Geetanjali Basarkod | Institute for Positive Psychology and Education
Geetanjali is a final year PhD student at the Institute for Positive Psychology and Education, ACU. Here she outlines her experience working with the Open Science Framework to ensure her research is open access and available for all.
The aim of research is to contribute to learning and to make a positive impact on our lives. Excellent work is conducted all around the world, but unfortunately, we only hear about a small percentage of these studies. Oftentimes, studies that are published gather metaphorical dust in academic journals, only being read by those that also work in the same field.
Even then, studies that are published mostly provide evidence for the idea at hand, rather than disputing it or providing no evidence (such as null-results), biasing the available information. This lack of accessible information is made worse by the fact that most published research is behind a paywall – either the researcher or the reader has to pay. Open science helps overcome these issues by disseminating research to a broader audience regardless of what the results suggest, making the research freely available, more accessible, and the research process more transparent.
A popular open science tool is the Open Science Framework (OSF). This is a free website that helps researchers with the entire research process – from study planning and registration to making resources and results public. Not only does this help reduce the previously mentioned problems, but it also facilitates open collaborations and enables enquiry into the reproducibility of results as researchers are more aware of the available resources and datasets that they can use for their own work.
I recently used the OSF for a study where I abbreviated a questionnaire using an algorithm based on genetics. Genetic algorithms make the usually cumbersome process of questionnaire abbreviation efficient and easy, but have only recently been used in the field of Psychology.
Through OSF, I was able to make the statistical code that I used for my study freely available for others to use while also providing a step-by-step explanation about what the code does. I also included my datasets and additional results that were not included in the published paper due to length constraints.
These resources supplement the information contained in the main paper, providing the reader with a more holistic understanding of the research and encouraging them to use such methodology in their research. The OSF helped me make my research more transparent and easier to share, and I would urge researchers to use this tool for their own work.