According to the vast majority of researchers, it is important to make scientific data freely accessible to everyone. In practice, however, only half of them work there, reports research funder NWO.
More than a thousand researchers from the NWO database filled out a questionnaire in September to give their opinion on open science give: what do they think and what do they do with it?
“Open science” covers a whole set of practices that aim to make the fruits of scientific research accessible to all, such as the free readability of articles, the sharing of research data and the involvement of the public in science.
NWO is a strong believer in this: Open science has more impact, says the research funder, on both science and society. All publicly funded research should be freely accessible.
This is what most scientists think obviously also approx. Of all respondents, 87 percent are (very) positive about open science, and young scientists are slightly more likely: 94 percent. Only 4% of researchers (very) negative.
But that doesn’t always happen. Many scientists regularly publish in free access (free articles), but sharing of research data and public participation in research is less common. In practice, more than half do so.
What are the obstacles ? 71 percent cite a lack of money. Publishing in open access, for example, costs money (for free to read), but you have to have it. Between 40 and 50 percent do not have time for open science, or lack good infrastructure and clear guidelines.
NWO has also asked about the role he could play himself, which is controversial. More funding for open science can count on applause, but what about the assessment of research applications? Should NWO then consider whether the candidate engages in open science? Yes, 56 percent say. No, let’s say 37%.
The results of the survey, conducted by research agency Markteffect, are featured in a special issue of NWO magazine. Few doctoral students were interviewed and technical sciences were not strongly represented either.
“Food expert. Unapologetic bacon maven. Beer enthusiast. Pop cultureaholic. General travel scholar. Total internet buff.”