Abstract: Energy policy often builds on insights gained from quantitative energy models and their underlying data. As climate change mitigation and economic concerns drive a sustained transformation of the energy sector, transparent and well-founded analyses are more important than ever. We assert that models and their associated data must be openly available to facilitate higher quality science, greater productivity through less duplicated effort, and a more effective science-policy boundary. There are also valid reasons why data and code are not open: ethical and security concerns, unwanted exposure, additional workload, and institutional or personal inertia. Overall, energy policy research ostensibly lags behind other fields in promoting more open and reproducible science. We take stock of the status quo and propose actionable steps forward for the energy research community to ensure that it can better engage with decision-makers and continues to deliver robust policy advice in a transparent and reproducible way.
“The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is building a new DOE software submission and search tool. DOE CODE is the reimagining of OSTI’s current product for the submission of software, the Energy Science and Technology Software Center, or ESTSC. Since DOE CODE is still under development, if you need to submit, search, or order software, please visit the ESTSC site for instructions.”
“OPENing UP new methods, indicators and tools for peer review, dissemination of research results, and impact measurement….Open Access and Open Scholarship have revolutionized the way scholarly artefacts are evaluated and published, while the introduction of new technologies and media in scientific workflows has changed the “how and to whom” science is communicated, and how stakeholders interact with the scientific community. OpenUP addresses key aspects and challenges of the currently transforming science landscape and aspires to come up with a cohesive framework for the review-disseminate-assess phases of the research life cycle that is fit to support and promote Open Science….Through analysis, consultation, hands-on engagement with researchers, publishers, institutions and funders, industry and citizens, OpenUP will a) define a framework that defines roles and processes, benefits and opportunities, b) validate the proposed mechanisms through a series of pilots involving researchers from four scientific communities (Life Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities, Energy), and c) come up with practical policy recommendations and guidelines to be used by EU, national and institutional policymakers at different settings. OpenUP will engage with all stakeholders via a series of outreach and training events, and the creation of an Open Information Hub, a collaborative web based Knowledge Base that will host a catalogue of open tools/services, methodologies, best practices from various disciplines or settings, success stories, reports. This increased level of engagement and knowledge will feed into the development of research and innovation policies that aim to support and complement Open Science….”
“The list of reasons why energy models and data are not openly available is long: business confidentiality; concerns over the security of critical infrastructure; a desire to avoid exposure and scrutiny; worries about data being misrepresented or taken out of context; and a lack of time and resources.
This secrecy is problematic, because it is well known that closed systems hide and perpetuate mistakes. A classic example is the spreadsheet error discovered in the influential Reinhart–Rogoff paper used to support economic policies of national austerity. The European Commission’s Energy Roadmap 2050 was based on a model that could not be viewed by outsiders, leaving it open to criticism. Assumptions that remain hidden, like the costs of technologies, can largely determine what comes out of such models. In the United Kingdom, opaque and overly optimistic cost assumptions for onshore wind went into models used for policymaking, and that may well have delayed the country’s decarbonization.
This closed culture is alien to younger researchers, who grew up with collaborative online tools and share code and data on platforms such as GitHub. Yet academia’s love affair with metrics and the pressure to publish set the wrong incentives: every hour spent on cleaning up a data set for public release or writing open-source code is time not spent working on a peer-reviewed paper.”
“Last week, without much hoopla, the Department of Energy announced it had a plan for how to increase public access to the results of research it pays for. Unless you’re a grantee who might be directly affected, or a publisher, librarian, or open-access advocate whose job requires you to keep tabs on such developments, you probably missed the news altogether.
But the announcement marks a new, pragmatic phase in the struggle between competing philosophies of how widely published research should be shared, and how quickly. And the policy makes its debut just as publishers and library and university groups are testing new mechanisms of their own to help research move more efficiently in a networked environment. Over the next year, how these pieces of scholarly-communication machinery mesh—or clash—should become a lot more clear….”
“The Office of Science mission is to deliver the scientific discoveries and major scientific tools that transform our understanding of nature and advance the energy, economic, and national security of the United States. The Office of Science Statement on Digital Data Management has been developed with input from a variety of stakeholders in this mission1.
Here, data management involves all stages of the digital data life cycle including capture, analysis, sharing, and preservation. The focus of this statement is sharing and preservation of digital research data …”