Thanks to the financial support which the Ministry of Science and Higher Education* provided in 2019 under the program “Działalność upowszechniająca naukę: działalność wydawnicza (DUN)” (Actions to Promote Science: Publishing) to increase the national and international circulation of ZIN. Issues in Information Science. Information Studies, the editorial committee is releasing two additional thematic issues devoted to the newest topics in information science. We publish them entirely in English, hoping that it will make their contents more accessible to the international audience.
The first thematic issue we deliver to the readers focuses on the open science movement, and the ways it challenges information science and information professionals’ attitude to scientific practice and to the sharing of the results of scientific research. The term ‘open science’ refers to a concept and to related organizational activities, supported by national and international programs to develop science, as well as by numerous scientific organizations, which aim to ensure that scientific research is available to a wide audience, including researchers from around the world, communities of academics interested in the results of scientific research, students, as well as amateurs passionate about science and curious about scientific research. The opening of science, or even more generally, the opening of knowledge, changes the way scientific research and scientific communication are conducted, as it increases the accessibility of scientific resources – scientific data, scientific publications, software, as well as academic teaching material and specialized online courses. Open science is founded on the idea of wide knowledge sharing, which follows the tradition of the first scientific revolution and first scientific journals. The goal of promoting wider knowledge sharing now is to guarantee the transparency of scientific research, especially government-funded research, and to increase the rate at which science develops. Put into practice, idea of open science creates opportunities for scientific collaboration; it accelerates the research of vital issues by facilitating the access to the newest research results for the benefit of the researchers from around the world; finally, it animates citizen science, allowing numerous science aficionados to realize their intellectual potential. If these changes are to take place, everyone interested in science must have a free access to scientific resources, the skills required to identify and use them properly, the ability to add the results of their own research to the existing resources, and the tools to actively share them with the scientific community. As far as information science is concerned, such phenomena have always been the central object of interest and research. The effective transfer of knowledge within the society remains the chief question for information science. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the idea of open science and the practices it promotes constitute one of the most important areas of research in information science.
This issue gathers five articles which discuss various aspects of open science in relation to information science and to information management and provision of information services in academic communities. The articles are extended, and revised versions of the research papers presented at the 5th International Scientific Conference from the series “Information Science in the Age of Change”, which took place in Warsaw on May 13–14, 2019. Our journal provided the conference with media patronage, while several members of its editorial committee presided over the conference’s Scientific Committee and Organizational Committee. Organized biannually by the Department of Information Studies at the Faculty of Journalism, Information and Book Studies (before 2015, the Department of Information Systems at the Institute of Information and Book Studies) at the University of Warsaw, together with the Polish Chapter of the International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO-PL), the conference monitors the newest directions in information science and the changes in information services. This year, the University of Warsaw Library was the third co-organizer of the conference. The leading theme of this year’s edition was “Digital Revolution – Today and Tomorrow. Infrastructures, Services, Users”. The issues for the idea of open science and for the practices it promotes remain closely related to the technological and social changes referred to as the digital revolution. Accordingly, these issues attracted the attention of the conference speakers, whom the organizers asked to give keynote addresses on the challenges of open science for information science and information management.
The articles published in this issue of ZIN. Issues in Information Science. Information Studies discuss the challenges of open science on various levels of information science and information management: they consider researchers’ attitudes towards open science and their ready to take part in its development, the implications of open science for the design of systems for the research information management, as well as the effect of legal regulations and international programs on the process of the opening of science. The first two articles develop the keynote addresses, while the following three extend the research papers given during one of the two international sessions devoted to open science and access to research data, which took place on the second day of the conference.
The first article, Challenges of Information Infrastructures for Open Science and Academic Libraries was written by Professor Jela Steinerová, a prominent researcher of information behavior and information ecology from Department of Library and Information Science at Comenius University in Bratislava. The article discusses the concepts related to the infrastructure of information science and new models of scientific communication emerging in the connection with open science, as well as the results of the research Professor Steinerová conducted together with her team to study Slovak scientists’ information behavior in the context of changes occurring in the academic community and in the contemporary scientific communication.
The author of second article is Professor Tibor Koltay from the Institute of Learning Technologies at Eszterházy Károly University, a well-known researcher of information literacy, who has recently begun to study a new current in the information activity of academic libraries i.e., the management of research data and the related trend of data literacy. In the article published in ZIN, Curation in Academic Libraries as Part of the Digital Revolution, Professor Koltay shows the importance of research data management for the information services targeting the academic community.
The new ecosystem of science, together with the information management systems serving it, is the subject of the article by Professor Katarzyna Materska from the Institute of Media Education and Journalism at Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, who has been studying information management in science for years. Her article, Research Information Management in the Context of Open Science and Open Data, discusses the adjustment of Current Research Information Systems (CRIS) to accommodate collaboration between researchers promoted by open science, and to fulfill the requirements for the evaluation of scientific research set by particular institutions and countries.
The article by Zuzanna Wiorogórska from Department of Information Studies, Faculty of Journalism, Information and Book Studies at University of Warsaw (and an academic librarian at University of Warsaw Library), Research Data: Management and Opening. Polish and European Perspectives discusses the politics of opening and managing the research data in the light of European and Polish regulations and the policies of various international repositories. The analysis of these documents provides a foundation for a further consideration of the direction of such actions and their impact on the development of contemporary science.
The issue is closed by the article of Samia Takhtoukh from Laboratoire Geriico, University of Lille, Exploring Humanities Research Data in Figsure. It is devoted to the evaluation of the humanities scholars’ practice of sharing their research data. The author presents the results of her empirical research of the resources of an online open access repository Figshare, which has also allowed her to analyze the affordances and limitations of the tools designed to deposit and store research data to be searched and browsed by other users. The research and the following analysis justify the author’s call for a structured cultivation of an awareness of the research data management importance at universities and in research organizations, requiring an institutional encouragement of collaboration between the researchers, particularly in the areas of humanities and social science, and information professionals, whose close partnership is necessary to effectively promote the sharing of the research data, whether it be with fellow researchers, or with a wider audience.
Delivering this thematic issue of ZIN – Information Studies to the readers, I hope that it will serve them well, adding to their understanding of open science and of the opportunities it creates for the researchers of information science and to the information professionals.
Warsaw, August 15, 2019
* The publication of this issue was funded by the grant “Publishing of ZIN. Issues in Information Science. Information Studies journal – increasing the national and international circulation” – an action financed under agreement 921/P-DUN/2019, supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education program “Actions to Promote Science: Publishing” (DUN)