What is Open Science? Open Science is a movement that is increasingly being adopted by many countries in removing barriers across disciplines and regions as well as exploring the potential of this digital revolution through the establishment of tools and platforms that provides supporting services.
The Open Science movement shows that there is a systemic change in how science and research have been carried out. Gone are the days of only publishing the research results in scientific publications; via the Open Science movement, all available knowledge about a particular research are accessible for all to share even at earlier stages of the research process.
The Open Science movement strives to make the output of publicly funded research more widely accessible, by allowing all users to reuse the data, reproduce the research and contribute back to all knowledge in the research process. To address this global challenge of data deluge and knowledge tsunami in a collaborative manner, data needs to be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable, or FAIR for short.
The Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) and International Science Council Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ISC-ROAP) organised the Open Science Forum for Asia and the Pacific on 13 February 2020.
The Forum aims to inform Asia Pacific countries on the importance of Open Science for facilitating collaborative data-driven research which enables the region to be at the forefront of the global Open Science movement to accelerate economic growth.
The Forum is part of Malaysia Open Science Platform (MOSP), which is an initiative of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI entrusted to ASM to enhance national innovation ecosystem towards wealth creation and societal well-being. MOSP is a trusted platform that enables accessibility and sharing of research data, aligned with national priorities and international best practices to make Malaysia’s research data valuable national assets.
The Open Science Forum featured prominent international speakers that shared their views and expertise in promoting open science in their respective countries. Dr Ismail Serageldin, Emeritus Librarian of Alexandria, Founding Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and Patron of the International Science Council delivered the Keynote Speech at the Forum.
In his speech titled ‘Open Science for Shared Prosperity’, Dr Ismail elaborated on the role of open science in increasing regional collaboration to solve regional and global issues. He states that only through openness will the value of science as practised collaboratively and globally can be discovered.
Following Dr Ismail’s Keynote Speech, the Dialogue on Open Science for Shared Propserity in Asia and the Pacific commenced, moderated by Academician Professor Emerita Dato’ Seri Dr Mazlan Othman FASc. Five panellists during the Dialogue were as follows:
- Dr Ismail Serageldin
- Professor Dr Barend Mons (President, Committee on Data of the ISC)
- Professor Dr Shahbaz Khan (Director, Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, UNESCO Jakarta)
- Dr Ross Wilkinson (Former Executive Director, Australian National Data Service (ANDS))
- Mr Simon Goudie (Co-chair, Research Data Alliance, Senior Journal Publishing Manager, Wiley)
The esteemed panellists presented their achievements in open science, as well as addressed common misconceptions surrounding open science. Following the Dialogue, the panellists then formulated an Open Science Joint Statement that was presented at the APEC PPSTI meeting.
After a lunch break, the Forum reconvened in a Working Session moderated by Dr Ross Wilkinson. The Working Session featured three main groups discussing on elements of an open science initiatives, namely: Policy, Infrastructure, and Capacity Building and Awareness.
The topic of Policy was led by Professor Dr Barend Mons and Dr Michael Keenan (Senior Policy Analyst from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)); Infrastructure was led by Mr Simon Goudie and Mr Leju Ma (Director of Government Affairs, DiDi Chuxing Co. Ltd); and Capacity Building and Awareness was led by Dr Ai Sugiura (Programme Specialist for Science Policy and Capacity Building, UNESCO Jakarta), Ms Christina Schönleber (Director for Policy and Programmes, Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU)) and Professor Dr Noorsaadah Abdul Rahman FASc (Chairperson of the Malaysia Open Science Alliance).
Upon completing their respective discussions, it was unanimously agreed that stakeholders need to address all three components effectively to ensure the success of a national open science initiative.