A lot of academics and policy-makers agree that science should be more transparent and reproducible. Thanks to platforms like the Open Science Framework, repositories like Dataverse and version-control systems like Git, it’s never been easier to publish our data, results and codes. So if the environment is so favourable, what’s holding us back? There are many reasons but one of the main obstacles is the insufficient number of researchers who actually know how to publish their documentation in a clear and efficient way. In other words, we need to strengthen the ‘supply side’ of open science.
A few days ago, I submitted a project proposal to Horizon 2020 for that very purpose. The project involves two institutional partners: the London School of Economics (including the Department of Methodology and LSE Enterprise) and the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in Social Sciences (BITSS). It also involves a great team of open science trainers: Thomas Leeper, Nicole Janz, Iveta Simera, Marcus Munafò, Ana Marušić and Garret Christensen.
Our project aims to train 1000 new early career researchers between 2017 and 2020. We will meet this ambitious goal by building on three existing initiatives. The first initiative is a short course in open science, which will be included in the curriculum of 10 European universities and training providers in 10 European countries. The second initiative is a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), which will be distributed by a leading MOOC platform. The third initiative is new textbook in open science, which will be published by a leading academic publisher and is expected to be seminal.
The impact of these three initiatives will be enhanced by the use of behavioural theories and by a few other ‘nudges’ meant to keep all partners and beneficiaries focused on the desired outcome. In addition, the project will be designed in a way that is amenable to a counterfactual impact evaluation (to be conducted subsequently, subject to additional funding).
We expect to be notified about the outcome of the call in January 2017. Watch this space!