Data Reuse as a Prisoner’s Dilemma: the social capital of open science

Author : Bradly Alicea

Participation in Open Data initiatives require two semi-independent actions: the sharing of data produced by a researcher or group, and a consumer of shared data. Consumers of shared data range from people interested in validating the results of a given study to transformers of the data.

These transformers can add value to the dataset by extracting new relationships and information. The relationship between producers and consumers can be modeled in a game-theoretic context, namely by using a Prisoners’ Dilemma (PD) model to better understand potential barriers and benefits of sharing.

In this paper, we will introduce the problem of data sharing, consider assumptions about economic versus social payoffs, and provide simplistic payoff matrices of data sharing.

Several variations on the payoff matrix are given for different institutional scenarios, ranging from the ubiquitous acceptance of Open Science principles to a context where the standard is entirely non-cooperative. Implications for building a CC-BY economy are then discussed in context.

URL : Data Reuse as a Prisoner’s Dilemma: the social capital of open science


Opening the Publication Process with Executable Research Compendia

Authors : Daniel Nüst, Markus Konkol, Marc Schutzeichel, Edzer Pebesma, Christian Kray, Holger Przibytzin, Jörg Lorenz

A strong movement towards openness has seized science. Open data and methods, open source software, Open Access, open reviews, and open research platforms provide the legal and technical solutions to new forms of research and publishing.

However, publishing reproducible research is still not common practice. Reasons include a lack of incentives and a missing standardized infrastructure for providing research material such as data sets and source code together with a scientific paper. Therefore we first study fundamentals and existing approaches.

On that basis, our key contributions are the identification of core requirements of authors, readers, publishers, curators, as well as preservationists and the subsequent description of an executable research compendium (ERC). It is the main component of a publication process providing a new way to publish and access computational research.

ERCs provide a new standardisable packaging mechanism which combines data, software, text, and a user interface description. We discuss the potential of ERCs and their challenges in the context of user requirements and the established publication processes.

We conclude that ERCs provide a novel potential to find, explore, reuse, and archive computer-based research.


Do You Speak Open Science? Resources and Tips to Learn the Language

Authors : Paola Masuzzo​, Lennart Martens

The internet era, large-scale computing and storage resources, mobile devices, social media, and their high uptake among different groups of people, have all deeply changed the way knowledge is created, communicated, and further deployed.

These advances have enabled a radical transformation of the practice of science, which is now more open, more global and collaborative, and closer to society than ever. Open science has therefore become an increasingly important topic.

Moreover, as open science is actively pursued by several high-profile funders and institutions, it has fast become a crucial matter to all researchers.

However, because this widespread interest in open science has emerged relatively recently, its definition and implementation are constantly shifting and evolving, sometimes leaving researchers in doubt about how to adopt open science, and which are the best practices to follow.

This article therefore aims to be a field guide for scientists who want to perform science in the open, offering resources and tips to make open science happen in the four key areas of data, code, publications and peer-review.

URL : Do You Speak Open Science? Resources and Tips to Learn the Language


Open Science: a revolution in sight?

Author : Bernard Rentier


This article aims at describing the evolution of scientific communication, largely represented by the publication process. It notes the disappearance of the traditional publication on paper and its progressive replacement by electronic publishing, a new paradigm implying radical changes in the whole mechanism.

It aims also at warning the scientific community about the dangers of some new avenues and why, rather than subcontracting an essential part of its work, it must take back a full control of its production.


The article reviews the emerging concepts in scholarly publication and aims to answer frequently asked questions concerning free access to scientific literature as well as to data, science and knowledge in general.


The article provides new observations concerning the level of compliance to institutional open access mandates and the poor relevance of journal prestige for quality evaluation of research and researchers. The results of introducing an open access policy at the University of Liège are noted.

Social implications

Open access is, for the first time in human history, an opportunity to provide free access to knowledge universally, regardless of either the wealth or the social status of the potentially interested readers. It is an essential breakthrough for developing countries.


Open access and Open Science in general must be considered as common values that should be shared freely. Free access to publicly generated knowledge should be explicitly included in universal human rights.

There are still a number of obstacles hampering this goal, mostly the greed of intermediaries who persuade researchers to give their work for free, in exchange for prestige. The worldwide cause of Open Knowledge is thus a major universal issue for the 21st Century.


Joining Networks in the World of Open Science

Author : Riitta Maijala

Whereas the first digital revolution of science by digitisation changed the scientific practices of data collection, analysis and reporting of results, the second digital revolution, i.e. open science, will also challenge the current roles of researchers, research  organisations, libraries and publishers.

From the early days of development, research libraries have joined different networks
and been among the most active stakeholders working towards open science. Cohesive networks are needed for coordinated actions and support, whereas bridging networks can provide new approaches and novel information.

The Finnish Open Science and Research Initiative is presented in this paper as an example of joining networks, motivating individuals and organisations to deliver high-quality services, infrastructures and competence building to promote a transition towards open science.

This paper also presents milestones such as the publication of the academic publishing costs of Finnish research organisations and the maturity level of open science operating cultures in HEIs.

Based on the experience of the Finnish open science initiative, joining different networks at the national level on an open mode of operation can significantly speed up the transition towards the era of open science.

URL : Joining Networks in the World of Open Science

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Open supply? On the future of document supply in the world of open science

Author : Joachim Schöpfel


The purpose of this paper is to propose a personal viewpoint on the development of document supply in the context of the recent European Union (EU) decisions on open science.


The paper provides some elements to the usual questions of service development, about business, customers, added value, environment and objectives.


The EU goal for open science is 100 per cent available research results in 2020. To meet the challenge, document supply must change, include more and other content, serve different targets groups, apply innovative technology and provide knowledge. If not, document supply will become a marginalized library service.


Basically, open science is not library-friendly, and it does not offer a solution for the actual problems of document supply. But it may provide an opportunity for document supply to become a modern service able to deal with new forms of unequal access and digital divide.


Reproducible and reusable research: Are journal data sharing policies meeting the mark?

Author : Nicole A Vasilevsky, Jessica Minnier, Melissa A Haendel, Robin E Champieux


There is wide agreement in the biomedical research community that research data sharing is a primary ingredient for ensuring that science is more transparent and reproducible.

Publishers could play an important role in facilitating and enforcing data sharing; however, many journals have not yet implemented data sharing policies and the requirements vary widely across journals. This study set out to analyze the pervasiveness and quality of data sharing policies in the biomedical literature.


The online author’s instructions and editorial policies for 318 biomedical journals were manually reviewed to analyze the journal’s data sharing requirements and characteristics.

The data sharing policies were ranked using a rubric to determine if data sharing was required, recommended, required only for omics data, or not addressed at all. The data sharing method and licensing recommendations were examined, as well any mention of reproducibility or similar concepts.

The data was analyzed for patterns relating to publishing volume, Journal Impact Factor, and the publishing model (open access or subscription) of each journal.


11.9% of journals analyzed explicitly stated that data sharing was required as a condition of publication. 9.1% of journals required data sharing, but did not state that it would affect publication decisions. 23.3% of journals had a statement encouraging authors to share their data but did not require it.

There was no mention of data sharing in 31.8% of journals. Impact factors were significantly higher for journals with the strongest data sharing policies compared to all other data sharing mark categories. Open access journals were not more likely to require data sharing than subscription journals.


Our study confirmed earlier investigations which observed that only a minority of biomedical journals require data sharing, and a significant association between higher Impact Factors and journals with a data sharing requirement.

Moreover, while 65.7% of the journals in our study that required data sharing addressed the concept of reproducibility, as with earlier investigations, we found that most data sharing policies did not provide specific guidance on the practices that ensure data is maximally available and reusable.

URL : Reproducible and reusable research: Are journal data sharing policies meeting the mark?