The Future of Research Communications and e-Scholarship

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Adventures in Research Data Management become a Reality

On Tuesday, 27 April LIBSENSE co-hosted a community call with the REPO project. Within the wider framework of discussing lessons learned from designing and conducting virtual open access and open science training and community building events in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we kicked off with a fascinating presentation by Samuel Simango, Research Data Services Manager, Stellenbosch University Library on their recently launched Research Data Management Adventure Game.

Samuel explained that in creating a game to educate early career researchers about RDM provides opportunities for them to experience the repercussions of decisions within a safe environment without suffering real life consequences. He and his co-creators, Alex Ball and Nushrat Khan of Bath University, worked hard to make the game entertaining as well as informative, resulting in a range of eight possible outcomes. It has been uploaded to Gitlab under CC BY-NC-SA licence and is free to anyone to play. Samuel and Alex are keen to hear feedback from players.

The game was soft launched in December 2020 by Bath University and then in March 2021 by Stellenbosch, and has already been played by over 500 people in 30 countries as well as being included within Wellcome’s own Early Career Researcher welcome pack.

Although the game was designed to be played alone, it is also suitable for training in a group setting. Students can play the game for the first time, then discuss their experiences and choices as part of a practical training session with the aim that, when playing it for a second time, their scores will be higher. It isn’t – yet – part of any formal evaluation systems, however this could be developed in the future.

The game was warmly received by the webinar delegates, who discussed their own initial outcomes, and those in suitable institutional settings undertook to try it out and report back. The fact that it’s currently only available in English was addressed by pledges from other delegates to translate it into both French and Spanish. This in itself is a brilliant outcome from the webinar.

Attendees came from Benin, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, the Netherlands and UKr, which I hope will result in the game being made more widely known and played. I also hope that members of the FORCE11 and FSCI communities will check the game out and engage in wider discussions about how to grow open scholarship – its practices, capacity and efficacy.

And the next opportunity to learn more is coming up soon: 

You can join Serah Rono of The Carpentries in a fireside chat with Marty Brennan of FSCI/FORCE11/UCLA about his role in the FORCE11 Scholarly Communication Institute (FSCI), and the impact of the pandemic upon FSCI and open science training more broadly.

Date and time: Wednesday May 26 at 2pm UTC and you can register here


The Reimagining Educational Practices for Open (REPO) Community Event Series 


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