Accepted Paper:

Mapping Open Access/Science controversies: the case of the French "digital law" consultation  

Authors:

Constance de Quatrebarbes (IFRIS)
Célya Gruson-Daniel (Centre Virchow-Villerme/Université Technologique de Compiègne/ Centre de Recherches Interdisciplinaires)

Paper short abstract:

This presentation will focus on a recent debate concerning “openness” in science throughout a French online consultation about a new “digital republic” law. During a hackathon, we developed digital methods to extract then analyze the “data” of this consultation and map the main stakeholders involved.

Paper long abstract:

In October 2015, the French government proposed an "unprecedented" initiative in the legislative process. An open online consultation was offered to draft a new "digital republic" law. The public was asked to vote, comment and propose amendments to 30 measures including a section on the circulation of data and knowledge. This consultation caused strong mobilizations and debates between several stakeholders. From an STS perspective, this situation was a perfect research field to study controversies on digital technologies' impact.

In order to analyze it, we proposed a collaborative approach by launching a hackathon, a one-day event gathering researchers, data scientists, members of the government, etc. We developed digital methods (Roberts et al. 2013)(Plantin, 2013), to extract the content of this consultation (votes, comments), analyze these "data" and visualize them.

Several topics were addressed during this hackathon. For our part, we focused on the debate on a specific article dedicated to free/open access in research.

By combining controversies studies approach (Pinch, 2001) and digital methods, we will present a map of this online controversy (Munk 2014) between the main research stakeholders (research institutes, editors, librarians, etc.) With a situational analysis perspective (Clarke, 2005), we will take into consideration the major narrative discourses and the evoked imaginaries related to science. We will discuss the standardization of openness in action and its underlying socio-political stakes. Our communication perspective will highlight the main role of discourses and its performativity dimensions especially in the case of this forge of Law. (Muniesa, 2008).

Panel T061
Open science in practice