reference • Platform Office (ASSAf) & ICSU/CODATA Office • CODATA Executive Director (Dr Simon Hodson) • 2x Senior Project Managers (Ina Smith & Susan Veldsman) • Project plan • Capacitate on network • Reports to funder • Workshops, meetings, presentations • 1x Junior Project Officer (ASSAf)
  8. 8. Key Stakeholders • IAP (Global Network of Science Academies) • ICSU • Regional Office for Africa (ROA) • Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) • World Data System (WDS) • The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) • Research Data Alliance (RDA) • Association of African Universities (AAU) • Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) • African Research Councils (incl. DIRISA, funders) • 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 Call to Endorse
  10. 10. Open Science Defined “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 Data, Open Science and the Research Lifecycle (Foster)
  12. 12. Value of an African Platform (1) • Collective view of Open Science activities • Create awareness • Showcase African research • Contribute to global knowledgebase • Increase return on investment (re-use) • Identify lack of data/opportunities/gaps
  13. 13. Value of an African Platform (2) • Identify needs e.g. skills development, infrastructure, policy formulation, etc. • Act as conduit for links with international open data and open science programs and standards • Cross-use data across disciplines/studies • Establish relationships between data • Manage Intellectual Property (IP)
  14. 14. Value of an African Platform (3) • Make data more discoverable/visible (metadata) • Encourage collaboration between scientific & private sectors, citizens • Participate in collective problem-solving • Allow verification of existing data, predict trends • Accelerate discovery – speed is everything (e.g. outbreaks) • Attract funders
  15. 15. 5 Focus Areas (“Pillars”) • Promote development & adoption of data policies, principles, practices, standards • Determine infrastructure available • Address issues of incentives, best practice, benefits • Foster training & capacity building activities • Create an awareness, stimulate dialogue (frontiers)
  16. 16. Establish African Open Science Platform Funded Research Data Infrastructure Initiatives Funded, co-designed transdisciplinary research projects Co-design African Open Data Policies Develop Incentives Frameworks Develop Research Data Science Training African Research Data Infrastructure Roadmap Activities require low funding for coordination, secondment, contributions in kind and evaluation. Activities require higher investment for coordination, co-design implemenatation and evaluation. AOSP Preliminary Work Packages
  17. 17. AOSP Actions & Deliverables 2017 • SFSA Side Event & Panel Discussion (December 2016) • Visit • Advisory Council & Technical Advisory Board • Planning Phase Next (Year 1): • Expanding network, contacts, information on initiatives • Identify/train representatives on national level (each country actively producing data, with research interest) • Awareness - coordinate national workshops to introduce AOSP, open approaches – existing initiatives (conferences, w/s) • Desktop research to identify initiatives on national level & populate database • Engage with African stakeholders
  18. 18. AOSP Actions & Deliverables 2017 • White paper on Open Science and Open Data (Botswana) and high level stakeholder workshop in June?? • DATAD-R IR repository training (June-Sept) • Criteria for IRs • Evaluation • Training • CODATA-RDA Research Data Science Summer School at the ICTP from 10 July 2017 to 21 July 2017. (I Smith and J Mwelwa) • High level stakeholder workshop (Madagascar) Sept • Ubuntunet (November 2017)
  19. 19. Survey: Status of Openness in Africa • Preliminary findings from survey • Launched 1 November 2016; due date was 31 January 2017 • 35 responses received
  20. 20. Focus of data initiatives 69% = training; 60% = stewardship; 54% = policy
  21. 21. Funding of data initiatives 51% = host institution; 34% = international grant; 20% = national grant
  22. 22. Opportunities for Collaboration • Capacitate on networks to populate database with open data initiatives, contacts • Work done in Francophone countries • Training initiatives • Addressing quality, standardization, interoperability issues • Roadmaps for data infrastructures, building on existing work • And many more ….
  23. 23. African Open Science Example
  24. 24. Closing Remarks • Collaborate & learn – strength in diversity • Data the new “gold” – predict trends (Prof Joseph Wafula) • Trusted data managed in trusted way • Exploit data for the benefit of society (Min Naledi Pandor) • Tell the African story, in an African way
  25. 25. Acknowledgments • SA Dept. of Science & Technology • National Research Foundation (NRF) • ICSU & CODATA • All African partners
  26. 26. Thank you! Simon Hodson Susan Veldsman Ina Smith