Open Science Practices and Methods: What They Are, Why They Are Important, and Examples
Open science practices and methods refer to principles and approaches that prioritize transparency, collaboration, and openness in scientific research. These practices aim to make research more accessible, reproducible, and impactful by promoting the sharing of data, methods, and results.
In this article, we go over some of the most popular open science practices, highlighting how they benefit researchers, institutions, and the general public by leading to more impactful research and scientific discoveries.
Examples of Open Science Practices
Pre-registration is a key open science practice that involves publicly registering a study design and analysis plan before conducting the research. It helps to increase the transparency and credibility of research by reducing the risk of researchers changing their analysis or hypotheses after the data has been collected, which can lead to biased or misleading results.
Pre-registration can be done through various platforms, such as the Open Science Framework (OSF), AsPredicted, or ClinicalTrials.gov, and typically involves providing detailed information about the study, such as the research question, hypotheses, study design, sample size, statistical analysis plan, and expected outcomes. Once the study has been registered, the information is publicly available to other researchers and the general public.
There are two main types of pre-registration:
- Registered reports: researchers submit a detailed research proposal to a journal before data collection. The journal provides feedback and a decision on the acceptance of the study based on the quality of the proposed research design and methods.
- Pre-results review: researchers submit a detailed research proposal to a preprint server or repository. Reviewers provide feedback on the quality of the proposed research design and methods before data collection.
Pre-registration is particularly useful for addressing publication bias, which occurs when studies with positive results are more likely to be published than those with negative or inconclusive results. By registering the study design and analysis plan beforehand, researchers can reduce the risk of this bias by ensuring that the study is evaluated based on its quality and rigor rather than just the outcome.
Open Data Sharing
Open data sharing is another essential open science practice that involves making research data openly accessible to other researchers, either through data repositories or online platforms. By sharing data openly, researchers can promote transparency, collaboration, and reproducibility, enabling other researchers to build on their work.
There are several benefits to open data sharing, including:
- Reproducibility: open data sharing allows other researchers to replicate or verify the results of a study by analyzing the same data set.
- Collaboration: cooperation between researchers is facilitated, which allows for the development of new research questions and insights.
- Cost savings: the need for costly data collection and storage is reduced; instead, the reuse of existing data sets is promoted.
- Innovation: open data sharing can enable the development of new data analysis tools, methods, and technologies and promote innovation in scientific research.
Several platforms and repositories, such as the Open Science Framework, Zenodo, Figshare, and Dryad, support open data sharing. These platforms typically allow researchers to upload and share their data sets and provide metadata and documentation to help other researchers understand and use the data.
However, open data sharing has its challenges; for example, the need to protect sensitive or confidential data and ensure that the data is properly documented and formatted to be useful for other researchers. However, many researchers and organizations are actively working to overcome these challenges and promote open data sharing as a key practice in scientific research.
Lastly, open-access publishing is another important open science practice that aims to make scientific research articles freely accessible to the public without restricting access or reuse. Open-access publishing promotes the dissemination and impact of scientific research and helps address the issues of high subscription fees and limited access to scientific literature.
There are two main types of open-access publishing:
- Gold open access: in gold open access, the publisher makes the article freely available online immediately upon publication and covers the costs of publication through article processing charges (APCs) paid by the author or their institution.
- Green open access: in green open access, the author publishes the article in a subscription-based journal but also makes a copy of the article available in a repository or on their personal website, usually after an embargo period.
There are many benefits to open-access publishing, including:
- Increased visibility and impact: OA publishing makes scientific research more widely visible and accessible, which can increase the impact and reach of the study.
- Greater collaboration and reuse: OAs publishing enables researchers to collaborate more efficiently and allows for reusing and adapting research articles for other purposes.
- Reduced costs: OA publishing can help to reduce the costs of accessing scientific literature and promote more significant equity and access to scientific information.
Many open-access publishers and journals, such as PLOS ONE, BMC, and Frontiers, and traditional subscription-based publishers, such as Elsevier and Springer, offer open-access options.
How Orvium Assists Open Science
At Orvium, we promote open science through community-driven spaces in our platform, like The Evolving Scholar, where researchers can publish their works, comment, and review other papers, as well as through our collaboration with OpenAIRE, a platform supporting open access and open science movement through the many resources it offers.
If you’d like to learn more about our initiatives, make sure to visit our website and platform. Also, if you want to stay up-to-date with the latest news and product features, make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, or Instagram.