The following interview was first published in DARIAH’s Newsletter from June 2016. If you like to subscribe to to our newsletter, please fill in the form on the homepage (bottom right corner).
Jennifer Edmond is one of the two heads of DARIAH’s Virtual Competence Center “Research and Education”. She works for Trinity College Dublin, where she is the Co-Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities. As a newly appointed member of the Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP) Jennifer supports the European Commission in developing an Open Science Policy.
Jennifer, since the end of May you are a member of the Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP). Please tell us, how exactly does your work in the OSPP looks like?
The OSPP is a small, high-level group of experts representing stakeholder perspectives relevant for the development of Open Science policy. We are charged with the mission to consult with the Commission and our stakeholder groups, and to shape policy responses to the wide range of issues associated with Open Science.
Why is an open science policy so important for Europe?
Open Science in one of the three guiding principles recently announced by the European Commission as mechanisms to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness in science across the disciplines. By sharing results and resources early, widely and more fluidly, Europe’s research system can become not only more efficient, but deeper, more insightful.
How is your role in DARIAH connected to your nomination as a member of the OSPP?
Each member of the OSPP represents the interests of a particular organisation or consortium: in my case that organisation is DARIAH. I think it speaks well for the potential reach and impact of the OSPP that they include not only the large and established players in the research ecosystem, like the universities and the publishers, but also the so-called intermediaries, representing emerging practices and interests, like DARIAH.
How do you think will DARIAH profit from your engagement in the OSPP?
I worry that current trends in the development of Open Science policy are based upon very science-focussed conceptions of research process, research data, research careers, etc. Through DARIAH’s inclusion among the represented organisations, we can bring the humanities perspective as well. This can help DARIAH to keep its own policies at the leading edge within Europe, but also to fulfil its role as a source of support and expertise for the humanities research community.
If you are looking at the upcoming work in the OSPP, what are the biggest challenges?
It’s a huge mandate, encompassing the full research process, from citizen science and altmetrics to publishing and research data sharing. Some of the tools and norms needed to realise good practice in these areas are yet to be established: in other cases, significant vested interests may stand in the way of balanced development. It certainly won’t be an easy task, but the stakes for the European researcher are high.
Thank you very much, Jennifer.