Why Open Research
Assessing the current situation
What isn’t working well in the ways in which we currently collaborate, communicate and share results with our peers, and measure research achievements?
- The basic problem of cooperation is “knowing other minds” (Dedeo): knowing the intentions, commitments, preferences of others well enough to be confident in your own behavior
- Collective bodies help resolve this by creating norms and thus focusing expectations
- Currently we are lacking in norms and incentives that encourage publishing code and data, which hampers reproducibility
- No good ways to assess relative contributions of authors / contributors
- Lack of platform for people outside of academia, including those who have not had chance to be in academia and ex-academics.
- Lack of platforms / services that transfer / distil scientific outputs to / for stakeholders outside of academia
- Lack of platform to discuss research. For example, there are no forums on maths research where people can talk about their ideas or ask questions about other people’s works etc.
- Research infrastructure for open access / digital science is often privately owned ; public infrastructures are missing (e.g., for open access publishing)
- Software / code, data are not considered scientific outputs yet
Partial successes of open research
What steps have already been taken towards opening research (arXiv, open access journals, collaborative platforms, etc.)? What features of these projects can be built on?
- Arxiv overlay journals, such as Discrete Analysis, Quantum, etc., (see http://freejournals.org/current-member-journals/) have been recently introduced with some success so far. These are both organized by academics for academics with very little cost for open access, in comparison to, e.g., new journal of physics, which is open access but with a much higher cost per article (by at least a factor of 10). Increasing the number of such journals in other fields would be a useful goal, giving control of publication back to scientists, as opposed to private publishing companies.
- Reproducibility drive by COS, encouraging researches to open up planning, data, code, etc., perhaps after a delay, on a not-for-profit platform (OSF).