Strategy for Culture Change

peter.suber's bookmarks 2021-11-04


"People are embedded in social and cultural systems.  Those systems shape behavior by [1] communicating norms—this is what people do, this is what people should do, [2] providing incentives—this is what people are rewarded for doing, and [3] imposing policies—this is what you have to do to be part of this system.

Interventions that provide individual motivation and ability to change may be rendered ineffective because of strong norms, incentives, and policies that counter the intended behavior.  Ironically, this can worsen conditions because the individuals have knowledge and motivation to do the new behaviors, but feel powerless against a culture that does not value or promote those behaviors.

When norms, incentives, and policies are misaligned with desired behavior, a much more encompassing strategy is needed to effect culture change.  Here is our strategy to change the research culture to accelerate discovery, solutions, and cures. The same concepts can be applied to other culture change efforts.

Our mission at the Center for Open Science (COS) is to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of research. Our behavior change targets are to get researchers to show their work and to share.  In the present culture, standard practice is that research teams operate independently and share their findings in publications that summarize what the team learned.  Usually, publications only share successes, and it isn’t possible to see what other things were tried to evaluate the credibility of the findings that are reported. In our future culture, standard practice would make the process of discovery transparent with researchers registering their plans to make all studies discoverable, and so that initial plans can be compared with the final outcomes and conclusions.  Also, in our future culture, by default, researchers would share the materials, protocols, and data that they produced in the research so that others could confirm, challenge, extend, or reuse the work. All these behavior changes are in service of accelerating science and reducing waste....

Given this cultural context, we will not succeed in changing the research culture by focusing on individuals’ motivation and ability to be open and reproducible with their research.  We must pursue a comprehensive change strategy.... "



11/04/2021, 04:51

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Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » peter.suber's bookmarks


oa.culture oa.incentives oa.mandates oa.infrastructure oa.cos oa.policies

Date tagged:

11/04/2021, 08:51

Date published:

06/11/2019, 04:51