Sharing ILRI’s open research at Mozilla Science Lab meeting

Yesterday evening, I had the opportunity to take part in a Mozilla Science Lab community call where I talked briefly about some of our work at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) on open access to research outputs, code and data. [Evening, because the call was at 1100 hours Eastern Time, which was 1800 hours in Kenya].

Kaitlin Thaney, the director of Mozilla Science Lab, was also a speaker at the workshop I attended last week on discoverability of African scholarship, and she kindly invited me to speak at this month’s Mozilla Science community call and share a bit about ILRI’s work on open research.

The Mozilla Science Lab meetings are normally held monthly and provide a forum for the team to discuss the latest developments and projects around open science. It’s essentially a telephone conference combined with the use of Etherpad, an online real-time editing platform, to type notes or questions in the course of the meeting.

Participants dial into a toll-free 1-800 number, enter a password and a conference room number and then listen in to the call. When you dial in to the call, you are automatically on mute to reduce background noise. To speak, you press *1 on your keypad to unmute, then *1 again to mute once you’re done speaking.

It was my first time to participate in a conference call of this nature, and I found the Etherpad ¬†interface a bit strange at first. In addition to the main section for live editing and note-taking, there is a chat box on the right side of the page, so it was a bit distracting at first trying to follow the live notes and chats and focus on the speaker but all went well in the end ūüôā

Also on the call was Michelle Willmers, the program manager of the OpenUCT Initiative, who organized the two-day #scholarAfrica workshop in collaboration with Carnegie Corporation.

You can check out the meeting notes on the Etherpad.

I’m grateful to Kaitlin for the opportunity to share, and I look forward to continued conversations and information sharing!

 

Advertisements

#scholarAfrica workshop: Learning and sharing about online discoverability of African research

#scholarAfrica Discoverability Workshop group photo

Great workshop on discoverability of African scholarship thanks to @openuct and @CarnegieCorp #scholarAfrica (photo credit: @iHubResearch)

Back to the office today after a very fruitful 2-day workshop on strategies to enhance the online discoverability of African scholarship. It was great to meet new people from different countries (Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, Mexico, UK, Uganda and USA) and I felt really privileged for having been given the opportunity to share the experiences of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) communications team in using social media to communicate our research.

Research agencies represented included the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM), TrustAfrica, the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), the African Leadership Centre, the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and ILRI.

The OpenUCT Initiative organized the workshop in collaboration with Carnegie Corporation.

The Twitter hash tag for the workshop was #scholarAfrica and we noted quite a buzz on Twitter on the subject of online visibility of research from Africa and related issues such as open access to outputs and¬†datasets. We plan to keep the #scholarAfrica hash tag going, as the end of the workshop should not mean the end of the conversations ūüôā

Highlights of the discussions were curated on Storify by Nanjira of iHub Research.¬†Check out the summaries of Day 1 and Day 2.¬†We published the presentations on Zenodo (this was the first I heard of this online publishing channel which automatically assigns a DOI, thereby permanently curating the presentations — cool!)

Access the individual presentations via the links below.

And finally… some photos of the event.

Towards increased discoverability of African scholarship

Some time in January this year, I accepted an invitation to take part in a workshop in Nairobi on promoting the discoverability of African scholarship online.

Well, the 2-day workshop starts tomorrow and is organized by the OpenUCT Initiative of the University of Cape Town in collaboration with the Carnegie Corporation. It’s primarily targeted at Africa-based Carnegie grantee organizations involved in research in agriculture, health and social sciences.

Interestingly, the invitation to participate in the workshop came via a direct-message tweet from Michelle Willmers, program manager of the OpenUCT Initiative! A few tweets, emails and a Skype call later and I was all set to participate as one of the speakers. Social media is surely changing the dynamics of how we work, network and achieve results!

The Open Access movement is growing steadily ¬†and the¬†International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), the organization I work for, is committed to making its research outputs freely open and accessible, so¬†I’m happy to be contributing to the workshop as one of the speakers.

I’ll be addressing the issue of discoverability in the local context, drawing on our experiences at ILRI of using social media as part of a research communication strategy to complement our open access institutional repository.

Looking forward to it… two days of learning, networking, meeting new people and putting faces to Twitter handles!