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For OA Week 2022, PLOS explores how Open Science can advance Climate Justice

This Open Access (OA) Week (October 21-24), we explore the theme “Open For Climate Justice.” The climate crisis is a topic of global significance, which Open Science is particularly well-suited to address. Read on for more on how climate researchers are leveraging Open Science or skip ahead for a look at our climate-related OA Week content.

Open Access, Open Science and climate research

Open Access (OA) makes research accessible immediately upon publication with no restrictions. Anyone with internet access can find, read, mine, cite and share OA articles at no cost to them. Choosing to publish under an OA license advances information equity by making your research more visible, useful, and more transparent. Open Science expands these benefits to content beyond formal research articles, such as data, methods, code, and earlier versions of the manuscript.

For climate research, the immediacy, reach, and demonstrable rigor that Open Science offers is particularly vital.

In climate research, every moment counts and all research matters

The climate is in crisis. The timely and thorough exchange of knowledge can help to meet that challenge by accelerating advancement, supporting high-quality work, and directing scarce research funds where they are needed most. Preregistering a study stakes a claim on a particular investigative pathway, while peer review at the study design phase refines methods for the most rigorous research possible. Posting preprints communicates results sooner and opens studies for broader, more inclusive peer review. Publishing negative, null, and confirmatory research limits unnecessary duplication, while reinforcing the validity of previous results.

Climate researchers care deeply about impact

In order to create change, climate researchers must reach not only colleagues in their own fields, but researchers in other disciplines and regions, educators, policymakers, practitioners, and the public. Open Science maximizes the impact of research through immediate, broad discoverability, access, sharing, and reuse. 

Climate researchers look for ways to practice transparency and demonstrate credibility

Although the scientific community reached a consensus on the reality of the climate change crisis more than 20 years ago, researchers in these fields continue to face doubt and criticism fueled by unscrupulous politicking. Open Science empowers researchers to facilitate reproducibility and demonstrate the rigor and validity of their own research, by sharing data, methods, code, and other artifacts from the research process. By choosing to publish Peer Review History, authors can illustrate the thoroughness of editorial assessment their work has undergone prior to publication.

Climate Science at PLOS

We’ve long recognized the importance of openness to the climate crisis. It’s why, in 2021, we opened three new community-driven journals focused on cross disciplinary research touching on the health of our planet: PLOS Sustainability and Transformation, PLOS Water, and PLOS Climate. This OA Week, explore climate research and thought leadership from PLOS:

Change is still possible. Open can help us get there. Let’s make climate research—and all research—open, not just during OA Week, but always.

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