Three new preprints on the future of Open Science

To start off the week, I am delighted to share three new articles/preprints/perspectives about reforming various elements of scholarly communication/publishing/open science. Enjoy, and any feedback very much welcomed!

A value proposition for Open Science

Open Science has become commonly understood in terms of its practices. Open Access, Open Data, and Open Source software are all becoming commonplace in academia. However, unlike the Free and Open Source Software movement, Open Science seems to have become largely divorced from its pluralistic philosophical and ethical foundations, which seem to have reignited from the humanities at the turn of the Millennium. To close this gap, I propose a new value-based proposition for Open Science, that is akin to the “four fundamental freedoms” of Richard Stallman that catalysed the Free Software movement. In doing so, I hope to provide a more common, unified, and human understanding to notions of openness in science.

Time to stop the exploitation of free academic labour

Commercial publishing houses continue to make unbounded profits while exploiting the free labour of researchers through peer review. If publishers are to be compensated financially for the value that they add within a capitalist system, then all others who add value should be similarly, including reviewers. I propose that peer review should be included as a professional service by research institutes in their contracts with commercial publishers. This would help to recognise the value of peer review, and begin to shape it into a functional form of quality control.

How can we achieve a fully open future?

It is time for a new type of mandate. Plan S has catalysed all sorts of action, and confusion, in the world of scholarly publishing. But it lacks teeth. Instead of encouraging libraries and research institutes to continue to prop up a dysfunctional and out-dated system with taxpayer money, research funders should mandate institutes to create a fully open, modern, technical scholarly infrastructure. This would help to overcome so much of the inertia behind the adoption of open research practices, while simultaneously resolving outstanding issues with reliability, affordability, and functionality in scholarly communication.


Tennant, J. (2020, March 9). A value proposition for Open Science. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/k9qh

Tennant, J. (2020, March 9). Time to stop the exploitation of free academic labour. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/6quxg

Tennant, J. (2020, March 7). How can we achieve a fully open future?. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/9kjwp

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