What the drive for open science data can learn from the evolving history of open government data

Stefaan Verhulst, Andrew Young, and Andrew Zahuranec at The Conversation: “Nineteen years ago, a group of international researchers met in Budapest to discuss a persistent problem. While experts published an enormous amount of scientific and scholarly material, few of these works were accessible. New research remained locked behind paywalls run by academic journals. The result was researchers struggled to learn from one another. They could not build on one another’s findings to achieve new insights. In response to these problems, the group developed the Budapest Open Access Initiative, a declaration calling for free and unrestricted access to scholarly journal literature in all academic fields.

In the years since, open access has become a priority for a growing number of universitiesgovernments, and journals. But while access to scientific literature has increased, access to the scientific data underlying this research remains extremely limited. Researchers can increasingly see what their colleagues are doing but, in an era defined by the replication crisis, they cannot access the data to reproduce the findings or analyze it to produce new findings. In some cases there are good reasons to keep access to the data limited – such as confidentiality or sensitivity concerns – yet in many other cases data hoarding still reigns.

To make scientific research data open to citizens and scientists alike, open science data advocates can learn from open data efforts in other domains. By looking at the evolving history of the open government data movement, scientists can see both limitations to current approaches and identify ways to move forward from them….(More) (French version)”.