Open Science – An Introduction

I attended the Science Commons Symposium a few weeks back, which gave me a chance to meet several chemists who use Open Notebook Science (ONS). This, along with the recent seminar by Jim Reichman, got me thinking about Open Science and what it might mean to researchers who are accustomed to a more traditional approach.

Let’s start off with defining Open Science, which has several aspects (and should not be confused with Open Source Science):

  • Transparency in experimental methodology, observation, and collection of data.
  • Public availability and reusability of scientific data.
  • Public accessibility and transparency of scientific communication.
  • Using web-based tools to facilitate scientific collaboration.

This list, and resources like Cameron Neylon’s Science in the Open blog are a good starting point, and there are many other resources on the web, as well as articles in the libraries’ research databases and journal subscriptions. Here’s a recent article in Science Careers: Scientists Embrace Openness

There are a wide range of options and degrees of participation available to the researcher. Whether someone is publishing in Open Access journals, or doing scientific collaboration, they are helping to facilitate open science.

One example of a broader effort under way is the Open Science Grid, which is active in a number of fields, including Physics, Biology, Chemistry, GIS, Materials Science, and nanotechnology.

I’ll follow up with more about Open Notebook Science in another post.

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