By Selina Aragon, SSI Communications Manager, and Jacalyn Laird, SSI Communications Officer.
As part of the inaugural SSI Research Software Camp on research accessibility, we’ve gathered some useful resources below. Research accessibility is a broad topic and this list gives a taster of the different areas. We have broadly divided these into open research, including open software and open access, the FAIR principles and reproducibility of research. We’ve also included the less talked-about aspects of research accessibility, such as equity in science, citizen science and events, which are important to include if we want to change how current research practices approach research accessibility.
If you know of a useful guide or article you’d like added to this list then please let us know. Our future Camps will cover a variety of topics relating to research software – join our mailing list for updates on upcoming Camps.
In this section, we provide a taster of various guides and definitions gathered under open research - an umbrella term for different aspects, principles and practices of accessibility in research. These include open access, open software, research reproducibility and the FAIR principles. Open research aims to make the outputs of research freely accessible and usable, so that research can be collaborative, transparent, and reproducible.
The UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN)primers provide guidance on various open research topics (Preregistration and registered reports, Preprints, Open Access, Data Sharing, and Open Code and Software) and how to carry them out pragmatically. [guides]
OpenAIREis committed to shifting scholarly communication towards openness and transparency and facilitating innovative ways to communicate and monitor research. They have a series of guides and handbooks from Research Data Management to legal issues for research data: [guides]
From definitions of various open science and open research aspects to learning resources and further reading, the Open Science Training Handbook is aimed at people delivering training on open science. [guide]
The Turing Waystarted as a guide for research reproducibility, covering version control, testing, and continuous integration, and it's expanded to also provide guidance on project design, communication, collaboration, and ethical research. [guides]
Among all the forced changes that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon us, libraries have had to come up with other ways of making their resources available to students and staff. The article “Improving open access and discovery during the pandemic” provides a few tips on how to easily find open access research and course materials in libraries. [article]
Go FAIR has a fantastic guide on “How to Go FAIR” which includes “a framework guiding FAIRification” and information on three-point FAIRification working groups. [guide]
Other aspects of research accessibility
When we were discussing the various aspects that research accessibility encompasses as a topic for the inaugural SSI Research Software Camp, we decided that we wanted to include less-explored and often overlooked themes. We list here a few resources on topics such as equity in (open) science, citizen science, and inclusivity across research activities. These resources are intended as food for thought and to encourage a different approach to research accessibility by looking at it through a different lens.
Equity and inclusivity
In his keynote talk on “The Social Model of Inaccessibility”, Chris Hartgerink draws a comparison between the social model of disability and the way we approach open research, and how the social model of disability can be used to reframe questions and discussions around research accessibility. [video]
In 2018, the Global Young Academy (GYA) carried out a pilot survey to assess the quantity and quality of access to proprietary and open source software among researchers from all disciplines. The findings of this work show that initiatives and policy changes are needed to improve access to software for scientists everywhere. The “Global Access to Research Software: The Forgotten Pillar of Open Science Implementation” report provides recommendations to address inaccessibility of research software around the world. [report]
Running inclusive and accessible events and calls that promote various aspects of research and research software is paramount in bringing in new collaborators. The DISC Committee has curated a community-authored cookbook on how to organise diverse and inclusive events, called theDISCOVER Cookbook (Diverse & Inclusive Spaces and Conferences: Overall Vision and Essential Resources). [guide]
The preprint “Enhancing the inclusivity and accessibility of your online calls” by Yo Yehudi et al., describes formats and tools for designing online training calls for accessibility. These measures will aid participation for a broad audience but may be especially helpful for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, people for whom the call isn’t in their preferred language, and people who are not comfortable speaking in front of a group. [guide]
A different approach to research accessibility is that of citizen science, which advocates for the public to be included in accessing and gathering research data. Citizen science is in many ways a product of successful science communication and public engagement.