“A change in research culture is needed to make sharing data a default rather than an exception”Name: Prof. Tuuli Toivonen
Position: Associate professor and leader of the Digital Geography Lab
Institution: University of Helsinki, Department of Geosciences and Geography, Digital Geography Lab
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ORCID ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6625-4922
An interview with Prof. Tuuli Toivonen on 5 June 2017
What frustrates you most about the current systems? If you could change one thing, what would it be?
“I hope that over time openness becomes a standard in the scientific process and the respect for open scientific results will be increasingly tied to their transparency.”
One of the most urgent things, even prior to openness of scientific data, is the openness of publications. For example Finland has faced real difficulties with some big publishers in trying to negotiate for increased openness with a fair price. Hundreds of researchers are currently boycotting Elsevier to support the negotiations. When it comes to specifically open data, the current academic funding and merit system encourages the seeking of quick personal profits instead of working with long-term scientific goals in mind. Sharing of data requires time because it needs to be well-documented. Also, data is a resource in academic competition. The current system that aims at quick profits does not always encourage using time to document data or share it openly with those who could benefit from it in scientific competition. There is, however, a clear change towards more openness in many fields, because in the long term openness of data is vital also for evaluating the scientific results. I hope that over time openness becomes a standard in the scientific process and the respect for open scientific results will be increasingly tied to their transparency. We scientists, science administration and the publishers all hold the keys to changes.
“Closed data sets increase duplication of effort, add administrative hassle, allow false results to get published more easily, and reduce the speed of scientific advancements.”
Who or what (project / service) inspires you and makes you optimistic about the future of Open Science?
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