Theoretical framework for open team science / オープンチームサイエンスという考え方

By Yasuhisa Kondo

A Japanese version of this post is available

author yasuhisa kondo
Yasuhisa Kondo (biography)

What is open team science? What challenges does it deal with and how?

What is open team science?

In our experience, projects are commonly disrupted by socio-psychological boundaries, particularly at the initial phase of team building. Such boundaries are often generated by asymmetric information, knowledge, wisdom (wise use of knowledge; Bellingen et al., 2004), values, socio-economic status, and power among actors.

We have developed a theoretical framework that considers open science as an open scientific knowledge production system, which can be interlinked with transdisciplinarity as a driver of boundary spanning to develop a new research paradigm. We call this open team science.

The open team science theoretical framework

Our theoretical framework spans inter-actor boundaries by:

  1. developing the goals that actors with different interests can tackle together (transcend method)
  2. considering ethical equity with special attention paid to empowering marginalized actors
  3. developing data visualization based on the FAIR Data Principles
  4. facilitating dialogue.

The framework is summarised in the two figures below.

kondo_theoretical framework_principles citizen science
The theoretical framework of open team science interlinking principles from citizen science and community-based participatory research. Source: Kondo et al (2019).



kondo_theoretical framework_key concepts
Key concepts and approaches for boundary spanning in the open team science framework. Source: Kondo et al (2019).

Finally, we describe three key concepts for boundary spanning in our framework: “transcend,” “ethical equity” and FAIR data principles.


Transcend involves discovering and sharing the goals that actors with different interests can tackle together. The ‘transcend’ method was introduced by Johan Galtung (Transcend International 2019) and is fundamentally based on transforming conflict by peaceful means, including dialogue, negotiation, and mediation. The transcend method involves constructing new realities among the range of parties.

Where conflict exists, a mediator is required to facilitate dialogue among the parties. Once a dialogue emerges and develops, the parties in conflict can deepen their understanding of each other’s perspectives and communicate in such a way that a divergence of perceptions can take place.

In open science, where researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and civil society members aim to share data, code, and protocols, and to collaborate with each other to produce scientific knowledge applicable to real world problems, the transcend method can provide openness and a virtuous cycle toward constructing a continuous dialogue among all parties.

Ethical equity

Ethical equity requires special attention to empowering marginalized (or ‘small voice’) actors. It involves considering procedural or distributive justice for a variety of individuals with different goals and ideas, including marginalized people. For example, knowledge and information are regarded as resources that should be fairly evaluated and distributed. Attention must be paid to the process itself before directly aiming for agreement, especially ensuring that the voices of marginalized people are not masked. Organizers and/or facilitators should spare no effort to understand marginalized people involved in their decision process.

FAIR data principles

FAIR stands for: Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. These principles place importance on the ability of data to be found and used automatically by machines, as well as re-used by humans.

Next steps

Evaluating the effect of boundary spanning in open team science is an important next task. Useful assessment methods include participatory observation, semi-structured interviews, and periodic questionnaires. These can examine project outcomes, processes and the perceptual transformation of participants.

What do you think? Do this framework and the key concepts resonate with your experience? Are there other issues that you think should be considered?

To find out more:
Kondo, Y., Miyata, A., Ikeuchi, U., Nakahara, S., Nakashima, K., Ōnishi, H., Osawa, T., Ota, K., Sato, K., Ushijima, K., Vienni Baptista, B., Kumazawa, T., Hayashi, K., Murayama, Y., Okuda, N., and Nakanishi H. (2019). Interlinking open science and community-based participatory research for socio-environmental issues. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 39: 54-61. (Online) (DOI – Open Access):

Bellingen, G., Durval, C. and Mills. A. (2004). Data, information, knowledge, and wisdom. The Way of Systems website. (Online):

Transcend International: A Peace Development Environment Network website. (2019). (Online):

Biography: Yasuhisa Kondo PhD is an associate professor at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Kyoto, Japan. He is interested in the promotion of open science to address socio-environmental issues, and is coordinating a meta-research project titled “Information Asymmetry Reduction in Open Team Science for Socio-environmental Cases” at the RIHN (

オープンチームサイエンスという考え方 / Theoretical framework for open team scienceAn English version of this post is available







(4)主体間の対話をうながすこと が重要です(図1・2)。

kondo_theoretical framework_principles citizen science



kondo_theoretical framework_key concepts



「とりつくしま」とは、ここでは関心事の異なる主体が一緒に取り組める目標を見つけて共有することを指します。元々は英語でTranscendといって、平和学者のヨハン・ガルトゥング(Johan Galtung)が、対話や交渉・調停といった平和な手段・方法によって対立や紛争を解決に導くための方法として提唱した概念です。「とりつくしま」を見つけることは、異なる主体が新しい現実を共創することを意味します。










近藤康久・宮田晃碩・池内有為・中原聖乃・中島健一郎・大西秀之・大澤剛士・太田和彦・佐藤賢一・牛島 健・Bianca Vienni Baptista・熊澤輝一・林 和弘・村山泰啓・奥田 昇・中西久枝, 2019. Interlinking open science and community-based participatory research for socio-environmental issues. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 39: 54-61. (オープンアクセス)

2 thoughts on “Theoretical framework for open team science / オープンチームサイエンスという考え方”

  1. Yes, it is important to listen to and amplify ignored and quietly dissenting voices. Doing so is particularly effective when it is part of an overall approach to developing collaborative relationships between people (as your model makes clear). Personally, I think being able to interact with others creatively is key to developing effective collaborative relationships. I explore this here:

    • Many thanks for your comments and reference. Reading your blog post, I’ve realized that we are sitting on the same page. I agree with your thought that creative interaction with others is key to collaborative relationships.


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