THEME 1 (T1): MOTIVATIONS (INCENTIVES AND IDEOLOGIES)

This research theme investigates on a broad scale the contexts and conditions under which Open Science approaches are likely to be adopted by researchers and how a pro-open environment might be created at the social, cultural and policy framework levels. Unpacking these two problems requires an understanding of relevant actors, their behaviours and interactions at multiple levels and often across disparate research networks as well as more bounded organizations. The objective is to further understand and develop strategies to overcome some of the challenges to the uptake of Open Science. For this reason, it will intersect heavily with research theme three, investigating Open Science communities, and four, examining evidence for the proposed benefits of Open Science.

THEME 2 (T2): INFRASTRUCTURES & TECHNOLOGIES

Open and Collaborative Science is highly dependent on network technologies. We are seeing an increase in global connectivity enabled by technologies such as mobile phones, including web-enabled smartphones, high-bandwidth Internet connections and a broader ecosystem of scientific data, resources and cloud-based services. Such technologies are assumed to be enablers of OCS, increasing broad participation and practices. However, inequities in connectivity and access to the technologies required to participate in OCS are a challenge to its uptake and success. This research theme examines the infrastructure that enables or disables OCS, for whom and in what conditions.

THEME 3 (T3): COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE IN OPEN AND COLLABORATIVE SCIENCE

This theme speaks to the overarching question, “how can science be made more open and inclusive,” by looking at the communities of practitioners and stakeholders who shape the landscape of Open and Collaborative Science in Development (OCSD), and may influence the uptake and trajectory of OCSD approaches. Understanding more about communities of actors, the institutional contexts, their heterogeneities and interactions is particularly important to increase inclusiveness and inform other research themes around motivations and incentives.

THEME 4 (T4): POTENTIAL IMPACTS (POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE) OF OPEN AND COLLABORATIVE SCIENCE

The aim of this research theme is to systematically work through the proposed benefits for OCSD and find evidence to support them, as well as identifying and evidencing any risks and potential negative impacts. This will be challenging while the Open Science community is small and until their status as an object of study develops. Therefore, developing a conceptual framework and set of research methodologies is a vital part of ensuring that research is effective even at such an early stage. Research under this theme could combine observational studies with action research and support for Open Science practitioners as well as community building and awareness raising activities to increase uptake and participation in OCS4D in the global South. Methodologies drawing on evidence from other related but more advanced fields could also be applied to expand the scope of what is possible. All research under this theme focuses on the quality, meaningfulness and possible utility of openness and collaboration which dominate discussion in Open Development, Open Data and other topics, including other research networks under IDRC’s Information and Networks (I&N) programme.