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Tuesday April 13
Hannah Cohoon Proposal Defense: Negotiating Open Science: A Proposal to Study Technology-Led Open Science
1 to 3 p.m.
Zoom link will be sent via email

Please join us Tuesday, April 13th from 1:00-3:00pm (central time) for Johanna (Hannah) Cohoon's dissertation proposal. PDF and Word versions of the proposal are available on UT Box at:

This proposal will be presented on Zoom.  The guidelines for a remote defense are attached. In accordance with these guidelines, a link to the Zoom room will be shared one day in advance of the talk (April 12). If you would like a copy of the invitation prior to that, please contact James Howison.

Title: Negotiating Open Science: A Proposal to Study Technology-Led Open Science Advocacy

Abstract: Open science is the convergence of several interrelated trends in academia that push for accessible, inclusive, and transparent research practices and technology. Advocates of open science often present the movement as leveraging modern technology to do better research—research that embodies the values and norms open science advocates take as fundamental to good science (i.e. Mertonian norms). Funders, journals, and institutions pursue policies that necessitate the use of open science technologies, but these top-down efforts are sometimes met with resistance from researchers who perceive open science values to be at odds with their own. Some open science technologies encourage users to behave openly by design, employing nudges or persuasion tactics to promote openness.

However, the introduction of new technology often leads to conflicts between developers’ and users’ expectations for the system.

By studying technology led advocacy for open science and researchers’ responses to it, we can explore the role of values in shaping the future of science practice and we can understand how technology undermines or supports stakeholders’ agency to enact their own values. To that end, I propose the qualitative study of an open science platform designed to change users’ behavior: the Open Science Framework. The web platform’s developers seek to use the Open Science Framework as a tool to align science practice with Mertonian norms; it is therefore an ideal site to explore technology led advocacy for open science.

Drawing on structuration theory and its extensions as my theoretical framework, I position the Open Science Framework as a technology-in-practice—a dynamic and enacted technology that is shaped by its recursive interactions with stakeholders and the values they hold. Through semi-structured interviews with developers, users, and non-users of the platform as well as trace data analysis and observation, I will investigate how these various stakeholders negotiate open science practice.

Committee: James Howison (chair), Amelia Acker, Andrew Dillon, Brian Nosek (Center for Open Science & University of Virginia)