October 21, 2015

Impression Research Meeting from parting LIS director Marc van den Berg

Door: Petra Ploeg | Categorie: data management plan, events, open access, publishing, research data

On Tuesday 20 October 2015, Library and IT Services organized the fourth annual Research Meeting in the worldwide Open Access week. Theme of the meeting was “Maximize Your Research Impact”. Chairman Marc van den Berg wrote his impressions of the meeting on his last day in Tilburg as director of Library and IT Services.

Opening speech – Emile Aarts
The opening speech was made by our rector, Emile Aarts, who started with expressing his disappointment with the number of attendees, especially academic staff. Flip side of this remark is that you can only be disappointed in the number of attendees present if you believe that the meeting is worthwhile attending, and this is exactly what Emile said. He continued with stressing the importance of thinking about open access in general and the influence on impact in particular, both for the individual researcher and for the institution as a whole.

Chris Hartgerink, PhD student
The first invited speaker then took the floor. Chris Hartegerink, PhD student at the Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences is working on improving the detection of potential data fabrication and the estimation of its prevalence and he presented a talk, titled The impact of daily research practice. Chris showed the various problems and debates regarding the impact factor, and the way it is (often) misused. In the second part of his talk Chris called upon us all to acknowledge the importance of open access, open data and open science in general.

Marjan Grootveld, DANS
Our second invited speaker was Marjan Grootveld from the Data Archiving and Networked Services institute, (aka ‘DANS’). Marjan is senior policy advisor at DANS focusing on research data management. Her talk was titled Preparing for responsible research. She showed us the various obligatory protocols and procedures, mostly regarding the handling of research data, that funders in the Netherlands and abroad (e.g. EC) are now maintaining. In the break after Marjan’s talk I found out that not everybody in the room agreed with Marjan’s firm positions on these matters. Already in the Q&A we had a short debate on the question which data to keep and archive. In the break I learned from a social psychologist that keeping all data in that discipline is senseless. Experiments can be easily repeated, so why take all the hassle. Thinking about Marjan’s position in this, I repeated her statement that it is impossible to know now what we will be interested in, in let’s say a few decades. Food for thought.

Marijtje Jongsma, Radboud University & chair VAWO
Third speaker on an already interesting afternoon was Marijtje Jongsma, assistant professor Neuropsychology at the Radboud University, Nijmegen and chairman of the VAWO ¬union for scientists. Under the intriguing title Disposable scientists, Marijtje first told us her private story going through the ranks from PhD student to Assistant Professor. Not a seamless career, but one that had been frustrating at times. Marijtje explained that most of the difficulties she encountered, as a young researcher, a single mother and a female researcher, are typical for the situation in Dutch academia these days. That is why a union for scientist is needed badly and Marijtje felt very much ‘at home’ in the VAWO union. Her talk was a frank and honest, if somewhat sobering contribution to our research meeting. More food for thought.

Rodrigo Costas, CWTS Leiden University

Last but certainly not least in the row of invited speakers was Rodrigo Costas from the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University. Rodrigo is an experienced researcher in the field of information science and bibliometrics and showed us what we can learn from Altmetrics. After a thorough overview of the definition(s) and types of altmetrics, Rodrigo explained how different ways of impact measurement serve different purposes. His ‘citations versus tweets’ comparisons where highly interesting and certainly delivered new insights for most attendees in the room. Like the impact factor (see above), altmetrics can be misunderstood and misused, for sure, but they can also shed a whole different light on the importance of particular contributions to science, e.g. regarding societal impact. A highly interesting talk and a worthy closing session to a thought provoking research meeting 2015.

Now, how can we increase attendance and prevent a relatively large number of interested researchers to sign up but not show up? Could we credit their h-index for attending? :-)

Marc van den Berg

As of November 1st 2015, Marc van den Berg has been appointed Head of the Division for Innovation & Development at the National Library of the Netherlands (KB). For the past five years he was director of Library and IT Services at Tilburg University.

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