Teaching Open Science

In November 2015 I gave a workshop at the University of Toronto Mississauga on "Doing Open Science" (slides: https://osf.io/kz2u5/). During, and following, the workshop I spoke with attendees and heard two particular responses from this audience of graduate students and post-docs. First, they all believed that open science is becoming more important in our field. Second, most of them were unsure how to get started with open science in their own research. In fact, these are the two responses I hear most from others when discussing open science-it seems important, but how do I do it in my own lab?

More resources are now becoming available including a manual of best practices offered by BITSS and a list of course syllabi on the topic hosted on the Open Science Framework (OSF). My recent blog on organizing my own open science offered some suggestions for how to adopt open science practices (see also this paper). A Facebook post to the Psychology Methods Discussion Group asking how to pre-register study details also generated some useful feedback. Perusing p ublic registrations of research projects on the OSF can also provide many examples of how to share details of the research process. Information is therefore becoming more available if one is motivated to look for it.

Psychology graduate programs typically have students take courses on statistical approaches to data analysis as well as on research methods. In these courses students read texts and papers, and learn where to find additional information. They also learn the values of their academic elders regarding the scientific process (e.g., predicting outcomes using statistical analyses with particular methodological designs). It seems to me, however, that going forward it is critical that we start routinely teaching open science practices to our students so (a) they know where to find information on open science, and (b) they learn that the research community that is training them values open science. It also seems practical to introduce material (or courses) on open science given that many journals are beginning to incentivize open science practices. Graduate students that adopt open science practices (as part of science 2.0) may therefore have an advantage in the job market compared to students that maintain the traditional closed science practices. As one final incentive to embrace the teaching of open science to your students, there are now awards available for doing it!

This post is open to read and review on The Winnower.


This article and its reviews are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and redistribution in any medium, provided that the original author and source are credited.