Open Science: Challenges and Benefits
The approach that is being developed today in the world regarding open science as an opportunity to democratize knowledge, has brought advantages aimed at strengthening the educational system, and thus improving the socio-economic development of countries. This approach has been further enhanced by making use of digital technologies that have allowed greater reach and coverage.
In recent years, open science has garnered a lot of attention from scholars, policy makers, and international development agencies, in large part due to the promised benefits of new practices. However, as open science ideas turn into concrete initiatives, they begin to face challenges that can delay or prevent their implementation. These include: a lack of knowledge or capabilities to implement new practices, organizational or institutional barriers that prevent progress in openness, and a lack of infrastructure that discourages its adoption.
Although the open science approach can be seen as one of the main means of improving research and publishing practices, there is still a long way to go to make the most of its potential. Despite the encouraging political trends and some practical efforts at the national and sectoral levels, the performance of higher education in the face of the open science movement still leaves much to be desired. ICT expands the possibility of participation. Today you can find online databases of science projects, lab notes, and platforms advocating citizen participation in science. Access to these resources and the potential for collective action herald the transformation of scientific knowledge production in three directions: a) improving the economic return on investment in scientific research, as obtaining and quality results are accelerated; b) expanding the number and diversity of actors receiving scientific knowledge; c) There is a better alignment of social needs with the production of scientific knowledge. In this sense, when considering long-term strategies, initiatives should be strengthened with regard to improving political commitment, integrating and strengthening open access policies, developing clear strategies, promoting and creating incentive schemes, developing the necessary infrastructure, and removing open scientific barriers.
Another area of concern is the limited participation of HEIs in designing policies and strategies and using their products according to the principles of the new open access trend. This indicates the need for a more organized effort to create better awareness and planned processes.
With an encouraging political environment, higher education institutions must be quick to seize new opportunities. Indeed, they must be at the forefront of efforts to support new initiatives and create innovative ways to improve the realization of this approach in order to make a significant impact in building a country with public goods for all its inhabitants, especially for the people most battered by society and the impacts that this moment has left.