Looking back at the 1st TRIPLE International Conference

We would like to remember the first TRIPLE International Conference and look back the many contributions from speakers, panelists and moderators and the lively discussions with the audience. Read the full report here:

What role do the social sciences and humanities (SSH) play in the discussion about open research in Europe? Which considerations do we take into account when choosing business models for open science projects? Can a hackathon help answer SSH-specific questions (such as the challenges in creating a multilingual vocabulary for a discovery service)? Does crowdfunding work in SSH projects? How does the GoTriple discovery platform fit into the ecosystem of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)?

These are just some of the questions addressed during the 1st TRIPLE International Conference “Empowering Discovery in Open Social Sciences and Humanities” hosted online by the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences (IBL PAN) on 22–24 November 2021. The event also provided a unique opportunity to launch the beta version of the GoTriple platform and to discuss its functionalities with the SSH community.

We thank over 140 participants – researchers, university and library staff, publishers, science journalists, SMEs, public authorities and policy makers – for joining us! Throughout the conference, the TRIPLE Twitter account was on fire: Tweets reached an audience of over 10,000 people! It shows that the TRIPLE project addresses some hot topics within the social sciences and humanities.

The conference was opened by an introduction to the goals and vision of the OPERAS Research Infrastructure. Maciej Maryl and Marta Błaszczyńska (IBL PAN/OPERAS-PL, Poland) and Larissa Saar and Pattrick Piel (Max Weber Stiftung/OPERAS-GER, Germany) then presented the newly launched national nodes. The national initiatives will share information about recent developments in the OPERAS Research Infrastructure with local stakeholders and SSH communities. 

OPERAS services, presented by Maciej Maryl (screenshot)

One of the key topics of Sabina Leonelli’s (University of Exeter) keynote speech were ethical issues surrounding open research data. Although she started off from the COVID pandemic and the implications for sharing large medical datasets containing vulnerable data, her major concerns are also valid for SSH research: Is it ethical to collect data from vulnerable populations and communities and use them for the benefit of other, mostly privileged societies? How to create and implement a global standard for collecting, storing and sharing highly relevant data so that they can be reused by researchers from many different disciplinary backgrounds and research organisations? How to convince SSH communities to participate in a global network of researchers sharing their datasets in accordance with the FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship?

Sabina Leonelli on a simplistic vision of Open Research in her keynote speech (screenshot)

The next session, moderated by Emilie Blotière (Huma-Num, France), was devoted to the GoTriple platform, developed by the TRIPLE project. In short demos, TRIPLE partners showcased basic functionalities, such as browsing and filtering the multilingual dataset of resources ingested from major European aggregators. 

Emilie Blotière presenting the GoTRIPLE platform (screenshot)

In the first Session of the next day of the conference, participants learned about the GoTriple hackathon, which had taken place on 8–10 and 15–16 November. The aim of this virtual event had been to assess and improve coverage of the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) in the GoTriple vocabulary by using existing subject headings systems that are already in use for the organisation of publications in social sciences and humanities (SSH) disciplines. Participants were software programmers and researchers with a dedicated interest in vocabularies, programming librarians, non-IT specialists and professionals managing repositories.

The organisers of the hackathon, Iraklis Katsaloulis (EKT, Greece) and Cezary Rosiński (IBL PAN, Poland), together with some of the hackathon participants from the Greek, Polish and Portuguese-German teams, presented the results of the event. They also addressed the main challenges of the hackathon format in the SSH community.

Iraklis Katsaloulis, Cezary Rosiński, Kostis Karozos and Nelson Henrique Da Silva Ferreira present results of the GoTriple hackathon (screenshot)

In Session 2 of Day 2, conference participants were given the opportunity to discuss crowdfunding in research contexts. Alizé Averasano from the Swiss crowdfunding platform wemakeit gave some food for thought when sharing examples of crowdfunding in science. Mariannig Le Bechec (Univ. Lyon 1, France) and Luigi di Pace (Univ. Milano-Biccoca, Italy) presented success stories and challenges of crowdfunding teams working for universities. The audience also learned about crowdfunding in science from the European Commission’s perspective, thanks to the contribution by Michael Arentoft (EC’s Open Science Unit, Belgium).

Models of crowdfunding platforms presented by Mariannig Le Bechec (screenshot)

The participants’ discussion brought up a number of questions, such as: How can SSH research be made more “sexy”’ for a broader audience, or: Is it really necessary to make it more “sexy” in order to receive crowdfunding? – “No,” was Alizé Averasano’s answer, “the key to success is communication about your project”. Other questions were: How can we touch people’s emotions with often non-emotional research topics? What are the ways to learn new communication strategies for crowdfunding? The discussion was moderated by Stefano da Paoli and Paula Forbes from Abertay University (UK).

Day 3 of the TRIPLE International Conference offered two panel sessions. The first one, titled “Business & Open Science – Contrast or Complement?”, was moderated by Gert Breitfuss and Leonie Disch from Know-Center. The panelists presented and discussed different types of business models that work best for Open Science projects, with a focus on sustainability. Gert Breitfuss first presented the work around developing a business model for the GoTriple platform, which included an analysis of 26 existing platforms and services and their business models.

Presentation by Gert Breitfuss on business models (screenshot)

Next, Niels Stern talked about OAPEN, a foundation that operates the OAPEN Library and and the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), two platforms that provide open access to scholarly publications. Another platform, CORE, and the service’s sustainability paths, was presented by founder and Head Petr Knoth.

CORE sustainability paths, presented by Petr Knoth (screenshot)

Vanessa Proudman, Director of SPARC Europe and representative of The Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS), raised questions on ethical considerations regarding which aspects of a project could be offered as a paid service, and which user groups could be charged. For instance, CORE differentiates between those who plan to monetise data acquired from the CORE services and institutions or researchers who use data for non-commercial purposes. All panelists concluded that no matter what, long-term funding is critical to sustain the service after the conclusion of a project. 

Final recommendations from the panel for projects developing services were:

  • Put the user in the centre – bring the community on board during the process of building the service and put an emphasis on usability
  • Raise awareness, ask about the needs of the community to ensure their engagement and support after the project is finished
  • Use success stories from users to showcase the benefits of the service
  • Listen to the community, but also trust your own expertise, vision and determination while developing the service
  • Be a visionary and think ahead but be realistic on what you can develop and deliver
  • Think about, right from the start of a project, which aspects could be monetised and who would need to pay for these services and data
  • Decide on the governance and type of organisation behind a service or platform
Panelists of the “GoTriple in the EOSC Ecosystem” session

The last session was titled “GoTriple in the EOSC Ecosystem” and was moderated by Francesca di Donato from CNR. Panelists were Daan Broeder (CLARIN/SSHOC), Elena Giglia (OPERAS), Laure Barbot (DARIAH/SSHOC), Carsten Thiel (CESSDA) and Klaas Wierenga (GÉANT and EOSC Future).

The moderator posed several questions that the panelist then answered one by one, after shortly presenting their organisations’ relationship with the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). One focus of the ensuing discussions were the existing and potential future connections between their infrastructures and services (e.g. the SSH Open Marketplace developed by the SSHOC project) and the GoTriple platform, and what is needed to intensify collaborative efforts towards a shared goal, i.e. to strengthen the SSH component in the EOSC.

Go to the event web page to find the complete programme and list of speakers, panelists and moderators.

Slides and recordings of the event will soon be available on Zenodo (OPERAS Community) and the TRIPLE YouTube channel.

The 3-day conference was the first international event of this kind in the TRIPLE project. The 2nd TRIPLE International Conference conference will be held in early 2023. Stay tuned!

Looking back at the 1st TRIPLE International Conference
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