Three Gaps in Opening Science
The Open Science (OS) agenda has potentially massive cultural, organizational and infrastructural consequences. Ambitions for OS-driven policies have proliferated, within which researchers are expected to publish their scientific data. Significant research has been devoted to studying the issues associated with managing Open Research Data. Digital curation, as it is typically known, seeks to assess data management issues to ensure its long-term value and encourage secondary use. Hitherto, relatively little interest has been shown in examining the immense gap that exists between the OS grand vision and researchers’ actual data practices. Our specific contribution is to examine research data practices before systematic attempts at curation are made. We suggest that interdisciplinary ethnographically-driven contexts offer a perspicuous opportunity to understand the Data Curation and Research Data Management issues that can problematize uptake. These relate to obvious discrepancies between Open Research Data policies and subject-specific research practices and needs. Not least, it opens up questions about how data is constituted in different disciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts. We present a detailed empirical account of interdisciplinary ethnographically-driven research contexts in order to clarify critical aspects of the OS agenda and how to realize its benefits, highlighting three gaps: between policy and practice, in knowledge, and in tool use and development.
KeywordsOpen Science Open research Data Digital curation Research Data management Collaborative research practices Research Data practices Open Data policy Ethnographic approach
This research has been possible thanks to the engagement of many scholars, the CRC “Media of Cooperation” organization board and the IT service provider with whom we have worked with and learned from. The findings in this paper originate from the project INF funded by a grant of the DFG (SFB 1187).
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