open flag? Good idea, but it doesn’t always work

According to the vast majority of researchers, it is important to make scientific data freely available to all. But in practice, only half of them are working on this, according to a NWO research funder report.

Over a thousand researchers from the NWO database filled out a questionnaire in September to give their opinion open flag To give: What do they think of it and what do they do with it?

Open Science covers the full range of practices aimed at making the fruits of scientific research accessible to all, such as making articles free to read, sharing research data and engaging the public in science.

NWO is a strong proponent of this: Open science leads to more impact, says the research funder, both on science and society. All publicly funded research must be openly available.

This is what most scholars believe It is clear also about. Of all respondents, 87 percent were (extremely) positive about open science, and young scientists are more likely: 94 percent. Only 4 percent of researchers are (very) negative.

But this does not always happen. Quite a few scholars publish regularly in open access (Free to read articles), but sharing research data and engaging the public in research is less common. In practice, more than half do.

What are the obstacles? 71 percent reported a lack of money. Publishing in open access, for example, costs money (so reading is free), but you have to have it. Between 40 and 50 percent have no time for open science, or lack good infrastructure and clear guidelines.

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She also asked NWO what role she could play herself, which is controversial. More funding for open science could count on applause, but what about evaluating research applications? Should the NWO then consider whether the applicant is engaging in open science? Yes, 56 percent say. No, say 37 percent.

The results of the survey, conducted by the Markteffect research agency, were featured in a special issue of the journal NWO. Few doctoral students were interviewed, and technical sciences were also not strongly represented.

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