Open washing

Definition: Open washing, termed after “greenwashing”, refers to the act of claiming openness to secure perceptions of rigor or prestige associated with open practices. It has been used to characterise the marketing strategy of software companies that have the appearance of open-source and open-licensing, while engaging in proprietary practices. Open washing is a growing concern for those adopting open science practices as their actions are undermined by misleading uses of the practices, and actions designed to facilitate progressive developments are reduced to ‘ticking the box’ without clear quality control.

Related terms: Open Access, Open Data, Open Source

References: Farrow (2017), Moretti (2020), Villum (2016), & Vlaeminck and Podkrajac (2017)

Drafted and Reviewed by: Meng Liu, Thomas Rhys Evans, Sam Guay, Sam Parsons, Charlotte R. Pennington, Beatrice Valentini

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