Junior research group: Open science

Start of the project: 01-Aug-2018

One of Open Science’s visions is to increase the quality and efficiency of scientific research by making research data, computer code, and other resources created in the research process, publicly available. Advocates for increased sharing argue that widely sharing those resources is desirable in order to support the reproducibility of research, increase the transparency of the research process, make efficient use of research funding, and enable new innovative forms of research. Critical for the success of this vision is the readiness of research groups to share the resources that they have created.

However, we only have a limited theoretical understanding of what drives the sharing of those resources in different fields of science, and how to explain the variation of forms of sharing across fields. The junior research group is therefore setting out to examine what field-inherent factors influence sharing and to explain how they influence decisions to share.

The theoretical starting point is an understanding of the production of scientific knowledge in research specialities as an integration of local and community-level processes. Research specialities differ in where the boundary between local and community-level processes of knowledge production is drawn. In order to develop a better understanding of field-specific forms of sharing we therefore need to turn our attention to the factors that influence where this boundary is drawn and the role of sharing in the construction of this boundary.

The project employs a mixed-method approach that combines bibliometrics, ethnography, expert interviews, and survey research to determine field-specific sharing rates and develop causal explanations of how the form of knowledge creation influences sharing decisions.

A better understanding of what drives sharing in scientific research and how research specialities differ in this regard will enable the development of more effective policies and incentives for open science that are attuned to field-specific challenges and opportunities.

The project will produce empirical and theoretical insights into the variation of forms of sharing across research specialities. In addition, it aims to innovate approaches to comparative studies of sharing in the sciences by developing methods that capture the variation of relevant properties of forms of knowledge production within and across research specialities.

Head of Junior research group

Theresa Velden
Dr. Theresa Velden Head +49 30 2064177-51


Nathalie Schwichtenberg