Open science has evolved because of a need to support large-scale collaboration, and make science more reproducible. It evolved to its current form through the activities of scientists involved in two major global projects – the Large Hardon Collider at CERN, and the Human Genome Project. From these, the Open Science movement has grown to include scientists, coders, engineers, lawyers and ethicists, and many others. Below is a list of some key components of Open Science right now.
It wasn’t so long ago that research data would be used once, put in a box, and lost in a closet somewhere. We are quickly moving away from this idea of “single use data” because it has become clear that it is quite possibly the single most important element of any research project. Open data comes in many flavours, from huge projects with hundreds of researchers working together (pioneered in Astronomy and Physics) to individual researchers sharing their data in repositories.
An open standard is a standard that is publicly available to support innovation and reproducibility, that has various rights to use associated with it, and may also have various properties of how it was designed (e.g. open process).
FORCE 11: Future of Research Scholarship and E-Scholarship
A community of scholars, librarians, archivists, publishers and research funders that has arisen organically to help facilitate the change toward improved knowledge creation and sharing.
A LOT of important information for a project can be found in the notebooks researchers use everyday. Sharing this information can be vital, and can look all sorts of different ways.
Sometimes it is just like a blog post, like the Open Lab Notebooks from the Structural Genomics Consortium: https://openlabnotebooks.org/
It can also be an electronic notebook using established software (open source, of course) like the eLabFTW: https://www.elabftw.net/
For the more computationally intense types of research, Jupyter Notebooks let you embed fully executable code: https://jupyter.org/
Computers and software has changed how we do science forever. From data acquisition to analysis to figure creation, code makes it all possible. When we share that code openly (as “open source software” it means that others can replicate and reproduce work, as well as modify it for their own purposes.
For a general overview of open source software in science, check out the Open Science MOOC module: https://opensciencemooc.eu/modules/open-research-software-and-open-source/
There are even journals dedicated to publishing solely about Open Source Software: https://openresearchsoftware.metajnl.com/
With the rise of design software, the internet, and 3d printing it is even possible to share designs for the equipment used in an experiment. This kind of sharing is not only reducing the cost of research hardware, it is also enabling research in under resourced countries.
For more information about open hardware, the Wikipedia article is pretty comprehensive: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_hardware
To read about how it is enabling global research, you can read up on what TReND in Africa is up to: https://trendinafrica.org/OpenHardware
Open Access Publishing
Open Access Publishing was where the modern open science movement really got off the ground. It became obvious that with the rise of computers and the internet scholarly journals, which were once absolutely key to spreading scientific information, were starting to get I the way. This area is constantly evolving, but some super important elements are Preprints, Open Access Journals, and Self-Archiving.
For more on preprints, the Wiki article has lots of great info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preprint
And the Wiki article for Open Access Publishing is also pretty great: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_access
Preregistration and Registered Reports
Preregistration is a way of ensuring transparency of the research process from the beginning. When a research study is “preregistered” it means that the researcher has publicly posted the study design, including how data will be collected and analyzed, before beginning their work. Preregistration helps to limit bias and data manipulation.
For more information about Preregistration, have a look at this: https://www.cos.io/initiatives/prereg
Registered Reports are what happens when preregistration meets publishing and peer review. Unlike traditional publishing, where an author submits a paper and peer review happens after a project is finished, with Registered Reports peer reviewers first look at the study design. They can then suggest changes and provide insights to improve the study. The journal then agrees in principle to publish the manuscript after a final round of peer review to make sure the study design was followed. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that Registered Reports helps combat the bias against publishing negative results and improving incentives for authors.
For more information about Registered Reports, check this out: https://www.cos.io/initiatives/registered-reports
Additional sites and Resources
There are all kinds of places you can go to find out about how the Open Science Community works, and how to get involved in our movement. Here are links to several I have been involved in – and others I spend a lot of time interacting with! https://opensource.com/resources/open-science
Center for Open science, Virginia: From individuals to institutions, they educate, train, and support research communities and their affiliates toward greater adoption of open and reproducible practices. Maintain the Open science framework
Creative Commons; Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that helps overcome legal obstacles to the sharing of knowledge and creativity to address the world’s pressing challenges. (https://creativecommons.org/)
Sage Bionetworks (https://sagebionetworks.org/)
Compilation of various open science resources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rLyZhDGebBRpqgw1bqHteNHKHNdHtXO4qY1HhhPLCoQ/edit
From the Berlin Institute of Health: https://www.bihealth.org/en/research/quest-center/mission-approaches/open-science