Trusting on the shoulders of open giants? Open science increases trust in science for the public and academics

  • Song H
  • Markowitz D
  • Taylor S
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Abstract

Researchers often focus on the benefits of adopting open science, yet questions remain whether the general public, as well as academics, value and trust studies consistent with open science compared to studies without open science. In three preregistered experiments (total N = 2,691), we find that the general public perceived open science research and researchers as more credible and trustworthy than non-open science counterparts (Studies 1 and 2). We also explored if open science practices compensated for negative perceptions of privately-funded research versus publicly-funded research (Study 2), although the evidence did not support this hypothesis. Finally, Study 3 examined how communication scholars perceive researchers and their work as a function of open science adoption, along with publication outlet (e.g., high-prestige vs. low-prestige journals). We observed open science research was perceived more favorably than non-open science research by academics. We discuss implications for the open science movement and public trust in science.

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Song, H., Markowitz, D. M., & Taylor, S. H. (2022). Trusting on the shoulders of open giants? Open science increases trust in science for the public and academics. Journal of Communication, 72(4), 497–510. https://doi.org/10.1093/joc/jqac017

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