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Open Science and Research Integrity in scholarly grassroots communities

A conversation with Paola Masuzzo

Published onJun 25, 2022
Open Science and Research Integrity in scholarly grassroots communities

Data scientist and open knowledge evangelist Paola Masuzza shares with Jo what Open Science means to her, and how Open Science and Research Integrity relate to each other. We talk about the influence that the late Jon Tennant had on each of our careers and look at the next steps for the Open Science MOOC as it is being migrated to the Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education (IGDORE).

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ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3699-1195 


Twitter: @pcmasuzzo

Linkedin: /paola-chiara-masuzzo-572a1428 

Figshare: /authors/Paola_Masuzzo/736785

Paola Masuzzo

Born in Sicily more than 3 decades ago, Paola is a full time data scientist, a half time independent researcher and a half time open knowledge evangelist.

Yes, she wishes days had more hours. 

She moved to Belgium 10 years ago to do a PhD in Bioinformatics at Ghent University. During her PhD, she got to understand for the very first time how scientific production works, and she was confronted with the reality that the whole process, from initial steps to final publication, isn’t really fit for purpose. She worked on her thesis project on cancer cell migration and open data and computational algorithms, but she also started at the same time advocating for open access, first, and open science as we know it, later.

In those prolific years, she became a Research Data Alliance fellow and a ContentMine fellow, she founded the civic lab Ghent and started working with Jon Tennant on the very first Open Science MOOC ever.

She also wrote several articles on scholarly communication, on tips and resources to practice open science, and on the benefits of open access. 

There was no coming back. She clearly saw the immense power that comes from freeing up research, and she became an open knowledge evangelist, like her bio on Twitter says. 

After her PhD, she started a postdoc, and shortly later she took a job as a data scientist in the private sector. She then joined IGDORE, the Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education, to continue her research independently. This means she doesn’t have a traditional academic affiliation anymore, which can be challenging at times, but also gives her the opportunity and the privilege to speak her voice freely when it comes to reforming the academic culture.

Within IGDORE, where she serves as part of the Global Board, she would like to create a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for people willing to perform research away from the ivory towers. She also would like very much to develop a curriculum with open educational resources accessible to everyone, in many languages. 

Again, she wishes days were longer. 

She’s a great fan of Open Data, and an associate of on Data, an Italian organization that promotes the publication and reuse of public data. 

In the last couple of years, her advocacy activities have shifted more and more towards the values that need to drive the global transition to open science. We know the what and the how, she says, now it’s time to clearly see the why, and to show true commitment to open research practices.  

She loves magazines, and has seen Seinfeld, the show, a ridiculous amount of times. She’s a feminist, enjoys the summer, hates the cold, and only functions with a good dose of caffeine in her blood.  

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