Stories from the open science "revolution”: how (some)scientists talk about openness
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Scientific openness is both very old and very new. For centuries, the communal sharing of findings has been valued, even if not practised, in the cultural sphere of academic science. But as we know, in recent decades new “open science” movements have practices have gained salience: from open access publishing and open archiving of research data, to open peer review and open notebook science. Movement towards such practices has often been led from within scientific communities – by scientist-activists and entrepreneurs who see the Internet an opportunity to “open up” and fix seemingly broken aspects of the scientific system. Increasingly, the “open” imperative is also top-down, as funding regimes and institutions increasingly treat open practices as desirable or mandatory. My work focuses on academic scientists whose professional and epistemic worlds are undergoing transformation in this open science “revolution”. While some scientists are the leaders of open movements, the majority are more ambivalent and slow to adopt open practices, forming a “cultural” barrier to openness that is rarely explored in systematic empirical studies. Based on my in-progress PhD data collection and analysis – qualitative interviews with (biological) scientists, and open science advocates and policymakers – I will explore the diverse meanings of scientific openness that scientists construct outside, within, and in tension with open advocacy and policy agendas. I ask questions such as: are scientists internalising openness as a quality that makes “good science”?