What drives and inhibits researchers to share and use open research data? A systematic literature review to analyze factors influencing open research data adoption

Abstract:  Both sharing and using open research data have the revolutionary potentials for forwarding scientific advancement. Although previous research gives insight into researchers’ drivers and inhibitors for sharing and using open research data, both these drivers and inhibitors have not yet been integrated via a thematic analysis and a theoretical argument is lacking. This study’s purpose is to systematically review the literature on individual researchers’ drivers and inhibitors for sharing and using open research data. This study systematically analyzed 32 open data studies (published between 2004 and 2019 inclusively) and elicited drivers plus inhibitors for both open research data sharing and use in eleven categories total that are: ‘the researcher’s background’, ‘requirements and formal obligations’, ‘personal drivers and intrinsic motivations’, ‘facilitating conditions’, ‘trust’, ‘expected performance’, ‘social influence and affiliation’, ‘effort’, ‘the researcher’s experience and skills’, ‘legislation and regulation’, and ‘data characteristics.’ This study extensively discusses these categories, along with argues how such categories and factors are connected using a thematic analysis. Also, this study discusses several opportunities for altogether applying, extending, using, and testing theories in open research data studies. With such discussions, an overview of identified categories and factors can be further applied to examine both researchers’ drivers and inhibitors in different research disciplines, such as those with low rates of data sharing and use versus disciplines with high rates of data sharing plus use. What’s more, this study serves as a first vital step towards developing effective incentives for both open data sharing and use behavior.

 

Business Models and Market Structure within the Scholarly Communications Sector

“The paper proceeds by first positioning the situation within the broader setting of how to effectively regulate digital markets. The dominant business model and industrial structure within scholarly communications at the end of the last century is then discussed, as a springboard from which to consider new business models that have arisen over the past twenty years and their likely implications for the sector. The paper concludes that there would be considerable benefit to the establishment of a permanent digital markets unit to monitor and assess ongoing developments in the scholarly communications sector and to coordinate and encourage “good behaviour” across all actors in the sector….”

What’s Wrong with Social Science and How to Fix It: Reflections After Reading 2578 Papers | Fantastic Anachronism

[Some recommendations:]

Ignore citation counts. Given that citations are unrelated to (easily-predictable) replicability, let alone any subtler quality aspects, their use as an evaluative tool should stop immediately.
Open data, enforced by the NSF/NIH. There are problems with privacy but I would be tempted to go as far as possible with this. Open data helps detect fraud. And let’s have everyone share their code, too—anything that makes replication/reproduction easier is a step in the right direction.
Financial incentives for universities and journals to police fraud. It’s not easy to structure this well because on the one hand you want to incentivize them to minimize the frauds published, but on the other hand you want to maximize the frauds being caught. Beware Goodhart’s law!
Why not do away with the journal system altogether? The NSF could run its own centralized, open website; grants would require publication there. Journals are objectively not doing their job as gatekeepers of quality or truth, so what even is a journal? A combination of taxonomy and reputation. The former is better solved by a simple tag system, and the latter is actually misleading. Peer review is unpaid work anyway, it could continue as is. Attach a replication prediction market (with the estimated probability displayed in gargantuan neon-red font right next to the paper title) and you’re golden. Without the crutch of “high ranked journals” maybe we could move to better ways of evaluating scientific output. No more editors refusing to publish replications. You can’t shift the incentives: academics want to publish in “high-impact” journals, and journals want to selectively publish “high-impact” research. So just make it impossible. Plus as a bonus side-effect this would finally sink Elsevier….”

Research 2030 podcast: Can the reward system learn to love open science? Part 1 with Jean-Claude Burgelman

“The open science movement has been gaining momentum over the past decade, prompting initiatives such as cOAlition S, with its plan to increase open access publications. But while the goals of open science are welcomed by many, challenges remain. And top of the list is the researcher reward system.

This is the first episode in our short series on open science and the reward system. Host Dr. Stephane Berghmans, Elsevier VP of Academic and Research Relations EU, welcomes Prof. Jean-Claude Burgelman to the podcast. Prof. Burgelman is eminently qualified to talk about this topic. Not only is he a part-time Professor of Open Science Policy at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, he was recently Head of Unit Open Data Policies and Science Cloud at the European Commission and an open access envoy for the organization….”

Problematizing ‘predatory publishing’: A systematic review of factors shaping publishing motives, decisions, and experiences – Mills – – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  This article systematically reviews recent empirical research on the factors shaping academics’ knowledge about, and motivations to publish work in, so?called ‘predatory’ journals. Growing scholarly evidence suggests that the concept of ‘predatory’ publishing’ – used to describe deceptive journals exploiting vulnerable researchers – is inadequate for understanding the complex range of institutional and contextual factors that shape the publication decisions of individual academics. This review identifies relevant empirical studies on academics who have published in ‘predatory’ journals, and carries out a detailed comparison of 16 papers that meet the inclusion criteria. While most start from Beall’s framing of ‘predatory’ publishing, their empirical findings move the debate beyond normative assumptions about academic vulnerability. They offer particular insights into the academic pressures on scholars at the periphery of a global research economy. This systematic review shows the value of a holistic approach to studying individual publishing decisions within specific institutional, economic and political contexts. Rather than assume that scholars publishing in ‘questionable’ journals are naïve, gullible or lacking in understanding, fine?grained empirical research provides a more nuanced conceptualization of the pressures and incentives shaping their decisions. The review suggests areas for further research, especially in emerging research systems in the global South.

 

Funders must mandate and reward open research records

“Funders have the power to change incentives to support rigorous research. Together with Chris Chambers, co-founder of the UK Reproducibility Network, I have drafted a Universal Funders Policy that mandates and rewards the open deposition of all records associated with a publication.

Our proposal does not apply to all materials generated in the course of a project. To many, at least in the biomedical sciences, such a requirement would not be beneficial or pragmatic. It could result in a ‘data dump’ of limited value. Yet the bulk of a standard biomedical publication is based on smaller data sets that are often available only from the corresponding author ‘upon reasonable request’, a practice that hampers transparency.

For such a policy to be accepted and work long-term, its implementation route might find inspiration in Plan S developments: an initial phase of consultation with diverse stakeholders, followed by a transition period during which researchers and institutions prepare for the ‘new normal’. Finally, funders will need to enforce the mandate….”

Research Culture: Changing how we evaluate research is difficult, but not impossible | eLife

Abstract:  The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) was published in 2013 and described how funding agencies, institutions, publishers, organizations that supply metrics, and individual researchers could better evaluate the outputs of scientific research. Since then DORA has evolved into an active initiative that gives practical advice to institutions on new ways to assess and evaluate research. This article outlines a framework for driving institutional change that was developed at a meeting convened by DORA and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The framework has four broad goals: understanding the obstacles to changes in the way research is assessed; experimenting with different approaches; creating a shared vision when revising existing policies and practices; and communicating that vision on campus and beyond.

 

OAR@UM: Academics’ perspective of open access and institutional repositories, University of Malta : a case study

Abstract:  This research explores factors affecting academics’ willingness towards self-archiving in their University’s IR. Academics are the main contributors of Institutional Repositories (IRs). Whatsoever, voluntary contributions from their end lacks, which is a problem faced by Universities globally. Since the situation at the University of Malta (UM) is of no exception to such hindrance to its IR (OAR@UM) content and potential, this study specifically tackled UM academics. Both positive and negative drivers towards self-archiving in OAR@UM were investigated in terms of perceptions, awareness, practice and knowledge. Apart from the IR, OA publishing in general was also considered. Also, from the reviewed literature a gap was identified. Thus, this study attempted to fill such gap by extending its scope to also explore the academics’ willingness towards engaging in knowledge sharing activities along with, related preferences such as, venue and material type. This study adopted the Willingness Indicator Model, a new research model based upon the Theory of Planned Behaviour and that was specifically developed by this researcher for the purpose of this study. A quantitative research design using online questionnaire survey was employed albeit questions that derive both quantitative and qualitative information were incorporated. Findings transpired that despite low contribution, overall, participants did positively perceive OAR@UM to be a high quality venue, acknowledged access benefits, recognised that it benefits the UM and regarded it as the majorly preferred self-archiving venue. They also overall acknowledged that it benefits the UM. Among others, the major inspiring factors towards depositing respectively were the prospect of increased professional visibility and altruism in terms of benefiting other researchers. On the other hand, among others, major inhibiting factors respectively were, not finding the time, self-archiving being unusual practice within discipline, and copyright concerns. High awareness about the availability of OA and OAR@UM showed. Nonetheless, a lack of OA and self-archiving concept knowledge along with, knowledge related to OAR@UM in relation to concept and related services emerged. To this effect, low OAR@UM contributors resulted. As concluded, this particularly occurred as a consequence of negative perceptions, unrecognised benefits and concerns which most were unfounded ones and that thus, could simply cease through the acquisition of appropriate concept related knowledge that of course could only be derived through appropriate education, promotion and communication.

OAR@UM: Academics’ perspective of open access and institutional repositories, University of Malta : a case study

Abstract:  This research explores factors affecting academics’ willingness towards self-archiving in their University’s IR. Academics are the main contributors of Institutional Repositories (IRs). Whatsoever, voluntary contributions from their end lacks, which is a problem faced by Universities globally. Since the situation at the University of Malta (UM) is of no exception to such hindrance to its IR (OAR@UM) content and potential, this study specifically tackled UM academics. Both positive and negative drivers towards self-archiving in OAR@UM were investigated in terms of perceptions, awareness, practice and knowledge. Apart from the IR, OA publishing in general was also considered. Also, from the reviewed literature a gap was identified. Thus, this study attempted to fill such gap by extending its scope to also explore the academics’ willingness towards engaging in knowledge sharing activities along with, related preferences such as, venue and material type. This study adopted the Willingness Indicator Model, a new research model based upon the Theory of Planned Behaviour and that was specifically developed by this researcher for the purpose of this study. A quantitative research design using online questionnaire survey was employed albeit questions that derive both quantitative and qualitative information were incorporated. Findings transpired that despite low contribution, overall, participants did positively perceive OAR@UM to be a high quality venue, acknowledged access benefits, recognised that it benefits the UM and regarded it as the majorly preferred self-archiving venue. They also overall acknowledged that it benefits the UM. Among others, the major inspiring factors towards depositing respectively were the prospect of increased professional visibility and altruism in terms of benefiting other researchers. On the other hand, among others, major inhibiting factors respectively were, not finding the time, self-archiving being unusual practice within discipline, and copyright concerns. High awareness about the availability of OA and OAR@UM showed. Nonetheless, a lack of OA and self-archiving concept knowledge along with, knowledge related to OAR@UM in relation to concept and related services emerged. To this effect, low OAR@UM contributors resulted. As concluded, this particularly occurred as a consequence of negative perceptions, unrecognised benefits and concerns which most were unfounded ones and that thus, could simply cease through the acquisition of appropriate concept related knowledge that of course could only be derived through appropriate education, promotion and communication.

Open Science Policy Platform: final report

The Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP, also EUOSPP) presented in April 2020 its final report “Progress on Open Science: Towards a Shared Research Knowledge System”.

What was the role of the OSPP?

The OSPP consisted of 25 representatives of the most important relevant European open science stakeholders (except business and industry community). This high-level advisory group was set up in 2016 by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation. Its role was to advise the European Commission on how to develop its Open Science Policy. It also supported policy implementation by reviewing best practices, drawing policy guidelines, and encouraging their active uptake by stakeholders. In particular, the OSPP was in charge of working with other high-level expert groups on very specific topics and bringing the stakeholder’s perspective into their recommendations.

According to Europe Direct, there will be no third mandate for the OSPP. There are clear rules that regulate the maximum length of time during which an expert group can advise the commission, “which in this case means there will be no extension after the two mandates (12 months per mandate).”

OSPP final report

The final report provides a brief overview of the four-year work (two mandates) of the platform. It draws up recommendations for the Commission and analyses the status of implementation of open science practices. It also describes progress made and barriers imposed on Open Science implementation by each different stakeholder community1 over the past two years.

The report identifies three ambitions with high disparities between stakeholders (research integrity, skills&education, citizen science), which suggests a need for further discussion to develop common views on the challenges. Another urgent issue is the role of open science in public-private partnerships and “the dilemma faced by business and industry in adopting Open Science practices and principles whilst fulfilling requirements for Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and commercial practices”. Here, the OSPP recognises that it is difficult to address the challenges faced by the business and industry community who are not represented among the OSPP stakeholders.

In conclusion, the OSPP experts call upon the EU Member States and all relevant actors in the private and public sectors to undertake broader systemic efforts and coordinate their strategies.

The report encourages them to move beyond Open Science to co-create a “research system based on shared knowledge by 2030”, identifying five priorities:

  1. An academic career structure that fosters outputs, practices and behaviours to maximise contributions to a shared research knowledge system.  
  2. A research system that is reliable, transparent and trustworthy.
  3. A research system that enables innovation.
  4. A research culture that facilitates diversity and equity of opportunity.
  5. A research system that is built on evidence- based policy and practice.

1 In this report, stakeholders are divided into the following groups: Universities & Research Organizations, Scientific Societies and Academies, Research Funding Organizations, Policy-Making Organizations, Citizen Science Organizations, Publishers, Open Science Platforms and Intermediaries, Research Libraries, Researchers.

Methodology:

The report does not strive to provide consensus view, but rather shows stakeholders’ opinions along the eight identified core areas (“ambitions”) identified by the EU Commission: 1) rewards and incentives, 2) indicators & next-generation metrics, 3) future of scholarly communications, 3) European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), 5) FAIR data, 6) research integrity, 7) skills &  education, 8) citizen science.

Each stakeholder community evaluated the level of progress for each ambition according to 5 categories (discussion, planning, implementation, adoption and common practice). For each ambition, 2 to 4 recommendations were made.

image: Photo by Guillaume Périgois on Unsplash

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