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Make or Do my Homework?

  • Thread starter Luixmy
  • Start date Nov 2, 2008
  • Nov 2, 2008

They also asked me something like this: I can´t go with you because i have to ------- my homework A)MAKE B)DO C)HAVE D)MADE With this kind of questions they make me feel saaaaaadddd Thanksss!!!!!!!  

Broccolicious

Senior member.

Hi there Don't feel sad! But I'm afraid you have to attempt an answer first, before we can help you. (And don't forget the capital 'I'!) Broc  

Oh! Of course! I forgot to put the answer I wrote! It was letter B, Do my homework. Thankss a lot!  

yourfairlady05

That's correct. You do homework. There are certain types of homework you can make, for example you can make a model for your homework, but the correct phrase is " do your homework"  

But why A) is incorrect?  

JamesM

We don't use "make" in this way in English, although many languages do. English often uses "do" where other languages use "make."  

vasko705

Luixmy said: But why A) is incorrect? Click to expand...
JamesM said: We don't use "make" in this way in English, although many languages do. English often uses "do" where other languages use "make." Click to expand...

The point I was trying to make, while still avoiding the use of other languages (this being English Only), is that this is an understandable confusion. Many languages would use words that would literally translate to "I make my homework" where we say "I do my homework." As tomy8s and Dimcl have said, "make" implies creation of something in this context. The teacher makes an exercise paper for the students by creating the exercises. The students do the exercises.  

GreenWhiteBlue

GreenWhiteBlue

In English, work of all kind is done , and not made . This includes the simple form "work", and any combined form built on it: The carpenters did their work skillfully. Students should do their schoolwork carefully. As Jane does her housework , she always listens to music on the radio. You must do your homework before you can go play.  

Tintazul

  • Sep 17, 2012

Hello, this might be quite an old thread but my question deals with this. Is it right if you say: I m ade all those difficult grammar exercises in ten minutes. It was amazing! Thanks a lot  

Bevj

Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)

No, you don't make exercises, in the same way that you don't make homework. I did the exercises... I finished/completed/solved the exercises.... but not 'made'.  

ok thanks a lot  

  • Apr 5, 2013

Then if I'm a professional who create exercises to examinations, I might say for example 'I made some exercises for the English examination'.  

wandle

No, still not 'made'. The exam compiler might say, speaking to another examiner, 'I did these exercises'. A better choice is 'composed' or 'compiled'.  

Keith Bradford

Keith Bradford

I think that Daffyduck has the right idea: the only person who makes the exercises is their creator (a teacher or an examiner). The really strange thing is not the distinction between make and do , which other languages than English seem to lack. It's the fact that we make physical objects, but not (usually) intellectual ones. Poets and dramatists don't usually talk about making a poem or a play, like they did in the 16th century. So we have three words: You create or compose an intellectual work (exercises for the English examination, novel, symphony, computer program...). You make a physical object (bookcase, garden, knitted pullover...). You make abstractions (love, noise, trouble, work for other people to do...). You do things created by others (work, crossword puzzles, tasks, translations...).  

  • Apr 6, 2013

Thank you for the replies. I guess this is very commom doubt because in many languages there's only one verb usually used for all these situations. << deleted - this is English only >>  

Keith Bradford said: the only person who makes the exercises is their creator (a teacher or an examiner). Click to expand...
You create or compose an intellectual work (exercises for the English examination, novel, symphony, computer program...). You make a physical object (bookcase, garden, knitted pullover...). You make abstractions (love, noise, trouble, work for other people to do...). You do things created by others (work, crossword puzzles, tasks, translations...). Click to expand...
  • Apr 7, 2013
wandle said: That is true (as a question of fact); but it is also true that the creator of the exercise would not usually describe that in the words 'I made that exercise'. He or she would say 'I composed it' (speaking precisely) or 'I did it' (speaking more generally). Those are good, typical examples of how those verbs are used. Nevertheless, it remains true that the verb 'to do' can be correctly used instead in all these cases by someone who is not concerned at the time to be precise in choice of terms. Click to expand...
JamesM said: I disagree. I don't think you can say "Don't do trouble" instead of "Don't make trouble", for example. I certainly wouldn't. "I made love" doesn't work well as "I did love". Click to expand...

wolfbm1

  • Apr 8, 2013
Daffyduck said: Thank you for the replies. I guess this is very commom doubt because in many languages there's only one verb usually used for all these situations. << deleted - this is English only >> Click to expand...
  • Nov 1, 2014

Hey guys, I am new here. I know this thread is old, but do people actually understand if I say I make the homework? I know its wrong but can i compare it to saying "I am creating my homework."? So it sounds wrong but everybody does know I do my homework, thats what I mean? Or wouldnt people understandit in any way? So its a bad bad mistake nobody gets or a minor mistake which can be understood?  

panjandrum

  • Nov 2, 2014
Bhausen said: Hey guys, I am new here. I know this thread is old, but do people actually understand if I say I make the homework? ... Click to expand...
  • Nov 3, 2014

So it is understandable? I mean yes it is a mistake but often mistakes will be understood? so there woudlnt be a problem in terms of sense, or at least not that much to not understand it? ANd do you actually replace verbs with make? In germany we often do this, how is it in english. Can you say I make a cake, instead of bake, I make dinner, instead of cook, etc.? And if it is wrong, is it again understandable even though people recognize the msitake?  

Bhausen said: So it is understandable? I mean yes it is a mistake but often mistakes will be understood? so there woudlnt be a problem in terms of sense, or at least not that much to not understand it? ANd do you actually replace verbs with make? In germany we often do this, how is it in english. Can you say I make a cake, instead of bake, I make dinner, instead of cook, etc.? And if it is wrong, is it again understandable even though people recognize the msitake? Click to expand...

PaulQ

Dimcl said: "Make" means to create something. You are not "creating" your homework. "Do" means to accomplish something ie: "Our guests are arriving shortly. I must do the housework!" "It's almost time for bed and you still haven't done your homework?" Click to expand...
Bhausen said: So it is understandable? ... Click to expand...

Many teachers would use "prepare" in this context to mean create, or compile, or compose. "I've prepared an exercise on ..."  

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17 Best Online Translation Jobs From Home

Looking for the best online translation jobs from home? If you are bilingual or multilingual, you can make some good money by offering translation services online.

A lot of companies and businesses are looking to expand their customer base and audience. And the best way to reach people is to communicate to them in a language they understand; this is where translating comes in. If you speak more than one language, grab this opportunity and make some modest earnings. 

We know you are looking for online translation jobs; and we will tell you where you can get the jobs. But before we get to the companies and sites that hire translators, let’s look at some essentials to get you started. 

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How can I make money as a translator?

Online Translation Jobs From Home

First things first. You need to be bilingual or multilingual to work as a translator. Learning a foreign language in school is often not enough to make you fluent enough to work as a translator.

You will have to pass fluency tests before most companies and sites hire you. If you have a good mastery of your native language as well as your second language, your services will be in high demand. 

A lot of translators have a Bachelor’s Degree in translation. Some companies hire translators with a bachelor’s degree only.  If you do not have a degree, there are a lot of online training services you can take to gain some essential skills. 

With the right language competencies and translation skills, you are good to get started. You just need a stable internet connection to start working as a freelance translator. 

How much do translators make?

Translating is among the best paying work from home jobs . However, how much you earn as a translator will depend on the company or gig at hand, your experience, and the demand for your services. 

The average pay for online translators is around $25 per hour. Some translators earn thrice this amount. Some gigs will, however, pay depending on the number of words to be translated. 

Now that we have established how lucrative online translation jobs can be, let’s look at some companies that hire online translators. 

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Companies hiring for online translation jobs from home

Read more: 70+ Online Jobs Worldwide – Work From Home Anywhere In The World

1. Translate.com

Translate.com is a platform that links translators to clients who need translation services. Their gigs revolve around translating blog posts, support tickets, medical reports, user guides, business plans and social media posts. 

Your work on this platform will be to edit machine-translated texts. 

Translate.com offers services in over 90 world languages. Yours will be to sign up, take a test and start translating. The company assigns the gigs on a first come first serve basis. 

You can cash out your payment to PayPal anytime. 

  • Their wide language coverage will most probably cover your languages of choice
  • Flexibility to work from wherever and whenever
  • Consistent flow of work
  • No more bidding for work
  • Rigorous selection process

2. Unbabel 

Unbabel is another reputable site looking to hire online translators. As a translator on Unbabel, you should expect to translate product descriptions, blog posts, newsletters, and online content.  You should also expect to review artificial intelligence translations to boost their accuracy. 

They however hire translators depending on their language needs at a time. Be sure to check out if they are hiring translators in your language of expertise from time to time. 

They pay hourly, unlike most reputable translation sites.  Expect to earn anything between $8 and $18 per hour. They pay via PayPal, and via Payoneer in countries where PayPal is not available. 

  • You can cash out anytime
  • Simple translating gigs- your work will mostly be to edit translations by machines
  • They don’t always have opportunities for all languages at a time

3. OneHourTranslation

One Hour Translation hires translators from all over the world. To get started on this site, you will have to pass an online exam. After the exam, you will need to send in your justifications to get approved. 

Once you get approved, you get to pick jobs to work on. You work and get paid whenever you want.  You can withdraw your earnings One Hour Translation MasterCard, PayPal or wire transfer. 

Pay generally starts from$12 per hour. However, what you earn will mostly depend on your language combination. 

  • Various pay methods
  • You will receive bonuses for exemplary works and ratings
  • Tough entry process

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If you translate to or from Japanese or Mandarin, you would definitely love the experience at Gengo . The demand for Japanese translators is high on this app. 

To get started, you need to sign up and pass the approval test. After getting approved, your work will be to navigate through the jobs on the dashboard and choose which ones you want to work on. 

They pay per word or per character translated. Pay rates starts from  $0.03 per word. They pay bimonthly via PayPal. Depending on the results of your test and reputation on the site, you will be rated as standard, pro or proofreader. Each levels access different jobs and have different pay. 

  • Consistent flow of work for Japanese translators
  • Select work that suits you best-no bidding
  • Hire worldwide
  • You can retest up to three times if you fail the entry test
  • They provide educational resources for the translators
  • They charge $1.50 for every payout

5. Smartling

If you are a tech-savvy, you will love your experience on Smartling . Most of their clients are software companies, so as you sign in, be prepared of lots of modern technology-related gigs. 

You will need to take a test before you get approved. 

  • A slow support team that over focuses on the wellbeing of the clients and hardly ever on the translators

Remote translation jobs

Read more: Absolutely Free Money! 13 Easy Ways To Earn Free Money Online In 2020

Speakt is another translation company that hires translators on an independent contract basis. The first step to getting started with Speakt is to sign up and fill in the necessary details. You will then have to pass an online test before you can access the dashboard. 

The best aspect of Speakt is that once you are approved, you will be able to access and pick any job you want from their dashboard. You will receive a notification on your email whenever jobs that match your profile are posted.

They pay monthly via PayPal or wire transfer. How much you earn per gig depends on your language combination. 

  • A team of professional and supportive support; queries are answered quickly
  • Simple and friendly projects
  • Timely payment
  • Tough entry test may throw you out

7. Translators Cafe

Translators café has both translating and interpretation gigs. If you are searching for both, this could be the most ideal site for you. They have gigs in a wide range of world languages. 

You will have to sign up, take a test and wait for approval. Once approved, you will be able to access the jobs board. You can then start bidding for jobs that interest you. You will, however, receive notifications inviting you to apply for jobs that match your language combination. 

To be top of the consideration list by employers, you will have to upgrade your subscription. 

  • They have  consistent flow of work in most European languages
  • Email notification whenever your job combination is posted
  • Modest pay for most language combination
  • Flexibility to work whenever and wherever
  • Putting up your profile can be exhausting and overwhelming
  • The site is quite complicated and difficult to navigate through

8. Translators Base

Translators Base is another company that hires translators to work from the comfort of their houses. They have a wide range of translation gigs covering different fields. To get started, you will need to sign up on their site and sit a test. Once you get approved, you will be able to access jobs on the dashboard. You can start bidding for jobs that spark your interest. 

  • They have consistent flow of work in wide range of languages
  • Create your own work schedule
  • Getting approved can be quite difficult

Andovar is a reliable language solutions platform that hires translators from all over the world. If you are a beginner and would love to use some support as you start off, you may love it here. There are lots of friendly support and translators that may guide you. 

Besides, they have excellent software that will help you translate. 

  • They have consistent flow of work- in fact, the work load can be overwhelming sometimes
  • Friendly yet professional work environment
  • Flexibility to set your work hours
  • More favorable for translators of Asian languages

Online translation jobs for students

Read more: 20+ Freelance Writing Jobs Online For Beginners With No Experience

Proz is one of the oldest sites in the online translation world. They remain a reputable site that hires translators in over 200 language combinations. 

To get started on the site, you will need to select your language combination. You will also select the fields in which you would love to work in. 

What you would love most about this site is that it is welcoming to semi-professional and amateur translators. It is open to mostly anyone; they are barely keen about your competencies. So, if you are a beginner, grab this opportunity

  • Welcoming to beginners
  • They have gigs in over 45 language combinations, and they are ever expanding
  • Privilege to set your work hours and work schedule
  • Outdated site that is difficult to navigate

11. World Lingo

World Lingo hires translators either as specialists, or generalists. On this site, you can only translate to your native language. Besides, the gigs you work on have to be based in your country of residence. You need a University degree and two years of experience in your area if specialty before you get approved. 

To get started, log in on their site and fill in the Freelance Application Form. 

  • Most of their gigs are long-term
  • Flexible work schedule
  • Lots of requirements and specificities may throw you out

12. Transperfect

If you are looking to work full-time, Transperfect could be the ideal site for you. They have both full-time and part-time translating gigs for freelancers. They also have interpretation gigs. 

Navigating through their site is quite easy. You can filter the jobs depending on your interests and qualification. 

You will also love that the freelancers get health benefits, unlike most freelance sites. 

  • They have a consistent flow of work
  • They offer their freelancers health benefits
  • Flexible work schedule for part-time gigs
  • Support team doesn’t respond to queries promptly

More online translation jobs

Read more: 17 Online Editing Jobs That Pay Well And Are Flexible

13. Translationservices.com

As a freelance translator on Translation Services , you should expect to work on both academic and non-academic texts. They have translation gigs in lots of languages. You will even bump into gigs from endangered languages. If you cannot find your language combination from another site, you will find it here. 

If you are an expert in legal and medial translation, you will love it here. 

You will have to be a native speaker in your target language before you get approved. 

  • Availability of gigs in most world languages
  • Friendly support team
  • Getting approved is quite hectic

14. Verbalizeit

Verbalizeit hires translators that are at least fluent in two languages. To get approved, you must pass several assessment tests. After approval, you will be able to access their jobs board and select work that suits your profile. 

 They pay $5 per hour. This is quite low, but a good way to start off. They pay on 15 th and 30 th of every month via PayPal. Sign up on their page to get started. 

  • Flexible work schedule 
  • Friendly and professional work environment
  • Work is assigned to the first responder
  • You will receive notifications whenever work that matches your profile is uploaded

15. Translators Town

If you are a beginner, be sure to try your luck on Translator’s Town. A lot of translation companies require translators to have some years of experience, which is not the case with this company. You need no experience here. As long as you have the right experience and skills, you are good to get started. 

To bid for jobs on this site, you will have to get a paid membership. They have two paid subscriptions, one costs $75 per year and the other costs $110 per year. 

What I love most about this site is that you can post jobs as a client, and bid for jobs as a translator, using the same account. 

  • They hire worldwide
  • No experience needed
  • Flexible and friendly work environment
  • You won’t access any jobs on free version

16. TextMaster

TextMaster hires translators worldwide. You will love that the entry process on this site is quite straightforward. 

 You will need to sign up and take tests before you can access work. Depending on your linguistic skills and experience, you can join this platform as a professional or as a semi-professional. 

 You will love that once the client approves your work, the payment will automatically reflect on your account. You can withdraw your earnings any time you wish. You can use PayPal or Payoneer for your withdrawal purposes. 

  • Opportunity to choose projects to work on
  • Instant payment and withdrawal of payment
  • Inconsistent flow of work

 17. Transparent Language

Transparent Language hires translators to offer both interpretation and translation services to its clients.  You must have at least 2 years’ experience in translation to get hired.  Besides, you must have a vast knowledge of translation software. 

You will need to sign up, specify the services you want to offer, and pass a test before you get approved. 

Their pay is standard, but it significantly varies depending on your language combination. 

  • Flexible work environment
  • Friendly support team who promptly respond to queries
  • Getting approved is a bit hectic

Which of these online translation jobs will you take on?

Online translation jobs are one of the most lucrative freelance gigs. If you are bilingual and multilingual, you should not be sitting on that goldmine. The sites above are out to ensure you explore your potential. 

From the list above, get two or three sites that suit your capabilities and interests, sign up, take the tests, and get started. With the above online translation jobs, you will soon watch yourself earn decent money working remotely. Besides, you will earn the fulfillment of helping companies and organizations expand their base. 

So, which of these online translation jobs will you pursue? Do you have any other work from home translation jobs to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

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3 thoughts on “17 best online translation jobs from home”.

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Hi am hamda musa living in Uganda am looking for a job

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Hello, I am a freelance translator. I have 18 years of experience. Then, I wishh once you were hire me, I would provide a suitable translation.

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I can translate into any language and ensure grammatical accuracy. I have more than five years of experience in this matter. If necessary, please send me the work first. Then if you prove the work skills, you will evaluate me financially.Thanks!

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How to Work from Home as a Translator – Its Easy!!

Work from Home as a Translator

Work from Home as a Translator: Translating is the process of converting written text from one language to another. This can be as simple as solving a word or phrase or converting a complete instruction manual from a foreign country.

Translators must possess excellent vocabulary and grammar. Translators are also well versed in any particular terminology specific to the field they are translating for. For instance, a translator specializing in medical texts must thoroughly understand biology and other aspects of medicine. specializing in medical texts must thoroughly understand biology and other parts of medicine

Table of Contents

1. How to start

As there are many translation agency jobs on the Internet, posting your profile on a website would be your first step.

2. What skills required

Reliability, punctuality, and dedication. Ability to work with others and interact with them in a friendly way. Good writing skills are required in the target language(Japanese). Attention to detail.

3. Any education certification required

As this is a kind of job that needs linguistic skills, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in translation or any related field. This can be achieved by taking classes or studying on your own before starting your career as a translator or interpreter.

4. Tools required

To successfully do the job, you need access to a computer and the Internet. Knowing how to use the Internet with the correct procedures and tools is a good idea. A word processor will be the most useful software in your work. If you want faster results, it will be better if you can also access your translation job through an online system that allows simultaneous access to many translators or interpreters at once.

5. How much can you earn

Depending on the volume of work and the excellence of your work, you can earn between 15,000 and 200,000 yen per hour. This is a lot of money for many people, so many companies ask for security to protect their private information and results. If you have good skills in several languages and translators do not want to perform multi-language translation jobs, you will have more jobs than the other translators.

6. Tips to succeed as a translator at home

a) Be sure about what you are doing . Always make sure that you are doing the job with accuracy and quality. b) Be punctual: do your best to meet the deadline. c) Be reliable: be careful that many companies ask for reliability because they don’t want to lose information or money caused by a delay in information or money. d) Be able to manage your time: this is important because you need to do other things besides translating. e) Be accurate: always ensure the information you send is correct, and do not give false information because this can be harmful. f) Good writing skills and attention to detail are required. g) Be creative: create your style, but remember that companies don’t want the same type for each document and need different styles for different papers. h) Be money-wise. i) Never wait until the last minute. It would help if you had enough time to translate a document and do other things you have in your job. j) Do not blame yourself for not being able to communicate with the company because the company will ask you how much time it takes to translate their documents. They will look for another translator if you show that you can’t meet their expectations.

FAQ – Work from Home as a Translator

How much time does translate a document.

In this case, the answer would be “it depends.” If the standard time is less than 10 hours and you always translate one document at a time, it would take you less than 3 hours. If you are requested to solve the same document several times, and your work needs more attention, it might take between 5 and 9 hours. More important translation jobs usually require more time to be translated accurately and with good quality.

Is it difficult to get work as a translator from home?

This kind of job is not difficult at all if you know what you are doing. If you do, then working from home is very good in many ways. But if you are trying to learn to translate or understand it with a friend, this can be very difficult and time-consuming because there are so many rules to solve, and you need to pay attention to all these rules.

Should I translate it into English?

Hardly it’s good to translate into other languages because the company you work for might have an office in the country where you live. In this case, they will prefer to hire somebody already settled there. So if you decide to live outside Japan, it would be better to learn your language (either English or Japanese) by yourself. If you want to work from home , it would be better to do the job in a language most companies prefer.

How much does a translation earn?

This is another question that you need to answer by yourself. Some say that translation pays less than 1,000 yen per hour and others say it can produce more than 200,000 yen per hour. It all depends on the volume of work and its kind. Knowing why a particular company is asking for information about your rate is also essential. Sometimes you need to ask for it for the sake of understanding the actual situation of your job. It would help if you were smart enough to know why they ask this and what they want.

How do you get the job as a translator? Which employers prefer it?

If you want to be a translator who works at home and no office is necessary, then you need to know when and where companies prefer hiring people. This will help you find more jobs related to your field.

Are there any tips on how to increase the rate of translation jobs?

Read reviews about companies if they have blogs or press releases. Read the comments and the messages that people send to the companies. If you are a student, talk with your homeroom teacher because they can help you get a lot of information from them.

Conclusion – Work from Home as a Translator

I would recommend translating as a hobby, no more than one hour per day, and being ready to work with several agencies. Do not forget that you will always have at least one job, but if it’s a good one, it’s worth it. Ultimately, the most important thing is to like what you do.

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  • CAREER FEATURE
  • 22 January 2024

The open-science movement for sharing laboratory materials gains momentum

Andy Tay is a freelance writer in Singapore.

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

You have full access to this article via your institution.

A lab technician wearing a face mask chooses bacterial colonies from an agar plate

More practitioners are needed to support the open-science movement to disseminate materials such as bacterial DNA plasmids. Credit: Daniela Beckmann/Science Photo Library

Lenny Teytelman can still recall his days as a PhD student 20 years ago when he accessed public databases for his studies in yeast genetics. “My research would be technically impossible had researchers not deposited their data into the National Center for Biotechnology Information,” says Teytelman, the co-founder of protocols.io, a platform for open-access protocols, based in Berkeley, California. (Protocols.io was acquired by Springer Nature, which publishes Nature , last July.)

Open science is a broad term that refers to the movement of making the entire research life cycle freely available to everyone, from citizens and students to research professionals. This includes sharing research plans, protocols, materials, data and papers through open-access platforms.

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Who should pay for open-access publishing? APC alternatives emerge

The practice of open science is on an upswing. PLOS, a non-profit publisher of open-access journals, found that the rates of data-repository use rose from 22% in 2019 to 28% in 2022 for more than 71,000 papers published in its journals during that time. The rates of preprints associated with published articles also increased, from 15% in 2019 to 24% in 2022. A 2006 study that analysed close to 1,500 published papers found evidence that open-access articles had higher numbers of citations by peers than did non-open-access articles published in the same journal after controlling for factors such as field, the number of authors and journal impact factor ( G. Eysenbach PLoS Biol . 4 , e157; 2006 ).

Although many researchers wholeheartedly embrace open-access publishing, the open sharing of laboratory materials, reagents and protocols has seen a slower adoption, mostly owing to a lack of awareness on how to properly share them and poor incentives. A paper published in September last year in Nature Communications found that the majority of more than 22,000 survey participants had favourable attitudes towards open research ( J. Ferguson et al . Nature Commun . 14 , 5401; 2023 ). Of the participants, 90% had engaged in at least one open-science practice such as sharing data and code. Compared with a decade ago, open-science practices had increased from 49% in 2010 to 87% in 2020.

However, there is a disparity between attitudes and behaviours. Across all disciplines represented in the survey — economics, political science, psychology and sociology — the percentage of researchers who had openly shared their data and code was much lower than the percentage of researchers who supported the idea of open research.

Melina Fan speaks at a podium

Melina Fan, co-founder and chief scientific officer of DNA-sharing platform Addgene, says that such organizations can smooth and speed the process of sharing lab materials. Credit: David Fox Photography

“Translating beliefs about open access into behaviours is challenging,” says Melina Fan, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Addgene, a non-profit platform for researchers to share DNA experimental materials called plasmids, in Watertown, Massachusetts. But repositories such as Addgene can play an important part in enabling resource sharing, she says. “Repositories lower the barrier to sharing and provide the infrastructure needed to change research culture.”

Open-science organizations

Tsuyoshi Nakagawa, a plant geneticist at Shimane University in Matsue, Japan, found that a gene cloning kit worked particularly well to introduce genes into plants by means of plasmids. “As I worked in a research support centre in the university, it felt natural for me to share my experience and materials with the community,” he says.

“However, after I started sharing [plasmids], I received too many requests which took time away from my work.” To save time, he started using Addgene, which facilitated the distribution of the plasmids. Since 2016, Nakagawa has deposited more than 80 plasmids on Addgene.

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How a simple idea to share lab materials led to a circular-economy movement in science

The sharing of tangible scientific resources, such as plasmids, requires a materials transfer agreement. When researchers share materials such as proteins and chemicals across institutions, the process of material transfer can take weeks or months. Open-science organizations such as Addgene help to complete all legal paperwork pertaining to material transfer behind the scenes in a few days to facilitate the sharing of scientific materials, including plasmids, antibodies and viruses.

Fan says that Addgene can enhance quality control on top of being a distributor. “When we receive plasmids from depositors, we sequence them to ensure that the sequences match what the depositors claim. This is important for reproducibility and transparency.” Fan also recommends that scientists deposit their materials in global repositories that are well established and financially self-sustaining, to better extend the reach and longevity of materials.

Nakagawa advises scientists to check with representatives from open-science organizations and experienced colleagues when there are concerns. For instance, he worked with Addgene staff to ensure that the organization could internally reproduce the plasmid materials he wanted to share. “While funders and publishers can demand researchers to share through policies, open-science institutions and communities play a pivotal role to promote a research culture that normalizes sharing practices,” says Teytelman.

David Mellor gives a presentation to policymakers

David Mellor is director of policy at the Center for Open Science in Charlottesville, Virginia. Credit: Center for Open Science

The Center for Open Science, a non-profit organization in Charlottesville, Virginia, aims to achieve exactly that by following a ‘theory of change’ philosophy. “Our strategy consists of five steps: making open-science practices possible, easy, normal, rewardable and eventually a requirement,” says David Mellor, director of policy at the centre. “The first activity in our strategy for culture change is to develop infrastructure to enable sharing, followed by an easy-to-use ‘user interface’ that makes it easier to share.”

For example, researchers can register their studies on the Open Science Framework registry, the centre’s open-sourced web platform. The centre has helped to create communities for researchers who are taking on open science, such as the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science , as a way for them to see open-science practices as typical and inherent parts of research.

The centre’s staff have also thought of ways to incentivize open science, such as gathering evidence of sharing, which researchers can add to grant proposals, and ways for journals to prioritize the peer review and acceptance of registered studies.

Winning over the sceptics

In addition to the view that sharing materials adds to the workload, sceptics also criticize open-access platforms that rely solely on the research community to self-police standards for giving credit when due in the form of citations, authorships and acknowledgements. The absence of active enforcement of such standards might discourage some researchers from sharing. The use of tracking technology can help to change the minds of those who are worried about not getting credit for their work (see ‘Five tips on how to share laboratory materials effectively’). For example, protocols.io has introduced metrics including the number of article views and citations, and it gives an option for users to vouch for the reliability of protocols.

Five tips on how to share laboratory materials effectively

1. seek out guidelines on sharing..

Check policies from funders, publishers and institutions to determine whether it is mandatory or recommended to share.

2. Decide with collaborators whether to share from the outset.

Discuss the terms of sharing as a research team. Although open science encompasses research protocols, raw data and experimental materials, they do not always need to be shared to an equal degree, for example, with domestic and international researchers.

3. Start early to minimize the administrative pain of sharing.

Sharing takes extra effort, and to reduce the time needed, use tools or implement practices that make sharing easier, as early as possible. For instance, consider introducing explanatory lines when you start coding.

4. Track who has accessed your materials.

A big motivation for researchers to keep sharing is when they see their colleagues using their research. As an incentive, open-science platforms are using technologies to provide researchers with metrics of how well received their materials are.

5. Report plans and achievements.

Some funders such as NASA and the US National Institutes of Health now require researchers to incorporate open-science data-management plans and evidence of sharing into grant proposals.

Another reason that researchers are hesitant to participate in open science is poor awareness and even negative sentiments surrounding the movement, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Magaret Sivapragasam, who used to work as a senior lecturer and process engineer at Quest International University in Ipoh, Malaysia, says that in her country, the concept of open science is still new compared with North America and Europe.

“Researchers in Malaysia have the impression that you pay to publish in open-access journals, which is associated with predatory journals. I do not want the quality of my work to be judged like that,” says Sivapragasam, who is now a master’s student in science communication at the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK. Even so, she admits that open science has benefited her work. “When I was doing research, I was always accessing open databases to know the toxicity levels of compounds and to cross-check my experimental data [with those] from other labs.”

Lamis Elkheir shares a similar experience to Sivapragasam. As a pharmaceutical chemistry lecturer at the University of Khartoum, Sudan, and a PhD student in a joint programme between the University of Tours in France and the Mycetoma Research Center in Khartoum, Elkheir says that there is limited awareness of the open-science movement in many African countries. “This leads to a scarcity of opportunities for open-science discussions with my friends and colleagues,” she says. “However, I believe that grassroots initiatives can change this.” Leveraging the training she received from the open-access publisher eLife, Elkheir helped to organize the Global Dynamics in Responsible Research virtual symposium in December 2022, which focused on equity in research, open-science efforts in LMICs and multilingualism in open science.

Magaret Sivapragasam in the laboratory

Magaret Sivapragasam says open science benefited her engineering research in Malaysia. Credit: Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS

Sivapragasam suggests that to win over sceptics in LMICs, open-science organizations should interact directly with local researchers. “Agencies can empower researchers in developing nations with training and resources to raise awareness. Open science is a global effort, and no one should be left behind,” says Elkheir.

Is there a good reason not to share?

Although sharing benefits science in general, there might be instances when it is not appropriate to share materials, such as when labs and biotechnology firms want to commercialize their technology and are concerned about proprietary rights over their data and materials.

making homework translate

Open science, done wrong, will compound inequities

“Although we increasingly talk about open science, in practice, there is a spectrum of openness that exists,” says Fan. “The terms of sharing can be legally defined to protect commercial interests while advancing open science.”

A great example is the invention of the CRISPR gene-editing tool. As soon as the papers related to the technology were published, the various research groups involved deposited the plasmids on Addgene, which saw a huge spike in demand for them. Around the globe, thousands of researchers tested the plasmids for all sorts of applications. “I would argue that open sharing in this instance produced data that demonstrated to investors that the technology worked,” adds Fan. In November last year, the world’s first CRISPR gene-editing therapy, Casgevy , was approved in the United Kingdom to treat sickle-cell disease and transfusion-dependent β-thalassaemia.

In research, academic reputations are so highly valued that researchers might be overly cautious about sharing data and methods that are not yet fully reproducible. Mellor suggests that more education around the idea that science is a work in progress could help to convince open-science holdouts. “I am optimistic that as we see more researchers engaging in open science, sharing will become a norm,” he says. “We will see the community driving the open-science movement in the future to achieve reproducible and equitable research.”

Nature 625 , 841-843 (2024)

doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-024-00172-y

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