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Drivers of Open Science

Learn more about the drivers that push science to become more open.
© This work by Clemens Blümel is licensed under CC BY 4.0.

Digitalization and digital transformation of research and teaching

A major enabler for Open Science movements was evolving digital transformation, paving the way for new infrastructures that change how research is generated and communicated. Digital transformation started with transforming the publishing sectors, particularly with services that allow for free circulation of publications even prior to peer review (so called pre-prints).

With APC (see above) as a finance mechanism, Open Access publishing became more common and new electronic, fully Open Access journals were launched. Moreover, new digital platforms were launched for networking and communication specifically designed for researchers, such as ResearchGate or, also with the aim to further push feedback and communication which are now among the most highly used sites in the world.

In addition, the digital transformation also allowed for technical solutions in peer review to flourish, with new platforms emerging that closely cooperated with publishers. Due to the increasing computing capabilities and enabled by persistent identification models (DOI), novel infrastructures for tracing research objects in the digital landscape emerged that support the ecosystem of data provision and data sharing (Mayernik 2017).

Science Policy

The different aspects of Open Science and the associated demands and callings have been picked up by science policy actors. Referring to the aforementioned challenges and problems in the science system, science policy actors in various countries and at various levels (transnational, national, regional) launched various initiatives pointing at aspects of concern. For instance, the concept of Open Science has been taken up by national actors in the UK and the Netherlands. This is also the reason why the EU termed its new framework programme in 2016 by “Open Science, Open Innovation, Open to the World”.

Open Science was understood as a way of making science more accountable for societal and economic problems. One of the most widely known initiatives on the EU level was “Plan S” a coalition of research funders with the goal of making Open Access publishing compulsory for recipients of funding. The different elements and initiatives of Open Science were now increasingly combined to form a more coherent Open Science framework.

Yet, there is also support for Open Science on the national level, which can be seen in new funding instruments for Open Science. Some countries, including the UK, the Netherlands, and Austria have set up Open Science dedicated strategies with clear Openness goals in various realms of scholarly knowledge production.

Even more prominent and in part independent from national activities were organizational measures for implementing Open Science, such as a) introducing and monitoring institutional funds for Open Access (in Germany pioneered by the DFG), b) monitoring and incentivising Open Data reuse (Open Data Award of the Berlin Institute of Health), c) collaboration and communication for research integrity and teaching activities (Hamburg Open Science, Erfurt Open Science activities).

In addition, also funding organizations engage in promoting and incentivising Open Science by, for instance, demanding research data management plans (Research Councils UK, Wellcome Trust, BMBF or the VW foundation). In addition, some funding organizations also engage in funding infrastructures for enhancing interoperability and reusage of data (NFD), national research information infrastructure in Germany).

With Hans-Hennig von Grünberg, in the next week you will learn more about the strong political efforts at the European level to establish the principles of Open Science and Open Innovation as standard modes in research and development.

© This work by Clemens Blümel is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
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Openness in Science and Innovation

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