Science 2.0 study

Updates on progress and discussions on results of Science 2.0: implications for European policies on research and innovation study

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Growth of collaboration in science. Are social sciences catching up with natural science?

There are several studies showing that the article co-authorship (which is one of the indicators of collaboration) is much more popular in natural sciences than in humanities. Nevertheless, social science sees the growth of the co-authorship but mainly in quantitative studies (Moody, 2004).

Work of Larivière et al. (2006), which comes from an analysis of Canadian scientific articles  from 1980 to 2002 period, shows that almost all articles in the NSE are jointly published, compared with two thirds in the social sciences and about 10% in the humanities.

Finally, the study of Franceschet and Costantini (2010) on an Italian sample of articles suggests that collaboration is correlated positively with number of citations. However, hyper-authored articles (e.g. in physics) receive significantly less citation which may be due – according to the authors – to the fact that they are much faster becoming obsolete when compared with theoretical articles.

Why is the collaboration in humanities so uncommon? Can we explain it by the significance of the article which is much higher in NSE than in the humanities where single-authored books prevail?
Does it have an impact on transfer of ideas, theoretical consolidation?
And finally, should we induce collaboration in science?


If Harvard cannot afford its journals subscriptions – who can?

Harvard Library recently issued a memorandum on academic journals pricing. The letter states that:

Some journals cost as much as $40,000 per year, others in the tens of thousands. Prices for online content from two providers have increased by about 145% over the past six years, which far exceeds not only the consumer price index, but also the higher education and the library price indices.

The Faculty Advisory Council who is responsible for the memorandum underlines that even if publishing is an expensive business and the number of article submission grows significantly every year, such an increase in subscription prices and the 35% profit margin or even more of some publishers cannot be justified just by that.

The Council opens up a discussion on the change of its subscription policy. Among others it suggests Harvard scholars to submit articles in the open-access journals in order to move prestige to open access. It also urges scholars who sit on an editorial board to push for open-access policies.

See full letter here.

Do you think it is a milestone in Open Science? Will it have a major impact on academic publishers? Is it now possible to move prestige to open-access?

Big Data and Scientific Method

The dramatic increase in data availability affected the very foundations of the scientific method. So far scientific research was based on the hypotesis-driven deductive method: the scientist, after having observed a phenomenon, makes some assumptions, builds a theory or a model to explain it, and then tests the theoretical framework against the data.

This might no longer be the case, as science is more and more data-driven, due to sophisticated algorithms capable of finding patterns in huge databases. In fact big data availability opened the door to data-driven inductive reasoning  based on generalizing hypothesis from examples.

What are your views?

Science 2.0 Cases and Applications

According to an initial search, most of the  Science 2.0 applications are in the realm of natural science, as you can see from our case repository in Diigo

Why is it that? Why the Science 2.0 paradigm has not yet been applied to Social Sciences at the same rate?

Give us your view!

Visual debate about pros and cons of science 2.0

We’ve created a visual discussion about the positive and negative impacts of science 2.0.

Please add your arguments!

Neelie Kroes speech on open science

You can comment it here


To make progress in science, we need to be open and share.

The British scientist Isaac Newton famously once said, along with many other luminaries over the years, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. That may seem rather modest for the man who is credited with so many lasting ideas. But indeed he was right: because he couldn’t have reached the astonishing results he did without accessing and learning from the work of others. Without the raw data, the technical innovations and the findings of people like Brahe, Copernicus, and Kepler. And of course of Galileo, once himself a member of this very Academy.

On a quest for Science 2.0 examples

At this point of our study we’re looking for cases that would show us the diffusion of the Science 2.0 and help to delimitate it. We are building a case repository on diigo using following tags: citizen science, big data, open science; applied and basic; science discipline. Later on we will choose amongst them several examples for closer study. What are for you the most meaningful examples of Science 2.0?

Does science 2.0 makes for better science?

This is one of the key questions we need to address.

Does openness at early stage actually improve the quality of the outputs? Should therefore researchers spend more time blogging and less doing research? Does it pay off in terms of quality of outputs to open up?

Maybe there are some specific contextual conditions under which it pays off. Which are these conditions? Basic research? Natural sciences? For young researchers?

Is there evidence showing this? Are there robust studies demonstrating that more open and collaborative scientists are more productive/insightful?

Science 2.0 study – kick-off


We’re starting a study on Science 2.0 implications for European policies on research and innovation.

We would like to join the discussion on the changes in science and update the community on the progress of our study.

For the next three months we plan to do a literature review, map interesting cases on Diigo, carry out case studies, interviews and finally come up with policy recommendation for the European Commission which we would like to validate with the research community.

See our About page for more information.

The Study Team

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