Yet another new year at our disposal gives us yet another chance to start or to continue building our profiles as Open Scientists. While it’s apt that prestigious institutions like NASA and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy have declared 2023 as the year of Open Science, what can individual scientists like you and me do to play our role as part of the Open Science movement?
Well, Open Science is a global movement striving for openness in scientific research through accountability and transparency of the scientific enterprise. There are several ways in which every individual can be a part of the Open Science movement that empowers the scientific community to take ownership of their work and to ensure that scholarly output is made openly accessible to all. From publishing Open Access, sharing preprints and research data, actively participating in open peer review, to motivating peers to publish in Open Access, every small drop can add up to an ocean of change.
If ‘resolution’ is a scary word, then here are a few recommendations for you to kick-start the year 2023 by pledging to open up knowledge:
- Learn the lingo: As researchers and individuals with scientific temperament, we know that ignorance is not bliss. The language of Open Science may seem off-putting: rights retention, preprints, open licences and being aware of APC’s, transformational agreements etc. There’s a lot to catch up with! Let’s spare a few minutes to familiarize ourselves with the language of Open Science
- Join the preprint party: Preprints can enhance the visibility and reach of research outputs. We can also initiate conversations on pre-printing options and raise awareness among peers.
- Open all the way: Open Science improves the quality and accumulation of scientific knowledge. Hence, in every step of research strive for openness by sharing data and protocol, and participating in open peer review to ensure transparency of the research process and reliability of research findings.
- Ensure quality over quantity: scientific responsibility begins with our research methodology. We can fulfil our responsibility to contribute to the advancement of science by ensuring reproducibility and integrity in our research practices. Let’s resolve to nip research fallacies in the bud and stay away from the evils of hasty generalisation, research manipulation, result fabrication, plagiarism and so on, and give credit wherever due.
- Get social: The digital revolution has empowered each one of us with measures beyond what we can fathom. Let’s use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to popularize our research findings and also to engage in fruitful, constructive feedback and peer review.
- Step outside the lab: There is a lot that science offers to society and vice-versa. Let’s make genuine attempts to bridge the gap between science and society by getting ourselves involved in science communication and popularization programmes, citizen science activities and understanding the role of our research in science advice, policy and diplomacy.
There is a lot that individual researchers can do to achieve the larger goal of universal, quality Open Science. Maybe this New year’s resolution could help you join the open science revolution and work towards science as a global public good. “If not now, then when? If not here, then where? If not you. then who?”
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