Biomedical institutions agree on a set of oper

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Eighty stakeholders from twenty major biomedical research institutions worldwide agreed on a list of 19 open science practices to be implemented and monitored. The study, led by Dr. Kelly Coby, Scientist and Director of the Open Science and Meta-Research Program at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in Canada, forms the basis for the future development of institutional digital dashboards that will show that institution’s compliance with open scientific practices. The study will be published in the open access journal PLOS Biology on January 24th.

Globally, mandates and guidelines related to open science have grown in recent years. Open science practices, including open access publishing, preprints, data sharing, and clinical trial registration, help ensure that research is as transparent, accessible, and usable as possible. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how the traditionally “closed” nature of biomedical research does not serve the global community. To move to an “open” research ecosystem, researchers need training and support. Despite numerous calls and policies that aim to ‘open up’ research, there is currently no system in place to monitor the state of practice in academic institutions. Monitoring is needed to track progress over time, but also to identify areas where interventions are needed to change practice. The 19 core open science practices identified in this article will help standardize monitoring worldwide.

The study describes an iterative process through which institutional stakeholders communicate to reach consensus. A three-round Delphi survey was used in which a group of stakeholders voted on potential open science monitoring practices. The first two rounds of Delphi voting were conducted via electronic survey, while the final round was completed over two days as a virtual meeting. Participants were able to comment and vote anonymously on potential practices and suggest new practices to the group. This approach helped standardize communication and reduce bias. The 19 practices will now be tested on how well they can be automated for inclusion in an open-source digital dashboard that will be developed for use in biomedical institutions.

“Having an agreed upon set of open scientific monitoring practices is an important milestone for the community. By taking this community-based approach, we hope to develop and provide a tool for biomedical institutions to monitor open science practices,” said Dr. Kobe, “Ultimately, we need to track open science practices to ensure we take timely steps to open up research and ensure we comply with existing open science mandates.”

Cobey adds: “A no-monitoring policy is not effective. We agreed on how to design a digital dashboard to track open science practices to determine whether we are doing a good job implementing them or not.”


In your coverage, please use this URL to provide access to the freely available paper at PLOS Biology:

Quote: Cobey KD, Haustein S, Brehaut J, Dirnagl U, Franzen DL, Hemkens LG, et al. (2023) Community Consensus on Basic Open Science Surveillance Practices in Biomedicine. PLoS Biol 21(1): e3001949.

State authors: Canada, Germany, United States of America, Switzerland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Italy

Financing: This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust Open Research Fund (223828/Z/21/Z to KDC, SH, JB, UD, LGH, JP, DS,JPA, RC, ESS, TvL.) The funders had no role in the study design, collection and data analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

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