Open Science/Week 8: Enabling Policy Environment for Open Science

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Learning Outcomes[edit | edit source]

  • Define epistemic governance.
  • Describe key discourses, frames, or narratives in open science policy documents.
  • Explain how epistemic governance mechanisms within open science can sustain power imbalances.
  • Identify factors influencing the adoption of open access policies and practices.
  • Describe open science policy in a personally relevant geopolitical context.

Readings[edit | edit source]

Framing Power: Tracing Key Discourses in Open Science Policies; Denisse Albornoz, Maggie Huang, Issra Martin, Maria Mateus, Aicha Touré, and Leslie Chan. In ELPUB, 2018, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.[1] 22 pages

Open Access Uptake by Universities Worldwide; Robinson-Garcia, N., Costas, R., & van Leeuwen, T. N., PeerJ, 8, e9410, 2020, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.[2] 20 pages.

This week’s readings should also focus on national or regional policy responses. For the US, a suitable reading would be:

“Transitioning to Open Science by Design” in Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21st Century Research, Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, Copyright National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) 2018.[3] 27 pages.

Discussion Question[edit | edit source]

Albornoz and colleagues, authors of “Framing Power: Tracing Key Discourses in Open Science Policies,”[1] analyze policy documents about open science. Some of the narratives (also referred to as frames and discourses) that they identify include quality control, competitive advantage, and the role of the private sector in open science.

Locate and and read a policy document about open science and share 2-3 examples of references to the themes highlighted in the article. A complete discussion post will include a brief explanation of the document you read, situate the examples in the document you read, and connect your examples to the interpretation of the discourses in the assigned reading.

Conclude your post with a question for others in the class.

Instructor note: You may choose to provide some guidance to students for selection of policy documents. For example, students with less experience might be encouraged to choose a policy document from the article’s appendix. More experienced students might be encouraged to find a document published after 2017, when the study’s sample was collected. If the policy document is very long, such as a multi-chapter report, a single chapter is probably sufficient to fulfill the assignment.

An additional topic you may want to discuss is whether the empirical papers you read this week are considered science within the definition used in General Comment No. 25 on Science and Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.[4] This might be especially useful for students who have limited experience with social science research.

You might also use the Supplemental material to the Robinson-Garcia, Costas and van Leeuwen study “Open Access Uptake by Universities Worldwide,”[2] to engage students in an exploratory data analysis activity. For example, students could create a profile of your nation, region, or university.

Self-check Questions[edit | edit source]

1 What does the phrase epistemic governance mean? (See: “Framing Power: Tracing Key Discourses in Open Science Policies” by Denisse Albornoz and colleagues).

Open science policies contain values and norms related to knowledge from the people and organizations that make the policies.
Open science policies govern the creation of knowledge.
Stakeholders norms and values will influence how they interpret and react to open science policies.
Open science policies control what it is possible to know.

2 What does the concept of epistemic governance tell us about a global policy document like the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science?

The content of the Recommendation is influenced by the norms and values of the people who negotiated the use of knowledge in its creation.
It is possible to govern the creation of knowledge.
It doesn’t matter who is involved in creating a global policy document as long as there is consultation with a wide range of stakeholders.
The Recommendation is based on an inadequate knowledge base. More empirical research should have informed the Recommendation.

3 Which of the following are open science narratives identified in the study “Framing Power: Tracing Key Discourses in Open Science Policies”? Mark all that apply. (Review pages 4-9)

Open science as a response to global development challenges, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Opening the definition of science to be more integrated with religious traditions.
Core beneficiaries of the open science movement, especially the academic community
Open science as a means of national competitive advantage and advancement.

4 How do open science policies risk sustaining power imbalances? Choose the best answer.

Through political pressure to align with specific open science goals.
Through norms, values, and practices embedded in scientific infrastructure.
Through treating modern forms of knowledge production as more legitimate than other forms that are more difficult to standardize.
All of the above.

5 Which of the following statements are supported by Robinson-Garcia, Costas and van Leeuwen’s study, Open Access Uptake by Universities Worldwide? Mark all that apply.

Approximately 40% of the publications in their dataset are available through open access.
Green open access, self-archiving by the author, is the most common form of open access.
There are large differences in the levels of open access between continental regions, between countries, and between universities within most regions.
Public policy has little influence on universities’ open access practices.
Bonus/alternate US policy question

6 As described in Chapter 5 of Open Science by Design, meetings in the US and Germany led to a voluntary open science model focused on open access. This model was called the enabling environment. Which of the following are elements of the enabling environment?

authors’ choice
institutional policies
public policy
publishers’ choice

  1. 1.0 1.1 Albornoz, Denisse; Huang, Maggie; Martin, Issra Marie; Mateus, Maria; Touré, Aicha Yasmine; Chan, Leslie (2018-06). Chan, Leslie; Mounier, Pierre. eds. "Framing Power: Tracing Key Discourses in Open Science Policies". ELPUB 2018 (Toronto, Canada). doi:10.4000/proceedings.elpub.2018.23. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Robinson-Garcia, Nicolas; Costas, Rodrigo; Leeuwen, Thed N. van (2020-07-08). "Open Access uptake by universities worldwide". PeerJ 8: e9410. doi:10.7717/peerj.9410. ISSN 2167-8359. 
  3. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2018). Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21st Century Research (in English). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/25116. ISBN 978-0-309-47624-9.
  4. United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), General Comment No. 25 (2020) on Science and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, UN Doc. E/C.12/GC/25, 30 April 2020