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11 Dec 2019

Report on Open Research Data in Slovenia Conference

Conference Open Research Data in Slovenia took place on November 14, 2019 in Maribor. The conference was part of the two-day event titled Open Science that was co-organized by RDA Node Slovenia, Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, Young Academy of Slovenia, NI4OS-Europe project (National Initiatives for Open Science in Europe), University of Maribor Library and ARNES.

The most important topics of the conference were coordination of infrastructural services that support research data management, implementation of the principles of the National Strategy of Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data in Slovenia, and an overview of current levels of access to research data in individual research fields.

Guest speaker Edit Herczog, co-chair of FAIR Data Maturity Model WG, presented the structure and the mission of RDA before delving into the principles of determining FAIRness that the WG is currently testing. Sebastian Dahle, researcher from Biotechnical Faculty of University of Ljubljana, presented his experience in developing a research data management plan and selecting a suitable repository.

In the next section, Slovenian disciplinary data infrastructures presented their approaches to research data services. Representatives of CESSDA (Janez Štebe, Social Science Data Archive), CLARIN.SI (Tomaž Erjavec, Jožef Stefan Institute), DARIAH-SI (Andrej Pančur, Institute of Contemporary History), and ELIXIR (Jure Dimec, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana) highlighted the use of FAIR principles in their work and the diversity of formats and sources they provide for.

Section on Projects and initiatives for establishment of data services infrastructure brought a set of shorter presentations: Dunja Legat (University of Maribor Library) presented the FAIR and open research data management implementing activities of the NI4OS project. Ana Slavec (InnoRenew CoE) outlined the challenges and solutions for preparation of data plans for data on renewable materials and products. Milan Ojsteršek (University of Maribor) introduced the plans for upgrading national open-access repository infrastructures for preservation of big data. Jan Jona Javoršek (Jožef Stefan Institute) and Avgust Jauk (Arnes) presented the infrastructural capacities of Arnes and Sling. Miro Pušnik (Central Technological Library, University of Ljubljana) argued for a formation of an evaluation system that would account for research data in evaluation of research performance. Finally, Janez Jeretina presented two examples of databases at the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia.

Organizers recapitulated the proceedings of the conference with the following propositions:

  1. To use FAIR Data Maturity Model as a source for forming national criteria for compliance of research data with research founder’s demands for openness, accessibility, and reuse.
  2. To impose Data Management Plan (DMP) as mandatory for publicly financed projects in order to make data ‘as open as possible’. To fulfil the obligations without impediment, researchers should be informed and trained in data management, and have support staff available at their research institutions for help with data preparation.
  3. To form evaluation methods for assessment of research data that stress data quality and reuse potential, by founding them on FAIR principles and accounting for disciplinary differences.
  4. To apply criteria of Core Trust Seal to the work of Slovenian certified disciplinary repositories in order to support the Action Plan for the Implementation of the National Open Access Strategy (↗) and provide research data curation in accordance to international standards.
  5. To maximise the use of instructions, guidance and training provided by disciplinary European research infrastructures in support of FAIR data management planning and use.
  6. Based on the needs of individual research fields and specifics of their research data, finances and personnel should be secured to build disciplinary-specific data infrastructure.
  7. Representatives of disciplinary data services should report on the possibility of implementing tools, services and standards (EUDAT, DataCite, ORCID, SHOLIX, …) that are internationally recognized through OpenAire, EOSC, and RDA, in the national environment.
  8. Slovenian Research Agency should liaise with other stakeholders to set minimal criteria for preparation, quality, and estimated life expectancy of data. The Agency should include the appraisal of the scientific impact of research data in the evaluation of the projects.
  9. To form Slovenian open science community, based on the principles of so-called competence centres. Its key stakeholders would include Slovenian RDA Node, OpenAIRE National Open Access Desk, established disciplinary data-service providers that are members of large European research infrastructure units, and other institutions and actors in the open science milieu of Slovenia.
  10. Institutions responsible for the tasks of the Action Plan should report on activities and plans at meetings organized by the coordination of RDA Node Slovenia. Key actors are Ministry of Education, Science and Sports and Slovenian Research Agency.

Full report in Slovenian will be accessible at the website of the Social Science Data Archives, the coordinator of the RDA Node Slovenia that will be happy to report on the future developments.

Presentations from the conference and other sections of the Open Science 2019 are available on the RDA Node Slovenia webpage or through the program.

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