“Research data needs to be easy to use, interoperable and affordable or else Open Science will just remain an aspiration”Name: Prof. Eva M. Méndez Rodríguez
Position: Professor and researcher
Institution: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
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ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5337-4722
An interview with Prof. Eva M. Méndez Rodríguez on 7 September 2017
How are you yourself involved with Open Data?
On a political level
- I am member of the European Open Science Policy Platform, representing YERUN, the Young European Research University Network, and I am also in charge of the institutional policy on Open Science here at the University Carlos III of Madrid. We are currently working on how to make a real Open Science Policy, so not only an Open Data policy or an Open Access mandate, but integrating this together to create a core Open Science policy and strategy, too.
The Open Science Policy platform is the group that has been created by the European Commission to study and analyse new policies that are needed to create Open Science. In this sense, data and the policies on how to manage and share data, i.e. research data, are important and core things for Open Science on a European level.
On a technical level
- I am involved in data on a technical level, as I belong to several groups that address technical issues. For example, on a Spanish level, I belong to Maredata, which is a network to advocate Research Open Data among scientists in Spain. I also belong to different working groups of the Research Data Alliance (RDA). They focus on how to make data repositories more interoperable, how to deal with standards and how to make open research data a reality.
- I am also doing my own research in this field because I am a researcher in Library and Information Sciences with an expertise in metadata. My PhD students and myself are currently focusing on what quality metadata is needed to make research data appear in a better way, making data more shareable and interoperable.
What frustrates you the most about current data management systems?
“[Researchers] should also be rewarded for sharing data, for sharing raw data, and for being generous with their data.”
What project/service/person inspires you and makes you optimistic about Open Science, about the future and where things are headed?
However, a lot of things need to change before this can happen. Of course, as I have said before, we need to change the reward system and reward researchers for sharing data, not only for their final publications. Infrastructure and standards are also essential. It is important to make Open Data management easy – not seeing it as just a big technical thing. Researchers need to make data management part of the whole scientific cycle. So it should be “easy” and rewarded!
What would happen if public research data were to remain closed?
This is why I believe that infrastructures should be easy for maintaining the data, and also rewarded.
What do you think a world with far more Open Data would look like?
Copyright: Laura Rueda, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Creative Commons CC-BY Licence.
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