IASSIST Program Sponsorship: International Symposium on Open Science in Malaysia

By Dr. Wahidah Mohd Zain | August 14, 2023

Greetings IASSISTers! For most North American Universities and Colleges, we are in end-of-academic-year-phase - which finds us gearing up for the rush of summer conferences and workshops; it’s time to retool and/or share our expertise with the world!

In Malaysia, March is one of 2 annual mid-semester breaks in which academic staff must attend to their non-teaching responsibilities – so this is when I spent a couple of weeks touring Malaysian Universities and giving general talks on Open Science to students, librarians, lecturers and researchers, and to some administrators as well. It was a delightful experience hosted by UiTM- Rembau Campus and sponsored by the Fulbright Specialist program and The Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange (MACEE).

A screencapture reading International Symposium of Open Science and showing many logos.

IASSIST was one of the strategic partners.

The culminating event for my time in Malaysia was partially sponsored by IASSIST. The funding was used to help support the International Symposium on Open Science for Information Professionals held on March 13-15th, 2023 in Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Hosted by the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Negeri Sembilan Branch, more than 100 symposium participants attended including information professionals (mostly librarians) from 45 different universities across the country. While Malaysia has a remarkably robust university system, the country is just getting started with Open Science, a concept new to many of the participants. Indeed, the research lifecycle has not been experienced among participating librarians and concepts of data management are just now being introduced. The symposium was a significant event in the development of a Malaysian academic culture that accepts Open Science.

A screencapture reading International Symposium of Open Science and showing portraits of four persons who chaired sessions.

Wahidah Mohd Zain (r) moderated one of the sessions.

The symposium was organized by myself, Dr. Wahidah Mohd Zain (IASSIST ‘19 Fellow in Sydney) in association with Information Science Studies, College of Computing, Informatics and Media at UiTM Negeri Sembilan, Rembau Campus. The symposium was rich and varied with distinguished speakers including Prof. ChM. Dr. Noorsaadah Abd. Rahman, Chair of the Malaysian Open Sciences Alliance, Academy of Science Malaysia; a panel of Citizen Scientists from the US; and a panel of IASSIST members (Tim Dennis, UCLA; Deb Wiltshire, GESIS; Jenny Muilenburg, University of Washington; and me, Carleton College & Fulbright.) Check out the eBook of the Symposium for the full program.

We ended the Symposium with a full-day workshop designed to give librarians a taste of what it means to find or manage data related to some research question of their own choosing.

A screencapture reading International Symposium of Open Science and showing portraits of a keynote speaker and chair.

Opening session was chaired by Paula Lackie, Fulbright Specialist and a long-time IASSIST member.

A screencapture reading International Symposium of Open Science and showing pictures of four Open Science in Action panelists.

Day 2 featured a forum by four IASSIST panelists.

A screencapture reading Thank you for joining us above a group photo of conference attendees posing for the camera in a lecture hall.

Participants and the committee of the symposium.

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