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The limits of Open Research: critical views and new perspectives 
Louise Bezuidenhout (University of Leiden)
Ismael Rafols (Leiden University)
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Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

The Open Science (OS) movement places values such as equity, fairness, and inclusiveness at its centre. Nonetheless, assuming these values are embedded in OS infrastructural design is problematic, as is assuming a future digital commons. This panel critiques the current OS landscape and evolution.

Long Abstract:

The Open Science (OS) movement places values such as collective benefit, equity and fairness, and diversity and inclusiveness at its centre. These values are expected to inform decisions on how OS research resources are invested, structured and utilised, placing an emphasis on digitisation and interconnectedness.

As the OS infrastructural landscape evolves, there is an underlying assumption that these values will support the evolution of an equitable digital commons and, in consequence, equitable science. Nonetheless, simply assuming that these values are embedded in infrastructural design can be viewed as problematic. Moreover, assuming that these infrastructures can support a future digital commons fosters a form of techno-solutionism. As a socio-technical imaginary, the OS infrastructural landscape thus often escapes critical reflection on its current development and evolution.

These open panels will critically engage with the dissonance between OS expectations and current enactment, raising questions relating to:

- The current limits of openness within the OS landscape and the (un)intentional lack of attention to issues of marginalisation

- The under-explored distinction between the “digital divide” and “meaningful connectivity”, or between openness as digital access versus openness as inclusive processes of knowledge exchange.

- The gap between promises of digital democratisation vs. participation and engagement in science

- The influence of geo-political pressures on openness

The first panel will consist of academic contributions that outline critiques of the current framings of OS. Papers may include empirical studies on the limits of openness, the engagement of researchers from low/middle-income countries into the global OS movement, the need to reform research assessment and monitoring, and the funding for OS tools and infrastructures.

The second panel will take the format of a dialogue session and will involve invited speakers representing key stakeholder communities such as researchers, infrastructure providers, funders, governmental agencies and non-profit organisations.

Accepted contributions:

Session 1