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Open Research Community Showcase Roundup

by Melissa Clasper on 2024-03-26T15:37:00+00:00 | 0 Comments

Open Research Community Showcase Event

On Thursday 29th February, the Open Research Community hosted its first ever Open Research Showcase event. Our four speakers shared examples of their own work, bringing open research to life. The event was part of the successful Open Research Week, an annual series delivered collaboratively by the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moore’s University, Edge Hill University and University of Essex.

This event provided an opportunity for participants to come together and discuss how Open Research increases the impact of their work.

Opening the session was Will Gawned of the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN), joined by Bill Greenhalf; Liverpool’s UKRN Institutional Lead. In this talk, our speakers shared UKRN’s mission; to embed open research practices across the UK by working with institutions and researchers directly. We were introduced to the many projects being undertaken, including the UKRN Community Project, METEOR, STAR and Story Arcs. The University of Liverpool is one of the founding members of the UKRN’s Research England funded Open Research Programme which aims to accelerate the uptake of high-quality open research practices. Through this programme, the University is working on evaluating and monitoring open research as well as improving reward and recognition and benefiting from access to training opportunities.

After a short refreshment break and networking interlude, we welcomed our next speaker, Dr Helen Kalirai. Dr Kalirai is a senior research fellow in the Liverpool Ocular Oncology Research Group (LOORG) which is linked with the specialist ocular oncology team at the Liverpool University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Kalirai introduced us to her current research, which focusses on understanding the metastatic niche of a rare eye cancer, uveal melanoma, once it has spread to the liver.

The Liverpool Ocular Oncology Research Group (LOORG) is a nationally and internationally renowned research group, established in 2006 within the Department of Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine, University of Liverpool. It has contributed consistently, and taken the lead in, both fundamental and translational research addressing eye cancers.

LOORG interacts closely with the supraregional NHS eye pathology and eye cancer services in Liverpool, which represent flagship centres at Liverpool University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and with regional medical oncological and liver surgical teams. In 2011, it established a unique, ethically approved biobank of fully-annotated ocular tumours that has to date supported >10 external collaborative research projects.

The research team promotes open research, data sharing and has collectively published >600 scientific peer-reviewed papers that have had wide ranging impact. Examples include:

  • An international collaborative clinical study, validating the WHO 2022 Classification for conjunctival melanocytic intraepithelial lesions using digital pathology. This grading system will be employed in diagnostic laboratories worldwide
  • The Liverpool Uveal Melanoma Prognosticator Online (LUMPO): an externally validated prognostication tool for patients with uveal melanoma that is included in NICE-approved treatment guidelines
  • Development of BAP1 immunohistochemical annotation of uveal melanoma that is used in routine histopathology laboratories for metastatic risk stratification.

By openly sharing data and research outputs, LOORG has been able to form partnerships and collaborations worldwide helping to shed light on this niche, but incredibly important, area of research.

Next up we heard from Professor Mark Green, a Reader in Health Geography in the Department of Geography and Planning. Professor Green’s talk discussed the experiences of generating, publishing and disseminating open small area data. They shared the activities of the ESRC funded Consumer Data Research Centre, particularly the ‘Access to Healthy Assets and Hazards’ (AHAH) data. AHAH is a large open database of neighbourhood level (lower super output area) data on features of environments that affect health and wellbeing.

AHAH has been utilised widely by local communities, government and is also available to interested members of the public. Professor Green highlighted how the open nature of this work has brought a mixture of positive and negative feedback, due to some individuals choosing to misuse the data by presenting it out of context. Nevertheless, the openness and transparency of this work has proven the value of such datasets.

Our final speaker of the day was Dr Loukia Tzavella, who is a Tenure Track Fellow in the Institute of Population Health. Dr Tzavella’s research involves designing and testing population-level interventions that address health inequalities in diet and nutrition.

Dr Tzavella shared how her open research journey started when she was a PhD student at Cardiff University. Here, she learnt how to implement best practices for increasing the transparency and reproducibility of my doctoral work. Further training and collaboration led to her postdoctoral positions in meta-science, which focused on the promotion, evaluation and implementation of open research practices and related initiatives, such as the Transparency and Promotion Openness (TOP) guidelines and Registered Reports (RRs).

Dr Tzavella shared how she participates in open research initiatives for reproducible student projects, where students can learn best practices and receive credit and acknowledgement where it is due.

Dr Tzavella also contributed to the closing session of Open Research Week, 2024: Is Open Science Really Open for Everyone.

To close this event, colleagues from the Open Research Team shared further information regarding the support and guidance available here at Liverpool. This includes support with scholarly publications, research data management, responsible metrics and much more. Please do not hesitate to contact us at

Overall, this event succeeded in providing a platform for researchers to discuss their work and the impact it has on wider society. Please do spread the word of the Open Research Community to your peers, and contact us if you have any ideas or suggestions for future events.

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