Meeting to be held as a virtual session on the 3rd April at 16:00 UTC
Researchers spend a considerable time and effort in collecting and analysing data for scientific purposes, yet they tend to spend much less time on communicating their results to a wider audience and other stakeholders beyond the scientific community. In the past number of years, there has been significant progress in opening up the different dimensions and components of science: data, methodologies and workflows, code and software, open access scientific publishing, education & training, and peer review. However, little is discussed in terms of ‘communicating’ outputs to wider audiences, as an effective means of science communication. This advancement of Open Science calls for discussions about what it means to share the findings and other components of scientific research, including research data, with the wider audience beyond academia and specialised research communities. The push to develop this kind of communication -- beyond invested research communities -- is evidenced by EC funding calls in the SwafS stream(1) and by the inclusion of ‘communication efforts’ as a separate evaluation category from ‘dissemination’ in highly competitive grants such as the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Individual Fellowships(2). Establishing science communication around research data as a key RDM best practice requires a wider discussion around effective engagement, skills and incentives, roles and recognition of such efforts as central to the research work. But there is also great potential and a growing interest to make this happen. RDA’s focus on building bridges, and its recognition of the complex social and cultural work required for this, makes it an ideal vehicle to build momentum and capacity in science communication.
This BoF session is put forward following an initial scoping for interest conducted during the Unconference session at the RDA 14th Plenary meeting in Helsinki, 23-25 October 2019. The short Unconference discussion confirmed interest and what we hope to be a growing momentum for science communication under the Open Science umbrella.
This BOF meeting will aim to introduce the wider topic of science communication and focus on science communication for research data, in line with the RDA agenda. It will discuss the state of the art, priorities and requirements, and the actors involved and assess the need for a convergent effort and an RDA group on science communication for research data.