Attitudes and practices of open data, preprinting, and peer-review—A cross sectional study on Croatian scientists

Baždari? K, Vrki? I, Arh E, Mavrinac M, Gligora Markovi? M, Bili?-Zulle L, et al. (2021) Attitudes and practices of open data, preprinting, and peer-review—A cross sectional study on Croatian scientists. PLoS ONE 16(6): e0244529. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0244529

Abstract: Attitudes towards open peer review, open data and use of preprints influence scientists’ engagement with those practices. Yet there is a lack of validated questionnaires that measure these attitudes. The goal of our study was to construct and validate such a questionnaire and use it to assess attitudes of Croatian scientists. We first developed a 21-item questionnaire called Attitudes towards Open data sharing, preprinting, and peer-review (ATOPP), which had a reliable four-factor structure, and measured attitudes towards open data, preprint servers, open peer-review and open peer-review in small scientific communities. We then used the ATOPP to explore attitudes of Croatian scientists (n = 541) towards these topics, and to assess the association of their attitudes with their open science practices and demographic information. Overall, Croatian scientists’ attitudes towards these topics were generally neutral, with a median (Md) score of 3.3 out of max 5 on the scale score. We also found no gender (P = 0.995) or field differences (P = 0.523) in their attitudes. However, attitudes of scientist who previously engaged in open peer-review or preprinting were higher than of scientists that did not (Md 3.5 vs. 3.3, P<0.001, and Md 3.6 vs 3.3, P<0.001, respectively). Further research is needed to determine optimal ways of increasing scientists’ attitudes and their open science practices.