2nd Conference on Open Science and Scientific Communication

Sílvia Redondo and Miguel Navas

On 5th November, the 2nd Conference on Open Science and Scientific Communication was held virtually, organised by the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, the Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona (MCNB) and the Centre de Recerca en Informació, Comunicació i Cultura (CRICC). This event is the continuation of the Open Science Conference which took place in 2018 at the Museu de Ciències Naturals, bringing together 140 attendees. At that time, theoretical aspects of open science were discussed (open access, open data, scientific journals, copyright, etc.), while this Conference was more practical.

2nd Conference on Open Science and Scientific Communication
2nd Conference on Open Science and Scientific Communication

This Conference arose from the common interest of the MCNB Documentation Centre and the CREC of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, to improve their visibility as research centres and to publicise the support services to the research that is offered, as well as providing a quality training activity for its research staff and any other interested persons. 

The central theme was scientific communication, and counted on the participation of experts in open science, communication and scientific impact. The participation was very varied as 290 people registered mainly from Catalonia, but also from the rest of the State and South America. Among the professional profiles of the people enrolled we can find research staff, museum conservators and curators, library and documentation centre staff, and other professions related to scientific communication.

The Conference was divided in three blocks:

  • Welcome and presentation
  • Block 1: Scientific communication and open data, moderated by Miguel Navas, librarian of the Documentation Centre of the Museu de Ciències Naturals
  • Block 2: Dissemination and positioning, moderated by Sílvia Redondo, Head of the Joaquim Folch i Torres Library of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.

Welcome and presentation

The event began at 8.30am with the welcome and presentation by Pilar Cuerva, Head of the Centre for Research and Knowledge (CREC) of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Ernest Abadal, Director of the Centre for Research in Information, Communication and Culture (CRICC) of the University of Barcelona and Montserrat Navarro, Head of the Documentation Centre of the Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona (MCNB).

Welcome and presentation by Pilar Cuerva

Pilar Cuerva spoke about the CREC (Centre for Research and Knowledge) of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, which has recently been created, and established the goals that have to do with the adaptation of traditional research models to the new paradigms of open science in the field of humanities. The high level of specialisation of the professionals who work there and the different information resources that are managed, make it an extraordinarily well prepared agent to tackle new ways of doing and sharing research. At the same time, she highlighted the fact that this Conference had been promoted by the Documentation and Research Centres of two museums, through their Libraries, and that there was technical and academic support from a university Research Centre, the CRICC.

Ernest Abadal briefly explained the current context of science and research in Catalonia and how it is articulated through 3 groups of entities: the universities, the Research Centres, which are currently within the institution CERCA, and a third group that is outside the traditional circuits of research, such as museums or hospitals. He insisted on the need to create a research network with a lot of capillarity that connects these three groups that have common interests. At the same time, he stressed the need for research staff to adapt to the new context of open science, where scientific communication through different media plays a key role. 

Montserrat Navarro explained that the MCNB Documentation Centre introduced services related to support for scientific research and dissemination in 2017. Since then, this line of work has been developed, aimed mainly at research staff, but also in the department responsible for publishing magazines and in the collections department. The Documentation Centre, seeking the continuity of the Open Science Conference held in 2018, decided to join forces with the CREC of the MNAC and as a result of this alliance, this second edition has been possible.

Block 1. Scientific communication and open data

The first block, moderated by Miguel Navas, MCNB librarian, focused on scientific communication and open research data.

The first talk, given by Nicolás Robinson, reviewed the most relevant aspects of the process of scientific communication and the challenges facing the 21st century: the crisis of peer review, predatory journals, fake news, the importance of open access, and the “altmetrics” or alternative metrics. These topics easily spark controversy, prompting the public to ask lots of questions through the chat.

The first talk, by Nicolás Robinson

Javier Sánchez Perona, CSIC researcher, gave the second talk: “Scientists trapped in the money-making machine”. With dynamism and a critical spirit, he pointed out the shortcomings and vices of an unfair evaluation system. In a similar way to the previous presentation, he was also asked many questions by the attendees, and the moderator had to make a selection from of the most relevant ones.

Scientists trapped in the money-making machine by Javier Sánchez Perona

To finish the block, Fernanda Peset, professor at the Polytechnic University of Valencia and coordinator of the state project DATASEA, spoke to us about open research data. She explained what it is and what its life cycle is (from the conception of the idea to the preservation and the agents involved, including research staff, the library and the public), what characteristics it must have to be considered open, and the benefits that its correct sharing brings to both the researcher and the community. She received technical inquiries regarding the publication of datasets and data management support as a function itself of research libraries.

Presentation by Fernanda Peset

Block 2. Diffusion and positioning: moderator Sílvia Redondo

The contributions of the second block focused on the dissemination of research and the professional positioning of people dedicated to research.

Lydia Gil, author of the blog Social Media in research, was the first and gave the talk “Scientific social networks: much more than egosurfing?”. The specialist in scientific dissemination, in a clear and simple way, spoke to us about what academic social networks are, which ones are the most used and the general use of social networks within the scientific community. She stressed that, even today, researchers only use social networks on a personal level and not on a professional level, and took the opportunity to give us some advice on how to get started in the world of scientific dissemination through the generalist and academic social networks.

“Scientific social networks: much more than egosurfing?” by Lydia Gil

The next talk, “Identification and interoperability: the use of ORCID in the research cycle” was given by Paloma Marín-Arraiza, a member of the ORCID team. To begin with, the speaker gave a description of what the ORCID persistent identifier is and explained why it is necessary for anyone involved in research to have one. At the same time, she highlighted as a characteristic feature the interoperability of the ORCID identifier, which allows the connection and exchange of data with other platforms in a fast way and one which saves time and effort to authors, institutions and publishers.

“Identification and interoperability: the use of ORCID in the research cycle” by Paloma Marín-Arraiza

Cristóbal Urbano, senior professor of the Department of Library Science, Documentation and Audiovisual Communication at the University of Barcelona (UB), spoke to us about Google Scholar Citations (GSC) with his talk “Creating and prserving” an author profile in Google Scholar Citations: reflections and hints”. In a very practical way and through examples, he explained to us what GSC is, why we need to have such a profile and what we need to keep in mind when creating and maintaining it.

“Creating and prserving” by Cristóbal Urbano

The last talk was given by Lluís Codina, Professor of the Department of Communication at Pompeu Fabra University and coordinator of the DigiDoc Research Group. With his presentation “Academic SEO: context, goals and procedures” he explained what Academic SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is, what its goals are and what must be taken into account before and after writing the document we want to disseminate. He stressed that it is important to assume that, once a research paper has been published, the work continues because a new activity begins, focusing on the diffusion and promotion of the document. At the same time, he emphasised that academic SEO opens up new avenues of work in libraries and documentation centres related to the support for research.

“Academic SEO: context, goals and procedures” by Lluís Codina


At approximately 2 pm, the Conference ended with an average attendance of 150 people connected throughout the event. The result was positive and the goals set were successfully achieved given that with the seven talks it was possible to tackle different aspects of scientific communication that are related and that serve to improve the visibility, both of the research work as well as the profile of the researcher.

So as to evaluate the event, gather ideas and suggestions to improve and prepare for the 3rd Conference, a survey was sent to the people who attended. Although it is still open, the overall evaluation of the conference has been satisfactory: 63% of people think it was very interesting, 38% interesting and 2% not very interesting. In the suggestions section, the attendees have sent us the topics they would like to be addressed at the next Conference, and these include digital preservation, the use of open data, digital humanities or “altmetrics”, among others.

In order to find out in more detail what was discussed at the Conference, you can consult on Twitter all the contributions and comments made, with the tag #2aJornadaCiènciaMuseus. In this “post” you will also find access to the presentations and a video of each talk.

We are grateful for the participation of both the people registered and the speakers of the Conference and we look forward to seeing you at the 3rd Open Science Conference.

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Biblioteca Joaquim Folch i Torres

Sílvia Redondo
Biblioteca Joaquim Folch i Torres

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