A reputation economy: how individual reward considerations trump systemic arguments for open access to data

Authors : Benedikt Fecher, Sascha Friesike, Marcel Hebing, Stephanie Linek

Open access to research data has been described as a driver of innovation and a potential cure for the reproducibility crisis in many academic fields. Against this backdrop, policy makers are increasingly advocating for making research data and supporting material openly available online.

Despite its potential to further scientific progress, widespread data sharing in small science is still an ideal practised in moderation. In this article, we explore the question of what drives open access to research data using a survey among 1564 mainly German researchers across all disciplines.

We show that, regardless of their disciplinary background, researchers recognize the benefits of open access to research data for both their own research and scientific progress as a whole. Nonetheless, most researchers share their data only selectively.

We show that individual reward considerations conflict with widespread data sharing. Based on our results, we present policy implications that are in line with both individual reward considerations and scientific progress.

URL : A reputation economy: how individual reward considerations trump systemic arguments for open access to data

DOI : 10.1057/palcomms.2017.51

Towards certified open data in digital service ecosystems

Authors : Anne Immonen, Eila Ovaska, Tuomas Paaso

The opportunities of open data have been recently recognized among companies in different domains. Digital service providers have increasingly been interested in the possibilities of innovating new ideas and services around open data.

Digital service ecosystems provide several advantages for service developers, enabling the service co-innovation and co-creation among ecosystem members utilizing and sharing common assets and knowledge.

The utilization of open data in digital services requires new innovation practices, service development models, and a collaboration environment. These can be provided by the ecosystem. However, since open data can be almost anything and originate from different kinds of data sources, the quality of data becomes the key issue.

The new challenge for service providers is how to guarantee the quality of open data. In the ecosystems, uncertain data quality poses major challenges. The main contribution of this paper is the concept of the Evolvable Open Data based digital service Ecosystem (EODE), which defines the kinds of knowledge and services that are required for validating open data in digital service ecosystems.

Thus, the EODE provides business potential for open data and digital service providers, as well as other actors around open data. The ecosystem capability model, knowledge management models, and the taxonomy of services to support the open data quality certification are described.

Data quality certification confirms that the open data is trustworthy and its quality is good enough to be accepted for the usage of the ecosystem’s services. The five-phase open data quality certification process, according to which open data is brought to the ecosystem and certified for the usage of the digital service ecosystem members using the knowledge models and support services of the ecosystem, is also described.

The initial experiences of the still ongoing validation steps are summarized, and the concept limitations and future development targets are identified.

URL : Towards certified open data in digital service ecosystems

DOI : 10.1007/s11219-017-9378-2

The false academy: predatory publishing in science and bioethics

Authors : Stefan Eriksson, Gert Helgesson

This paper describes and discusses the phenomenon ‘predatory publishing’, in relation to both academic journals and books, and suggests a list of characteristics by which to identify predatory journals. It also raises the question whether traditional publishing houses have accompanied rogue publishers upon this path.

It is noted that bioethics as a discipline does not stand unaffected by this trend. Towards the end of the paper it is discussed what can and should be done to eliminate or reduce the effects of this development.

The paper concludes that predatory publishing is a growing phenomenon that has the potential to greatly affect both bioethics and science at large.

Publishing papers and books for profit, without any genuine concern for content, but with the pretence of applying authentic academic procedures of critical scrutiny, brings about a worrying erosion of trust in scientific publishing.

URL : The false academy: predatory publishing in science and bioethics

DOI :10.1007/s11019-016-9740-3

Making visible the invisible through the analysis of acknowledgements in the humanities

Author : Adrian A. Diaz-Faes, Maria Bordons

Purpose

Science is subject to a normative structure that includes how the contributions and interactions between scientists are rewarded. Authorship and citations have been the key elements within the reward system of science, whereas acknowledgements, despite being a well-established element in scholarly communication, have not received the same attention.

This paper aims to put forward the bearing of acknowledgements in the humanities to bring to the foreground contributions and interactions that, otherwise, would remain invisible through traditional indicators of research performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The study provides a comprehensive framework to understanding acknowledgements as part of the reward system with a special focus on its value in the humanities as a reflection of intellectual indebtedness.

The distinctive features of research in the humanities are outlined and the role of acknowledgements as a source of contributorship information is reviewed to support these assumptions.

Findings

Peer interactive communication is the prevailing support thanked in the acknowledgements of humanities, so the notion of acknowledgements as super-citations can make special sense in this area.

Since single-authored papers still predominate as publishing pattern in this domain, the study of acknowledgements might help to understand social interactions and intellectual influences that lie behind a piece of research and are not visible through authorship.

Originality/value

Previous works have proposed and explored the prevailing acknowledgement types by domain.

This paper focuses on the humanities to show the role of acknowledgements within the reward system and highlight publication patterns and inherent research features which make acknowledgements particularly interesting in the area as reflection of the socio-cognitive structure of research.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1706.06334

Global Data Quality Assessment and the Situated Nature of “Best” Research Practices in Biology

Author : Sabina Leonelli

This paper reflects on the relation between international debates around data quality assessment and the diversity characterising research practices, goals and environments within the life sciences.

Since the emergence of molecular approaches, many biologists have focused their research, and related methods and instruments for data production, on the study of genes and genomes.

While this trend is now shifting, prominent institutions and companies with stakes in molecular biology continue to set standards for what counts as ‘good science’ worldwide, resulting in the use of specific data production technologies as proxy for assessing data quality.

This is problematic considering (1) the variability in research cultures, goals and the very characteristics of biological systems, which can give rise to countless different approaches to knowledge production; and (2) the existence of research environments that produce high-quality, significant datasets despite not availing themselves of the latest technologies.

Ethnographic research carried out in such environments evidences a widespread fear among researchers that providing extensive information about their experimental set-up will affect the perceived quality of their data, making their findings vulnerable to criticisms by better-resourced peers. T

hese fears can make scientists resistant to sharing data or describing their provenance. To counter this, debates around Open Data need to include critical reflection on how data quality is evaluated, and the extent to which that evaluation requires a localised assessment of the needs, means and goals of each research environment.

URL : Global Data Quality Assessment and the Situated Nature of “Best” Research Practices in Biology

DOI : http://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2017-032

Reproducibility2020: Progress and priorities

Authors : Leonard P. Freedman, Gautham Venugopalan, Rosann Wisman

The preclinical research process is a cycle of idea generation, experimentation, and reporting of results. The biomedical research community relies on the reproducibility of published discoveries to create new lines of research and to translate research findings into therapeutic applications.

Since 2012, when scientists from Amgen reported that they were able to reproduce only 6 of 53 “landmark” preclinical studies, the biomedical research community began discussing the scale of the reproducibility problem and developing initiatives to address critical challenges.

Global Biological Standards Institute (GBSI) released the “Case for Standards” in 2013, one of the first comprehensive reports to address the rising concern of irreproducible biomedical research.

Further attention was drawn to issues that limit scientific self-correction, including reporting and publication bias, underpowered studies, lack of open access to methods and data, and lack of clearly defined standards and guidelines in areas such as reagent validation.

To evaluate the progress made towards reproducibility since 2013, GBSI identified and examined initiatives designed to advance quality and reproducibility. Through this process, we identified key roles for funders, journals, researchers and other stakeholders and recommended actions for future progress. This paper describes our findings and conclusions.

URL : Reproducibility2020: Progress and priorities

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.11334.1

A Preliminary Exploration of the Relationships Between Student-Created OER, Sustainability, and Students Success

Authors : David Wiley, Ashley Webb, Sarah Weston, DeLaina Tonks

This article explores the relationship between open educational resources (OER) created by students for use by other students, the long-term sustainability of the movement toward OER, and the success of students who use OER created by other students as part of their core curricular materials.

We begin by providing definitions and a broader context for thinking about the possibility of student-created OER. We then describe a course context in which student-created OER have been slowly integrated into an online class over several years and examine the impact on student learning associated with their introduction.

URL : http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/3022/4222