Frontiers | Where Do Early Career Researchers Stand on Open Science Practices? A Survey Within the Max Planck Society | Research Metrics and Analytics

Abstract:  Open science (OS) is of paramount importance for the improvement of science worldwide and across research fields. Recent years have witnessed a transition toward open and transparent scientific practices, but there is still a long way to go. Early career researchers (ECRs) are of crucial relevance in the process of steering toward the standardization of OS practices, as they will become the future decision makers of the institutional change that necessarily accompanies this transition. Thus, it is imperative to gain insight into where ECRs stand on OS practices. Under this premise, the Open Science group of the Max Planck PhDnet designed and conducted an online survey to assess the stance toward OS practices of doctoral candidates from the Max Planck Society. As one of the leading scientific institutions for basic research worldwide, the Max Planck Society provides a considerable population of researchers from multiple scientific fields, englobed into three sections: biomedical sciences, chemistry, physics and technology, and human and social sciences. From an approximate total population of 5,100 doctoral candidates affiliated with the Max Planck Society, the survey collected responses from 568 doctoral candidates. The survey assessed self-reported knowledge, attitudes, and implementation of different OS practices, namely, open access publications, open data, preregistrations, registered reports, and replication studies. ECRs seemed to hold a generally positive view toward these different practices and to be interested in learning more about them. Furthermore, we found that ECRs’ knowledge and positive attitudes predicted the extent to which they implemented these OS practices, although levels of implementation were rather low in the past. We observed differences and similarities between scientific sections. We discuss these differences in terms of need and feasibility to apply these OS practices in specific scientific fields, but additionally in relation to the incentive systems that shape scientific communities. Lastly, we discuss the implications that these results can have for the training and career advancement of ECRs, and ultimately, for the consolidation of OS practices.


Max Planck Society, Rockefeller University Press Enter “Read-and-Publish” Transformative Agreement

“Max Planck Digital Library (MPDL) has signed an unlimited “read-and-publish” transformative agreement with Rockefeller University Press (RUP) on behalf of the Max Planck Society. The agreement covers Open Access (OA) publishing of articles in RUP’s three hybrid journals: Journal of Cell Biology (JCB), Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM) and Journal of General Physiology (JGP).

Under the agreement, which runs from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022,  articles by corresponding authors affiliated with Max Planck Institutes will be published immediate open access under a CC-BY license and directly deposited in PubMed Central (PMC). The transformative agreement repurposes former subscription funds to cover all open access publishing fees for authors, and there is no limit to the number of articles that may be published under the terms of the agreement. Max Planck Institutes also receive unlimited access to RUP’s journals. Learn how authors can take advantage of new agreement….”

Aligning strategies to enable Open Access | Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

“The 14th Berlin Open Access Conference, hosted by the Max Planck Society and organized by the Max Planck Digital Library on behalf of the Open Access 2020 Initiative (, has just come to an end after two intense days with 170 participants from 37 countries around the world discussing where the research organizations and their library consortia stand in their negotiations with scholarly publishers in transitioning scholarly publishing to open access….

The conference brought to light strong consensus and alignment among the diverse international communities represented around the necessity of stepping up efforts to move away from the subscription-based system of scholarly publishing to open access-based business models. A major focus was placed on transformative agreements (eg “read and publish”), which were identified as perhaps the most viable instrument at the moment to accelerate the transition to open access. As it became clear from statements made by representatives from Japan, the United States, South Africa and others, that readiness to adopt this approach is now extending beyond Europe, where it originated, and is currently being adopted in several countries; in particular, this was emphasized in a bold statement from China, the nation with the largest share of research publications….

The message conveyed to the publishers was that the global research communities are committed to complete and immediate open access, to retaining author copyrights and to negotiating transformative agreements that are temporary, transitional, and cost-neutral as a mean to shift to full open access within just a few years with the expectation that cost savings in scholarly communication will follow as market forces take hold. The publishers were called upon to move towards complete and immediate open access according to these principles.

It also came out that there is a strong alignment between the approaches taken by OA2020, Plan S, the Jussieu Call and other approaches dedicated to drive more open access into the system of scholarly communication.”

1science Becomes a Strategic Partner to the Max Planck Digital Library

“Prestigious Max Planck Society gained access to 1science revolutionary 1science comprehensive access database. Eighty Max Planck centers can now find all that is relevant to their research projects from among 85 million bibliographic records including 30 million free open access articles in all fields, all languages, and from all over the world.”

The Global Gold Open Access “Flip”: A Realistic Plan or Magical Thinking? | The Scholarly Kitchen

“As long as there has been open access (OA), there has been talk of a global ‘flip’ of research journals away from the subscription business model. The difficulties in coordinating an enormous number of stakeholders with different interests have continued to make this unlikely. However, a recent paper from the Max Planck Digital Library claiming that, ‘An internationally concerted shifting of subscription budgets is possible at no financial risk, maybe even at lower overall costs,’ has once again fueled talk of a flip. Has this paper discovered a golden ticket to global OA sustainability, or is it based on flawed assumptions? Long-time green OA advocate Stevan Harnad has written at length about the improbable nature of a global overnight flip to Gold OA via an organized system of membership deals, and about the adverse selection such a system would create … Much of the drive toward a flip is based in the EU and the UK, where public higher education is highly centralized at the national level. This creates the notion that there exists a global pool of funds that could be diverted away from subscriptions and toward OA fees. But the difficulties in coordinating action between self-interested parties becomes even more evident when one thinks about how libraries are funded and subscriptions are paid for in the US, still the major producer of scholarly articles worldwide.  I frequently ask US librarians where their subscription budget comes from and the responses vary widely, but the most common answers are tuition, student fees and some portion of grant overheads. Because tuition and student fees are collected by individual institutions, there’s no big pool of funds that can be diverted centrally from one purpose to another. Such a flip would massively increase the financial burden on productive institutions, while freeing non-productive institution from any responsibility in funding research access.  If I’m running a small teaching school and can save money by cancelling subscriptions, my Dean is going to be much more interested in spending our students’ tuition fees on our students, rather than sending that money off to Harvard to help their poor professors publish papers.  US universities are increasingly cash-strapped, which makes any coordinated give-aways like this unlikely. And having major contributors to the literature like the US, Japan and Australia choose the Green route puts a damper on any global move to Gold OA  But a recent paper from three members of the Max Planck Digital Library suggests the whole thing could be done immediately and at a cost-savings. Their thesis is that each individual library could stop paying subscription fees and instead divert those same funds toward article processing charges (APCs) for their campus authors, and that doing this could happen within current library budgets, requiring no additional funds from outside, and no pooling of funds between institutions.  As Rick Anderson recently pointed out, there’s a difference between advocacy and analysis. Reading this paper, it’s clear which this is. The authors clearly state that they are trying to advocate for a cause …”