An open toolkit for tracking open science partnership implementation and impact

Gates Open Res. 2019 Apr 30;3:1442. doi: 10.12688/gatesopenres.12958.2. eCollection 2019.


Serious concerns about the way research is organized collectively are increasingly being raised. They include the escalating costs of research and lower research productivity, low public trust in researchers to report the truth, lack of diversity, poor community engagement, ethical concerns over research practices, and irreproducibility. Open science (OS) collaborations comprise of a set of practices including open access publication, open data sharing and the absence of restrictive intellectual property rights with which institutions, firms, governments and communities are experimenting in order to overcome these concerns. We gathered two groups of international representatives from a large variety of stakeholders to construct a toolkit to guide and facilitate data collection about OS and non-OS collaborations. Ultimately, the toolkit will be used to assess and study the impact of OS collaborations on research and innovation. The toolkit contains the following four elements: 1) an annual report form of quantitative data to be completed by OS partnership administrators; 2) a series of semi-structured interview guides of stakeholders; 3) a survey form of participants in OS collaborations; and 4) a set of other quantitative measures best collected by other organizations, such as research foundations and governmental or intergovernmental agencies. We opened our toolkit to community comment and input. We present the resulting toolkit for use by government and philanthropic grantors, institutions, researchers and community organizations with the aim of measuring the implementation and impact of OS partnership across these organizations. We invite these and other stakeholders to not only measure, but to share the resulting data so that social scientists and policy makers can analyse the data across projects.

Keywords: Open science; impact; implementation; indicator; innovation; intellectual property; partnership; performance; policy; toolkit.