Research Newsletter - Issue 88: Open Research

Embracing the Future: NORFest2023 Spotlights Open Research as a Prominent Path for Early Career Researchers

Ireland’s first annual National Open Research Festival (NORFest2023) took place on the 2nd and 3rd of November in the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, and was organized by the National Open Research Forum (NORF).  


Open Research

Review of the NORF Festival of Open Research

Attending the NORF Festival of Open Research in Ireland was not only an enlightening experience, but an opportunity to witness the dawn of a new scientific era. The festival underscored the growing importance of open science and also provided a platform for meaningful discussions and insights into the evolving landscape of research and its meaning for early career researchers (ECRs).


The keynote talk, "Opening Science" by Chelle Gentemann from NASA, set the tone for the entire event.  Her perspective on NASA's Open Science program and its impact on the scientific community, coupled with insights into the US Year of Open Science, showcased the global relevance and influence of open research.

One of the standout sessions was the panel discussion on Early Career Researcher perspectives of open research and research assessment.  This session delved into the challenges, expectations and opportunities faced by ECRs in embracing open practices.  


The panel's interactive format fostered a transparent and candid exchange of ideas, offering valuable guidance on navigating the open research landscape.  This included insights into research assessment principles, the reshaping of roles for funders, universities, editors/publishers, policy makers, and the researchers themselves. 

The “lightning talks” on initiatives supporting open research in Ireland were particularly inspiring.  These presentations highlighted the diverse range of projects and efforts aimed at fostering a culture of openness within the Irish research community.  Many of these initiatives carry significant implications for how Early Career Researchers (ECRs) should approach building their careers.  For instance, the introduction of narrative CVs, a novel model focusing less on quantity and providing researchers with the opportunity to demonstrate their value in addressing key societal challenges through their research.  

There is also a growing trend in recognizing quality and research integrity through alternative outcomes for publications, such as open access data sets, open-source software, and databases.  This shift aligns with a broader acknowledgment of the diversity of talents and profiles among researchers.

The interactive workshops offered a hands-on experience, covering various aspects of open research, including scholarly publishing, alternatives to supporting sustainable open access, data stewardship, open-source software, scholarly authorship and open access, and even a detective game focusing on open peer review discussions.  These workshops not only provided practical skills but also fostered a sense of community among researchers keen on embracing open practices in their work. 

In summary, the NORF Festival 2023 provided an invaluable opportunity to recognize that integrating open research into early career planning is essential.  The program illuminated the importance of open science in shaping the future of research and reaffirmed a commitment to incorporating open practices into our work. It underscored the confidence that open research is here to stay.


Aline Larroyed

Dr Aline Larroyed, Feature Contributor

Aline Larroyed is a postdoctoral researcher at DCU, currently engaged in the project titled, "Access to translation as a means to the materialization of human rights in crisis settings: a comparison between the Brazilian and Irish realities."  Her research is supported by the Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship.

She holds a Doctorate in International Law from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands and the Diploma in English Law and Legal Skills from the British Law Centre (University of Cambridge).

She also served as a senior researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition Law and is a member of the Forum for Latin America at the same Institute.  She is an associate member of IGIR, Institute for Globalization and International Regulation (Maastricht, Netherlands).