A GenR theme: Open Science and Knowledge Justice – announcement and call for contributions (April ‘21).

GenR is running a theme on the topic of Open Science and Knowledge Justice: inequality, equality, equity, and justice for engaging with knowledge. The presentation of Open Science as being about the technical opening of the research cycle – data, literature, open standards, PIDs, etc. – still stands, but now the discourse window has moved on and social change is in ascendance. In the theme ‘Knowledge Justice’ we want to look at the programmes that are putting social change into action and what are the ideas to embrace complexity and the messy world of enacting Open Science and Knowledge Justice.

For the theme we will take a broad view on Knowledge Justice – but a special interest will be in questions relating to the Global South and establishing global parity in the knowledge systems of Open Science.

How it started – How it’s going?

In Open Science over the last decade there has been an ever increasing of Open Science initiatives, creating a snowball effect and we have now reached the point where Open Science has been encoded as a legal instrument ‘Recommendations on Open Science’ by UNESCO to guide governments for its implementation.

The social movements of Me Too, Black Lives Matter, youth climate protests, March for Science, and even contesting COVID anti-science infodemic as with the WHO/Wikimedia Foundation campaign – have all contributed to foregrounding the knowledge and social justice foundations of Open Science.

Open Science is involved in the business of cultural change and this leads to needing to act on many levels and to tactically appeal to stakeholder to make behavioral changes, hence the setting out ‘principles’ of Open Science of ten years ago are not the same as those for now as we look through the lens of 2021.

  • Open Science (2011): Open Data; Open Source; Open Methodologies; Open Peer Review; Open Access; Open Education Resources.
  • Open Science (2021)?: Accessible Education; Citizen Science; Codes of Conduct; Free-to-publish, free-to-read; Equality; The Global South

Cultural change

Image: CoS

Open Science has been very adept at making cultural change – which offers hope for the future – even with the unyielding actors, institutions, frameworks it has faced.

In learning and publishing, communities have formed to create P2P learning and commons resources for example The Carpentries in skilling and The Turing Way for data science. Institutions, funders, and governments have created consortia, alliances, mandates for open licencing like cOAlition S for Open Access or the whole movement of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) which looks to align research to societal goals.

Contributions and ideas

GenR runs its theme as ongoing threads with a cluster of blogposts to start with – but we are also open to partnerships, co-creation and working with community members, whether that is on sprint / dashes / barcamps, etc. Please feel free to get in touch or make suggestions either on Twitter DM or email. @gen_r_ or to the editor Simon Worthington simon@genr.eu.

Cover image: CC BY 4.0 GenR. Feel free to make your own Open Science 2021 ‘How it started – How it’s going?’. The image resources are here on Diagrams.net https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wx33fK-eUPou_zLVWxsaWbc-b5I4diY2/view?usp=sharing