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Critique and Debates about Open Science

Clemens Blümel explains in his article why Open Science has been criticized by scholars.

Pros and Cons of Open Science

Finally, it is worthwile noting that the landscape of Open Science and Open Scholarship is still emerging. Due to the diversity of meanings and heteroegeneity of communities pushing specific intiatives, it has repeatedly been argued that there currently is no commonly accepted definition of the term. This also relates to ongoing critism regarding the weaknesses of conceptual development.

A bibliometric analysis also reveals that the different aspects and pillars of Open Science are not often connected to each other, resulting in a rather fragmented landscape (Blümel and Beng 2018). Open Science has also been criticized by scholars for paving the way for an even stronger commercialization of research (Mirowski 2018). Indeed, several new services have been established which are now owned by publishers and service providers that may capitalize on the willingness of scholars to interact and communicate by exploiting novel meta-data for their businesses.

Yet, as the recent pandemic has shown, the capabilities of collaboration enabled by open digital infrastructures reveal the potential of vibrant global exchange. While the question of how Open Science can be institutionalized remains open, Open Science proponents have surely provoked a vibrant, yet at times controversial discussion of how the sciences can respond to internal as well as external challenges.

The Open Science and Open Scholarship movement therefore can be seen as a catalyst for more and more intense reflections about the process of scholarly knowledge production in its various facets.


Think about the following questions and write your answers down:

  1. Who are the central actors on the national and supra national level in driving Open Science and Open Scholarship?
  2. In what respect can digital technologies be conceived as driving Openness in scholarship?
  3. In what ways do digital platforms change how knowledge production is acknowledged and rewarded?
  4. Why do scholars also criticize the emergence of digital platforms in the realm of Open Scholarship?
  5. Has Open Science changed the ownership structures of knowledge generated by scholars?
© This work by Clemens Blümel is licensed under CC BY 4.0.
This article is from the free online

Openness in Science and Innovation

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