The Impact of Open Science

Discusses and provides evidence for the impact of Open Data and Open Access.


Article

While Open Science (OS) offers researchers tools and workflows for transparency, reproducibility, dissemination and transfer of new knowledge, it can also have an impact in research evaluation exercises that demand greater societal impact in future (https://www.fosteropenscience.eu/content/winning-horizon-2020-open-scie…). OS can also be an effective tool for research managers to transfer knowledge to society, and optimise the use and re-use by unforeseen collaborators. For funders, OS offers a better return on investment (ROI) for public funding, and underpins the EU Digital Agenda by measurably contributing to economic growth.

Open Data does not have as long a history as Open Access (to research outputs), however there is already some evidence to show that sharing data can increase the citation rate of scientific papers by as much as 69%, after allowing for journal impact factor, date of publication, and the author’s country of origin (Piwowar, Day and Frisma, “Sharing detailed research data is associated with increased citation rate”, http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0000308; and Piwowar and Vision, “Data reuse and the open data citation advantage”, http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.175).

Turning to research outputs, there is accumulating evidence to show that research articles that have been made Open Access are cited more often than those that have not. A bibliography of studies on “The effect of open access and downloads (‘hits’) on citation impact” (http://opcit.eprints.org/oacitation-biblio.html) is maintained by the Open Citation Project (http://opcit.eprints.org).

Further evidence is provide by an exhaustive synoptic analysis of 31 studies published between 2001 and 2010 undertaken by Swan in 2010 (The open access citation advantage: Studies and results to date, http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/18516/). Of these studies, 27 found some OA citation advantage, ranging from 35% to 600%; only 4 found no citation advantage.

David Ball
January 2016

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Authors: David Ball
Publication year: 2016
Language: English (EN)
Level of knowledge: Intermediate: able to
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