Breaking down barriers | Research Information

“[ECRs are a community that has largely gone unheard and, fortunately, is one that Ciber has been studying and interacting with for three years during the Harbingers project (, which sought to determine whether ECRs are the harbingers of change when it comes to scholarly communications1. 

The project covered nearly 120 ECRs from seven countries (China, France, Malaysia, Poland, Spain, UK, US) and, as part of it, annual, deep conversations were conducted with ECRs about open science and its component parts. It is well worth listening to ECRs on open science, not just because they are going to be the future, but also because they are the community who have the most to do with the scholarly communications system, because they are the research engine room: they do most of the discovery work and undertake many of the authorship and publishing practices. 

As we shall learn, the trouble with asking ECRs about open science is that, like so many other researchers, they either do not know at all what you are talking about, or simply misunderstand what it is all about. So, you have to tell them, but that is not easy because even those charged with coming up with definitions do not speak as one….”