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The panel examines how open science is outlined and realized within current European Ethnology. Considering best practices and future scenarios just as much as difficulties and outstanding issues, it investigates the impacts that digital tools, platforms and databases have on ethnographic research.
The concept of open science refers to strategies and procedures that use digitization to make scientific work findable, accessible, understandable and reusable online. Digital tools, platforms and services provide novel opportunities for analyzing, archiving, presenting, sharing and reusing ethnographic data and digitized collections. These datasets and tools can be used to develop and investigate new forms of collaboration between ethnographers, research partners and the general public. For research areas such as intangible cultural heritage, this opens new forms of interaction within the field as well as in the documentation of cultural practices. On the other hand, openness and digital dissemination need new reflections on old topics regarding ethical conducts, legal requirements, anonymization, authorization and property. Not all ethnographic data can or should be open in the narrow sense. How can research and digital archiving be realized within these frictions? How do we as ethnographers make use of tools, platforms and databases with all the intended possibilities and promises, and what consequences does this have for knowledge production? Do we reuse available research data and in what ways? Who takes benefit from efforts to open up ethnography? Does open science bend established disciplinary regulations, or does it only extend their scope? This panel is looking for contributions on how ethnologists meet the challenge to open up their research throughout the whole research process. We invite proposals from research and/or infrastructural projects that share experiences on best practices as well as difficulties and possible future scenarios.