Project deliverable Open Access

ON-MERRIT D4.2 Drivers and barriers to uptake of Open Science resources in industry

Fessl, Angela; Maitz, Katharina

The deliverable report D4.1 - Information Seeking Behaviour and Open Science Uptake in Industry: A Literature Review (Fessl et al. 2020) served as the starting point for this deliverable report D4.2.

In T4.1 of ON-MERRIT, we conducted an extensive literature review on the current state of the art regarding information-seeking behaviour in SMEs and industries, as well as the current status of the uptake of Open Science resources in this regard. Our findings with regard to T4.1 were reported in D4.1.

Based on the insights gained from D4.1, we started our investigation of the uptake of responsible research and innovation (RRI) and Open Science in SMEs/industries by conducting an interview study in Austria. We then followed up this work with a questionnaire study across Europe. Our overall findings show that i) individuals with a university education are more familiar with the concept of Open Science than others and that ii) Open Science resources already play an important role in the companies (of our interview partners), but their uptake depends on the company characteristics, including the company’s domain, and the products and services offered.

From both studies, we identified drivers that support the uptake of Open Science resources: i) the employment of people with a university background, ii) offering incentives and support for uptake, iii) offering targeted training to increase uptake, iv) learning from trans- and interdisciplinary cooperations, and v) exploiting the wisdom of the crowd. We also identified the following barriers that hinder the uptake of Open Science resources: i) scarcity of health-related data, ii) licence restrictions for the commercial use of some data sets, iii) the reliability and validation of data, and iv) limited number of Open Access publications and expensive fees for publishing Open Access.

Taking these drivers and barriers into account, we postulate the following two policy recommendations to make scientific results (re)usable in SMEs as well as industries.

  • Make Open Science, its opportunities and benefits more visible, especially outside the university context.
  • Increase the number of Open Access publications available for all interested stakeholders, especially in domains with no strong tradition in Open Access.

Overall, we found that Open Science resources are already used by SMEs and industries. However, there is still a lot of work to do to raise awareness of the Open Science endeavours within the private sector and to increase benefits from Open Science resources to help spur growth and innovation in SMEs and industries.

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