Several factors are pushing for the implementation of open science ideas and principles in social science. First, social science tends to rely more and more on large datasets assembling hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of observations. This has raised questions about the transparency and reproducibility of data collection processes. Second, social scientists are using ever more sophisticated statistical techniques to analyze their data. As these methods necessitate both specialized knowledge and large computing infrastructure, clear communication of empirical strategies, using open-source software, becomes increasingly important. Finally, social science also had infamous cases of scientific fraud, that could have been avoided if authors had made their data and methodology public (see LaCour and Green (2014), “When contact changes minds,” Science).
For all these reasons, I have felt the necessity, as a political scientist, to engage more with notions of open access, open data, open source, and open methodology.
Following my nomination for a Fellowship “Freies Wissen,” I have decided to use this website as a platform for discussing open science ideas in sociology and political science. In the coming months, I will also present very concretely the challenges and opportunities I encounter when communicating my own work in an open science framework.