To Preprint or Not to Preprint: Experience and Attitudes of Researchers Worldwide

Authors : Rong Ni, Ludo Waltman

The pandemic has underlined the significance of open science and spurred further growth of preprinting. Nevertheless, preprinting has been adopted at varying rates across different countries/regions.

To investigate researchers’ experience with and attitudes toward preprinting, we conducted a survey of authors of research papers published in 2021 or 2022. We find that respondents in the US and Europe had a higher level of familiarity with and adoption of preprinting than those in China and the rest of the world. Respondents in China were most worried about the lack of recognition for preprinting and the risk of getting scooped.

US respondents were very concerned about premature media coverage of preprints, the reliability and credibility of preprints, and public sharing of information before peer review. Respondents identified integration of preprinting in journal submission processes as the most important way to promote preprinting.


Philosophy of Open Science

Author : Sabina Leonelli

In response to broad transformations brought about by the digitalization, globalization, and commodification of research processes, the Open Science [OS] movement aims to foster the wide dissemination, scrutiny and re-use of research components for the good of science and society.

This Element examines the role played by OS principles and practices within contemporary research and how this relates to the epistemology of science. After reviewing some of the concerns that have prompted calls for more openness, I highlight how the interpretation of openness as the sharing of resources, so often encountered in OS initiatives and policies, may have the unwanted effect of constraining epistemic diversity and worsening epistemic injustice, resulting in unreliable and unethical scientific knowledge.

By contrast, I propose to frame openness as the effort to establish judicious connections among systems of practice, predicated on a process-oriented view of research as a tool for effective and responsible agency.


Open science in Sámi research: Researchers’ dilemmas

Author : Coppélie Cocq

This article discusses the challenges of Indigenous research in relation to open science, more particularly in relation to Sámi research in Sweden. Based on interviews with active scholars in the multidisciplinary field of Sámi studies, and on policy documents by Sámi organizations, this article points at the challenges that can be identified, and the practices and strategies adopted or suggested by researchers.

Topics addressed include ownership, control, sensitivity and accessibility of data, the consequences of experienced limitations, the role of the historical context, and community-groundedness.

This article has the ambition to contribute with a discussion about the tensions between standards of data management/open science and data sovereignty in Indigenous contexts. This is done by bringing in perspectives from Indigenous methodologies (the 4 R) and by contextualizing research practices and forms of data colonialism in relation to our contemporary context of surveillance culture.

Research—in relation to ethics and social sustainability—is an arena where tensions between various agendas becomes obvious. This is illustrated in this article by researchers’ dilemmas when working with open science and the advancement of Indigenous research.

Efforts toward ethically valid and cultural-sensitive modes of data use are taking shape in Indigenous research, calling for an increased awareness about the topic. In the context of Sámi research, the role of academia in such a transformation is also essential.

URL : Open science in Sámi research: Researchers’ dilemmas


Exploring enablers and barriers to implementing the Transparency and Openness Promotion Guidelines: a theory-based survey of journal editors

Authors : Kevin Naaman, Sean Grant, Sina Kianersi, Lauren Supplee, Beate Henschel, Evan Mayo-Wilson

The Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines provide a framework to help journals develop open science policies. Theories of behaviour change can guide understanding of why journals do (not) implement open science policies and the development of interventions to improve these policies.

In this study, we used the Theoretical Domains Framework to survey 88 journal editors on their capability, opportunity and motivation to implement TOP. Likert-scale questions assessed editor support for TOP, and enablers and barriers to implementing TOP.

A qualitative question asked editors to provide reflections on their ratings. Most participating editors supported adopting TOP at their journal (71%) and perceived other editors in their discipline to support adopting TOP (57%). Most editors (93%) agreed their roles include maintaining policies that reflect current best practices.

However, most editors (74%) did not see implementing TOP as a high priority compared with other editorial responsibilities. Qualitative responses expressed structural barriers to implementing TOP (e.g. lack of time, resources and authority to implement changes) and varying support for TOP depending on study type, open science standard, and level of implementation.

We discuss how these findings could inform the development of theoretically guided interventions to increase open science policies, procedures and practices.

URL : Exploring enablers and barriers to implementing the Transparency and Openness Promotion Guidelines: a theory-based survey of journal editors


Influence of research on open science in the public policy sphere

Authors : Daniela De Filippo, Pablo Sastrón‑Toledo

This paper analyses the scientific activity related to open science in Spain and its influence on public policy from a bibliometric perspective. For this purpose, Spanish centres’ projects and publications on open science from 2010 to 2020 are studied. Subsequently, policy documents using papers related to open science are analysed to study their influence on policymaking.

A total of 142 projects and 1491 publications are analysed, 15% of which are mentioned in policy documents.

The publications cited in policy documents display high proportions of international collaboration, open access publication and publication in first-quartile journals. The findings underline governments’ leading role in the implementation of open science policies and the funding of open science research.

The same government agencies that promote and fund open science research are shown to use that research in their institutional reports, a process known as knowledge flow feedback.

Other non-academic actors are also observed to make use of the knowledge produced by open science research, showing how the open science movement has crossed the boundaries of academia.

URL : Influence of research on open science in the public policy sphere


Close to open—Factors that hinder and promote open science in ecology research and education

Authors  : Christian B. Strømme, A. Kelly Lane, Aud H. Halbritter, Elizabeth Law, Chloe R. Nater, Erlend B. Nilsen, Grace D. Boutouli, Dagmar D. Egelkraut, Richard J. Telford, Vigdis Vandvik, Sehoya H. Cotne

The Open Science (OS) movement is rapidly gaining traction among policy-makers, research funders, scientific journals and individual scientists. Despite these tendencies, the pace of implementing OS throughout the scientific process and across the scientific community remains slow. Thus, a better understanding of the conditions that affect OS engagement, and in particular, of how practitioners learn, use, conduct and share research openly can guide those seeking to implement OS more broadly.

We surveyed participants at an OS workshop hosted by the Living Norway Ecological Data Network in 2020 to learn how they perceived OS and its importance in their research, supervision and teaching. Further, we wanted to know what OS practices they had encountered in their education and what they saw as hindering or helping their engagement with OS.

The survey contained scaled-response and open-ended questions, allowing for a mixed-methods approach. We obtained survey responses from 60 out of 128 workshop participants (47%). Responses indicated that usage and sharing of open data and code, as well as open access publication, were the most frequent OS practices.

Only a minority of respondents reported having encountered OS in their formal education. A majority also viewed OS as less important in their teaching than in their research and supervisory roles. The respondents’ suggestions for what would facilitate greater OS engagement in the future included knowledge, guidelines, and resources, but also social and structural support.

These are aspects that could be strengthened by promoting explicit implementation of OS practices in higher education and by nurturing a more inclusive and equitable OS culture. We argue that incorporating OS in teaching and learning of science can yield substantial benefits to the research community, student learning, and ultimately, to the wider societal objectives of science and higher education.

URL : Close to open—Factors that hinder and promote open science in ecology research and education


Perceptions regarding open science appraised by editors of scholarly publications published in Spain

Authors : Remedios Melero, Juan-José Boté-Vericad, Alexandre López-Borrull

Pillars of open science are often included within the editorial policies of scholarly journals, including policies on open access publication, availability of underlying research data, preprints and open peer review.

The aim of this paper is to examine and analyse perceptions and editorial practices related to open access, preprints, open research data and open peer review, from the perspective of editors of scientific journals published in Spain, to gain an insight into editorial policies related to open science.

Results and data were obtained by a combined method of online interviews and an online questionnaire. The online survey was sent to editors from journals indexed in the Dulcinea directory, which at the time of the study included 1875 academic journals. A total of 420 responses (22.4%) were obtained.

The results indicated that 92% of the journals were open access journals, 2% of the journals conducted open peer review, 15% of the journals had instructions to allow archiving preprints, and out of 375 responses, only 59 journals (16%) reported having a policy on underlying research data.

Based on these results, there is a trend in favour of open access, but the perceived barriers to open peer review outweighed the advantages. There is also some reluctance to allow preprints to be made available.

This concern might be because editors want authors and readers to read and cite the contents published in their journals, rather than their preprint versions.

URL : Perceptions regarding open science appraised by editors of scholarly publications published in Spain