Perspectives on open science and scientific data sharing: an interdisciplinary workshop

Looking at Open Science and Open Data from a broad perspective. This is the idea behind “Scientific data sharing: an interdisciplinary workshop”, an initiative designed to foster dialogue between scholars from different scientific domains which was organized by the Istituto Italiano di Antropologia in Anagni, Italy, 2-4 September 2013.We here report summaries of the presentations and discussions at the meeting. They deal with four sets of issues: (i) setting a common framework, a general discussion of open data principles, values and opportunities; (ii) insights into scientific practices, a view of the way in which the open data movement is developing in a variety of scientific domains (biology, psychology, epidemiology and archaeology); (iii) a case study of human genomics, which was a trail-blazer in data sharing, and which encapsulates the tension that can occur between large-scale data sharing and one of the boundaries of openness, the protection of individual data; (iv) open science and the public, based on a round table discussion about the public communication of science and the societal implications of open science.

Data Issues in Open Science

Grand et al. on data issues in open science:
Open science is a practice in which the scientific process is shared completely and in real time. It offers the potential to support information flow, collaboration and dialogue among professional and non-professional participants. Using semi-structured interviews and case studies, this research investigated the relationship between open science and public engagement. This article concentrates on three particular areas of concern that emerged: first, how to effectively contextualise and narrate information to render it accessible, as opposed to simply available; second, concerns about data quantity and quality; and third, concerns about the skills required for effective contextualisation, mapping and interpretation of information

Thought provoking piece by the German FAZ on Open Science (German)

Was diese Prognosen antreibt, sind drei Vorstellungen. (1) „Das Internet“ ist eine Technologie, die aus sich heraus alle Eigenschaften des Wissens verändern wird. (2) Wissenschaft und Universität waren zuvor gefesselt und kompromittiert, so dass die Zeit reif ist, um sie neu zu fassen. (3) Mehr „Offenheit“ ist die Lösung für alle Probleme und nicht zuletzt politisch unbedingt und ausnahmslos wünschbar. Alle drei Ansichten sind weit verbreitet. Keine ist so, wie sie hier formuliert wurde, wahr. Über die erste Behauptung will ich mich hier nicht weiter äußern, das haben andere getan, die den naiven technologischen Determinismus kritisiert haben, dem anheimfällt, wer das Internet wie ein Ding behandelt, das uns ein bestimmtes Verhalten auferlegt. Was mich mehr beschäftigt ist die Politische Ökonomie der „Wissenschaft 2.0“ und die Art, wie sie jene politische Entscheidungen unsichtbar macht, die wir in Bezug auf all die genannten Fragen treffen müssen. Vielleicht fasse ich meine Frage am besten so: Wenn „Offenheit“ die Lösung sein soll, was ist dann das Problem?
Beide Seiten aber fänden es gut, wenn alle Zusatzkosten der Publikation auf die Universitäten verlagert würden, von denen sie ohnehin nicht glauben, dass sie die Zukunft der Forschung repräsentieren. So ist die einzige plausible Prognose die, dass wenn die Rolle von Universitäten und Bibliotheken weiter untergraben wird, das gesamte System der „Peer Review“ ersetzt werden wird durch eine Art marktbasierte Evaluation von Artikeln, die dann im Stile von „Gefällt mir“-Buttons der Weisheit der Menge überlassen bleibt. Insofern hat „Open Science 2.0“ nichts mit einer Demokratisierung oder anderweitigen Verbesserung von Forschung zu tun. Was damit bezweckt wird ist vielmehr, einige große Firmen an den Eingängen zur modernen Kommerzialisierung des Wissens gut zu positionieren.

Microsoft Adds Momentum to “Open Science”

Momentum continues to build behind the “open science movement,” propelling the debate over publication of scholarly works and the scientific process itself. Last week, Microsoft Research announced it was adopting a policy that allows it to retain a license for research submitted to conferences or publishers in order to post it to a freely accessible online site as well. And earlier this week, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson said it will release data from clinical trials, through an agreement with the Yale University Open Data Access Project.


It’s the Neoliberalism, Stupid: Why instrumentalist arguments for Open Access, Open Data, and Open Science are not enough.

The Open Movement has made impressive strides in the past year, but do these strides stand for reform or are they just symptomatic of the further expansion and entrenchment of neoliberalism? Eric Kansa argues that it is time for the movement to broaden its long-term strategy to tackle the needs for wider reform in the financing and organization of research and education and oppose the all-pervasive trend of universities primarily serving the needs of commerce.

LSE Impact Blog.

Sustainable Software for Science

'Let's collaborate' is the daily mantra of open science advocates. But how? The first workshop on "Sustainable Software for Science" gives some answers from the infrastructure perspective. But read for yourself:
The first workshop on "Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experience," was held at the Supercomputing Conference in Denver, CO on November 17, 2013. This meeting was organized by the Software Sustainability Institute at the University of Edinburgh and the National Science Foundation to examine how we can create sustainable software platforms that can best serve the needs of scientific research.  
Follow the link to read more about software solutions for open science.

Opening Science to Society

From the abstract:
Cloud computing put up on established trends and offers a variety of services that can profit its customers, by means of providing quick access to their data, scalability, data storage, data recovery and guard against various hackers, and usage of the network and infrastructure conveniences for motivating the outlay exposed of the deliverance of services despite the fact that growing the speediness and suppleness with which services are organized.

Birth of a New School: How Self-Publication can Improve Research

Good read by Micah Allen.  
Today’s young researchers are frequently dismayed to find their pain-staking work producing quality reviews overlooked or discouraged by journalistic editorial practices. In response, the research community has risen to the challenge of reform, giving birth to an ever expanding multitude of publishing tools: statistical methods to detect p-hacking, numerous open-source publication models, and innovative platforms for data and knowledge sharing.

Let’s be open about Open Access

Richard Poynder asks himself who is behind and comes to a surprising conclusion:
At this point I thought it might be worth checking the Whois record for In doing so I discovered that the domain is in the name of De Gruyter, the Berlin-based legacy publisher, which had acquired Versita in January 2012.

Opening up and sharing

My mantra at the time was ‘Be first, or be forgotten’ – once a few good teachers decide to share their lectures without restriction, it is only a matter of time before the internet is saturated with free knowledge for all. When this happens, and it has, the value of any one teacher’s private content is dramatically decreased, irrespective of whether it subsequently becomes shared or not. But people will remember those who were first, and indeed those pioneers have taken the opportunity to uniquely shape the way scientific teaching evolved.

Jean-Claude Bradley.

An Inclusive Approach to Open Science

Peter Kraker's suggestions openness in science.
In our view, all of these problems can be addressed by a more open approach to science. We see Open Science as making the scientific  process and all of its outcomes openly accessible to the general public. Open Science would benefit science, because it would make results more  reproducible, and quality control more transparent. Open Science would also benefit the society by including more people in the process and sparking open innovation.
Read here

Jenny Molloy on Openness in 21st Century Science

A team of researchers at the University of Oxford and University of Koblenz recently joined forces to organise an event on ‘Rigour and Openness in 21st Century Science‘ examining whether and how recent developments in open science can lead to increased reproducibility and rigour in scientific research. While the key themes of open access and data were addressed, other sessions touched on the question of how to ensure data collected and analysed by citizens is validated, the role of openness in innovation and pre-competitive commercial environments and new technical services that are being built to facilitate sharing, analysis and further application of research outputs.
See more at:

Bill Gates Backs “Open Science” Social Network ResearchGate In Push For Nobel Prize

Most social network founders want to make money. Ijad Madisch, the scientist-CEO behind ResearchGate, has a higher goal: He wants to win a Nobel Prize for the network. Five years after its founding, Madisch's plan doesn’t seem so far-fetched. ResearchGate, which has been described as “LinkedIn for scientists,” has 2.9 million users — about half of the international scientific community. Madisch has built a list of success stories in which scientists used ResearchGate to speed up their work. And as of now, he’s got a formidable supporter you may have heard of: Bill Gates. readwrite.

Reinhart, Rogoff… and Herndon: The student who caught out the profs