The Dark Sides of Open Science | VolkswagenStiftung
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-08-12
"Have calls for transparency in science gone too far? German science expert Stefan Hornbostel argues that some transparency is good for science – but too much can backfire, reducing the efficiency and quality of research and eroding public trust.
Over the last two decades, the open science movement has been gathering strength. At its simplest, it's a call for greater transparency from researchers. Advocates for more transparency in science argue that openness about who’s doing science, where their funding is coming from, what their data looks like and how it's used will increase public trust in the scientific process and its output. The response from policymakers and scientists themselves has been transformative: Research institutions are now ranked and monitored. More and more funding agencies are requiring data sets to be made publicly accessible. Some scientific journals have done away with anonymous peer reviews. And yet when pollsters ask Germans whether or not they trust scientists, the answers are split evenly down the middle. Trust in science hasn't dropped in the last 20 years, but it's also been stubbornly hard to win over approximately half the populace despite the increased efforts to be transparent. "Only 50 percent of the population says they trust science," laments Stefan Hornbostel, head of the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW). "For a system that's so costly, you’d expect to have higher rates."...
Even the open access publishing movement, which demands payment from authors to publish their work so that it can be read for free, has had unintended consequences. For every respected PLOS-One, there are dozens of shady pay-to-publish journals with no peer review procedures. Such predatory journals have increased the uncertainty for young researchers, for whom publications are an important component of career success. "Scientists really have to check now – and research institutions should provide assistance – if this is a good journal, or a predatory one?" Hornbostel says...."