Feminist Open Government Research

“The Feminist Open Government Initiative is an ambitious attempt to broaden the base of open government support by investing in cutting-edge research from partners in the Global South and a coalition building effort to rally reform champions behind a gender-centric approach to open government. The initiative comprises three core pillars of work conducted by Results for Development (R4D) and the Open Government Partnership (OGP), with support from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

Over the course of the two years, Feminist Open Government Initiative drove considerable gender-informed action across the open government community. The Feminist Open Government Initiative oversaw five research projects covering 11 OGP governments, reviewed multiple OGP action plans with suggestions for how to increase gender perspective, forged new partnerships with key groups like Women Deliver and UNDP, informed the Break the Roles gender and inclusion campaign, and built a coalition of more than 20 governments and partners who have committed to drive this work forward. 

The Feminist Open Government Initiative and Break the Roles built a strong network of gender and open government partners with expertise across core and emerging thematic areas and secured high-level political commitments to continue this agenda into 2020 and beyond. Thank you to researchers from Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC), CARE International, Equal Measures 2030, Técnicas Rudas, Oxfam and for all their hard work in conducting this very important work to help build more inclusive societies….”

#bropenscience is broken science | The Psychologist

“As a jocular retort to one of a few cases of strange and aggressive behaviour from some open science people towards others online, one of us (Olivia) coined the expression #bropenscience in a June 2017 tweet. This was after a discussion with other women within the open science movement, who had noticed this phenomenon, but were looking for a concise description. #bropenscience is a tongue-in-cheek expression but also has a serious side, shedding light on the narrow demographics and off-putting behavioural patterns seen in open science. The phrase is a necessary rhetorical device to draw attention to an issue that has been systematically underappreciated. It evokes a visceral reaction. By design. Labelling broblems allows us to tackle them. As a field, psychology is well-equipped to self-reflect on patterns of behaviours and rhetorical devices – most of us are used to analysing complex social dynamics. However, #bropenscience has also been misunderstood and misrepresented, not least because Twitter has a tricky interface and people love drama!

Here we will clarify the important points for those who might not have been following these discussions. We will explain why having a hashtag like #bropenscience, or at least having this dialogue, is useful as part of the process of achieving openness in scholarship. Along the way we will explain what open science and open scholarship are, why we care about them, and finally, we will describe specific actions that readers can take to help promote equity and inclusion, the fundamentals for openness.

We offer our opinions as open science advocates, albeit with different priorities and expertise. Just as it is important for scientists to criticise the scientific process, so too must open science advocates critically engage with the suggested reforms….”

Transfeminine Science

“Transfeminine Science is a place for original informational content on the subject of transfeminine hormone therapy. This form of hormone therapy is also known variously as feminizing hormone therapy (FHT), gender-affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) for transfeminine people, and—more in the past—male-to-female (MtF) hormone replacement therapy (HRT). It entails the use of female sex hormones including estrogens and progestogens—as well as androgen-opposing medications known as antiandrogens—to produce feminization, demasculinization, and alleviation of gender dysphoria in transgender women and non-binary transfeminine individuals.

Transfeminine Science contains articles by different writers on the subject of transfeminine hormone therapy. Our authors and their information are listed on the Authors page. Transfeminine Science is written by transgender people, for transgender people—and for their medical providers. A categorized listing of articles on the site can be found on the Articles page. In addition, a listing of articles by date with the most recent articles first can be found on the Latest page. The articles on this site are living documents and hence may be improved or updated over time.

The content on Transfeminine Science is open access and the site does not serve ads. Hence, we are not monetized. If you’re interested in giving back to our writers, please visit the Donate page.”

A Wench’s Guide to Surviving a ‘Global’ Pandemic Crisis: Feminist Publishing in a Time of COVID-19 | SpringerLink

Abstract:  It has been quite a year so far(!) and as the wenches we are, we have been taking our time to collect our thoughts and reflections before sharing them at the start of this issue of the journal. In this editorial we think through the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating effects on the world, on our lives and on our editorial processes. We renew our commitment to improving our operations as a journal and its health along with our own as we deploy wench tactics to restore, sustain and slow down to negotiate this new reality, this new world. We conclude with an introduction to the fascinating contents of this issue along with a collaborative statement of values on open access as part of a collective of intersectional feminist and social justice editors. Through all of the pain and suffering we focus our gaze on hope: hope that we can come through this global crisis together engaging in critical conversations about how we can be better and do better as editors, academics and individuals for ourselves, our colleagues and our journal.


Open science, communal culture, and women’s participation in the movement to improve science | PNAS

Abstract:  Science is undergoing rapid change with the movement to improve science focused largely on reproducibility/replicability and open science practices. This moment of change—in which science turns inward to examine its methods and practices—provides an opportunity to address its historic lack of diversity and noninclusive culture. Through network modeling and semantic analysis, we provide an initial exploration of the structure, cultural frames, and women’s participation in the open science and reproducibility literatures (n = 2,926 articles and conference proceedings). Network analyses suggest that the open science and reproducibility literatures are emerging relatively independently of each other, sharing few common papers or authors. We next examine whether the literatures differentially incorporate collaborative, prosocial ideals that are known to engage members of underrepresented groups more than independent, winner-takes-all approaches. We find that open science has a more connected, collaborative structure than does reproducibility. Semantic analyses of paper abstracts reveal that these literatures have adopted different cultural frames: open science includes more explicitly communal and prosocial language than does reproducibility. Finally, consistent with literature suggesting the diversity benefits of communal and prosocial purposes, we find that women publish more frequently in high-status author positions (first or last) within open science (vs. reproducibility). Furthermore, this finding is further patterned by team size and time. Women are more represented in larger teams within reproducibility, and women’s participation is increasing in open science over time and decreasing in reproducibility. We conclude with actionable suggestions for cultivating a more prosocial and diverse culture of science.

After Open Access

“The dominant model of open access is dominated by commercial values. Commercial licenses, such as CC-BY1 are mandated or preferred by governments, funders and policy makers who are effectively seeking more public subsidy for the private sector’s use of university research, with no reciprocal financial arrangement.2 Open access platforms such as academia.edu are extractive and exploitative. They defer the costs of publishing to publishers, universities and independent scholars, while selling the data derived from the uses of publicly funded research. As such they represent the next stage in the capitalization of knowledge. Commercial platforms are emphatically not open source and tend towards monopoly ownership. Presenting themselves as mere intermediaries between users, they obtain privileged access to surveille and record user activity and benefit from network effects.

A major irony of open access policy is that it aims to break up the giants of commercial journal publishing but facilitates existing or emerging platform monopolies….

Open access benefits commercial interests. The current model also serves to sideline research and scholarship produced outside of universities altogether, creating financial barriers to publishing for scholars outside of the Global North/West and for independent scholars, as well as for early career researchers and others whose institutional affiliation is, like their employment status, highly precarious and contingent, and for authors who do not have the support of well-funded institutions and / or whose research is not funded by research councils….”

Women who make science more open – International Women’s Day 2020 – YouTube

“In this video, we put the spotlight on women who help to make science more open. A big thank you to Sarah, Elodie, Alison, Danjela, Sidorela and Liz, and to all the women who dedicate their careers to being of service to science.

#IWD2020 Featured in the video are: Alison McGonagle-O’Connell, Founder and Consultant, O’Connell Consulting Elodie Chabrol, International Director, Festival Pint of Science and freelance science communicator Danjela Shehi, Frontend Developer, Coko Sidorela Uku, Frontend Developer, Coko Liz Allen, Director of Strategic Initiatives, F1000 Research…”

Redescriptions Goes Open Access

“With the publication of this issue of Redescriptions, we are happy to announce that within the period 2018–2019 Redescriptions has successfully completed a change of publishers to the new Helsinki University Press (HUP). With this relocation, Redescriptions becomes fully open access journal, with no costs to the readers or the authors….”

Hacking Diversity | Princeton University Press

“Hacking, as a mode of technical and cultural production, is commonly celebrated for its extraordinary freedoms of creation and circulation. Yet surprisingly few women participate in it: rates of involvement by technologically skilled women are drastically lower in hacking communities than in industry and academia. Hacking Diversity investigates the activists engaged in free and open-source software to understand why, despite their efforts, they fail to achieve the diversity that their ideals support.

Christina Dunbar-Hester shows that within this well-meaning volunteer world, beyond the sway of human resource departments and equal opportunity legislation, members of underrepresented groups face unique challenges. She brings together more than five years of firsthand research: attending software conferences and training events, working on message boards and listservs, and frequenting North American hackerspaces. She explores who participates in voluntaristic technology cultures, to what ends, and with what consequences. Digging deep into the fundamental assumptions underpinning STEM-oriented societies, Dunbar-Hester demonstrates that while the preferred solutions of tech enthusiasts—their “hacks” of projects and cultures—can ameliorate some of the “bugs” within their own communities, these methods come up short for issues of unequal social and economic power. Distributing “diversity” in technical production is not equal to generating justice….”

Guest Post: Open Access Is a Feminist Issue – Hook & Eye

“Accountable feminist research, research that centres responsibility to the communities our research engages with or speaks to, is attentive to how its tools and methods open out or close down the possibilities for collaboration beyond the university. As a feminist scholar, I have become increasingly convinced that one of the most accountable things we can do in our work is prioritize open access….

it was a genuine shock to me when, in Spring 2019, I attended multiple conferences where colleagues in Humanities disciplines spoke of open access as neoliberalism, the scientization of research, and a devaluation of our intellectual labour. As one friend texted me in the midst of one such conferences: since when is open access neoliberal but paywalling research so that people have to pay for it isn’t? …

It is also true that many of the barriers to embracing open access are also feminist issues. The scholarly publishing world is dominated by women (as is the trade publishing world); journal editing tends to be undervalued and high labour work that is at once vital to academia and also, like most forms of service, barely counted in tenure and promotion processes….

But if we could collectively agree to the fundamental premise that open access is a feminist issue, then our conversations about labour and value and prestige would, by necessity, shift. As Kathleen Fizpatrick so succinctly puts it in Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University, embracing open access as a values-based approach to scholarly communication “does not just serve the goal of undoing [scholarship’s] commercialization or removing it from a market-driven, competition-based economy, but rather is a first step in facilitating public engagement with the knowledge that universities produce” (148). Can feminist scholars agree that part of the mission of publicly-funded universities should be facilitating public engagement with our work? Can we agree that pay-walling and institutionalizing research created on stolen Indigenous land perpetuates settler-colonial understandings of knowledge-as-commodity? Can we agree that the scarcity-driven models of publishing in the most “elite” and “competitive” journals or of valuing the monograph over journal articles (or journal articles over podcast episodes!) is based in a fundamentally patriarchal hierarchy of what knowledge “counts”? …”