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King’s Open Research Group Initiative (KORGI)

The King’s Open Research Group Initiative (or KORGI) is an action-oriented committee composed of an interdisciplinary mix of mainly senior academics and experienced research staff at King’s College London (KCL). 

Its aim is to push for changes in policies and procedures to promote transparent, accessible and reproducible research, focusing on three key engines for change. First, raising awareness about the benefits of open research practices for improving the quality of research and the career prospects of researchers. Second, helping researchers adopt open research practices, including the development of training and guidance, building infrastructure to allow for open research, and establishing appropriate incentives in policies and procedures. Finally, facilitating reforms at a Faculty and College level. 

The long-view of KORGI is that by engendering reproducibility and transparency in research, a positive change in research culture and practice will follow, which will be for the betterment of research and researchers. 

Membership is open to anyone based at KCL, and if you would like to join please contact the current lead, Dr Samuel Westwood, samuel.westwood@kcl.ac.uk. You can also keep up with the initiative via our OSF Page (https://osf.io/ydmjf/)

Steering group

Dr Samuel Westwood: Postdoctoral research associate, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department. Founded and co-organiser of the RIOT Science Club and the King’s Open Research Group Initiative. Sam is also the local lead for the UK Reproducibility Network.

Dr Marion Criaud: Postdoctoral research associate, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department.

Olivia Kowalczyk: PhD Student,  Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Sheut-Ling Lam: PhD Student, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Objectives

The inaugural KORGI meeting was held November 2019 at the IoPPN, where thirty plus senior academics attended. Dr Samuel Westwood presented the idea of KORGI, proposing a first-year and an outline for a second-year action plan. Attendees agreed with the five action points for year one, with priority given to three main points to set the scene for the remaining two. 

Year One

 

  • First, to help formulate KORGI’s strategic objectives and potentially guide the future KCL research strategy, a short survey is currently circulating to assess knowledge/application of Open Research practices across KCL. The survey closed 11th May 2020, but late submissions are still possible if you contact samuel.westwood@kcl.ac.uk The data will be released in the coming months.
  • Second, a one-day conference will be held on 11th June 2020 to bring together an interdisciplinary audience to hear from world-leading experts and stakeholders (e.g., Wellcome, Jisc, UKRIO) with the view of raising awareness about the necessity for Open Research and to foster cross-department collaboration. A programme of the day can be found here. You do not need to register, but if you wish to keep updated, please register via eventbrite: This conference is open to all. (NB. The original advert stated that the conference is due to be held at Greenwood Theatre, Guys Campus. The conference is now going to be held totally online due to the coronavirus pandemic)
  • Third, we will formally submit to the Executive Dean of the College Open Research a proposal to incorporate open research practices into hiring and promotion criteria for research-related positions. In order to sustain long lasting positive change to research culture, it is essential that we recognise and reward those already practicing open research practices and to incentivise those who may want to but lack the career incentive. A preliminary proposal is here.
  • Four, sign up to UK Reproducibility Network. The UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN) is a peer-led consortium that aims to ensure the UK retains its place as a centre for world-leading research. At present, at least eleven universities has signed up to the UKRN, and KCL is a natural fit. However, action points one to three are needed in order to prepare KCL for the UKRN, which will also minimise any distraction or delays in the implementation of changes.
  • Five, recognise KORGI as a member of the UK Network of Open Research Working Group (UK-ORWG).The UK-ORWG is a UK wide initiative which aims to create working groups in universities with broadly comparable aims to KORGI. For more information, see https://osf.io/vgt3x/. By joining other working groups, KORGI can magnify our resources and collaborate with others to facilitate research culture change within and outside KCL.

Year Two

  • King’s University Press.An initiative to create a fully open access university press that publishes traditional peer-reviewed scholarly works and research outputs. The initiative aims to be a longer-term solution to the unsustainable journal subscription and pay-to-publish fees.This remains in its early stages. 
  • Open Research Award. an initiative where ECRs are invited to submit a research project proposal. Winners will be awarded funding to cover consumables, training and data collection costs. The view is to provide an inroad for ECRs to engage in open research projects with a focus on meta research.
  • Open Research Summer School. A modular course that covers open research practices, computational reproducibility, and software/data carpentry.