The Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet) goal is to nurture an interactive community of Open Science practitioners and leaders in the Global South to learn together and contribute towards a pool of open knowledge on how networked collaboration could address local and global development challenges. The network is composed of twelve researcher-practitioner teams, and Natural Justice’s Dr. Cath Traynor manages the project team focused on South Africa and the ‘Empowering Indigenous Peoples and Knowledge Systems related to Climate Change and Intellectual Property Rights’ Project. Dr. Traynor and project partner Dr. Laura Foster (Indiana University) participated in the OCSDNet 2017 Workshop, in Limassol, Cyprus 2-5 June, 2017.
During the workshop the network launched the ‘Open and Collaborative Science Manifesto’, this was developed through a participatory consultative process with the network members from 26 countries to understand what are the values at the core of open science in development. Discussions revealed that there is not one way to do open science, but that it requires constant negotiation, reflection and the process will differ according to context. The network identified seven values and principles at the core of our vision for a more inclusive open science in development. These principles include, amongst others:
- Recognizing cognitive justice and the need for diverse understandings of knowledge making to co-exist in science production;
- That open science practices situated openness by addressing the ways in which context, power and inequality condition scientific research;
- Every individual’s right to research and enables different forms of participation at all stages of the research process;
- Equitable collaboration between scientists and social actors and cultivates co-creation and social innovation in society; and that,
- Open and collaborative science strives to use knowledge as a pathway to sustainable development, equipping every individual to improve well-being of our society and planet.
Workshop participants also joined a series of panel discussions around four themes and chapters in the forthcoming ‘Situating and Contextualising Openness’ book which the network team is currently producing and finalizing. Each project within the network has produced an evidence-based chapter for the book, in which they explore the different issues around open and collaborative science. The official project time frame of OCSDNet is drawing to a close, and thus the issue of ‘field building’ was discussed with the aim to understand what a situated understanding of OCS tells us about the conditions necessary to build a common field and its potential development outcomes and impacts. Issues included who can do science? Who can produce science and write about science? The current power structure of global scientific production and dissemination is hierarchical and market-driven – can open science challenge this and create the potentials for new spaces of collaboration and co-creation of science? The workshop closed with participants thinking to the future regards policy implications and future research questions. The Storify from the conference is available here if you missed the tweets from the workshop.