The overall arguments for supporting Open Science can be summarised in the following factors (OECD, 2015:18):
- Efficiency: greater access to scientific inputs and outputs, can improve the effectiveness and productivity of the research system, by 1) reducing duplication and the costs of creating, transferring and reusing data; 2) allowing more research from the same data; 3) multiplying opportunities for domestic and global participation in the research process. Also, the user of open search tools can help increasing the efficiency of research and of its diffusion (The Royal Society, 2012).
- Quality and integrity: open access to scientific outputs, data and other assets that support the research process offer the opportunity of a wider evaluation and scrutiny by the scientific community, thus allowing a greater and more accurate replication and validation of research results. This openness also facilitates an early identification of any malpractice at science, such as fraud or errors, and therefore being easier to denounce and drop-out these practices in the benefit of scientific integrity. In this sense, openness to data contributes to maintain science’s self-correction principle.
- Economic benefits: increased access to research results can foster spill overs not only to scientific systems but also innovation systems more broadly, as well as increase awareness and conscious choices among consumers. Science plays a key role in today’s knowledge economies (The Royal Society 2012:19), and the higher efficiency associated to Open Science would not only benefit advanced economies but also developing countries.
- Innovation and knowledge transfer: Open Science can reduce delays in the re-use of the results of scientific research including articles and data sets by firms and individuals, and promote a swifter path from research to innovation to produce new products and services.
- Public disclosure and engagement: science should be open for the whole society, so it may promote awareness among citizens. It evidences the outcomes of public funded research, and would help to build trust and support for public policies and investments. Moreover, it promotes citizen’s engagement and even active participation in scientific experiments and data collection.
- Global benefits: Open Science is inevitably international, and it must take advantage of it. It can promote collaborative efforts and faster knowledge transfer for a better understanding of challenges that require coordinated international actions such as climate change or the ageing population, and could help identify solutions more effectively.
As is clear from these factors, the values of Open Science are not constrained to the scientific community or researchers themselves. They extend to the whole society, including citizens, the public and private sector, and as it will be addressed later on this course, to libraries as enablers of Open Science.
**Figure 4. Benefits to different parties (Open Science and Research Initiative, 2014)**
Different stakeholders benefit from Open Science in different ways (Figure 4), including increased visibility (citations, mentions in social and other media), increased credits (references to publications, data and methods, awards for openness), increased funding (rewards for openness, awards for clear definitions of copyright/proprietary rights), and improved networking (new opportunities, better workload distribution, better results analyses) (Open Science and Research Initiative, 2014).