Research Topic

Open when, why, to whom? Changing challenges, perspectives and practices in a new research culture

About this Research Topic

Rapid advances in information technology are imposing an immediate reaction by the sciences on new challenges in nature and society. Traditionally, openness in academia was realised by publications serving the internal autonomous self-organising nature of science and embedding academia into society primarily ...

Rapid advances in information technology are imposing an immediate reaction by the sciences on new challenges in nature and society. Traditionally, openness in academia was realised by publications serving the internal autonomous self-organising nature of science and embedding academia into society primarily via libraries and education. Today, openness concerning all steps of the research process and the whole context of its production is required. As a consequence, actors involved - such as authors, editors, librarians, financiers, managers - are called upon to review their practices in light of this new research culture.

The research topic for this call addresses ‘open’ in connection to Open Science, Open Data, Open Access, Open Software and Open Peer Review.
We begin this call with the - maybe provocative - statement that “openness” is not a value in itself nor is it equivalent to “good science”. We state that the term “openness” has no meaning without further clarifications: Open when, why, to whom?
We seek contributions which counter the statement and reflect on changes in current scholarly practices and how they present themselves in forms of scholarly communication. We are open to papers with a broad range of methodological approaches - from ethnographic to quantitative studies, from philosophical reflection to practice reports. We would like to encourage voices from all the different actors mentioned above, covering research, research infrastructure and science policy. We are particularly interested in contributions which encompass a historical component next to the reflexive one.

Topics that could be addressed include:
• Openness at different stages of the research cycle: visions and experiences
• Openness and the self-organised, autonomous nature of academia
• History and current shape of the discourse around openness
• Technological innovations as enabler and mediator of openness
• Benefits and costs of openness
• New initiatives to foster openness in new forms of scholarly communication
• Openness stakeholders
• Openness and the role of science and research in society - citizen science, inclusion, open innovation


Keywords: open access, open science, open data, research cycle, openness, citizen science


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

14 August 2020 Manuscript
16 October 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

14 August 2020 Manuscript
16 October 2020 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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