Thaiane Moreira de Oliveira, together with nine Latin American co-authors, in an important rejoinder to an open science (OS) manifesto penned by 37 communication scholars, mostly North American and European:
The administrative approach, in general, focuses on the homogenization of scientific practices, aligning science and platform capitalism. As a result, it increases the penetration of infrastructures and economic processes of digital platforms in scientific practices in order to meet the demands suggested by acceleration, replicability, efficiency, and visibility. These administrative values favor large companies in the scientific publishing market as “providers of solutions” to act in all research stages.
The Latin Americans fault the Northern manifesto‘s one-size-fits-all preoccupation with replicability and pre-registration—practices that claim to be universal but presume a particular epistemology. The critique cuts deep: The authors want to say that a focus on procedural OS practices not only ignores, but may even mask, the way that communication research throws up hurdles for scholars outside the Global North to access the field’s reputational center. The open science on offer, they add, risks shoveling fuel into the engine of the Big Five publishing oligopoly.
Their counter-model is the Latin American tradition of fee-free open access publishing, coupled with the region’s historical openness to alternative and critical approaches to the field.
The best way to read the piece is as a space-clearing salvo—a notice served that a term with lots of mainstream momentum, “open science,” remains up for grabs.