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The Winner and Runner-ups of Aalto University’s Open Science Award 2023

Aalto University wishes to celebrate the remarkable work of Aalto community members who promote open science in their research or teaching. In addition to teaching and research, this can be done by setting an example and supporting other Aalto community members in the field of open science. To find out the persons or groups who are exemplary in open science, we invited nominations from our community.
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Open science and research is an approach according to which the transparency of the research process and data supports the reliability and quality of researched results. Open access to research outputs for both researchers and the general public promotes equality and the social impact of research. 

Our call for nominations for open science award 2023 inspired suggestions from various areas of open science, ranging from open publishing, research data management, open educational resources, and participatory research.

Research Steering Group (RESG) received a total of 22 nominations for the open science award. Activities related to data; research data management, opening data, reusing data etc. were mentioned most often in the nominations, followed by open publications and open software and methods. There was at least one nomination per each school.

The winner is Aalto Materials Database Initiative (AMAD)

Research Steering Group declared Aalto Materials Database Initiative (AMAD) the winner of the open science award. AMAD presents a great example of what collaboration between research and IT can accomplish. 

AMAD aims at the digitization of materials sciences and the application of machine learning methods and has the potential to transform how materials sciences is done. AMAD promotes open collaboration by sharing real time data, methods and workflows with good research data management practices. Given Aalto's focus on materials science, the potential userbase of AMAD is large. At the moment, the initiative has 115 Aalto users, and 9 external ones. AMAD is maintained by Aalto IT Services. 

Read more about how this initiative is used by Aalto researchers working with material sciences: Aalto Materials Digitalisation Platform (AMAD) – opening new possibilities for data sharing and collaboration between research groups | Aalto University

Web page: Aalto Materials Digitalization Platform - AMAD | Aalto University

Honorary mention was awarded to Riikka Puurunen and the Catalysis Research Group

Research Steering Group was impressed by the long-term work Riikka Puurunen has carried out to promote open science and suggested an honorary mention to her and her research group.

Prof. Puurunen and the Catalysis Research Group have engaged in widely spanning open science activities, including e.g. an open science project (http://vph-ald.com); open access publications; preprints; open data; open research code; publishing images separately with CC license to allow open reuse; scientific article that reuses open research code by others; open blog, and an Aalto OpenLearning site. Puurunen advocates for sustainable open science, leading by example.

Web page: Catalysis Professor's Open | Just another Aalto site

Third place was granted to Fostering Open Science in the Robotic Manipulation of Deformable Objects - Tran Nguyen Le, David Blanco-Mulero, Gokhan Alcan & Ville Kyrki

The core focus of the group lies in advancing the capabilities of robotic systems to manipulate deformable objects such as clothes, sponges, and food. Beyond technological implications, the work holds great potential for enhancing human well-being, particularly in healthcare settings where robots could play a vital role in assistive tasks such as dressing, bathing and feeding elderly people. 

Embracing the principles of Open Science, the researchers have actively shared their research outcomes with the scientific community, e.g. through curated open-access datasets and disclosed hardware designs, and made their scientific contributions available as open access articles and open-source software.

Webpage: https://irobotics.aalto.fi/deformable-object-manipulation/

There will be interviews published of all the winners and their work for open science during spring 2024 at aalto.fi. The first prize, video on AMAD, is presented in May as part of RDM and open science webinar series. 

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