Open Science - towards a commons of knowledge?

"Open Science-towards a commons of knowledge?" by Gwen Franck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except otherwise noted.

What do we talk about when we talk 'open science'?


  • Open Access to publications
  • Open Data
  • Open Notebooks
  • Open Peer Review
  • Open Source Software
  • ...

General principles:

  • findable
  • accessible
  • interoperable
  • reusable
  • economical benefits
  • accountability
  • societal benefits
  • practical advantages
  • career advantages
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  • scientific knowledge is a common good
  • production costs are mostly covered by the public
  • it should be accessible for the public (i.e. taxpayers)
  • business models based on shielding knowledge from the public should not be supported by public funds
  • who knows what chances we miss due to lack of access?
  • Closed science = bad science ...

Scientific publishing is broken

  • Based on monopolies
  • Based on outdated copyright laws
  • System = the same as 3 centuries ago
  • 'Gold' Open Access: is just another business model
  • Relies on academic inertia!

Scientific publishing is broken

  • OA is not (exclusively) aimed against commercial businesses
  • but at the excessive profits some legacy publishers make
    • profit not only for sustainability journals but shareholders
    • 'double dipping': subscriptions + OA publishing fees for the same journal
    • based on a lot of 'free' labour
    • based on a model of artificial scarcity - enforced by measuring tools owned by the same companies

What can you do?

  • Publish in a quality Open Access Journal if possible and affordable
  • Make a version available via a repository (such as Biblio)
  • Try to keep your rights to your article - apply an open license if possible (such as Creative Commons)
  • Get an ORCID ID
  • Underlying data = essential part of a publication - treat it as such
  • Use open formats as much as possible (csv, docx, ...)
  • Respect the citation (get a permanent identifier for your article!)
  • Take care of your own metadata

Common misgivings

  • Open Access is illegal
  • Open Access does equals expensive processing charges
  • Open Access Journals are low quality journals
  • Depositing research in a repository is  time-consuming and useless
  • Too much knowledge is dangerous for laypeople
  • 'Open' means that I relinquish my intellectual rights
  • Granting access to read is enough

Hack the system!


Kitten playing with String by Bilal Khan on Flickr (CC BY-SA)
  • it is possible, even within academia
  • lead by example
  • talk to your peers and to your superiors
  • go for FAIR open access

Open Science - towards a commons of knowledge?

By gwen

Open Science - towards a commons of knowledge?

As presented in Ghent on May 5th, 2017

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