I’ve been invited to give a talk soon on open science and bioinformatics, and this is my abstract. I wanted to get feedback as I think I might have polarised it too much from the outset, but I wanted to be intentionally critical of the status quo 🙂
Thoughts and comments are very welcome please! Thanks to the following for their input: Chris Cole, Richard Smith-Unna, Michael Markie, Torsten Seemann
Open science needs open scientists: an ever-increasing interdEpendence.
In recent years, scientific research has experienced an interesting juxtaposition. There is increasing pressure from funding bodies to make research data accessible. Researchers also need the increasingly sensational track records published in high-impact journals to ensure continued project support and/or tenure.
Pressure to release data by funders, whilst obviously a step in the right direction, represents a formidably large stick but a depressingly small carrot which results in simply another tedious hurdle to getting research published rather than a vehicle to get recognition. The constant push for papers in journals with perceived impact and prestige, whilst still seen as a key assessment mechanism for a researcher’s career, promotes a closed door approach and a touch of paranoia, with research becoming a competitive endeavour rather than a mutually beneficial collaborative one.
Thankfully, a new breed of researchers at all career stages, from graduate to PI, who can see these mutual benefits of sharing their work openly are becoming greater in number and more vocal by the day. Open source code, open data, powerful tools and infrastructure, social networks, and open access publishing all play a part in the ecosystems of the Open Science movement.