The Science of Citizen Science

Authors : Katrin Vohland, Anne Land-Zandstra, Luigi Ceccaroni, Rob Lemmens, Josep Perelló, Marisa Ponti, Roeland Samson, Katherin Wagenknecht

This open access book discusses how the involvement of citizens into scientific endeavors is expected to contribute to solve the big challenges of our time, such as climate change and the loss of biodiversity, growing inequalities within and between societies, and the sustainability turn. The field of citizen science has been growing in recent decades.

Many different stakeholders from scientists to citizens and from policy makers to environmental organisations have been involved in its practice. In addition, many scientists also study citizen science as a research approach and as a way for science and society to interact and collaborate.

This book provides a representation of the practices as well as scientific and societal outcomes in different disciplines. It reflects the contribution of citizen science to societal development, education, or innovation and provides and overview of the field of actors as well as on tools and guidelines.

It serves as an introduction for anyone who wants to get involved in and learn more about the science of citizen science.

URL : The Science of Citizen Science


‘Communists of Knowledge’? A case for the implementation of ‘radical open access’ in the humanities and social sciences

Author : Eleanor Masterman

Open access (OA) has widely been touted as a ‘radical’ alternative to the traditional scholarly publishing system, which has faced heavy criticism in the last twenty years for its oligopolistic market and high profit margins.

Yet, this dissertation argues that – especially in scientific, technical and medical (STM) publishing – OA under the ‘author-pays’ model has largely become part of that system, as another revenue stream for the largest commercial publishers.

My study contributes to a growing body of literature that seeks instead to re-politicise OA for the humanities and social sciences (HSS), a sector where the topic is still marked by discussion and debate, by critiquing its subordinance to market logic.

Adopting an explicitly political definition of ‘radical’, this study attempts to answer the question ‘Could open access facilitate a radical approach to academic publishing in the humanities and social sciences?’.

By performing a landscape study of the not-for-profit Radical Open Access Collective (Collective), this dissertation assesses and evaluates the radicalism of various different routes to OA in HSS.

It promotes the benefits of a self-reflexive approach to OA and the Collective’s networked model of smaller presses, while noting that low levels of marketing and indexing are detrimental to its research’s discoverability.

It also highlights that OA practice, even in the Collective, remains unduly influenced by harmful vestiges of the competitive market, notably prestige and academic colonialism.

Finally, this work proposes distinguishing ‘radical open access’ as a specific subsection of the wider OA movement and offers recommendations for a more radical future of HSS publishing.


Research Culture: A survey of early-career researchers in Australia

Authors : Katherine Christian, Carolyn Johnstone, Jo-ann Larkins, Wendy Wright, Michael R Doran

Early-career researchers (ECRs) make up a large portion of the academic workforce and their experiences often reflect the wider culture of the research system. Here we surveyed 658 ECRs working in Australia to better understand the needs and challenges faced by this community.

Although most respondents indicated a ‘love of science’, many also expressed an intention to leave their research position. The responses highlight how job insecurity, workplace culture, mentorship and ‘questionable research practices’ are impacting the job satisfaction of ECRs and potentially compromising science in Australia.

We also make recommendations for addressing some of these concerns.

URL : Research Culture: A survey of early-career researchers in Australia


The Pandemic as a Portal: Reimagining Psychological Science as Truly Open and Inclusive

Authors : Alison Ledgerwood, Sa-kiera Hudson, Neil Lewis, Keith Maddox, Cynthia Pickett, Jessica Remedios, Sapna Cheryan, Amanda Diekman, Jin Goh, Stephanie Goodwin, Yuko Munakata, Danielle Navarro, Ivuoma Onyeador, Sanjay Srivastava, Clara Wilkins

Psychological science is at an inflection point: The COVID-19 pandemic has already begun to exacerbate inequalities that stem from our historically closed and exclusive culture. Meanwhile, reform efforts to change the future of our science are too narrow in focus to fully succeed.

In this paper, we call on psychological scientists—focusing specifically on those who use quantitative methods in the United States as one context in which such a conversation can begin—to reimagine our discipline as fundamentally open and inclusive.

First, we discuss who our discipline was designed to serve and how this history produced the inequitable reward and support systems we see today.

Second, we highlight how current institutional responses to address worsening inequalities are inadequate, as well as how our disciplinary perspective may both help and hinder our ability to craft effective solutions.

Third, we take a hard look in the mirror at the disconnect between what we ostensibly value as a field and what we actually practice. Fourth and finally, we lead readers through a roadmap for reimagining psychological science in whatever roles and spaces they occupy, from an informal discussion group in a department to a formal strategic planning retreat at a scientific society.


Science Communication in the Context of Reproducibility and Replicability: How Nonscientists Navigate Scientific Uncertainty

Author : Emily L. Howell

Scientists stand to gain in obvious ways from recent efforts to develop robust standards for and mechanisms of reproducibility and replicability. Demonstrations of reproducibility and replicability may provide clarity with respect to areas of uncertainty in scientific findings and translate into greater impact for the research.

But when it comes to public perceptions of science, it is less clear what gains might come from recent efforts to improve reproducibility and replicability. For example, could such efforts improve public understandings of scientific uncertainty?

To gain insight into this issue, we would need to know how those views are shaped by media coverage of it, but none of the emergent research on public views of reproducibility and replicability in science considers that question.

We do, however, have the recent report on Reproducibility and Replicability in Science issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which provides an overview of public perceptions of uncertainty in science.

Here, I adapt that report to begin a conversation between researchers and practitioners, with the aim of expanding research on public perceptions of scientific uncertainty. This overview draws upon research on risk perception and science communication to describe how the media influences the communication and perception of uncertainty in science.

It ends by presenting recommendations for communicating scientific uncertainty as it pertains to issues of reproducibility and replicability.

URL : Science Communication in the Context of Reproducibility and Replicability: How Nonscientists Navigate Scientific Uncertainty

Original location :

Collaborative Processes in Science and Literature: an In-Depth Look at the Cases of CERN and SIC

Authors : Emilia Leogrande, Renato Nicassio

In this paper we examine how the process of collaboration works in science and literature. In the first part, we discuss the features of scientific collaboration and literary collaboration and the differences between them.

In the second part, we analyze two processes of collaboration, each from a different field: the case of CERN and high-energy physics and the case of Scrittura Industriale Collettiva and its Great Open Novel. Lastly, we try to compare those two processes and deduce the common traits of a successful collaboration.

URL : Collaborative Processes in Science and Literature: an In-Depth Look at the Cases of CERN and SIC


Waiving article processing charges for least developed countries: a keystone of a large-scale open access transformation

Authors : Niels Taubert, Andre Bruns, Christopher Lenke, Graham Stone

This article investigates whether it is economically feasible for a large publishing house to waive article processing charges for the group of 47 so-called least developed countries (LDC). As an example, Springer Nature is selected.

The analysis is based on the Web of Science, OpenAPC and the Jisc Collections’ Springer Compact journal list. As a result, it estimates an average yearly publication output of 520 publications (or 0.26% of the worldwide publication output in Springer Nature journals) for the LDC country group.

The loss of revenues for Springer Nature would be US$1.1 million if a waiver was applied for all of these countries. Given that the subject categories of these publications indicate the output is of high societal relevance for LDC, and given that money is indispensable for development in these countries (e.g. life expectancy, health, education), it is not only desirable but also possible in economic terms for a publisher like Springer Nature to waive APCs for these countries without much loss in revenues.

URL : Waiving article processing charges for least developed countries: a keystone of a large-scale open access transformation