Accepted paper:

The role of research infrastructure formation strategies in opening and closing science


Andrea Botero (University of Oulu)
Helena Karasti (IT University of Copenhagen)
Elena Parmiggiani (Norwegian Uni. of Science and Technology)
Karen S. Baker (University of Oulu / University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Paper short abstract:

Environmental sciences are a fertile ground for the formation of research infrastructures. We discuss how different strategies of infrastructure formation configure openness, how they contribute to the processes of gatekeeping, and tend to either close or open scientific knowledge production.

Paper long abstract:

Research infrastructures (RI) form part of scientific knowledge production processes (Karasti et al. 2016) by combining technological resources, data products, and services with research practices, organizational arrangements, and institutional policies. Large-scale initiatives in the last two decades of building various kinds of RIs (a.k.a. cyberinfrastructures) promise profound transformations in the ways scientific collaboration is achieved (Edwards et al. 2007). RIs are seen as important for exploring increasingly complex research questions and addressing grand challenges (Chabbi & Loescher 2017) that require increasing collaboration (Jirotka et al. 2006; Lee et al. 2010) as well as new forms of research based on data sharing (Atkins et al. 2003; Hey et al. 2009).

Field-based environmental sciences are a fertile ground for development of these infrastructures (Baker & Millerand 2012). As more RIs are being planned and deployed, Open Science is usually rallied as either a goal or an imperative that demands these types of infrastructures. However what is meant by "open" and "science" and how they are to be achieved, is usually left implicit by many of these plans. In this presentation we use an infrastructuring approach (Karasti & Blomberg 2018) to look closer at the formation strategies and various configurations for data, science and technology in three cases of established and emergent RIs for environmental sciences. We will use these examples to discuss how different RI formation strategies configure openness, how they contribute to the processes of gatekeeping and create consequences - often unintended - of opening and or closing science.

panel D03
Contested gates -- epistemic and social implications of opening knowledge production and science communication