2 The Complete Guide to Open Scholarship interested persons to the underlying data, to the processes, and to the final results of research” (Stanford University, n.d.). The ideal of transpar- ency does not imply, however, that anyone should be able to access any information without restrictions. Rather, it implies that there should be “no unwarranted impediments to the widest possible circulation of the ideas and information” (Willinsky 2006, 146 emphasis added). Tempo- rary secrecy may be required for reasons of national security or private industry research, or it may be governed by certain norms of scientific inquiry—for example, when scholars need to safeguard the privacy of research participants. The desire to protect ongoing research or to achieve recognition for being the first to report research findings may also lead to temporary secrecy. Long-term secrecy, however, is universally regarded as a barrier to the advancement of knowledge because it impedes the flow and exchange of information, and it can result in duplication of research efforts and thus decrease the effectiveness of research. Openness as a Scientific Norm The idea of openness as transparency is closely related to Robert Merton’s norms comprising the ethos of open science (Merton 1973). These norms include “communism,”3 universalism, disinterestedness, originality, and skepticism (often abbreviated as CUDOS). Among these norms, the norm of “communism” is particularly relevant to the idea of openness. “Secrecy,” Merton states, “is the antithesis of this norm full and open communication its enactment” (Ibid., 274). The norm of “com- munism” prescribes that research findings always result from social col- laboration and, therefore, they belong to the scientific community. Merton argues that “[t]he communal character of science is […] reflected in the recognition by scientists of their dependence upon a cultural heritage to which they lay no differential claims. Newton’s remark—‘If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants’—expresses at once a sense of indebtedness to the common heritage and a recognition of the essentially cooperative and selectively cumulative quality of scientific achievement” (Ibid., 274–275). Openness as an Ethical Obligation Merton’s norm of skepticism, too, suggests openness. This norm pre- scribes that scientists have an obligation to open their work to the scru- tiny of their peers through peer review and replication of experimental findings so that they can reach a consensus of opinion regarding facts and
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