Abstract: This report details work to systematically scope evidence of the academic, societal and economic impacts of Open Science. It is guided by the PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) methodological framework, and was limited to works in English since 2000 found in academic databases (Web of Science, Scopus) of peer-reviewed literature. This deliverable reports findings from the first stage of this work. Future work will extend this via snowball citation searching and web search for grey literature and will be published as three pre-prints. Through systematic screening and assessment of over 30,000 initial records, we identified 479 relevant studies (311, 155 and 13 related to academic, societal and economic impact, respectively). Our findings show that evidence of impact is concentrated around Open Access (primarily academic impact) and Citizen Science (primarily societal impact), with little evidence of impact for other Open Science aspects, and hardly any evidence of economic impact. Across types of impact, we found:
Academic impact: Open Access, especially impact as measured via citations, is most heavily studied. Evidence suggests an Open Access citation advantage; exclusion of authors from less resourced regions and institutions due to APCs; and that “predatory publishing” threatens the quality of the research literature. Open/FAIR Data are associated with data reuse and a citation advantage for associated papers, but their role in fostering (computational) reproducibility seems less significant than expected. Open Code and Software produce efficiency gains in software development, and may also increase citations of associated papers. Citizen Science increases efficiency and scope of data collection, but data quality is sometimes of issue. Open peer review shows neutral to positive effects on review quality.
Societal impact: The majority of studies relevant to societal impact concern Citizen Science, across a variety of types including educational, engagement and empowerment benefits for participants and their communities, and the creation of data for use in governmental monitoring and administering of environments and natural resources. Beyond CS, evidence is more limited. Some literature demonstrates societal impacts of OA, including public engagement with scientific literature, use in policy-making, and health-related outcomes. Beyond this, our search revealed little evidence. Especially relevant is the limited evidence (at this stage in our study) regarding the policy impact of OS (a recurrent claim in OS advocacy) and the societal impact of Open/FAIR Data.
Economic impact: Evidence here was scarce, with only 13 papers identified as relevant. Evidence was most prevalent from the biomedical and health domains. Some evidence gives positive indications of the potential of OA and Open/FAIR data to power economic activity but this is still largely without rigorous quantification. The report closes by reflecting on evidence gaps, including potential causes and solutions.