Open Research #OpenAcademia

The ‘Open Research for Academics‘ event I attended last weekend at Goldsmiths, organised by Caspar Addyman and Bianca Elena Ivanof, featured a series of good talks, and these two were my favourite:

Sophia Collins shared her experience of running the Wellcome Trust-funded Nappy Science Ganga citizens-powered citizen scientific project (rather than a scientists-driven one).

Kat Jungnickel talked about how she used a mix of creative methods such as sewing, making, and performance to study and publicise her research on women’s cycling costumes in Victorian time.

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Kat Jungnickel gave a talk ‘Making & Wearing your Research’
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Documentation of a range of impressive creative works related to Kat Jungnickel’s research on Victorian Women’s Cycling Costumes.

I have to admit: had I known the prize for the hackathon in advance (including a National Art Pass!), I’d work harder to come up with something more satisfactory and sharable. For example, join the workshop led by@jobarratt to prepare a ‘frictionless dataset‘ using the tools newly developed by OKFN. However, I still enjoyed the discussion at the workshop led by@sophiacol about the challenges of leading citizen science projects. 

The day was slightly different from other (more technical) hackathons I participated before. The emphasis was less on ‘making’, more on ‘articulating the openness’. Based on the discussion and the talks presented on the day, ‘open research’ seemed to have been reduced to ‘public engagement’ or ‘open access’. And, the kind of ‘public engagement’ defined by some researchers was also a bit utility-driven: for example, researchers were wondering how to get more volunteers to participate in their psychological experiments. While accessibility and inclusivity is important, the spirit of DIY or DIT often found at a hackathon seemed missing at this event. But, as one of the participants, I was to blame as well :p

The day was documented in various different ways, including this wiki page and these videos from the keynote speakers. And all the attendees were given a USB stick containing 44 FREE ebooks from Open Humanities Press and others, which can also be downloaded here (warning: 140Mb zip file!).

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Show and tell – an object (a disobedient object) that dismisses the binary of the book and the double paged spread
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