Advancing open education through open science

Hello everyone,
As an open education researcher I have always worked to ensure that my scholarship is available open access. And I don’t just mean Green Open Access and the use of institutional repositories (although that is a wonderful option and can be an excellent strategy), but publishing in platinum/diamond open access journals, ones that don’t demand a ransom (an exorbitant article processing charge) that itself widens inequities in scholarly publishing while double dipping into university coffers.

But over the years I have worked to also integrate a broader range of open science practices into my scholarship. This includes pre-registration of hypotheses (to mitigate hypothesizing after the results are known, thereby building greater trust in the science), sharing research materials such as survey instruments openly (to support efforts by other researchers to replicate and extend my work), and sharing my research data openly (to support further analyses, including meta-analyses). These practices, which are supported by groups such as the Center for Open Science, all enhance transparency and rigour in science and are increasingly becoming normalized in my home discipline of Psychology.

But embracing each of these practices also require thoughtful reflection (e.g., about your concerns about being “scooped” by others who analyze your data) and planning, well ahead of any data collection. This includes ensuring that your institution’s Research Ethics Board approves of your plans (e.g., research participants must be informed during the consent process of your plans to share data openly). In my experience, this sometimes requires discussions and even some education with REB/IRB members around pre-registration, open materials, and open data.

I am therefore curious about how other scholars of open education approach this question. Have you also been working to incorporate elements of open science into your research? If so, how have you navigated the questions, fears and doubts (including self-doubts!) that you may have encountered along the way?

My dream of course is of a world in which open science is the default just as much as open education and open access publishing. But until we get there, it is my hope that we can at least normalize this internally-consistent and value-driven approach within the community of open education researchers.

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Thanks for bringing attention to this important topic Rajiv! I touch on the need for data transparency and open science in general in the recent SCOPE framework IRRODL article with Jasmine Roberts-Crews and Lindsey Gwozdz. It’s necessary to have quality research in open education (although I acknowledge that not all data can be open, we need to have as much as possible open).

I have been putting my data and materials on Open Science Framework and providing a reference to guide readers to find it. I also pre-register my studies. I’ve been fortunate to have a supportive IRB. Thankfully I haven’t had too many barriers. I’m curious what others have experienced.

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Fantastic discussion to start here, thanks Rajiv. As someone not involved in formal research, I’d be curious to understand better how these practices from open science are applied or at least framed for open education research (perhaps not much of a difference).

Can you share perhaps a specific example of the components mentioned? I have to admit I have nor heard of hypothesis pre-registration, but locating now information from the Center for Open Science which leads me to the OSF documentation. I also came across As Predicted and then discipline resources like the one from your field. And also an overview from Wikipedia.

Thanks also @drclintonlisell for your reply (and by the way, welcome to OEG Connect) and the mention of your co-authored SCOPE Framework article, identifying another important approach to research.

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Hello Rajiv,

Thank you for sharing your practices about Open scholarship which somehow align with my current reflection on the relationship between Open Education and Open Science as a teacher and as a researcher.
I guess the common denominator is Openness. As you know this is an umbrella term and just looking at Pomerantz & Peek article, Fifty shades of Open, Fifty shades of open | First Monday , is but an example.
The answer may be, partly at least, in Leonelli’s framing of Open Science:

  1. “Understanding of Openness as sharing is predicated on an object-oriented view of science, where the availability of commodified, stable, tradeable resources is what determines how researchers use those objects to obtain new knowledge”, Leonelli, 2023, p. 43.

  2. “Philosophy of openness predicated on a process-oriented view, whereby research is understood first and foremost as an effort to foster collective agency, grounded on intimate forms of relationality and trust, among widely diverse individuals and groups – an agency that is often enacted through recourse to various technologies, shared interpretations of research outputs and collaborations with non-human agents”, Leonelli, 2023, p. 43.
    Philosophy of Open Science, Philosophy of Open Science

With regard to very practices of sharing data, I went through the experience with qualitative data a few years ago and with the librarians who supported me, we reported our practice in an article which somehow resonates with Leonelli’s two perspectives of Open Science. Towards Open Science for the Qualitative Researcher: From a Positivist to an Open Interpretation, https://doi.org/10.1177/16094069211034641

Looking forward to reading your insights,
Best,
Barbara

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Hello everyone,

I was deeply inspired by Rajiv Jhangiani’s thoughtful discussion on the integration of open science practices within the realm of open education. As an open education researcher currently conducting a study on Professional Nursing Identity through a MOOC, I have been gathering data at various stages from learners and stakeholders, including the SAVVY group. My research has undergone rigorous ethical review and approval by the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). During this process, the question of open data sharing was raised and encouraged, provided that participant consent is obtained.

In line with Rajiv’s advocacy for open access, I have ensured that participants are fully informed about the potential for their data to be shared openly for future use and reuse. This information is transparently communicated during the consent process, adhering to ethical guidelines and fostering trust. The data will be deposited in ORDO, The Open University’s specialist data centre, to support future research and learning. This approach not only aligns with ethical standards but also enhances the transparency and utility of the research.

I resonate deeply with Rajiv’s emphasis on pre-registering hypotheses to prevent hypothesising after results are known, sharing research materials to facilitate replication, and making data openly available to support further analyses and meta-analyses. These practices are crucial for building greater trust and rigour in our scholarly work.

However, I have also encountered the common challenges of open science that Rajiv mentioned, such as the fear of being scooped. Navigating these concerns requires careful planning and dialogue with ethics committees to ensure that all aspects of data sharing are ethically sound and beneficial to the broader research community.

I am curious to hear how others have addressed these challenges and what strategies have been effective in your contexts. My hope is that, through shared experiences and collaborative efforts, we can normalise the adoption of open science practices within our community. This, in turn, will help us move towards a future where open science is the default, much like open education and open access publishing.

Thank you, Rajiv, for initiating this important conversation. I look forward to learning from your insights and experiences.

Best regards,
Moortooza

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Thanks Alan! I would recommend reading Brian Nosek’s chapter from this book about open practices that I co-edited with Robert Biswas-Diener back in 2017: Ubiquity Press

Thank you Virginia. Given your leadership in open education research and mentorship of so many early career researchers I especially appreciate your embrace and modelling of open science practices.