ELIZABETH ROWLEY-JOLIVET Open Science and the Re-purposing of Genre: An Analysis of Web-mediated Laboratory Protocols 1. Introduction The Internet, and in particular the advent of Web 2.0, has transformed the way in which many aspects of science are conducted and com- municated. By providing powerful, accessible and widely distributed computer resources, the Internet has enabled scientific and technolog- ical collaboration on a hitherto unprecedented scale: as David (2004) points out, the access to and sharing of digital research data and of in- formation tools that facilitate the storage, search, retrieval, and analysis of the data, have “stimulated the emergence of entirely new forms of distributed research collaboration and information production” (David 2004: 6). These transformations, variously referred to as cyberscience (Nentwich 2003), e-science (Jankowski 2007), or Science 2.0 (Wal- drop 2008), have generated several different kinds of collaborative initiatives. Many of these developments, though new from a techno- logical point of view, can be seen as modern, Internet-enabled embod- iments of the Mertonian (Merton 1973) ideals of science: communal- ism, or the common ownership of scientific discoveries; universalism, according to which claims to truth are evaluated in terms of universal or impersonal criteria; disinterestedness, according to which scientists are rewarded for acting in ways that outwardly appear to be selfless; and organized skepticism – all ideas are subjected to rigorous, struc- tured community scrutiny. As Waldrop (2008) comments, “for Sci- ence 2.0 advocates, the real significance of Web technologies is their potential to move researchers away from an obsessive focus on...
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