Inertia Slows Evolution For Open Scientists - Intellectual Property Watch
lterrat's bookmarks 2017-03-11
"t is still a long way to a new generation of 'open scientists', German open data researcher Christian Heise found out in his just-published PhD thesis. Heise not only investigated drivers and barriers for what he expects to be an evolution from open access to open science by theory and a survey of over 1100 scientists. He tried the concept open science the hard way, opening up the writing of his thesis paper on the net.
About the first open PhD thesis, see here.
Interested fellow researchers, friends and family were able to see how the research developed and the text grew. To explore this, Heise had to get a special permission from the university, Leuphana University in Lueneburg, Germany, because a PhD thesis usually has to fulfil certain criteria with regard to recency and originality. It took close to a year to solve the legal issues alone.
Heise had made sure that the work would be his own. Direct comments on the PhD thesis blog were not possible which in some way made additional innovative steps like collaboration directly on the text impossible. Challenges he faced during the process, according to his resume, were also technical as there was a lack of tools for handling evolving versions of such a large text, plus additional material like survey data and literature research. In the end, Heise changed to GitHub, a tool well-known by open source developers.
Additional qualifications (programming) and a bigger work-load made two of the barriers on the way towards becoming an 'open scientist'. But Heise also stated that while a majority of scientists favor open access and faster time to market/public for their research, the scientific communication system had remained highly stable.
It was not only the big publishing houses pushing to keep their business models, but also a certain level of inertia in the scientific community that is causing the persistence.