Open science, as part of the “open” movement, seeks to make all the endeavours of science, especially research and data, accessible to any individual in the world who is keen to seek and understand it whether they be a professional or an amateur.
The open science movement is characterised and informed by six “open” principles; peer review, methodology, access, data, source and educational resources.
Scientists, ogranisations and governments have grappled with the many questions posed by having “open science” since the 17th century.
As in any human endeavour that involves discovery of new knowledge and methodologies, there are competing claims that are at constant loggerheads. The main one is whether the advantage to the public good outweighs competing proprietary business interest.
In many areas of scientific study; physics, archeology, paleontology, chemistry, medicine there is a long standing tradition of publishing new discoveries in the appropriate scientific journal that covers the field in question. However, even the world's most prominent scientists have been guarded in the information that they have released at different times.
The “open science” movement is in favour of greater knowledge collaboration and an easing of restrictions on usage and further discovery. It seeks to overturn punitive financial and legal barriers where it is appropriate.
On a practical level many open science initiatives are started and funded by governments and large tertiary institutions. This contrasts with science research that is performed by corporate entities that are looking for commercial gains and market leverage. The best regime would foster bother equally.
However in the US the passing of the Research Works Act in 2011 has drawn a veil over the reporting of open science inititiatives where there is collaboration with private sector research. This has drawn protests from within the research community.
While there are many pro arguments put forward from the open science community as well contrary views from those who favour closed science there is one argument that is compelling, open science peer review. The ability to harness full-scale collaboration from eminent research minds is an approach that will bring new insight and new fields of research that is ultimately for the world's benefit.