Eurodoc Open Science Ambassador Training

Eva Hnatkova, Czech Republic: Access to scientific knowledge allows making informed decisions

We continue introducing members of the Eurodoc Open Science Ambassadors’ cohort 2019/20 who have been promoting openness and transparency in their national, local and institutional communities. The International Open Access Week 2020 has ended, but we continue as we still have lots of content to share! Meet Dr. Eva Hnatkova, Open Science Ambassador for Czech Republic and former President of Eurodoc.

Why are you supporting Open Science?

Open Science is a new modern way of conducting, communicating and evaluating research outputs via emerging digital technologies and collaborative tools. It is an umbrella term for various practices aimed at making scientific knowledge, methods, data and evidence freely available and accessible for everyone. I believe that sharing information is beneficial for both science and society. Access to scientific knowledge allows us to develop innovations, solve contemporary challenges, and make informed decisions. The usefulness of scientific knowledge is limited if that knowledge is not communicated to others openly.

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

In the Czech Republic most researchers are still unaware about Open Science practices and have no idea how much money is spent for electronic information resources via subscriptions, which is one side of the coin. The other side is the funding mechanism for research performing organizations and incentives for researchers and for their career promotion, which do not sufficiently encourage uptake of Open Science activities.

In 2017, our National Strategy towards Open Access to Scholarly Information was adopted; however, it was done without concrete actions until the Government approved the Action Plan in 2019. Our funding agencies do not presently require publishing via Open Access under their grant conditions and they have not joined Plan S (cOAlition S) yet. Neither Czech funders or grant agencies, nor universities require Data Management Plans either.

How are you addressing these challenges?

In order to support and raise awareness about the importance and benefits of Open Science in the Czech Republic, I participated in and organized various events especially for early career researchers. Today, I am working as an Open Science Coordinator at the National Library of Technology and also at the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. This is a great opportunity to promote Open Science and provide more support to researchers and other stakeholders for implementation of the Open Access and FAIR data according to European standards.