[open-science] Definitions of Open Science?

Michael Nielsen mn at michaelnielsen.org
Thu Jul 28 14:24:38 UTC 2011

On Thu, 28 Jul 2011, Peter Murray-Rust wrote:

> I am at a small workshop which includes Michael Nielsen and I asked him this
> yesterday before I knew we were going to tackle this at repofringe. Michael is
> giving a series of lectures - ca 1/day over three months on the topic of Open
> Science. I'll see if he has a defintion or is interested in participating.

I have an informal definition I sometimes use: "Open science is the idea 
that scientific knowledge of all kinds should be openly shared as early as 
is practical in the discovery process."

By scientific knowledge "of all kinds" I include journal articles, data, 
code, online software tools, questions, ideas, and speculations; anything 
which can be considered knowledge.

The "as is practical" clause is included because very often there are 
other factors (legal, ethical, social, etc) that must be considered. 
This can get extremely complex, and requires, in my opinion, extended 

A nice feature of the above informal definition is that it makes it clear 
that when the journal system was developed in the 17th and 18th centuries 
it was an excellent example of open science.  The journals are perhaps the 
most open system for the dissemination of knowledge that can be 
constructed --- if you're working with 17th century technology.  But, of 
course, today we can do a lot better.

Incidentally, I'm certainly not trying to make any claim to any 
originality in my informal definition, nor insist that others use the same 
notion!  But since Peter asked, I thought I'd reply in the hope that it's 



> p.
> On Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 9:42 AM, Jo Walsh <metazool at fastmail.net> wrote:
>       Are there definitions of Open Science from which one could borrow for
>       an Open Scholarship definition writing session at Repository Fringe?
>       (next week)
>       _______________________________________________
>       open-science mailing list
>       open-science at lists.okfn.org
>       http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/open-science
> --
> Peter Murray-Rust
> Reader in Molecular Informatics
> Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
> University of Cambridge
> CB2 1EW, UK
> +44-1223-763069

More information about the open-science mailing list