How Do Scientists Understand Openness? Exploring the Relationship between Open Science Policies and Research Practice
Bulletin of Science Technology and Society
SAGE Publications (UK and US)
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This paper documents how biomedical researchers in the United Kingdom understand and enact the idea of “openness.” This is of particular interest to researchers and science policy worldwide in view of the recent adoption of pioneering policies on Open Science and Open Access by the UK government – policies whose impact on and implications for research practice are in need of urgent evaluation, so as to decide on their eventual implementation elsewhere. This study is based on 22 in-depth interviews with UK researchers in systems biology, synthetic biology and bioinformatics, which were conducted between September 2013 and February 2014. Through an analysis of the interview transcripts, we identify seven core themes that characterize researchers’ understanding of openness in science, and nine factors that shape the practice of openness in research. Our findings highlight the implications that Open Science policies can have for research processes and outcomes, and provide recommendations for enhancing their content, effectiveness and implementation.
This research was funded by a UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Cross-Linking Grant ES/F028180/1 awarded to Castle, Dupré and Leonelli. The analysis of the interviews and the writing of the paper were also funded by the National Science Foundation award #1431263, which supported Levin’s research time, and the European Research Council grant award 335925, awarded to Leonelli.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.