Lero wins European award for making science research freely available

14 Feb 2023

Image: © Nattapol_Sritongcom/Stock.adobe.com

The first SFI research centre to publish an open science charter, Lero has been recognised by the Young European Research Universities Network.

Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) research centre for software, has been awarded a European prize in recognition of its commitment to open science principles.

Announced today (14 February) in an online ceremony, the Young European Research Universities Open Science Awards acknowledged Lero’s work in ensuring that all scholarly publications resulting from publicly-funded research are openly available.

The centre launched an Open Science Charter last October, just months after the US government updated policy guidance on open access, which was expected to substantially expand public access to taxpayer-funded science research across the world.

The charter aims to increase visibility for researchers, create more opportunities for collaboration and enable greater transparency in the research process. An Open Science Programme Office (OSPO) was also created as a result of the charter.

“The Lero OSPO is an important strategic division of Lero with the goal of building an open source roadmap for Lero and helping our members and partners understand how Lero deals with open source in its day-to-day activities,” said Lero director Prof Brian Fitzgerald.

Lero’s charter was formulated in line with EU open science policy which identifies several ambitions in the space, including FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable data) and open data sharing – a default approach at Lero for the results of EU-funded research.

Dr Martina Prendergast, Lero’s international funding manager, said that Lero’s Open Science Charter was the first to be published by an SFI research centre, and is openly shared on the Lero website “for anyone to use and adapt to the needs of their own organisation”.

“The charter identifies several ambitions for the centre’s research community. We would love to see other organisations using it as a blueprint to develop their own open science practices,” she said.

Last month, Lero created 16 postdoctoral fellowships to attract international expertise in the fields of computer science, software engineering, information systems and human-computer interaction.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic