Critical infrastructure for Open Scholarship, and Policies to support wider participation in open data science

- Yo, Bethan

Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

This is a double announcement of two exciting (and linked) items:

  1. OLS is delighted to welcome FORRT as an organisational partner.
  2. Thanks to the Alan Turing Institute, we’re working together towards policy briefings for widening participation in Open Data Science.

A black and white logo of FORRT. The image comprises of a black fort/castle, with the word "FORRT" written in black letters next to it.


The two parts of this story are directly linked. FORRT is a key player in Open Scholarship, with over 900 community members, an open science glossary, publications that explore open science and meta-science topics such as replications, curricular reform, and different ways to be inclusive to neurodiverse populations. They also have an enormous people-powered array of educational resources democratizing access to learning opportunities and engagement in open scholarship. Explore their website to see many of the amazing things they’ve been working on.

Like OLS was a few years ago, however, FORRT - despite being a critical open infrastructure - is essentially unfunded. Their glossaries have been referred to in open science training from NASA, surveys from the UK reproducibility network, and so many other locations - and yet like many other volunteer led organisations, it depended on the time and goodwill of a few people who were already overburdened.

After learning about this, we unanimously voted to partner with FORRT. We didn’t know what that meant yet - but we know that putting money where our mouth is can make all the difference when it comes to an organisation’s survival - paid time, to take the burden off of people who’re struggling to find time to dedicate to this and are risking burnout.

Skills Policy Awards

Shortly after this, we were lucky enough to spot an opportunity that fit us well. OLS already had two resident fellows, and after some quick thought, we wrote a grant application for the Alan Turing Institute, focused on government-level policy towards digital skills - and included a resident fellowship for Flavio, FORRT’s Director and Bethan Iley, FORRT’s community development coordinator. This allowed OLS to benefit from FORRT’s institutional knowledge around inclusion in open science, whilst also supporting FORRT by creating a paid staff role. Meet our two members:


Flavio is a Brazilian assistant professor of Social Psychology at the University of Groningen. He is a recognized international leader in the field and has received prestigious awards such as the UKRN OS Dorothy Bishop Prize, Hidden-REF, and JISC. Flavio co-founded and directs FORRT—A Framework for Open and Reproducible Research Training—an award-winning, interdisciplinary, and international community aiming to integrate open scholarship principles into higher education and to advance research transparency, reproducibility, rigor, and ethics through pedagogical reform and metascience.


Bethan Iley (she/her) is a PhD Student at the School of Psychology at Queen’s University Belfast, and a Community Development Coordinator at FORRT. Her aim is to find additional funding opportunities and develop FORRT’s organisational structure so that FORRT community members can be paid for their valuable time and expertise.