York Open Research Awards 2021

The inaugural York Open Research Awards took place in May-June 2021 and were open to submissions from staff and students involved in projects or initiatives which engaged with, reflected upon or advocated for open research practices and principles. The judging panel were impressed by the strength of submissions and decided to award prizes of £200 to all eligible projects and initiatives. 

Additional funding was offered to two initiatives, Building support for Registered Reports in Autism Research and ReproducibiliTea York, in order to help these develop further in the longer term. We are also working with researchers to turn their submissions into Open Research in Practice case studies. A summary of these developments and a broader reflection on the awards process is provided in an Inspiring Minds blog post

These awards were made possible thanks to a generous grant from Wellcome and match funding from the University Research Development Fund. 

Overview of 2021 Awardees:

(Presented alphabetically by title)

Title of project or initiative

Names of researchers

(Corresponding researcher listed first)

Short summary

Title of project or initiative

Names of researchers

(Corresponding researcher listed first)

Short summary

Building support for Registered Reports in Autism Research

Dr. Hannah Hobson, Lecturer, Psychology

Dr. Catherine Manning, University of Reading; Dr. Felicity Sedgewick, University of Bristol; Prof. Sue Fletcher-Watson, University of Edinburgh

The researchers wrote a letter to journal editors outlining the need for Registered Reports to be offered in autism research to improve reproducibility, curtail publishing bias and to incentivise good practice. 

The letter was posted to OSF and has received over 100 signatures including some of the biggest names in this field. The researchers see this as the beginning of a bigger process of bringing open science practices to autism research. They have also convened a small network of like minded academics who want to see higher quality research that is reproducible and transparent.

Covid Realities: families on a low-income during the pandemic

Dr. Ruth Patrick, Lecturer, Social Policy and Social Work

Dr. Maddy Power, Research Fellow, Health Sciences; Dr. Geoff Page, Research Associate, SPSW; Dr. Katie Pybus, Centre for Future Health Research Fellow, Health Sciences; Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite, University of Birmingham

The researchers developed a collaborative, participatory rapid-response research programme focused on the ways in which the pandemic would impact families living on a low income.

Over 100 parents and carers took part in virtual discussion groups and shared their experiences through online diaries, which have been anonymised and made fully accessible through the Covid Realities website. They have also created an open and informal space for the research community to explore the shift to virtual working and reflect on their experiences of the pandemic, facilitated by webinars and a blog series.

This project is supported by Nuffield Foundation funding.

Developing and validating internet-based Tests of Aptitude in Language Learning (TALL)

Junlan Pan, PhD Student, Education

Prof. Emma Marsden, Education (Supervisor); Dr. Giulia Bovolenta, Research Associate, Education (TAP member)

TALL (Tests of Aptitude in Language Learning) is an openly accessible online research instrument for collecting behavioural data on individual differences in second or foreign language learning.

This initiative was prompted by a lack of open access data elicitation materials in the field. The researchers have created an OSF repository to share the item banks of the final versions and the validation datasets, boosting methodological transparency in terms of experimental design and the data collection process.

This project is supported by funding from the School of Foreign Languages and Cultures, Chongqing University, China.

Examining the Difference in Error Detection when listening to Native and Non-Native Speakers

Grace Sanders, Undergraduate Student, Psychology

Dr. Angela de Bruin, Lecturer, Psychology

This research aimed to corroborate that listeners differ in processing when hearing native and non-native speakers commit linguistic errors.

The study was pre-registered on OSF to improve transparency and to address issues of the replication crisis in Psychology. Data and stimulus materials will also be uploaded with a pre-print when the researcher submits a manuscript for publication. This will allow the study to be widely available to everyone, not just academics.

Global Atmospheric Chemistry Modelling

Prof. Mat Evans, Chemistry 

Dr. Tomás Sherwen, Postdoctoral Research Associate; Killian Murphy, Research Software Engineer; Ryan Pound, PhD Student; Dr. Peter Ivatt, Postdoctoral Research Associate (former); Luke Fakes, PhD Student; Dr. Matthew Rowlinson, Postdoctoral Research Associate; Dr. Adedayo Adedeji, Postdoctoral Research Associate

The Global Atmospheric Chemistry Modelling group based at the Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratory embraces open research through its use, management and support of the open-source GEOS-Chem atmospheric chemistry transport model. 

Through this, research undertaken at York on the chemistry of the atmosphere is available to be reused and reproduced by others, underpinning global research into air pollutions, climate change and stratospheric ozone loss. 

External funding for projects has come from NERC and the EU. Long term external support for activities has been provided by the UK National Centre for Atmospheric Science. Over the last couple of years support from the University has come from the Viking HPC facility.

Open Research Values and Practice: Scholarly Societies in the Humanities

Dr. Janet Remmington, Associate of Humanities Research Centre, English & Related Literature

Joseph Genchi, University of Leeds; Kath Burton, Routledge, Taylor & Francis

The objective of the project was to develop an understanding of the position of Humanities and Social Sciences Societies in the changing research publication landscape and to offer recommendations for potential routes to open research.

The project produced a number of open access outputs including a presentation and accompanying narrative. It recognises that the shift to open research is inevitable and that there is a need for further dialogue to be facilitated across the academic community. The research team argues that we can find a route to open research that does not simply work in the Humanities, but for the Humanities, embracing accessibility and transparency while remaining conscious of the particular needs of disciplinary areas.

This is a WRoCAH Researcher Employability Project

Power contour plots for optimal study design

Dr. Daniel Baker, Senior Lecturer, Psychology

Co-authors: Dr. Andre Gouws, Operations Manager, York Neuroimaging Centre; Prof. Tim Andrews, Head Of Department, Psychology; Tessa Flack, Freya Lygo, Anika Smith and Greta Vilidaite (former PhD Students)

In 2018 the researcher publicly announced, through a series of blog posts, a commitment to follow open science practices following a 'roadmap' devised for himself and his lab. 

This project delivered on his commitment through the development of a free online tool to visualise the tradeoff in ‘power contour’ plots, which researchers can reuse in the design of future experiments. The results of the research are described in an open access paper currently in press, and were first posted as a preprint at ArXiv.org which generated substantial interest in the field. All the analysis for the project was conducted in R, and the scripts and data are publicly available on OSF which allows other researchers to reproduce the analysis, as well as to adapt the code for their own projects. 

This work was supported in part by a Wellcome Trust (ref: 105624) grant, through the Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders (C2D2). Data collection and sharing for part of this project was provided by the Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience (CamCAN) with funding provided by the U.K. Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (Grant BB/H008217/1) and support from the U.K. Medical Research Council and University of Cambridge.

ReproducibiliTea York

Jamie Cockcroft, PhD Student, Psychology

Anna á Váli Guttesen, PhD Student, Psychology; Cátia Ferreira De Oliveira, PhD Student, Psychology; Dr. Emma James, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Oxford, Department of Experimental Psychology

The aim of ReproducibiliTea is to help researchers at all levels understand open research through fortnightly discussions of different issues. The journal club provides a platform for promoting open research at York and also links us to an international network of researchers. 

These informal discussions are often centred around a paper or video-recording of talks, chosen either by the organisers or the attendees, which is briefly presented and discussed among the group. There is an emphasis on peer support, open discussion and on hearing a range of perspectives. The club maintains an OSF repository to provide open access to slides, analyses run on open data and workshop materials.

ReproducibiliTea has been previously supported by funding from the Department of Psychology Early Career Researcher’s Forum.

revpref: An R package for computational revealed preference analysis.

Khushboo Surana, Lecturer, Economics and Related Studies

This ongoing project includes the development of an R package that allows users to analyse consumption datasets to test for economic rationality, i.e. to test whether individuals are maximising their utility when making consumption choices. 

Romans at Home

Eleanor Drew, Digital Heritage MSc student, Archaeology

Dr. Colleen Morgan, Lecturer, Archaeology

Romans at Home was a collaborative outreach project with York Archaeological Trust (YAT), using a multi-sensory approach to explore aspects of Roman life in York with people living with dementia. The project provides opportunities for people living with dementia to engage directly with artefacts and past lives within a familiar location under the guidance of trained interpreters. 

Open research and public outreach is at the core of this project, with research outcomes shared with YAT and community members who do not usually benefit from archaeological research. The research will result in an open access publication in Internet Archaeology and Creative Commons-licensed materials related to the sensory experience which can be accessed by care providers. The resources will be circulated via local charity networks to ensure awareness and accessibility not only within residential care facilities but also for individuals and their carers living at home.

This project was is supported by the York Impact Acceleration Fund.

Sheffield Castle: Archaeology, Archives, Regeneration

Prof. Dawn Hadley, Professor of Medieval Archaeology, Archaeology and Centre for Medieval Studies

Eleanor Drew, Masters Student, Department of Archaeology; Prof. John Moreland, University of Sheffield; Milica Rajic and Ashley Tuck , Wessex Archaeology

Why does a medieval castle, demolished in the English Civil War in the mid-17th century, have a stranglehold on a 21st-century city? And how can archaeological remains and an unpublished archive of excavations spanning almost a century be transformed from a perceived problem for regeneration into an opportunity?

In a recently published Open Access monograph the researchers collaborated with commercial archaeology organisation Wessex Archaeology, and many regional specialists, to tackle precisely these issues. By publishing in an open access format with the White Rose University Press (WRUP) and releasing the underpinning data under a CC BY 4.0 License with the Archaeology Data Service (ADS), the team has made a crucial contribution to a contemporary regeneration debate and provided a new model for the publication of archaeological archives in a regeneration context. 
This project was supported by White Rose Universities Press and Libraries, the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the University of York Careers Service Student Internship scheme and the Pamela Staunton fund (University of Sheffield).

Teaching and research in my PhD

Ezra Herman, PhD Student, Biology

Emma Rand, Senior Lecturer, Biology; Dr. Ville Friman, Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology; Dr. Paul Fogg, Sir Henry Dale Fellow, Biology

The researcher has been involved in various teaching and research projects during his PhD which demonstrate a commitment to open research.

These include writing a Software Sustainability Institute funded workshop to teach statistics for public health research following Data Carpentry open teaching practices (chapter under development) and developing a Maths Skills Centre workshop to introduce reproducible analyses in RStudio. He has also pursued opportunities to publish an open access journal article including statistical analysis code and data, and to pre-register a meta-analysis prior to data collection. 

Ezra has been supported by a Software Sustainability Institute grant, GTA pay from the Maths Skills Centre and a BBSRC White Rose DTP studentship.

The Impact of Developmental Language Disorder on Mock Jurors’ Perceptions of Guilt, Sentencing Length, Credibility and Blameworthiness

Jemma Woodley, Undergraduate Student, Psychology

Dr. Hannah Hobson,, Lecturer, Psychology (Supervisor)

This study aims to examine whether the provision of a Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) label given to a youth defendant changes a mock jurors’ perceptions and influences outcomes such as guilty verdicts and sentencing lengths. 

The researcher has considered issues of natural biases and selective reporting as well as opportunities for future research and replication, and has pre-registered the study on OSF.

The role of emotional factors and autistic traits in face processing abilities.

Natasha Baxter, PhD student, Psychology

Dr. Hannah Hobson, Lecturer, Psychology (Supervisor); Prof. Mike Burton, Psychology (Supervisor)

This researcher aims to investigate and practise the values of open science in her research on the role of emotional awareness (alexithymia), autistic traits and mood disorder symptoms in the recognition of emotional faces.

She has pre-registered a study on OSF and plans to submit a second study to a journal as a Registered Report, establishing her experimental design and analyses before data collection. These practices will hold the research to a high standard of integrity and transparency, enabling replication of the study and establishing the reliability of the methods and findings. 

This research is supported by a departmental studentship.

Topic-dependent language use

Veniamin Shiron, Undergraduate student, Psychology

Dr. Angela de Bruin, Lecturer, Psychology

This project examined how bilinguals show a language preference based on the topic of discussion, for example some international students studying in the UK may show a preference for English as opposed to their home language when discussing their degree.

The study data and analysis were made available on OSF to enable other researchers to access and replicate the findings. Through this project the researcher has learned a lot about transparent research practices and how to apply these again in future.

Entrants retain all copyright ownership and intellectual property rights to their work. Project summaries are adapted (with permission) from submissions provided by entrants. No further copying is permitted without permission from the researchers except where allowed under the terms of a public reuse licence where indicated at source, or as permitted by legal exception.