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

Open Educational Resources and Rhetorical Paradox in the Neoliberal Univers(ity)

Author : Nora Almeida

As a phenomenon and a quandary, openness has provoked conversations about inequities within higher education systems, particularly in regards to information access, social inclusion, and pedagogical practice.

But whether or not open education can address these inequities, and to what effect, depends on what we mean by “open” and specifically, whether openness reflexively acknowledges the fraught political, economic, and ethical dimensions of higher education and of knowledge production processes.

This essay explores the ideological and rhetorical underpinnings of the open educational resource (OER) movement in the context of the neoliberal university.

This essay also addresses the conflation of value and values in higher education—particularly how OER production processes and scholarship labor are valued. Lastly, this essay explores whether OER initiatives provide an opportunity to reimagine pedagogical practices, to reconsider authority paradigms, and potentially, to dismantle and redress exclusionary educational practices in and outside of the classroom.

Through a critique of neoliberalism as critically limiting, an exploration of autonomy, and a refutation of the precept that OER can magically solve social inequalities in higher education, the author ultimately advocates for a reconsideration of OER in context and argues that educators should prioritize conversations about what openness means within their local educational communities.

URL : Open Educational Resources and Rhetorical Paradox in the Neoliberal Univers(ity)

Alternative location : http://libraryjuicepress.com/journals/index.php/jclis/article/view/16

Openness in Scholarship: A Return to Core Values?

Author : Cameron Neylon

The debate over the meaning, and value, of open movements has intensified. The fear of co-option of various efforts from Open Access to Open Data is driving a reassessment and re-definition of what is intended by “open”.

In this article I apply group level models from cultural studies and economics to argue that the tension between exclusionary group formation and identity and aspirations towards inclusion and openness are a natural part of knowledge-making.

Situating the traditional Western Scientific Knowledge System as a culture-made group, I argue that the institutional forms that support the group act as economic underwriters for the process by which groups creating exclusive knowledge invest in the process of making it more accessible, less exclusive, and more public-good-like, in exchange for receiving excludable goods that sustain the group.

A necessary consequence of this is that our institutions will be conservative in their assessment of what knowledge-goods are worth of consideration and who is allowed within those institutional systems. Nonetheless the inclusion of new perspectives and increasing diversity underpins the production of general knowledge.

I suggest that instead of positioning openness as new, and in opposition to traditional closed systems, it may be more productive to adopt a narrative in which efforts to increase inclusion are seen as a very old, core value of the academy, albeit one that is a constant work in progress.

URL : Openness in Scholarship: A Return to Core Values?