by Leah Hinds, Executive Director, Charleston Hub
Friday, July 7
The final day of the LIBER conference was a perfect wrap-up of the event with a “sneak peak” to look forward to next year’s event as well. There were breakout sessions in the morning, followed by the closing keynote from Lex Bouter, Professor Emeritus, Amsterdam University Medical Centers & Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, who spoke on “Why Research Integrity Matters and How It Can Be Improved.”
This is a topic of global concern in the scholarly communications world. Trust is essential for research, as scholars need to be able to trust each other in order to collaborate and build on each other’s findings (this reminded me of Elizabeth Bik’s opening keynote presentation at SSP, with the example of science as a brick wall).
A National Survey on Research Integrity in the Netherlands found the following Questionable Research Practices (QRPs) were most prevalent:
The survey results show that researchers regularly engage in behaviors that harm the validity and reliability of their work. The root cause of the replication crisis is not submitting or resubmitting a valid negative publication, which is tied for being most prevalent.
What is good for the quality and reliability of research is not always what’s best for the career of the researcher, however. Perverse incentives and the local research climate at their institutions can lead to a dilemma and make it difficult to make the right choice. The lures of fake publications, paper mills, fabrication from scratch, plagiarism, fake authors, fake reviewers, and ChatGPT makes it easy to falsify research for publication, and difficult to detect by plagiarism software.
By adopting Open Science practices, research becomes transparent and accountable. Open Science practices slide below credited to Brian Nosek, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Open Science:
Open Methods include the registration or pre-registration of study design, which is time stamped, along with the publication or preprint of full study protocol. Your plans can change if needed after the preregistration, but amendments are also time stamped so others can see if you did what you said you would do.
Research institutes, funding agencies, and scholarly journals can do a lot to foster research integrity by improving the quality of peer review and by reforming researcher assessment. Incentives work well, but they can have unintended effects. “All incentives can and will be gamed if the stakes are high.”
Following the keynote presentation, LIBER Vice-President Giannis Tsakonas presented the LIBER Award for Library Innovation, sponsored by OCLC. The Innovation Award recognizes three abstracts which best describe innovative work within the overall theme of the annual conference, “Open and Trusted: Reassessing Research Library Values.” The 2023 winners were announced by Chris Negrel, Director of Sales, South of Europe and Middle East, OCLC. The winners are listed in the slide below:
(Edited to add:) A multi-year engagement program in cooperation with OCLC based on LIBER’s 2023-2027 strategy was also announced: https://libereurope.eu/article/oclc-and-liber-announce-new-multi-year-engagement-program-to-help-build-capacity-in-forward-looking-research-libraries/
The finale of the conference was the Closing Ceremony, hosted by LIBER President Julien Roche. Julien went through the highlights of this year’s meeting, along with a Mentimeter poll for the audience to give three words that best described the conference. The resulting word cloud can be seen below:
Julien also announced the date and location for the 2024 meeting as beling July 3 – 5 in Limmasol, Cyprus. We were treated to a “sneak peak” video by Marios Zervas, the Library Director at the host institution, Cyprus University of Technology. The session ended with the ceremonial handing over of the LIBER flag from our hosts at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to the hosts at Cyprus University of Technology and a sincere thank you to the 2023 hosts, volunteers, and sponsors. I’m looking forward to next year’s meeting already!