The pioneering Open Access publisher PLOS has partnered with DataSeer (us!) to develop a comprehensive range of Open Science Indicators and apply them to both articles published in PLOS and to comparable articles published elsewhere. They’ve put together a great blog post describing all the work we’re planning, there’s also a poster about our joint project on code sharing in PLOS Computational Biology.
These Open Science Indicators include Open Data, Open Code, Open Protocols, Registered Lab Materials, use of Preprints, and a few others that are still in development. They are essential for any stakeholder – such as funding agencies, academic publishers, or research institutions – trying to work out their researchers’ current Open Science behaviours, or trying to understand how those behaviours changed in response to new policies or incentives.
A lack of reliable metrics has been a significant brake on progress towards Open Science: if we can’t work out which incentives/policies are most effective, we’re stuck repeating the same playbook with little idea of what works and what doesn’t. With the availability of these (highly accurate) metrics through DataSeer, this awkward situation is a thing of the past.
We’re also very excited about all this because the metrics have huge potential to drive change in the community – stakeholders will be better informed about the current state of data and code sharing among their researchers, and it will be clearer to everyone what actions we need to take to promote better Open Science going forward.