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Project to monitor open science kicked off

March 12th, 2018

CWTS participates in a new project to stimulate and monitor the development of open science and scholarship. The project "Open sciece: Monitoring trends and drivers" celebrated its kick off meeting last January at the EC premises in the presence of jean Claude Burgelman (DG Research & Innovation, European Commission) and Paul Hofheinz (President and Co-Founder of The Lisbon Council). The aim of the study is to further develop the Open Science Monitor, that started as a pilot study. The project consortium is led by Lisbon Council (coordinator). The other two partners are ESADE , and CWTS. Elsevier participates as subcontractor.

Open science is one of the three strategic priorities of the European Commission in research and innovation policy. Open Science is an umbrella concept that embraces the ideas of different open movement such as open source, open access and open data, while embracing trends of open distributed collaboration, data-intensive science and citizen science. Governments are quickly moving towards the open science paradigm (see for instance the Dutch plan on Open Science), while asking for evidence about its reality and impact in the different domains.

The rapid emergence of open science and the disruptive impact it could have on the scientific ecosystem calls for robust monitoring tools that enable policymakers to understand change with minimal delay. At the same time, as for all emerging trends, there is a limited availability of reliable quantitative data to orient decisions. While data are a fundamental aspect of policy analysis, a purely data driven approach risks to focusing too much on trends that are measurable at the expenses of potentially more important ones – failing into the so-called “drunkard search principle” (Nagel & Kaplan, 1965). In this study both aspects will be included.

In the figure below we present the conceptual model of the monitor, and the approach of the 2-year study. It consists of three pillars: 1.Trends; 2.Drivers and barriers; and 3. Impacts. For the first pillar regular updates of available data and new datacollection will be carried out. For the second and third pillar policy case studies and a wide range of exploratory analysis will be performed in order to improve and extend our understanding of changes. These changes will be available through  EC data analysis systems.


The CWTS researchers Ingeborg Meijer, Rodrigo Costas, and Thed van Leeuwen participate in the project. Van Leeuwen: "The project allows us to further investigate the Open Science research theme synthesizing CWTS research on the current policy drive towards “open science” and translating our research results as well as theoretical, empirical, and technical expertise to applicable ideas, advice, and technical solutions." Meijer stresses the importance of the collaboration with Elsevier: "We are happy to collaborate with Elsevier on this theme. We are building on earlier work that has been done on open data (Open Data; the researcher perspective, 2017), and was presented at the Research Data Alliance Plenary meeting in 2017.    

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