Sep 30, 2022

How an Open, Collaborative Approach Will Bolster Listening and Learning in a Polarized World

Incentivizing Collaborative Open Research (ICOR) partners with Templeton World Charity Foundation to flip a funding initiative to open research

By Sarah Greene and Kristen Ratan

Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF) has awarded $100,000 to ICOR / Stratos and RapidScience to support the launch and analysis of its open research program. With an “Open by Design” approach, ICOR will help TWCF’s Listening and Learning in a Polarized World (LLPW) program launch as an open science initiative. In addition to aiding with development of methodologies, assets, and incentives for collaborative, open research, ICOR will evaluate and document best practices based on outcomes.

ICOR’s “Open by Design” concept, first introduced here, infuses open practices into research projects from their inception — including grantee training, logging all outputs, facilitating collaboration, sharing early data and findings, and overseeing ongoing review and revisions. By recommending the necessary infrastructure and tracking these activities, credit can be attributed to all contributors  —  for both their work and their open behaviors — at every stage of the research cycle. This is a necessary step in changing an incentive system mostly based on publication as currently practiced by funding bodies and institutions. 

Listening and Learning in a Polarized World is an ambitious project that will involve multiple teams in highly diverse disciplines. It aims to investigate the significance of polarizing information and the value of studying it in the context of human flourishing, as well as to unite scholars and practitioners in addressing knowledge gaps about how to deal with this type of information. It is a direct output of TWCF's five-year strategy to support new scientific research on bold, high-risk, interdisciplinary projects. Discoveries will be rigorously tested and replicated before launching practical interventions and tools for wide dissemination.

TWCF recognizes that an open collaborative approach involving global, interdisciplinary teams will achieve more reproducible and innovative outcomes. “We are aiming for breakthrough research in polarization from LLPW. ICOR’s experience in creating environments that maximize collaboration and the open sharing of research will be crucial to our success,” says Principal Advisor for Programs in Discovery Science at Templeton World Charity Foundation, Eric Marshall.

ICOR’s mission is to enable and incentivize an open and collaborative research culture — a goal that's also part of TWCF’s strategy — by connecting and implementing projects that seek to change the status quo of competition throughout the research cycle. ICOR is building a body of evidence and case studies on the impact of projects that facilitate collaborative open research, and demonstrating how these practices, tools, metrics, and incentives address the larger objective of finding innovative solutions to complex, real-world problems.

The ICOR community looks forward to working with TWCF to implement, refine and record best practices and provide a blueprint that other funders and institutions can use to advance transparency and reuse of research worldwide.

Sarah Greene, Founder and CEO of Rapid Science, and Kristen Ratan, Founder of Strategies For Open Science (Stratos), are directing co-founders of Incentivizing Collaborative Open Research (ICOR), a strategic initiative dedicated to formulating and implementing practical ideas that will engender a research culture grounded in openness and trust.