So, are early career researchers the harbingers of change? – Nicholas – 2019 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library

Interestingly, open science, which is something that many ECRs are still only waking up to as a concept, is the next most unchanging aspect. The large gap between positive attitudes (30%) and more practice (14%) is partly explained by the fact that it is only just obtaining traction and partly because of fears over tenure and reputation. Take Spanish ECRs, for instance, where assessment policies and reputational concerns – absolutely critical, of course, to ECRs in obtaining secure employment – conspire to prevent the ready adoption of open science in practice. That is not to say that all ECRs are completely happy with all the component parts of open science. Thus, they tend not welcome the visibility open peer review brings with it as it could have reputational consequences, as one French ECR said: ‘Open Peer Review is tricky because you engage your own reputation as a reviewer’. Open data can be a poisoned chalice as well because ECRs do not want to give away their data until they have fully exploited it, as one Spanish ECR told us: ‘Sharing data is good for verification and reproducibility, but we should wait before we do this until they have been completely exploited to avoid losing our competitive edge’. Nevertheless, a number of counties (e.g. France and Poland) are rolling out open science national plans, and funders will expect compliance down the line….

Returning to the question posed at the very beginning of the study, whether ECRs are the harbingers of change, weighting up all the evidence, the answer has to be yes, albeit a slightly qualified yes. The drivers of change are social media, open science, and collaboration propelled by ECRs’ Millennium generation beliefs. …

Indeed, there may be plenty of papers exhorting ECRs to embrace open practices (Eschert, 2015; Gould, 2015; McKiernan et al., 2016), but no research robustly showing that ECRs are in fact rushing to do this. Of course, most of these studies predate the Harbingers study, so, maybe, things have changed in the interim, which explains why the results of this study, indicating that the scholarly walls have been breached in places, and ECRs have planted one foot in the future, is at odds with the research of many of our peers. …”

Source: So, are early career researchers the harbingers of change? – Nicholas – 2019 – Learned Publishing – Wiley Online Library