Ts. ChM. Dr Nor Suriani Sani
Research Officer
Institute Human Centered Engineering (iHumEn)
Office of Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation)

Open Science (OS) is no stranger to Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), which it has been doing for years. Various initiatives have been implemented, and setting up a more robust OS platform are among the significant projects that have been undertaken. The OS platform was started as early as 2007 by UTM librarians and can be considered among the earliest to start in Malaysia. In 2007, UTM, through academic libraries has moved towards OS through the existence of UTM Online Databases. This platform provides a data discovery service, and all repositories are located at research institutions and data publishing partners. Through this initiative, UTM strives to open up research as much as possible and close it down as needed, making research data easier to find, more accessible, interoperable, and reusable, which aligns with the FAIR principle.

It requires authentication; subscribed online databases titles are only accessible to UTM Library registered members. Thus, it will democratize knowledge, strengthen available scientific research and integrity, enable better research management, and promote data-intensive research.

Besides that, RADIS and UTM Scholar, among many other OS platforms, have been actively developed to support the researcher’s readiness to explore Research Data Management initiatives, one of OS’s critical components. These platforms symbolize the advantage of implementing OS as data management and research information have been well managed. These platforms also make research more accessible, which aligns with the concept of Citizen Science that enables socializing analysis. The community’s involvement stimulates an intellectual space where research findings are shared directly with the community, thus enabling a successful collaboration.

The successful use and empowerment of these platforms are realized through awareness campaigns that cover the responsibilities of scientists and researchers, platform facilities that provide opportunities and space for researchers and government policy on the value of knowledge openness (well-creation). Community and researchers were given exposure to the OS platforms through various knowledge sharing, round table forums and User Acceptance Test (UAT) sessions. These awareness programs have opened the eyes of many about the OS revolution in Malaysia and UTM in particular.

Researchers’ role in adapting the OS normative environment in their research and publications is equally essential. Society is more knowledgeable through knowledge-sharing platforms, and researchers can quickly disseminate knowledge through OS. Researchers are given a high understanding of the concept of open access in using OS systems and platforms that ultimately contribute to society. Thus, researchers will be aware of the importance of creating a “Knowledge Society” so that researchers can work together for the excellent and healthy-being of the community.

To ensure the success of the OS initiative, UTM has also implemented a pilot project by training a selected group of librarians as data managers. Librarians now serve as curators and catalogers of knowledge and can analyse web metrics and metadata. While all information is now accessible online, librarians serve as advisors or facilitators who help users obtain accurate and fast data. The UTM Chief Librarian, Mdm Nor Asikin Mohamad, is the leading representative of UTM to receive the latest information and the main driver in implementing this OS initiative.