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Imagining the “open” university: Sharing scholarship to improve research and education

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PLoS Biology

Public Library of Science

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      Abstract

      Open scholarship, such as the sharing of articles, code, data, and educational resources, has the potential to improve university research and education as well as increase the impact universities can have beyond their own walls. To support this perspective, I present evidence from case studies, published literature, and personal experiences as a practicing open scholar. I describe some of the challenges inherent to practicing open scholarship and some of the tensions created by incompatibilities between institutional policies and personal practice. To address this, I propose several concrete actions universities could take to support open scholarship and outline ways in which such initiatives could benefit the public as well as institutions. Importantly, I do not think most of these actions would require new funding but rather a redistribution of existing funds and a rewriting of internal policies to better align with university missions of knowledge dissemination and societal impact.

      Abstract

      This Perspective article argues that universities should take action to support open scholarship that benefits society and to return to their core missions of knowledge dissemination, community engagement, and public good.

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      Most cited references 78

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      PSYCHOLOGY. Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science.

      Reproducibility is a defining feature of science, but the extent to which it characterizes current research is unknown. We conducted replications of 100 experimental and correlational studies published in three psychology journals using high-powered designs and original materials when available. Replication effects were half the magnitude of original effects, representing a substantial decline. Ninety-seven percent of original studies had statistically significant results. Thirty-six percent of replications had statistically significant results; 47% of original effect sizes were in the 95% confidence interval of the replication effect size; 39% of effects were subjectively rated to have replicated the original result; and if no bias in original results is assumed, combining original and replication results left 68% with statistically significant effects. Correlational tests suggest that replication success was better predicted by the strength of original evidence than by characteristics of the original and replication teams.
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        Drug development: Raise standards for preclinical cancer research.

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          A new dawn for citizen science.

          A citizen scientist is a volunteer who collects and/or processes data as part of a scientific enquiry. Projects that involve citizen scientists are burgeoning, particularly in ecology and the environmental sciences, although the roots of citizen science go back to the very beginnings of modern science itself.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            Departamento de Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, Mexico
            Author notes

            The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily those of her institution or affiliated organizations. The author is the founder of the "Why Open Research?" project, an open scholarship advocacy and educational site funded in part by the Shuttleworth Foundation. She is also an advisor for several open scholarship projects and services, including the BOAI 15th Anniversary Working Group, Center for Open Science, ContentMine, DORA, Figshare, OpenCon, Overleaf, and PeerJ Preprints, all in a volunteer capacity.

            Journal
            PLoS Biol
            PLoS Biol
            plos
            plosbiol
            PLoS Biology
            Public Library of Science (San Francisco, CA USA )
            1544-9173
            1545-7885
            24 October 2017
            October 2017
            24 October 2017
            : 15
            : 10
            29065148
            5655613
            10.1371/journal.pbio.1002614
            PBIOLOGY-D-17-00010
            © 2017 Erin C. McKiernan

            This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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            Figures: 2, Tables: 0, Pages: 25
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            Funding
            This article was originally a white paper submitted as part of a conference jointly supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) entitled, "Imagining Tomorrow’s University: Rethinking scholarship, education, and institutions for an open, networked era" ( http://www.ncsa.illinois.edu/Conferences/ImagineU/inputs.html), held March 8th and 9th in Rosemont, IL. Funding for this event was provided in part by NSF grant ACI-1645571 (PI: Daniel S. Katz) and NIH grants 5 U24 ES026465 02 and 3 U24 ES026465 02S1 (PI: John Darrell Van Horn).
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