Thursday, February 5, 2015

Open Science - a brief rant

A colleague asked me for feedback on a draft of a viewpoint article on open source and data.  I know at least one of my group members enjoys a good rant so I pasting part of my reply in here and calling it a (free) blog post:

<rant>In my mind there is one aspect in all this that is missing, which is essentially a moral or ethical one. Much of my research (and my salary being at a state run school) is payed for by tax payers.  One of the reasons I publish OA is because I feel the same tax payers have the right to read these papers and use the content  any way they see fit.  The same applies to the code my group produces.

Now, I'm not a zealot.  I actually feel that being open helps my research and career as you also point out, but the ethical principle is still there in the background.  Society is not paying me to to advance my career, society is paying me to advance society.  IMO, that is the real reason funding organizations should insist on Open: it is better for the society - who pays the bills.  All the perceived negatives affect me, the researcher, but it is not about me.

Science funding will not increase unless society sees an advantage in this and this closed, what's-in-it-for-me? attitude among scientists that has led to the reproduceability crisis (which, IMO is a much bigger crisis for long-term science funding than people realize) is incredibly damaging in that regard. </rant>


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
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