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Open Scholarship / Open Science

This guide is an introducton to open scholarship or open science--a framework for the free and rapid dissemination of research

What Is Open Scholarship?

Open Scholarship, also known as Open Science, is a philosophy that holds that all forms of scholarship ought to be freely accessible to everybody everywhere without encumbrance of any kind. The belief is that the rapid, seamless, and widespread sharing of scholarly output will foster greater creativity while providing more transparency and instilling more trust in research.

What Types of Scholarship Are Included?

All types. These could include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

  • Course materials. These could include syllabi, class notes, textbooks, lectures, etc.
  • Research. This could include research reports, journal articles, conference papers, etc.
  • Experimental data.
  • Computer software.

Why Is Open Scholarship Important?

Scholarship of all types is advanced by sharing information and ideas as widely as possible. The old model of publishing scholarly books and journals is no longer able to keep up. The costs of scholarly resources have increased far more rapidly than the general inflation rate for a generation. This has resulted in a crisis in higher education where students can no longer afford their textbooks and researchers—even those at elite universities—are hobbled by not having direct immediate access to relevant papers. This is reflected in citation counts. Multiple studies have shown that scholarly papers that are made freely available are more highly cited than those locked behind paywalls (Ale Ebrahim et al., 2013; Antelman, 2004; Hitchcock, 2004; Law, 2007; McCabe & Snyder, 2014).

How Is Open Scholarship Implemented?

Open scholarship is implemented through a number of independent but related initiatives, each developed to meet a particular need. Open publishing or open resource sharing initiatives include open educational resources (OERs), open access (OA), open data, and open-source software (OSS). These initiatives are all supported by several open licensing systems.

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Ale Ebrahim, N., Salehi, H., Embi, M. A., Habibi, F., Gholizadeh, H., Motahar, S. M., & Ordi, A. (2013). Effective strategies for increasing citation frequency. International Education Studies, 6(11), 93–99.

Antelman, K. (2004). Do open-access articles have a greater research impact? College & Research Libraries, 65(5), 372–382.

Hitchcock, S. (2004). The effect of open access and downloads ('hits’) on citation impact: A bibliography of studies.

Law, D. (2007). Making science count: Open Access and its impact on the visibility of science. Institutional Archives for Research: Experiences and Projects in Open Access, 14–22.

McCabe, M. J., & Snyder, C. M. (2014). Identifying the effect of open access on citations using a panel of science journals. Economic Inquiry, 52(4), 1284–1300.