Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 6

Motivating Participation in Open Science by Examining Researcher Incentives


Motivating Participation in Open Science by Examining Researcher Incentives

Sarah E Ali-Khan et al. Elife.


Support for open science is growing, but motivating researchers to participate in open science can be challenging. This in-depth qualitative study draws on interviews with researchers and staff at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital during the development of its open science policy. Using thematic content analysis, we explore attitudes toward open science, the motivations and disincentives to participate, the role of patients, and attitudes to the eschewal of intellectual property rights. To be successful, an open science policy must clearly lay out expectations, boundaries and mechanisms by which researchers can engage, and must be shaped to explicitly support their values and those of key partners, including patients, research participants and industry collaborators.

Keywords: incentives; intellectual property; none; open access; open science; science policy.

Conflict of interest statement

No competing interests declared.

This study was funded under the PACEOMICS project, supported by Genome Canada, Genome Quebec, Genome Alberta and the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, and by the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (the MNI), which is part of McGill University, with which the authors are affiliated. The MNI identified the need for this study and approached one of the authors (ERG) to conceive, design and actualize the research. The MNI did not have access to the study data and played no further role in the study other than to supply a list of staff members.


Figure 1.
Figure 1.. Guiding principles for the conduct of open science at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (MNI).
These principles cover five areas: the public release of data and other scientific resources; external research partnerships; the MNI Biobank; researcher and patient autonomy; and intellectual property. The authors developed draft Guiding Principles based on the results of this study. This draft was then presented to the MNI staff, management and researchers, who reviewed and amended the draft during two rounds of discussion and feedback. These Guiding Principles were adopted by the MNI in December 2016.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 1 article

  • An open toolkit for tracking open science partnership implementation and impact.
    Gold ER, Ali-Khan SE, Allen L, Ballell L, Barral-Netto M, Carr D, Chalaud D, Chaplin S, Clancy MS, Clarke P, Cook-Deegan R, Dinsmore AP, Doerr M, Federer L, Hill SA, Jacobs N, Jean A, Jefferson OA, Jones C, Kahl LJ, Kariuki TM, Kassel SN, Kiley R, Kittrie ER, Kramer B, Lee WH, MacDonald E, Mangravite LM, Marincola E, Mietchen D, Molloy JC, Namchuk M, Nosek BA, Paquet S, Pirmez C, Seyller A, Skingle M, Spadotto SN, Staniszewska S, Thelwall M. Gold ER, et al. Gates Open Res. 2019 Apr 30;3:1442. doi: 10.12688/gatesopenres.12958.2. eCollection 2019. Gates Open Res. 2019. PMID: 31850398 Free PMC article.


    1. Ali-Khan SE, Harris LW, Levasseur K, Gold ER. Building a Framework for Open Science at the MNI. [11, October 2017];2015
    1. Ali-Khan SE, Harris LW, Levasseur K, Gold ER. Thematic Coding Framework. [11, October 2017];2017
    1. Bjork B-C. Open access to scientific publications: an analysis of the barriers to change? Information Research. 2004;9:2
    1. Borgman CL. Big Data, Little Data, No Data: Scholarship in the Networked World. Cambridge: MIT Press; 2015.
    1. Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology. 2006;3:77–101. doi: 10.1191/1478088706qp063oa. - DOI

Publication types

Grant support