Researcher Transparency Audit

Very interesting initiative from former IGDORE researcher Etienne LeBel and his Curate Science:

Perhaps something for IGDORE? Etienne reached out the other day and suggested that we might be interested in doing this. Ping @global_board and @IGDORE_everyone.


It seems at least IGDORE Global Board Member @pcmasuzzo disagrees a bit…

Others are slightly optimistic:

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I’m disappointed to learn this, it’s indeed very disturbing:

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Will post here my comment on the Slack:

Just studied the reaction on the original tweet and what I have to say. People that mostly agreed with the initiative and welcomed it were coming from Global South. Mostly people from well developed countries somehow did not like it (somehow I mean using words “fuck”, “bullshit” and others). The main argument - these leaderboard and ratings are unfair for scientists from countries where science is less funded because you need to pay for Open Access publishing in prestigious journals which do not actually practice any inclusion/diversity and do care about money :grinning: I think scientists from less developed countries should decide by themselves what kind of metrics they like because Open Science is about inclusivity. I guess none from people that openly and very aggressively reacted on this initiative have no idea what is corruption and how it is hurting countries from Global South, and why transparency is actually the only way of making local academia a democratic space. Want to be inclusive? Start checking what is going on in Latin America, Africa, Asia, post-Soviets…


which slack? when opportune, would reply… :slight_smile:

Sorry, did not precise, I wrote it on the OSMOOC Slack :slight_smile:

Thanks stef. :slight_smile:

Haven’t listened to it yet but I’m surprised to see that they didn’t invite Etienne for this episode, wonder why.

The funny thing that they did not even mention Etienne’s name. They said « Curate Science’s scientist » (the original transparency audit was hosted on Etienne’s personal website). UPD I listened again the podcast, “scientist” was not mentioned apparently, apologies. But I still find strange not to mention Etienne’s name as the TA was hosted on his personal website. And the overall podcast certainly lacks of constructive critics.

James Heathers:

If you release something and everyone tells you it is shit, it’s shit by definition.

If you are trying to do the community initiative and the community doesn’t like it, it is not a good initiative.

No comment.

To recall James Heathers’ radical initiative « the 450 movement » and the reaction it got. People were less rude compared to Etienne’s but still it got criticized.

And now I have questions (mostly rhetorical) to podcast authors:

I did not understand the further discussion about preprints and other questions which were risen during the podcast. Why do not ask Etienne to answer to them? I wonder, why both authors working/ed in academia and in research (and certainly promoting open science) did not transfer their science skills to the content production? It seems that James was not prepared for this podcast, during one hour they were trying to guess what Etienne meant and commenting on how to make « inclusive » initiatives. Inclusion here, as you see, doesn’t mean the acceptance of other people’s opinions and ideas.

Anyways, Open Science TV will be happy to generate an exclusive content :blush: we will invite Etienne for an interview soon. I think he has something to say about his project.


I also noticed that. I thought it must have been me not hearing when they said his name, but apparently not. :confused: I wonder why. Hope it’s not because they wanted to be rude.

Yes, this is exactly what I too thought of during the episode. And what I missed from the episode: constructive criticism. For example, I find it to be completely relevant and useful criticism that preprints are overlooked in the audits. I would also add that audits might be less useful for individuals than for institutions; the latter could potentially incentivise institutions to better inform, educate and incentivise their researchers while the former could add pressure and blame on individuals.

The Everything Hertz episode really surprised me with its lack of constructive discussion of the initiative. The episode seemed to be an attempt to collect points from listeners rather than adding anything meaningful to the debate. I had expected more from James and Dan.

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Schnall is mischaracterizing the audit process. We will soon be publicly releasing the full email exchange with Schnall, which unambiguously shows that she voluntarily took the opportunity to post minimal datasets for her papers, making her research more open.

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Currently working on a video response to this Everything Hertz podcast coverage of our transparency audit initiative, to address concerns raised and clarify numerous misconceptions.


Response video to the Everything Hertz podcast discussion about our T audits: Transparency Audits for Science - Beyond Carrots - Everything Hertz Podcast Response Video - YouTube

If you have specific concerns or constructive criticisms about our T audits, please let us know, thank you.

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I was surprised to see that Google Scholar has recently brought in something similar that publically displays the compliance of author’s papers with funder’s open access mandates (I was relieved to see that all of mine were compliant :sweat_smile:).

This is basically the Open Access part of the transparency audit (well, limited to where funder mandate apply), right? And it applies to everybody with a Scholar profile…

Does anybody know how critics of the Curate Science’s Researcher Transparency Audit viewed this? [Apologies if this has already been brought up on Twitter or the Podcasts, I haven’t been following them closely]

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thanks all for the discussions… :slight_smile:

coming from a post-and-still-academically-colonialized country (born in indonesia, now living here), i promised etienne to give my support (constructive criticism), some of which i sent by email privately…

i hope to have time soon enough to write a public criticism on it… but to note, one reason for the lack of time is my work on more pressing issues for indonesia such as ‘making it to become a welfare state as its constitution dictates’…

just one quick point then… it seems that academic practices 'trickle down from there (‘west/north’) to here (‘east/south’)… so i fully support etienne’s effort to ensure that all western/northern scientists/scholars are transparent about their work… iron out all the kinks, then we here can adopt/adapt it…

when i ask etienne does he think that transparency audit are ‘neutral’ for scientists/scholars all over the world, he answered with a rhetorical yes… if that is true, all the more to adopt/adapt it worldwide… :slight_smile:


I came across this event recently (ht to Would probably be of interest for those who’ve followed this discussion.