Making research easier with Open Science tools
There are many diverse tools that can support you in practicing Open Science or individual aspects of Open Science. They can be of great benefit, help you to save time and invigorate good scientific practice. Open Science tools therefore make research easier and can sometimes lift it to a new level.
The Open Science tools offered by the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics give you a first impression:
- EconStor to publish your working paper.
- EconBiz to research Open Access literature.
- Journal of Comments and Replications in Economics (JCRE) for publishing replication studies or commentaries on previously published papers.
- ZBW Journal Data Archive to search for linked datasets of several journal publications.
- da|ra – Registration agency for social science and economic data (together with GESIS) in Germany, to receive a DOI for your own research data.
Recognising suitable Open Science tools
In selecting tools for Open Science, it’s a good idea to check the selection criteria. This also includes checking to what extent the tool itself corresponds to Open Science criteria. Fundamentally it is a good idea to check which tools are already established in your own community.
You might find the following aspects helpful when selecting suitable tools:
- Costs: Is the use of the tool free-of-charge? Commercial providers in particular often offer chargeable packages with expanded functions alongside free-of-charge use. Non-profit institutions generally offer a free-of-charge tool for end users. Its operating costs are financed via the budget of an institute or via membership models, for example.
- Open Source: Is the tool open source? An open source tool offers more opportunities for further development and is often an important enabler for the dissemination and acceptance within a community. Examples are the programming languages R or Jupyter.
- Operator: Who is the operator of the tool? This can be a commercial provider or a non-profit institution, including scientific infrastructure or research institutions. This can also be used to estimate how sustainable a tool is.
- Community-driven: Does the tool lie in the hands of a scientific community? This has the advantage that the tool is thereby focussed on the needs of a community and that this has more influence on its further development. Crossref and DOAJ are examples.
- Further openness criteria: Do the data have an open licence? Are standardised formats and interfaces used? Alongside open source, there would be further aspects for an “open” tool. For example, all data on Wikidata are CC 0 and machine readable via an API, and therefore widely reusable. The content in the DOAJ has a CC BY-SA licence.
- Data protection: Am I processing personal data and does the tool fulfil the data privacy requirements (is it GDPR compliant)? If you are in doubt, contact the data protection officer in your own institution.
Directory of Open Science Tools
We have compiled a comprehensive collection of Open Science tools for you and are continually extending it. You can view this systematically according to the different fields of use. You can find the collection below (or above in the menu under “tools”).
Further lists with Open Science tools:
- Toolbox – Resources for Researchers of the Open Science Center of the LMU Munich with tools for planning research, for implementation, for data analysis and the publication of data, materials and papers.
- RRI Tools offers tools and information on responsible research and innovation, subdivided according to role profiles and fields of interest.
- Top Ten Open Science Tools (all open source) of the Open Science platform Generation R for Open Science.
- Open-Science resources and tools, subdivided into Open Science topics from the portal FOSTER.
- Open UP Hub tool collection.
Which further tools or tool collections would you recommend? Let us know!