Framework for
Open and
Reproducible
Research
Training

Logo of FORRT is a fort.

Towards Social Justice in Academia

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion


The current model of scientific production and higher-education reproduces global inequalities. Indeed, perhaps the most overlooked aspect in higher education -and even in the tenets of modern scholarship like transparency and open practices- is that of social justice. Unfortunately, academia is still a privilege that few can afford. As Academia is built on the same foundations of society itself, it inherits many of society’s systematic barriers hindering the success of traditionally marginalized groups – whether based on gender, race, ethnicity, origin or social class. In science, wealthy and elite-educated individuals are over-represented, as are males, whites, and citizens of western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic (WEIRD) countries (Lee, 2016; Henrich, Heine & Norenzayan, 2010).

To mitigate the detrimental effects on the access to, learning about, and production of scientific content, it is paramount to create conditions for knowledge to become a public good - accessible to all members of society (Steltenpohl, Anderson, & Daniels, 2019). One way to achieve this goal is to integrate the teaching and mentoring of subject matters with open and reproducible research practices. Higher education institutions, and scholars therein, can then maximize every student’s likelihood of present and future engagement with resources, facilitating the acquisition of knowledge and bolstering opportunities that would otherwise be inaccessible to disadvantaged individuals. In leveling the playing field, abiding scholars and institutions would contribute towards greater diversity and democratization of science, and improved scientific literacy, consumption, and participation.

Hence, we at FORRT, have devised at least 3 ways to be proactive in the outreach to the community.

  • FORRT’s Open Office Hours
    • Periodically, and at least once a month, the FORRT community will hold its Open and Reproducible Science “office hours” for anyone in the world wishing to learn, adopt, and disseminate open and reproducible science tenets, as well as those with interest or questions about teaching and mentoring these concepts, and/or raising awareness of its pedagogical implications and its associated challenges (e.g., curricular reform, epistemological uncertainty, methods of education).
    • Please check the calendar of meetings down below. The first meeting will happen Friday, October 30th, 2020. All necessary information should be available in the Google calender, but also feel free to email us.

  • FORRT’s Remote Mentorship program
    • FORRT also aims at facilitating and encouraging adhesion to open and reproducible research practices in its earliest stages for (a) students from underprivileged and underrepresented backgrounds; (b) non-WEIRD; and (c) when there is no local OS-friendly institutions or personnel. This initiative aims to align educational, scientific and social justice concerns of many scholars. FORRT aims to help by linking willing scholars endorsing ‘cross-borders’ and/or online mentoring of Bachelor or Master thesis on the Topic of Open, Meta, and Reproducible Science (and the education thereof). Hopefully, initiatives such as this will help students engage with open and reproducible science practices from the onset of their careers.
    • FORRT also aims to document this process and give proper commendation to those Mentors willing to give this a try so that our community is also supportive of researchers’ visibility, prestige, tenure and promotion reviews.
      • If you are interested in serving as a Bachelor’s or Master’s Mentor, please fill in the G-form below “For mentors” (in Red-ish) where we ask you a few questions about your expertise and how you would like to volunteer.
      • If you are interested in getting help as a Mentee, please fill in the G-form below “For mentees” (in Green-ish).
      • How does it work? For every person who fill in the Mentees form, FORRT community will try to find a volunteer Mentor with appropriate skills and fitting expertise. Provided that a match can be found, we will contact the Mentor for their approval, and then put mentor and menteee in contact with each other.

  • FORRT’s Support for underprivileged and underrepresented early-career
    • Underprivileged and underrepresented minorities who are early-career researchers suffer racism, discrimination and significant barriers to their professional development, and as ‘structural racism will not go away without intentional action from those who have historically wielded the most power’ (Roberson, 2020, p. 773), we at FORRT would like to be pro-active and contribute positively to a fairer academia. FORRT aims to promote the thriving of underprivileged and underrepresented students, trainees and early career scholars by serving as a link between willing mentors and mentees in their engagement with academia, its several duties (e.g., application materials, grant/funding proposals, academic writing, research development, statistical analyses, etc.), as well as open and reproducible science practices. It is FORRT’s goal to chip away at the barriers that exist and to promote a more inclusive environment for all (Roberson, 2020).
      • If you are interested in serving as a Mentor (providing help), please fill in the G-form below “For mentors” (in Red-ish) where we ask you a few questions about your expertise and how you want to volunteer.
      • If you are interested in getting help as a Mentee, please fill in the G-form below “For mentees” (in Green-ish).
      • How does it work? For every person who fill in the Mentees form, FORRT community will try to find a volunteer Mentor with appropriate skills and fitting expertise. Provided that a match can be found, we will contact the Mentor for their approval, and then put mentor and menteee in contact with each other.

References

  • Henrich, J., Heine, S. J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). Most people are not WEIRD. Nature, 466(7302), 29-29.
  • Lee, J. J. (2016). Is science only for the rich?. Nature, 537(7621), 466-467.
  • Steltenpohl, C. N., Daniels, K. M., & Anderson, A. J. (2020). Giving Community Psychology Away: A case for open access publishing.
  • Roberson, M. L. (2020). On supporting early-career Black scholars. Nature Human Behaviour, 4(8), 773-773. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-0926-6

For mentees:

Fill out the form below or open the Google form in a new window.

For mentors

Fill out the form below or open the Google form in a new window.

Community calendar


Below you find FORRT’s community calendar containing scheduled events.