3.3 Awareness & Training

Most researchers today haven't been trained in Open Science practices. To be fair, they would likely agree philosophically with much of what we have thus far suggested engender open practices in the sciences - after all, much of Open Science is really just good science. But part of the history of Open Science is tied to the increasing use of computational resources in scientific practices - and what this means for both providing opportunities to increase transparency, reproducibility, and inclusion, but also for hindering each of these.

When it comes to adopting the set of practices enabled and potentially normalized by the tools, technologies, and services currently available to researchers, many researchers may not know where to start in terms of modifying their practices or adopting these tools and building the relationships needed for this kind of engagement.

And those in the later stages of their careers may think that the effort required to change is too significant a barrier to overcome, even if their graduate students try to engage them in talking about Open Science.

A Learning Curve

Learning a new way of conducting science involves time and effort.

Depending on where you are in your career, this time and effort is more or less valuable and easier or harder to come by. For example, longtime researchers may struggle with taking time away from their current responsibilities that have grown over the years, including managing students, administrative tasks, applying for grants, and teaching.

The fact is, Open Science practices involve investing more time at the start of a research project, because they require you to think through the entire project, collaborate in meaningful ways with research partners, map out what you're going to do, and to try to foresee where errors could happen so you can prevent them or soften their impact. However, the investment pays off in increased scientific rigour, less time spent on the end of the project, outcomes with greater social impact, and increased efficiencies in future projects.

Embracing Open Science education may also mean having to grasp new technologies, and some people, even in the sciences, feel discomfort with learning new tech.

Advocating for Open

To help researchers clear the learning curve, advocates of Open Science seek to make information about Open Science benefits, tools, and practices available to researchers at all levels.

Initiatives in this direction include

Free, easy-to-use tools that don't require coding
Like OSF, a project management and networking site that allows researchers to display and interact with all products of their research.

Free storage for researchers
Whether through third parties like OSF or Zenodo, or through their institution. At UBC, we have cIRcle for publications and Dataverse for data. We also have an institutional portal into OSF

OS education programs
Including this one - at universities aimed at undergraduates, graduates, and early career researchers.

Mentoring programs
That team a researcher experienced with OS methods with colleagues new to OS.

Courses in specific aspects of Open Science
Such as those offered by the FOSTER portal (a project of the European Union).