On COVID-19, cognitive bias, and open access | PNAS

peter.suber's bookmarks 2021-01-22

Summary:

"The scientific literature, with its impenetrable jargon, field-specific methodologies, and assumptions of familiarity with a specific body of knowledge, is, for the most part, written for trained scientist readers. It’s certainly not optimally designed for the casual nonspecialist reader, nor should it be, and correcting biases in occasional readers of the scientific literature has not traditionally been the responsibility of the scientific community. The move toward open access publishing, however, in a way, is making it our responsibility, particularly if the idea is that the general public, having provided the means for federal funding of research, is owed immediate access to the products of that research. Making the scientific literature widely and immediately available probably should bring with it an obligation for making not just the data accessible but every aspect of scientific research more accessible....

One small step toward increasing the accessibility of data might be recognizing and addressing potential cognitive biases in an expanded version of a “significance statement,” an element that is appearing in an increasing number of scientific papers....

Today, instructions to authors specify that the Significance Statement should “explain the significance of the research at a level understandable to an undergraduate-educated scientist outside their field of specialty.....

As open access publication becomes the norm across the publishing landscape, making data more accessible while at the same time anticipating and making a greater effort to correct potential cognitive biases may be among many tools that the scientific community can use to reduce the likelihood of misperceptions that can lead to widespread rejection of policies and recommendations based on solid scientific evidence, a cultural phenomenon that appears to have grown as exponentially as COVID-19 in the United States in 2020...."

Link:

https://www.pnas.org/content/118/2/e2026319118

From feeds:

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

Tags:

oa.lay oa.new oa.medicine oa.data oa.intelligibility oa.risks

Date tagged:

01/22/2021, 09:45

Date published:

01/22/2021, 04:45