ON-MERRIT (Observing and Negating Matthew Effects in Responsible Research and Innovation Transition) is funded by the EC to investigate how and if open and responsible research practices could worsen existing inequalities. Open Science (OS) needs resources and traditionally, advantaged people usually have more of them. How can we avoid the dynamic of the Matthew effect in science?
ON-MERRIT aims at contributing to an equitable scientific system that rewards researchers based on merit. It investigates the impact of open science practices in academia, industry, and policy, focusing in particular on institutions and individuals working in the areas of agriculture, climate and health.
The lightning talk will present the results of two of the research strands the project worked on.
The first is the extent of barriers to accessing scientific literature, i.e. being located at an institution with limited access to non-OA literature and the consequent impact on the citation behaviour of scholars; the development of cross-institutional scientific collaborations; potential academic progression; if and how academic performance is associated with the application of RRI and OS principles; who benefits and to what extent from the application of RRI and OS principles along with criteria of geographical location, gender, institutional standing, and so on.
The second relates to information-seeking behaviours amongst policy-makers. By using survey and interview instruments, ON-MERRIT engaged with information services of policy-makers across all EU Member States to ascertain the levels of access to (open and closed) scientific resources and information-seeking strategies of key actors. In-depth interviews of selected survey respondents followed to shed more light on the role of closed and open access scientific outputs as a knowledge basis of policymaking, as well as to understand the attitudes towards and experiences of policymaking via open science practices across political actors engaging the departments responsible for agriculture, climate, and health.