Civil disobedience in scientific authorship: Resistance and insubordination in science

Authors : Bart Penders, David M. Shaw

The distribution of credit, resources and opportunities in science is heavily skewed due to unjust practices and incentives, hardwired into science’s rules, guidelines and conventions. A form of resistance widely available is to break those rules.

We review instances of rule-breaking in scientific authorship to allow for a redefinition of the concept of civil disobedience in the context of academic research, as well as the conditions on which the label applies.

We show that, in contrast to whistleblowing or conscientious objection, civil disobedience targets science’s injustice on a more systemic level. Its further development will ease critical evaluation of deviant actions as well as helping us evaluate deviance, defiance and discontent in science beyond issues of authorship.

However, empirically, civil disobedience in science engenders uncertainties and disagreements on the local status of both act and label.

URL : Civil disobedience in scientific authorship: Resistance and insubordination in science


A tale of two ‘opens’: intersections between Free and Open Source Software and Open Scholarship

Authors : Jonathan Tennant, Ritwik Agarwal, Ksenija Baždarić, David Brassard, Tom Crick, Daniel Dunleavy, Thomas Evans, Nicholas Gardner, Monica Gonzalez-Marquez, Daniel Graziotin, Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, Daniel Gunnarsson, Johanna Havemann, Mohammad Hosseini, Daniel Katz, Marcel Knöchelmann, Christopher Madan, Paolo Manghi, Alberto Marocchino, Paola Masuzzo, Peter Murray-Rust, Sanjay Narayanaswamy, Gustav Nilsonne, Josmel Pacheco-Mendoza, Bart Penders, Olivier Pourret, Michael Rera, John Samuel, Tobias Steiner, Jadranka Stojanovski, Alejandro Uribe-Tirado, Rutger Vos, Simon Worthington, Tal Yarkoni

There is no clear-cut boundary between Free and Open Source Software and Open Scholarship, and the histories, practices, and fundamental principles between the two remain complex.

In this study, we critically appraise the intersections and differences between the two movements. Based on our thematic comparison here, we conclude several key things.

First, there is substantial scope for new communities of practice to form within scholarly communities that place sharing and collaboration/open participation at their focus.

Second, Both the principles and practices of FOSS can be more deeply ingrained within scholarship, asserting a balance between pragmatism and social ideology.

Third, at the present, Open Scholarship risks being subverted and compromised by commercial players.

Fourth, the shift and acceleration towards a system of Open Scholarship will be greatly enhanced by a concurrent shift in recognising a broader range of practices and outputs beyond traditional peer review and research articles.

In order to achieve this, we propose the formulation of a new type of institutional mandate. We believe that there is substantial need for research funders to invest in sustainable open scholarly infrastructure, and the communities that support them, to avoid the capture and enclosure of key research services that would prevent optimal researcher behaviours.

Such a shift could ultimately lead to a healthier scientific culture, and a system where competition is replaced by collaboration, resources (including time and people) are shared and acknowledged more efficiently, and the research becomes inherently more rigorous, verified, and reproducible.

URL : A tale of two ‘opens’: intersections between Free and Open Source Software and Open Scholarship