Discussion on research teams at IGDORE

I recently had an engaging email exchange with @paoladm, a new researcher at IGDORE. This discussion touched on a lot of areas, but one of the most important was encouraging research groups/teams to form and work on projects that address questions related to IGDOREs values (healthy, global, open and replicable). IGDORE affiliates discuss OS a lot (on this forum and elsewhere) - IGDORE research teams could offer a new way for distributed research teams to form and conduct research on OS that have real research outcomes.

What would IGDORE research teams look like? Well, many researchers at IGDORE are interested in Open and Replicable Science and/or metascience: several researchers could come together and form a research team looking at, for example, the use and attitudes towards preprints in different fields. After approval from the IGDORE board, this could be called the ‘IGDORE preprint usage evaluation group’ and would receive institutional support from IGDORE, like administrative assistance, a page on our site describing the group’s work and findings, etc. New IGDORE affiliates interested in studying preprint usage could join the existing team and while individual team members could apply for individual project funding through IGDORE (or another academic affiliation they may have), there may also be opportunities for the team to apply for institutional grants through IGDORE. As many IGDORE affiliates work independently, research teams would provide peers and increased support for independent researchers to make scientific contributions through IGDORE.

Why experiment with new models for research organization? Well, constraining work to a single lab or institute generally limits the location where participants can be based, a collaboration between researchers based at different universities fragments the administration and infrastructure between different institutions, while founding a new organization for each project involves requires going through a lot of bureaucracy that isn’t central project’s goals. Are any of those well suited for how most of IGDORE’s researchers want to work on OS projects? Probably not. IGDOREs goal would be to work in consultation with our researchers to develop an organization model that is well suited for enabling most of our researchers to work on the sorts of OS projects they are interested in. Last and possibly least, experimenting with institutional design has recently become quite trendy.

What would we need to make IGDORE research teams a reality? (suggestions mostly from @paoladm):

  • a process/workflow template
  • metrics to track outcomes
  • internal project pages (OSF, GitHub?)
  • external project pages (on the igdore.org site?)
  • internal communication channels (private forum category, slack?)
  • funding (this is potentially a recursive problem as results+teams are often needed before the funding that facilitates them)
  • team leaders (not necessarily PIs, but people motivated to start team moving and take some responsibility for ensuring goals are met)

And what would IGDORE’s research teams work on? Well, basically anything related to the intersection of the values of healthy, global, open and replicable with research and education! (IGDORE’s current Open Scientific Practices page is an initial example) Specifically, @paoladm mentioned interest in exposing flaws in the peer-review process (do you want to expand on this Paola?). Open and replicable (let alone health and global) science is a big space and more project ideas are also very welcome :slight_smile:

@heidi also recently suggested using IGDORE to support the creation of new types of research collaborations and teams (The IGDORE Project: Reinventing Academia with an Open (Science) Mind - #8 by heidi) and two of our recent In Focus interviewees (@Daniel_Cleather and @sivashchenko) have also mentioned wanting to see more collaborative activities at IGDORE. So to keep the momentum going, I’m tagging @IGDORE_everyone - please feel free to share your thoughts on this with the rest of the institute:

  • Do IGDORE research teams sounds like a good idea?
  • Would you be interested in working on one?
  • Or do you think that the existing options for research collaboration are already good enough?

IGDORE research teams are still just an idea, but if there is enough interest in them then I think the institute could start moving towards making them a reality :smiley:

Note that I can also imagine IGDORE affiliates developing collaborations and projects related to their individual research areas (e.g. psychology and physics). I also think that IGDORE would be a good place for field-specific research collaborations to form, but I feel that these are likely to be more similar to traditional collaborations and require less formal support from IGDORE. However, this is also open to discussion and it might eventually make sense to have an ‘IGDORE particle physics group’ (for example)

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Thank you Gavin for opening up the discussion, our email exchange really is relevant to @everyone_igdore. As mentioned, now we have an affiliation and the possibility to apply for funding via IGDORE, an awesome start, But funders want to see teams, and globally distributed researchers need to find ways to form teams, so thanks for all the suggestions, I look forward to see interesting replies in particular on the project pages, We need a way to support researchers initiate and plan research projects and connect with others, with some minimal pages (internal and external), Let’s see what people come up with, I think we can also have presentations, where the researcher initiating a new project promotes their tentative goals and schedule to @everyone_Igdore requesting feedback and collaboration. When the team forms a plan this can be turned into a funding proposal. Btw- anyone with great experience on getting research funded could perhaps give some training to the rest of us, on how to get proposals funded. Let me guess, such a platform, if it does not yet exist, maybe could be funded by the EU itself, anyone up for asking for EU funding for this? (team please?) The research project I d like to initiate (piloting my own idea, I guess) is, as you mention, research that identifies and addresses the many flaws in the scientific/review process (which is one of the main motivations behind open science). This bites into a lot of other issues (flawed science and research funded and published to influence certain policies and justify corrupt practices in industry, for example) I myself have a small collection already of these types of flaws already characterized - double standards - where the review criteria are applied at the sole discrimination of the reviewers and editors, ie not consistently, spurious decisions - where the decision is not consistent with the reviews, pick and choose reviews to fit the decision made a priori, piloted reviews, etc. Can we honestly reject papers simply because we have a different opinion, or should rejections be based solely on the validity of claims and results? Basically, if a paper makes a claim which is true backed by valid arguments and data there is no real reason to really reject it (with few exceptions) other than it does not fit the topic/call, or it is unethical etc) but authors should answer question and make corrections raised by reviewers, At the moment great papers are rejected for no valid reason and research with a lot of limitations/question marks gets published. There are a lot of other situations that would benefit from being understood and addressed as well, so my topic is meta research, I guess, in the context of metascience. I have already started to exchange with @Daniel_Cleather on something related, and based on the outcome of this thread, I ll start a page and will seek contributors to the project above, This may contribute to subvert a corrupt and pernicious scientific establishment, it is a risky business, someone will send snipers to try to highjack this effort, Many researchers may have lost their life and livelihood in this pursuit throughout history (many scientists have become discredited or have disappeared or bumped off) including Tesla and others. So we may have to choose our course of action wisely, Finally, I d like see IGDORE become a research cooperative or a social enterprise whereby volunteers and researchers become shareholders, owners of the research organisation they help to build, rather than employees, and ultimately, academic slaves. Thanks for the opportunity to share and yes, we should have research groups, and assuming interdisciplinarity, we could be part of more than one. Ultimately, @igdore I d like to avoid becoming engaged in too much chit chat and would like to get down to work ib research and education, Thank you @rebecca and everyone for the work done so far

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@paoladm we have a private category for IGDORE grant applicants that I’ve just added you to. This is mostly for me and IGDORE’s board to provide administrative support for applicants, but it would also be a great place to get feedback on the substantive part of the project from other IGDORE researchers (i.e. a future grant readership group).

In future the category will be open to all IGDORE affiliates, but as we are still setting up and trialling IGDORE’s grant hosting capabilities we’ve just added a few people who are actively applying for grants for now.

There are actually companies that offer training and advice to grant applicants (Yellow Research is one that specializes in ERC grants), although I believe that these are typically contracted by Universities and Departments rather than individual researchers (or at least that was my experience at Lund University in Sweden). If any IGDORE researchers have training material from these companies we could also share collect it in the private category (I used to have paper copies of application guides for Marie-Curie fellowships and ERC starting grants from Yellow Research). I’m also preparing some material to assist researchers with applications to Swedish funders through IGDORE (particularly for affiliates who don’t live in Sweden).

Thank you There are so many options but I find the maze of all the funding options for my own research disorienting, If there is interest in research and education collaboration work, then we have to apply for funding collaboratively Let’s think of something PDM

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I find these ideas very interesting - and am curios as to what platforms and practices will emerge to support collaborative research at IGDORE. Maybe the mindful researchers initiative could provide some input / synergy, as a shared space for reflection, and through the experience we gather in co-creation, but just a thought for now.

I am thinking - yes! Important hot spot of academic practice (including a recent experience of a strangely biased review that comes to mind).

Tho I feel pulled towards an approach of “developing and practicing what I/we consider valuable” (instead of highlighting the trouble per se). To discuss the difficulties, rather than the bad solutions, and speak from experience about alternatives: my hunch is that people often do something flawed, knowing it’s flawed, for a lack of (available, accessible, attractive) alternative. So getting together to see what our priorities and needs are, and to build the appropriate tools (alternatives to, or new combinations of what is currently available) seems crucial / fruitful / satisfying.

…the platforms for collaboration you are talking about sound very much like such a thing :slight_smile:

That said many people care about the approach you are suggesting, so, this is just to add this to the idea…

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I’m interested! (As time allows, the unfortunate reality of unfunded research.)

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Thanks for your input @AnniLou :slight_smile:

Absolutely, it would be great to engage more with the mindful researchers initiative (@Enrico.Fucci often mentions its positive points and that it has much in common with IGDORE).

I also feel drawn to creating good solutions over characterizing problems, but a counterpoint to that urge is the start-up advice of avoiding creating a ‘solution in search of a problem’. I think there is something to be said for both solution and problem first approaches in different contexts, and it would be interesting to know what has historically worked best in the current OS/metascience movement.

This tangentially reminds me of a Feynman’s Cargo Cult Science speech, which talks about scientific integrity and utter honesty as a broad way to avoid doing bad science. The speech also preempts other points of the current Open Science movement, including publication bias, spinning results, replications, and open/transparent methods and is worth reading.

this long history of learning how to not fool ourselves—of having utter scientific integrity—is, I’m sorry to say, something that we haven’t specifically included in any particular course that I know of. We just hope you’ve caught on by osmosis. … The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s easy not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that.

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I just sorted through the grants offered under Horizon Europe and listed the ones that seem relevant to Open Science and metascience. Some of these could be appropriate for funding a research team at IGDORE (although I haven’t yet looked at IGDORE’s eligibility to host any of the grants).

Thant’s great, Gavin Thanks I think we should proceed with the platform idea if we can get funding for it PDM

Annika thanks the comments, glad the ideas interest you Look forward to the input from the mindful researchers initiative Yes, people need ethical models to inspire virtue P

I like this idea. I’m about to launch into a new research paradigm (meta-research into peer evaluations), and thinking this could help to organise/promote the research, e.g. equivalent to a ‘lab website’ at a traditional University

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Absolutely, let us know more and what we can do to help you @cooper.smout :slight_smile:

I just filled in a proposal to present at Metascience 2021 (applications are due 30 June by the way, for any last minute proposals), which asked for a link to a ‘professional bio’. In the end I just linked them to my personal website, because we don’t have individual profiles on the IGDORE website. But something like this could be good to increase the standing of our researchers, and could also integrate nicely with ‘research teams’ (linking between individual and team profiles), similar to what you’d see on the website of a traditional institute

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Hey Cooper! Agreed that personal bios on the site would be useful and it’s something we’ve discussed briefly at the board. At the moment we don’t have the administrative capacity to set that up for all affiliates on IGDORE’s WordPress site, but we might look into options that would make that easier to do in future.

Another thing we’ve discussed is simply encouraging affiliates to use ORCiD as their personal profile and then linking to those from the people page - you can fill this out with your bio and it should catch and categorize most of your academic output (Antonio Schettino has a good example of a well-filled page). You could already start using your ORCiD page in this way.

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No worries, glad to hear you’ve considered it for the future. I did also link them to my ORCID profile, though it’s not quite as well-filled as Antonio’s :wink:

cheeky @cooper

About personal bios on the IGDORE website, the Open Science Community Rotterdam displays profile pages in the People section. The website is developed in R, every new profile uses the same template and can be served online relatively quickly (which means easy maintenance). I don’t know if something similar can be done in Wordpress. A complete switch to R might be overkill at this stage (especially due to administrative capacity) but, should you choose so, I can provide the structure of the website and some support.

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@cooper having individual profile pages for researchers would indeed be very good. As @Gavin mentioned, we talked about that and also with people at Ronin.

@antonio.schettino I think in wordpress it can be easily done too. However, I hate wordpress and would love to switch to R! (but I am worried that some functions would not be so easy to implement. See our new online form for affiliation requests)

The real issue here is that we do not have administration capacity to create and manage the profiles ourselves. That is why we should consider options to let new affiliates create their own pages. People at Ronin are playing with the idea already. Maybe @arika.virapongse has some updates?

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Interesting conversation! Great to see that @paoladm is also bring this idea of research teams to IGDORE.

Re: self updating profiles. We’ve been pretty stuck on this. Currently, it’s all done administratively, which is not ideal because it’s not very scalable or conducive for having a more flexible membership (i.e., we are going to move towards an opt in model where members will have to renew their membership every year–rather than an opt out where members become members for life whether they like it or not :stuck_out_tongue: ). The best thing we’ve come up with so far is a WordPress plug in that @alex.lancaster installed to allow specific individuals to update specific pages on WordPress (aside from blog posts), but it’s not super scalable either so we’re just restricting it to people who are really interested in modifying their profile.

If you want to do some super basic profiles (like social media style profiles) there are a bunch of membership management-type platforms and WP plugins that can do it. For example, Buddy Press. Membership management platforms (like Wild Apricot) also have profiles and WP integration but it’s pretty expensive (Join It is more affordable but I don’t think it has WP integration)–they are really designed to collect dues from members.

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Regarding the last paragraph of the initial post: I’m all in for an ‘IGDORE anatomy and clinical sciences group’ :slight_smile: .

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