Open Source Science

Thanks to Matt Rhodes I became aware of the recent hype around social media’s impact on science. The numerous discussions cover topics like scientific blogging, copyright issues, and open source science, often referred to altogether as Science 2.0.

As this subject is very close to my heart – I’m pursuing research via this blog, even though I don’t have a formal affiliation with any of the scientific institutions – I’d like to delve deeper into what I consider as open source science.

Definition

Open Source Science represents an approach to conduct research in a collaborative and open manner.

Characteristics

  1. Open collaboration. Scientific projects are visible to the entire scientific community and open for contributions from experts, independent of their organizational affiliation.
  2. Expertise-based mentorship. Senior researchers spend some of their time coaching and advising junior researchers in the area of their expertise, independent of their organizational affiliation.
  3. Open content publishing. Research results are published free of charge.
  4. Immediate visibility. Research results are published immediately, including work in progress.
  5. Online peer review. Research quality is maintained via online peer review.

Benefits

  1. Speed. Scientific progress will be achieved faster: the best experts will collaborate openly on the same research objectives; online scientific debate and peer-review will provide immediate feedback and quality assurance; and open and immediate content publishing will make the results immediately actionable for the industry.
  2. Quality. Similarly to open source software development process, open collaboration will ensure comparable or better quality than traditional research.
  3. Social Justice. Open Source Science will allow researchers from underdeveloped regions to participate in global research with equal rights.

Vision

Open source science will not replace current, traditional research structures. Definitely it will not be mainstream in investment-heavy research areas, such as pharmaceuticals or physics. However, it may grow to account for a high percentage of scientific deliverables in areas such as computer science, philosophy, mathematics, literature or linguistics.

As open source science starts to grow, we’re likely to observe new communities and tools that will leverage this trend. They will support collaboration on projects, peer review process, and content publishing. But open sourcing science can already start with the tools available now, such as social networks, blogs and collaboration tools.

What is your perspective on open source science? Can you already share some examples of this movement?

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1 Response to “Open Source Science”


  1. 1 this site December 14, 2014 at 10:55 pm

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