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ESRA 2023 Glance Program

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Open Science & Open Data: Challenges and Innovations

Session Organisers Professor Jochen Mayerl (Chemnitz University of Technology)
Mr Manuel Holz (University of Technology, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, Institute for Sociology)
Dr Henrik Andersen (Chemnitz University of Technology, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, Institute for Sociology)
TimeFriday 21 July, 11:00 - 12:30
Room Aula Magna

This session addresses challenges and potentialities of open science and open data.

Keywords: open sciences, open data, pre-registration, infrastructure


Overcoming the Futility of Scientific Dispute? Introducing Pre-registered Adversarial Collaborations

Professor Alexander Wuttke (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich) - Presenting Author

Many agree that scientists should act like disinterested detectives for the truth who should adjust their beliefs upon every new piece of evidence. In practice, scientists, like other human beings, engage in motivated reasoning and protect once-formed beliefs. These tendencies become apparent in the standard routines of scholarly debate which follow vein patterns of reply and counter-reply, where no party concedes any ground and where no progress is made beyond the agreement to disagree. A different approach is possible. Pre-registered adversarial collaborations, originally advanced by Daniel Kahneman, have gotten traction as of late. Here, scholars with diverging viewpoints come together to jointly devise a research design that all parties consider informative with respect to the contested issue. On the example of an ongoing adversarial collaboration on ‘Freedom of Speech on University Campuses’, this talk will discuss the value and difficulties of this new approach to scholarly controversy and discuss guidelines to facilitate accumulative learning and productive teamwork among the adversarial parties.

Future-proofing European RIs for the social sciences

Dr Angelica Maria Maineri (Erasmus University Rotterdam) - Presenting Author
Dr Kasia Karpinska (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Dr Tom Emery (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Mr Lucas van der Meer (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

European Social Survey Research Infrastructures (RIs) constitute an invaluable resource for advancing knowledge and supporting policymaking. Yet, new demands arise from the research community that cannot be fully met in the current landscape. The social sciences are evolving towards the use of computationally-intensive models running on interlinked data sources, whereby survey data is linked to other types of data. Currently, this is only possible in some countries, limiting the opportunities for comparative research. The European Social Surveys RIs are in a unique position to commonly address the challenges and drive innovations across the continent. Building on the experience of national RIs, in particular the Dutch consortium ODISSEI, and various other projects, we identified four critical areas where innovation is needed.
- Data: Innovation is needed to ensure a flexible yet secure linkage of survey data with other types of data, including administrative, biometric and digital trace data. For instance, properly designed online survey platforms enable the modular integration of software to securely capture digital traces.
- FAIR: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable resources for social data are needed to build a functional and sustainable infrastructure. To enable the aforementioned data linkages, for instance, surveys would benefit from increased semantic interoperability via controlled vocabularies.
- Compute: the computational turn drives a higher demand for secure high-performance computer environments, e.g. to enable secure data linkages. Work done in different countries on secure Virtual Research Environments, for instance, could be extended to cross-national use cases.
- Expertise: the ever-increasing complexity of data and tools requires computational and legal skills that often lack in social science curricula, and raises new ethical questions. Expertise should hence be made available, to address common challenges soundly and sustainably.
We aim at presenting use cases around these four areas to engage in discussion with the European RIs.

Open data: new opportunities and ethical challenges

Professor Sonia Stefanizzi (University of Milano-Bicocca) - Presenting Author

Open data has had a significant impact on society, creating new opportunities for public participation and improving the transparency and accountability of public and private institutions. Open data can enable citizens to access information more easily and conveniently, thus promoting public participation and civic engagement. However, there are also some challenges and concerns about the social impact of open data, such as the possibility of privacy violations and the necessity of guaranteeing equal access to data.
This presentation aims to initiate reflection on the ethical challenges associated with open data and how these challenges can be addressed through the adoption of ethical standards and practices, such as protecting privacy, promoting equal access, ensuring data quality, and empowering stakeholders.