Eurodoc Open Science Ambassador Training

Ana Slavec, Slovenia: Without openness, we cannot call it ‘science’

We are in the middle of the International Open Access Week 2020, and it’s a great opportunity to introduce some members of the Eurodoc Open Science Ambassadors’ cohort 2019/20 who have been promoting openness and transparency in their national, local and institutional communities. Meet Dr. Ana Slavec, Eurodoc Open Science Ambassador for Slovenia.

Why are you supporting Open Science?

As a statistician, I am mainly interested in the data dimension of Open Science. I think it is a shame that most of the research data that is collected is never reused. This is because some researchers are reluctant to share their data and those who do share it usually do so without equipping it with sufficiently rich documentation and metadata. Science should be practiced in a way that others can participate and contribute. Without this openness, we cannot call it ‘science’. I wish more researchers would understand that and try to be more transparent in their research.

What are the main challenges for Open Science implementation in your country?

The main challenges in Slovenia and many other countries are low awareness and skills, and lack of support and rewards for researchers to practice Open Science. In particular, I think it is important to consider how Open Science activities are recognized in the recruitment process and evaluating the work of researchers. For now it only counts how many papers you publish, while efforts to make our research results more open for other researchers and the whole society do not have an impact on research assessment.

How are you addressing these challenges?

As an Open Science ambassador in Slovenia, I am addressing these challenges by writing monthly articles on the topic for the science section of Meta’s list, a Slovenian media network. I am translating them to English and publishing them under the #LetsOpenScience hashtag on LinkedIn, too.

In addition, with my co-ambassador Nejc Novak and other colleagues at Mlada akademija, the association of doctoral students and early career researchers in Slovenia, we are organising a yearly Open Science event. This year it is being held online, in the open access week. You can watch the videos on the YouTube channel of our association.