[open-science] Making science more accountable and efficient

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Sun Feb 13 09:43:22 UTC 2011

On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 7:56 PM, Sören Auer
<auer at informatik.uni-leipzig.de>wrote:

> Hi all,
> I just subscribed to the list, so please forgive me if you discussed a
> similar topic already earlier.
> I'm regularly doing reviews for journals and conferences in computer
> science and I notice, that still many papers describe approaches and/or
> systems, but the underlying software and data is not (publicly) available.
> From my point of view this substantially hinders reproducability,
> reusability, and peer-reviewing of scientific results and thus efficiency
> and accountability of science in general.

I think we woudl all agree this. For example Cameron Neylon is heading up a
new Open Access journal:

> I know there are the Panton Principles, but I think (although its good to
> have them) they are too strict to be applied in the general case for the
> following reasons:
> They are many people trying to develop approaches to "Open Science" where
the whole experiment (hypothesis, design, methodology, materials, data,
programs, artefacts, etc.) is available.

The reason for Panton was that the role of data was poorly formalised and we
felt that the process for making it Open could be formalised and
evangelised. In a sense this is already true for software - if it's Open
Source then it's available and the challenge is to persuade mor people to
make software Open Source - evangelism/advocacy rather than mechanics.

Processes are much more difficult to describe but I suspect that we shall
start to see efforts to define Open Scientific processes including
intrumentation, data capture, methodology and materials.


Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge
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