Is Open Science economically viable?

+2 votes
65 views
asked Aug 17, 2015 in Open Science by Savage Henry (105 points)

Consider this a "devil's advocate" position. I'm personally in favor of radical openness in conducting and publishing scientific work. The one argument argument I find difficult to counter, however, is that keeping everything entirely open (most notably, access to the published article) severely undermines one of the sources of revenue to keep doing science.

This question approaches the same topic, but not in general. In the short run there may be organizations that provide funds and allow for open access, but if there absolutely no funding stream, such organizations may not continue doing so. Universities, of course, have other sources of funding, but it seems limiting to suggest that all science will just be at universities that can afford to support journal operation and publication over and above their other obligations.

So, are there funding streams that open science can employ without sacrificing openness?



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commented Aug 18, 2015 by Egon Willighagen (0 points)
This question is common, but also ill-phrased. Can you please explain what you mean with economical viable? Running a repository of Open material (documents, source code, etc, etc, etc) via free online services has shown to be extremely economical viable. In fact, if one would count, I would argue more important (*) proprietary "things" were lost than "open things" in the past 10 years (and leave it as an exercise to the reader to do the counting).

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commented Aug 18, 2015 by just_curious (60 points)
I even think that expensive pay-walled journals contribute to "conventional" not open science to be less economically viable than open science would be ...

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commented Aug 18, 2015 by just_curious (60 points)
I dont understand this question. If the whole scientific community would rather use ArXiv style (moderated!) platforms to publish research and review and discuss them on other dedicated to this purpose online platforms too, no expensive pay(walled)-journals would be needed at all. I highly doubt that any of the money for example Elsevier earnes is used for funding science.

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2 Answers

+3 votes
answered Aug 17, 2015 by Franck Dernoncourt (540 points)

Consider the direct and indirect costs of:

Open science is in my opinion the best economical (and efficient) way to perform research, by far.



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0 votes
answered Aug 17, 2015 by Carlisle Rainey (70 points)

After a lot of hard work, apparently not. :-)

I know it's tough to see your "success" come down to simple numbers, but communities have been asking us for a very long time to look at the objective criteria in helping them determine if their site can be successful. Unfortunately, the correlation between a slow start and sites that never gain traction is so strong, ignoring those hard-earned lessons is really difficult to justify.



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