A genealogy of open access: negotiations between openness and access to research

Author : Samuel A. Moore

Open access (OA) is a contested term with a complicated history and a variety of understandings. This rich history is routinely ignored by institutional, funder and governmental policies that instead enclose the concept and promote narrow approaches to OA.

This article presents a genealogy of the term open access, focusing on the separate histories that emphasise openness and reusability on the one hand, as borrowed from the open-source software and free culture movements, and accessibility on the other hand, as represented by proponents of institutional and subject repositories.

This genealogy is further complicated by the publishing cultures that have evolved within individual communities of practice: publishing means different things to different communities and individual approaches to OA are representative of this fact.

From analysing its historical underpinnings and subsequent development, I argue that OA is best conceived as a boundary object, a term coined by Star and Griesemer (1989) to describe concepts with a shared, flexible definition between communities of practice but a more community-specific definition within them.

Boundary objects permit working relationships between communities while allowing local use and development of the concept. This means that OA is less suitable as a policy object, because boundary objects lose their use-value when ‘enclosed’ at a general level, but should instead be treated as a community-led, grassroots endeavour.

URL : https://rfsic.revues.org/3220



Imagining the ‘open’ university: Sharing scholarship to improve research and education

Author : Erin C McKiernan

Open scholarship, such as the sharing of articles, code, data, and educational resources, has the potential to improve university research and education, as well as increase the impact universities can have beyond their own walls.

To support this perspective, I present evidence from case studies, published literature, and personal experiences as a practicing open scholar. I describe some of the challenges inherent to practicing open scholarship, and some of the tensions created by incompatibilities between institutional policies and personal practice.

To address this, I propose several concrete actions universities could take to support open scholarship, and outline ways in which such initiatives could benefit the public as well as institutions.

Importantly, I do not think most of these actions would require new funding, but rather a redistribution of existing funds and a rewriting of internal policies to better align with university missions of knowledge dissemination and societal impact.

URL : Imagining the ‘open’ university: Sharing scholarship to improve research and education

DOI : https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.2711v3

Fostering Data Openness by Enabling Science: A Proposal for Micro-Funding

Author: Brian Rappert

In recent years, the promotion of data sharing has come with the recognition that not all scientists around the world are equally placed to partake in such activities. Notably, those within developing countries are sometimes regarded as experiencing hardware infrastructure challenges and data management skill shortages.

Proposed remedies often focus on the provision of information and communication technology as well as enhanced data management training. Building on prior empirical social research undertaken in sub-Sahara Africa, this article provides a complementary but alternative proposal; namely, fostering data openness by enabling research.

Towards this end, the underlying rationale is outlined for a ‘bottom-up’ system of research support that addresses the day-to-day demands in low-resourced environments. This approach draws on lessons from development financial assistance programs in recent decades.

In doing so, this article provides an initial framework for science funding that call for holding together concerns for ensuring research can be undertaken in low-resourced laboratory environments with concerns about the data generated in such settings can be shared.

URL : Fostering Data Openness by Enabling Science: A Proposal for Micro-Funding

DOI : http://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2017-044

Copy, transform, combine: exploring the remix as a form of innovation

Authors : Christoph M. Flath, Sascha Friesike, Marco Wirth, Frédéric Thiesse

The reuse of existing knowledge is an indispensable part of the creation of novel ideas. In the creative domain knowledge reuse is a common practice known as “remixing”. With the emergence of open internet-based platforms in recent years, remixing has found its way from the world of music and art to the design of arbitrary physical goods.

However, despite its obvious relevance for the number and quality of innovations on such platforms, little is known about the process of remixing and its contextual factors. This paper considers the example of Thingiverse, a platform for the 3D printing community that allows its users to create, share, and access a broad range of printable digital models.

We present an explorative study of remixing activities that took place on the platform over the course of six years by using an extensive set of data on models and users.

On the foundation of these empirically observed phenomena, we formulate a set of theoretical propositions and managerial implications regarding (1) the role of remixes in design communities, (2) the different patterns of remixing processes, (3) the platform features that facilitate remixes, and (4) the profile of the remixing platform’s users.

URL : Copy, transform, combine: exploring the remix as a form of innovation

Alternative location : https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41265-017-0043-9

Openness and Praxis: Exploring the Use of Open Educational Practices in Higher Education

Author : Catherine Cronin

Open educational practices (OEP) is a broad descriptor of practices that include the creation, use, and reuse of open educational resources (OER) as well as open pedagogies and open sharing of teaching practices.

As compared with OER, there has been little empirical research on individual educators’ use of OEP for teaching in higher education. This research study addresses that gap, exploring the digital and pedagogical strategies of a diverse group of university educators, focusing on whether, why, and how they use OEP for teaching.

The study was conducted at one Irish university; semi-structured interviews were carried out with educators across multiple disciplines. Only a minority of educators used OEP. Using constructivist grounded theory, a model of the concept « Using OEP for teaching » was constructed showing four dimensions shared by open educators: balancing privacy and openness, developing digital literacies, valuing social learning, and challenging traditional teaching role expectations.

The use of OEP by educators is complex, personal, and contextual; it is also continually negotiated. These findings suggest that research-informed policies and collaborative and critical approaches to openness are required to support staff, students, and learning in an increasingly complex higher education environment.

URL : http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/3096/4301

Afraid of Scooping – Case Study on Researcher Strategies against Fear of Scooping in the Context of Open Science

Author : Heidi Laine

The risk of scooping is often used as a counter argument for open science, especially open data. In this case study I have examined openness strategies, practices and attitudes in two open collaboration research projects created by Finnish researchers, in order to understand what made them resistant to the fear of scooping.

The radically open approach of the projects includes open by default funding proposals, co-authorship and community membership. Primary sources used are interviews of the projects’ founding members.

The analysis indicates that openness requires trust in close peers, but not necessarily in research community or society at large. Based on the case study evidence, focusing on intrinsic goals, like new knowledge and bringing about ethical reform, instead of external goals such as publications, supports openness.

Understanding fundaments of science, philosophy of science and research ethics, can also have a beneficial effect on willingness to share. Whether there are aspects in open sharing that makes it seem riskier from the point of view of certain demographical groups within research community, such as women, could be worth closer inspection.

URL : Afraid of Scooping – Case Study on Researcher Strategies against Fear of Scooping in the Context of Open Science

DOI : http://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2017-029

Towards Open Science: China’s Scientific Research and Libraries

Authors : Xiang Yang Huang, Yan Zhao, Dong Rong Zhang, Jing Yu Liu, Cen Zhang

The advance of networking and computing technologies offers unprecedented opportunities for the implementation of principles and practices of open science. By demonstrating attempts of openly working and researching in scientific research and libraries, this paper aims to introduce China’s efforts towards Open Science.

Firstly, this paper reviews Chinese Science & Technology policy and innovation policy towards Open Science by data statistics, indicating that China demands and promotes Open Science.

Based on the situation of Chinese Open Science initiatives, this paper also explores current services of Chinese government, organizations and libraries of moving forward to openness by sharing some cases.

Moreover, Chinese Academy of Sciences is presented in this paper as an example of one of Chinese academic library to introduce its “Open and Collaboration” service strategy planning and Open Knowledge service practice to the need of Open Science and Open Innovation.

URL : Towards Open Science: China’s Scientific Research and Libraries

Alternative location : http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/1608