Open Science: Past, Present, and Future

Submitted by Irazema Del Valle
Presenter: Andrea Miller-Nesbitt
This session introduced the concept of open science which can be defined as “the idea that scientific knowledge of all kinds should be openly shared as early as is practical in the discovery process.” (Gezelter, 2011). The presenter explained how from the development of research ideas, to lab notes, to methods and raw data, people are becoming more and more willing to share each stage of their research process openly online. As discovery becomes increasingly data intensive, open science tools help speed the process by facilitating large-scale collaborations and effectively amplifying our collective intelligence.
The session explored the important role of librarians in supporting researchers in conducting their research openly, including helping with the development of data management plans, identifying and applying rich metadata and searching for grey literature and raw data. The skills that we have as librarians are extremely valuable in the context of open science.
The many challenges related to developing and supporting open science were also discussed. These include:
• lack of strong national and international policies related to data sharing
• issues with the sustainability and interoperability of open science tools
• lack of knowledge regarding how to properly manage data
• reluctance of researchers to share information.
Nonetheless, the speaker concluded that with the implementation of stronger policies from funding agencies and the on-going recognition of nontraditional forms of scholarly output, the scientific research culture will slowly change and the open science movement will continue to grow.