The Peer Reviewers’ Openness Initiative: incentivizing open research practices through peer review

Openness is one of the central values of science. Open scientific practices such as sharing data, materials and analysis scripts alongside published articles have many benefits, including easier replication and extension studies, increased availability of data for theory-building and meta-analysis, and increased possibility of review and collaboration even after a paper has been published. Although modern information technology makes sharing easier than ever before, uptake of open practices had been slow. We suggest this might be in part due to a social dilemma arising from misaligned incentives and propose a specific, concrete mechanism—reviewers withholding comprehensive review—to achieve the goal of creating the expectation of open practices as a matter of scientific principle.

URL : The Peer Reviewers’ Openness Initiative: incentivizing open research practices through peer review

DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150547

Beyond Open Access to Open Publication and Open Scholarship

This article explores a moment of opportunity to imagine a new humanities scholarship based on radical openness, beyond the level of access to scholarly content that the open access movement has so far championed, to a culture of transformation that can actively include the public(s) beyond the community of scholars. The possibilities for enhancing scholarly and research practices are intriguing, but even greater may be the generative opportunity to engage audiences beyond the scholarly community – particularly online, where the humanities connects to broader cultural currents.

URL : Beyond Open Access to Open Publication and Open Scholarship

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A Case Study of Scholars’ Open and Sharing Practices

Although the open scholarship movement has successfully captured the attention and interest of higher education stakeholders, researchers currently lack an understanding of the degree to which open scholarship is enacted in institutions that lack institutional support for openness. I help fill this gap in the literature by presenting a descriptive case study that illustrates the variety of open and sharing practices enacted by faculty members at a North American university. Open and sharing practices enacted at this institution revolve around publishing manuscripts in open ways, participating on social media, creating and using open educational resources, and engaging with open teaching.

This examination finds that certain open practices are favored over others. Results also show that even though faculty members often share scholarly materials online for free, they frequently do so without associated open licenses (i.e. without engaging in open practices). These findings suggest that individual motivators may significantly affect the practice of openness, but that environmental factors (e.g., institutional contexts) and technological elements (e.g., YouTube’s default settings) may also shape open practices in unanticipated ways.

URL : A Case Study of Scholars’ Open and Sharing Practices

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The Users of Library Publishing Services: Readers and Access Beyond Open

« This article analyzes the discourse of library publishing, examining how the needs of library users have (or haven’t) been framed as core concerns in key collaborative documents from the 2007 Ithaka Report to the 2014 Library Publishing Directory. Access issues, including not only open access but format options, usability, accessibility, and general user experience, have most often been absent or sidelined in this discourse. Even open access has been less central than one might expect. Moreover, even in later documents where it is more commonly trumpeted as a value of libraries, open access is often not presented as a service to readers but to authors.

For these reasons, I argue the promotion of library publishing has missed a key opportunity to promote such services as offering a holistic approach that incorporates the needs of both authors and readers by drawing on the history of user studies in libraries. The absence of the user as information seeker, and especially reader, in this discourse should concern libraries lest library publishing services replicate existing access problems with commercial publishers beyond the question of openness. The opportunity exists for organizations such as the Library Publishing Coalition to foster discussion of reader needs for digital formats and, where feasible, promote a set of best practices. »


The Tao of Open Science for Ecology

« The field of ecology is poised to take advantage of emerging technologies that facilitate the gathering, analyzing, and sharing of data, methods, and results. The concept of transparency at all stages of the research process, coupled with free and open access to data, code, and papers, constitutes « open science. » Despite the many benefits of an open approach to science, a number of barriers to entry exist that may prevent researchers from embracing openness in their own work. Here we describe several key shifts in mindset that underpin the transition to more open science. These shifts in mindset include thinking about data stewardship rather than data ownership, embracing transparency throughout the data life-cycle and project duration, and accepting critique in public. Though foreign and perhaps frightening at first, these changes in thinking stand to benefit the field of ecology by fostering collegiality and broadening access to data and findings. We present an overview of tools and best practices that can enable these shifts in mindset at each stage of the research process, including tools to support data management planning and reproducible analyses, strategies for soliciting constructive feedback throughout the research process, and methods of broadening access to final research products. »

URL : The Tao of Open Science for Ecology


The Battle for Open : How openness won and why it doesn’t feel like victory

« With the success of open access publishing, Massive open online courses (MOOCs) and open education practices, the open approach to education has moved from the periphery to the mainstream. This marks a moment of victory for the open education movement, but at the same time the real battle for the direction of openness begins. As with the green movement, openness now has a market value and is subject to new tensions, such as venture capitalists funding MOOC companies. This is a crucial time for determining the future direction of open education.
In this volume, Martin Weller examines four key areas that have been central to the developments within open education: open access, MOOCs, open education resources and open scholarship. Exploring the tensions within these key arenas, he argues that ownership over the future direction of openness is significant to all of those with an interest in education. »



OER in practice: Organisational change by bootstrapping

« In this paper, we investigate an approach to institutional change that aims to establish open educational practices (OEP) in a university and inculcate the use of open education resources (OER) as part of its curriculum work and teaching practice. Traditional practices that involve delivering knowledge resources for individualised learning within semester-length units of study are becoming increasingly ill-adapted to the demands of a dynamic and global educational landscape. OER offers a sustainable and equitable alternative to such closed arrangements, with the potential to meet the emerging demands of distributed learning settings. Nevertheless, changing educational practice remains a formidable challenge, and adopting OER is a radical break from legacy institutional practices. Our focus in this paper is on the starting point for embedding OER in curriculum work and teaching practice. We investigate change through emergent initiatives rather than a top-down program at La Trobe University in Australia: we ask what connections are necessary to establish open practices in a university. We trace three instances of OEP in one university that together build capacity in OER. We draw on Bardini’s strategy of bootstrapping, as an iterative and co-adaptive learning process that connects good practices in situ with institutional structures in order to build the groundwork for emergent change. These cases demonstrate how disparate innovations can be connected and re-purposed to establish a network of nascent OEP. »

URL : OER in practice: Organisational change by bootstrapping

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