How I learned to stop worrying and love open science

It is important to note here, that paying large sums of money to enable open access to journal articles (i.e. ‘gold open access’) should not be confused with Open Science.Not only should people (let’s be real, mainly fellow scientists researching the same niche thing you are interested in) be able to access your finished manuscript, but all other steps of the research process should be open and transparent as well, to ultimately improve the way science is done.Illustration by Lovisa Sundin.The Open Science movement has developed a set of tools to guide researchers in making every step of the way open, accessible and shareable..But what does this look like when put into practice?Starting to implement Open Science practices step-by-step, I am pre-registering my hypotheses and analyses on before I collect my data..This results in a time-stamped document, which I have the power to publish at any point in time after I finish an ongoing experiment..It is one possible approach to hold yourself accountable for when data analysis comes around and helps you navigate the muddy waters of differentiating between predictions and ideas that arose after you saw the data.Moving away from expensive, corporate software, I am now using an openly available program for analysis and visualisation..And last but not least, I have just uploaded my very first preprint to an online repository (i.e. ‘green open access’), which allows absolutely everyone to read the first draft of my submitted manuscript..This ideally will enable peers (and enthusiastic, interested parents in my case) to give feedback and improve the manuscript, before the journal’s peer reviewing process even starts.One of the advantages of publishing your research in scientific journals is exactly this: the peer reviewing process..Imagine how much the quality of your experiments would improve, if even before starting the data collection you could get feedback on the design and planned analyses..And on top of that, given that you follow the specified experiment plan, you would receive an in-principle acceptance from the journal..This means the journal would publish your results, even if they are unglamourous and do not fit with the main story of your field of research..Congratulations, your dreams have come true in form of the registered report (more information and resources below)!The award-winning team of lecturers at the University of Glasgow (UofG) School of Psychology behind #PsyTeachR are fully embracing the Open Science movement and are teaching the next generation of researchers how to use R for reproducible data analysis..Many other labs, universities and global collaborations are following suit and are implementing open science practices as well.I am in the very fortunate position that my PI (principal investigator), Professor Emily Cross, fully supports me in applying Open Science practices in my research..Our lab has included a statement on our website, specifying the rationale behind and the aspects of Open Science we seek to integrate.. More details

Leave a Reply