}Picture by Roberto Huczek on Unsplash
This post summarizes our OLS journey, the project we worked on during the entire period of cohort 7, and what our plans for the future are
Thanks go to:
For detail, please visit the project’s website: https://ciencia-abierta-en-latinoamerica.netlify.app/
As the benefits of open science become increasingly evident, we believe it is crucial to foster its adoption and support the development of open science practitioners in Latin America. This project was born out of our desire to orient our practice towards open science and the struggles we faced while doing so. The three of us come from very different backgrounds but faced the same challenges: we were having difficulties finding people in our discipline that could help us make our work open, generating connections with groups or communities with similar goals, as well as accessing resources in our language that were applicable locally. During our attempts, we recognized the need for a centralized hub of information useful not only to us but that could potentially help other individuals and communities. So we decided to create a repository that collects and centralizes open resources with a focus on Latin America, such as communities, events, workshops, and funders. This repository, we believe, will help to:
Promoting Collaboration and Networking
The repository would serve as a virtual meeting place, bringing together like-minded researchers, institutions, and organizations across Latin America that are actively engaged in promoting open science principles. By providing a comprehensive directory of open science communities, the repository would facilitate networking opportunities, encourage interdisciplinary collaborations and the sharing of best practices, break down geographical barriers, and enable knowledge exchange.
Showcasing Latin America’s Scientific Contributions
Latin America has made significant contributions to the scientific community, but these achievements sometimes go unnoticed on the global stage. The repository would act as a platform to highlight the remarkable work being conducted in Latin America, making it easily discoverable and accessible to the broader scientific community. By centralizing information about communities, resources, events, and funding opportunities, the repository would raise visibility and recognition for the region’s achievements, ultimately contributing to a more diverse and inclusive global scientific landscape.
Facilitating Access to Resources
One of the key objectives of the repository would be to compile and organize resources that support the adoption of open science practices. Latin America’s open science communities often face unique challenges, such as limited access to funding, infrastructure, and training opportunities. The repository would address these challenges by providing a curated collection of resources, including funding databases, open-access journals, data repositories, and educational materials. This centralized information would potentially empower researchers and institutions in Latin America to overcome barriers and embrace open science practices more effectively.
Empowering Early-Career Researchers
Early-career researchers in Latin America face numerous hurdles when navigating the scientific landscape. The creation of a repository such as this recognizes the importance of fostering the next generation of scientists and provides a dedicated section for resources and mentorship programs aimed at supporting early-career researchers. By connecting them with established researchers and offering guidance on open science methodologies, the repository would help bridge the gap between experienced and emerging scientists, nurture talent, and foster the growth of open science in the region.
We, therefore, had a concept but had no idea what we needed to learn, what to do, or whom to contact in order to make it a workable project.
We were encouraged to take our project to OLS by Melissa Black from MetaDocencia, who was involved with a similar initiative at the time.
We expected to learn how to develop a project such as ours, how to make it grow, and how to increase its visibility.
In the beginning, we devoted most of our time to understanding our project as the creation of a product and identifying who its users would be. We realized that a product without users had no hope of surviving, so together with our mentor, Alexander Martinez, we worked on defining the potential users, their needs, and how we could help them achieve their goals. Essentially, we focused on determining the value of our product. Then we defined our vision, mission, and project roadmaps that would guide our work. From our meetings with the mentor and the experts, Anelda Van der Walt and Jo Havemman, we gained important insights into the challenges we would face regarding the dissemination and visibility of the project, the engagement of potential contributors, and how this would impact the sustainability of the project. We defined how we would showcase the information in the repository in order for it to be accessible to people with no specific technical knowledge, and we established different ways others could contribute to the project by creating guidelines and a code of conduct.
Thanks to our multiple meetings with our mentor and the experts, we were able to create a strategy and plan specific actions to carry out in order to achieve our goals. Some of these are listed below:
🌱 We would like to apply to participate in future OLS cohorts as mentors or experts to continue learning, encourage new initiatives, and maintain contact with all the amazing people who make up the OLS community. We look forward to collaborating with fellow mentors and mentees to create a supportive environment where everyone can thrive and reach their full potential.
In the first place, we would like to express our gratitude to everyone who has supported and encouraged us throughout our OLS mentorship journey, especially a big thanks to our mentor Alex Martinez and the experts Jo Havemann and Anelda Van der Walt for their guidance and support along the way in OLS Cohort 7. We would also like to thank MetaDocencia’s communication team, Laura Ascenzi and Julian Buede, for helping us make the project grow, and Melissa Black, who encouraged us to participate.