Assessing open science and citizen science in addictions and substance use research: A scoping review

Florian Scheibein, William Donnelly, John SG Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The EU promotes ‘Open Science’ as a public good. Complementary to its implementation is Citizen Science, which redefines the relationship between the scientific community, civic society and the individual. Open Science and Citizen Science poses challenges for the substance use and addictions research community but may provide positive opportunities for future European addiction research. This paper explores both current barriers and potential facilitators for the implementation of Open Science and Citizen Science in substance use and addictions research. Methodology: A scoping review was used to examine barriers and facilitators identified in the substance use and addiction research literature for the adoption of Open Science and Citizen Science. Results: ‘Technical’ facilitators included the pre-registration of study protocols; publication of open-source datasets; open peer review and online tools. ‘Motivational’ facilitators included enhanced reputation; embracing co-creation; engaged citizenship and gamification. ‘Economic’ facilitators included the use of free tools and balanced remuneration of crowdworkers. ‘Political’ facilitators included better informed debates through the ‘triple helix’ approach and trust-generating transparency. ‘Legal’ facilitators included epidemiologically informed law enforcement; better policy surveillance and the validation of other datasets. ‘Ethical’ facilitators included the ‘democratisation of science’ and opportunities to explore new concepts of ethics in addiction research. Conclusion: Open Science and Citizen Science in substance use and addictions research may provide a range of benefits in relation to the democratisation of science; transparency; efficiency and the reliability/validity of data. However, its implementation raises a range of research integrity and ethical issues that need be considered. These include issues related to participant recruitment; privacy; confidentiality; security; cost and industry involvement. Progressive journal policies to support Open Science practices; a shift in researcher norms; the use of free tools and the greater availability of methodological and ethical standards are likely to increase adoption in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103505
Pages (from-to)103505
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Volume100
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Citizen science
  • Open data
  • Open peer review
  • Open science
  • Open source
  • Policy
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Humans
  • Data Collection
  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • Citizen Science

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