Open science practices and recommendations

The open science movement aims to make research and data accessible, transparent, and reproducible. However, to monitor progress and identify areas for improvement, we need a set of well-defined and operationalized open science practices. A recent paper titled "Community consensus on core open science practices to monitor in biomedicine" aimed to achieve consensus on a set of open science practices to monitor at biomedical research institutions.

The study was conducted using a modified three-round Delphi method and involved participants from different backgrounds, including research administrators, researchers, specialists in dedicated open science roles, and librarians. Participants completed an online survey in the first two rounds to evaluate potential open science practices. The third round involved virtual meetings where participants discussed and voted on items that had not reached a consensus.

The study's participants reached a consensus on 19 open science practices, including using preprints, open data and code sharing, transparent reporting, and adopting the FAIR data principles. The identified practices will form the foundation for institutional dashboards and may also be useful in developing policies, educational programs, and interventions to promote open science practices.

We have also published two related papers in dental research. "Research transparency in dental research: A programmatic analysis" assessed adherence to transparency practices such as data sharing, code sharing, conflict of interest disclosure, funding disclosure, and protocol registration in articles published in dental journals. Our study found that data sharing and code sharing remain rare while adherence to transparency practices has improved over time. So, coordinated efforts involving all stakeholders are needed to change current transparency practices in dental research.

The second paper, "Dental Research Data Availability and Quality According to the FAIR Principles," evaluated the availability of open data in dental research and assessed compliance with the FAIR principles of shared dental research data. Our study found that only 1.5% of investigated articles shared data, and the quality of shared data according to the FAIR metrics was suboptimal. These results emphasize that the lack of data sharing and poor data quality can undermine the reproducibility of dental research and hinder the application of machine learning algorithms.

Together, these papers highlight the need for increased transparency and open science practices in biomedical and dental research. Adherence to transparency practices and the sharing of research data can lead to more reliable and impactful research, benefiting both the scientific community and the broader public.

Two summary tables of the result from the PLOS publication are: 

Traditional open science practices

1Reporting trial registration statusTrack compliance and reduce selective outcome reporting
2Reporting open data statementTrack culture around data sharing and potential changes in tracking
3Reporting proportion of open access articlesTrack open access publication trends and timing
4Reporting open code sharing statementTrack culture around code sharing and compliance with best practices
5Reporting systematic review registration statusReduce unnecessary duplication in reviews
6Reporting trial result reporting in registryTrack compliance with reporting results within 1 year of study completion
7Reporting materials sharing statementTrack culture around materials sharing and inform infrastructure needs
8Reporting use of reporting guidelinesTrack compliance with essential information checklists to improve publication quality
9Reporting data citationsMonitor data reuse and study impact
10Reporting trial results in manuscript-style publicationTrack publication of registered trials and their impact
11Reporting number of preprintsTrack frequency of preprints produced at the institution
12Reporting systematic review results in manuscript-style publicationTrack publication of registered systematic reviews and their impact

Broader transparency practices

1Reporting author contributions statementClarify diverse contributions and recognize individual skills
2Reporting conflicts of interest statementEnsure transparency and clarify potential conflicts
3Reporting use of persistent identifiersFoster collation and linkage of research outputs
4Reporting ORCID identifiersTrack researcher-level outputs and inform iterations of open science dashboard
5Reporting clear license for data/code/materials sharingEnsure transparency and accessibility of research outputs
6Reporting funding statementsEnsure transparency and provide linkage between funding and research outputs
7Reporting open data/code/materials licenseTrack proportion of open licenses for research outputs