[open-science] Definitions of Open Science?

john wilbanks wilbanks at creativecommons.org
Thu Jul 28 15:44:30 UTC 2011

We drafted these several years ago for the ESOF forum, and they've 
served us well at CC :-)


But they're principles, not a definition. Definitions in my opinion work 
well inside defined domains with clear borders (software, cultural 
works) and less well in sprawls like science. Science doesn't even 
really exist; there are instead a variety of disciplines that practice 
variations on the scientific method. The invisible colleges of those 
disciplines are often very different from one another, on top of 
institutional differences, on top of national differences, and so on. 
One definition to rule them all will be unlikely to scale.

An old friend once noted after I spent a solid half-hour monopolizing a 
dinner conversation on this topic, "dude, so your point is that science 
is complicated."


On 7/28/2011 7:30 AM, Michael Nielsen wrote:
> On Thu, 28 Jul 2011, cameron.neylon at stfc.ac.uk wrote:
>> I would say that the definitions, or at least visions that came out of
>> the meeting in Geneva are as good as any. My personal position is that
>> 'open science' is too big and diverse a church to capture with a
>> single definition without offending at least some members of the
>> broader community. Easier to articulate shared aims and to define more
>> specific practices or beliefs within that.
> I can definitely agree with that! This is part of why I'm not
> comfortable making a more formal definition of the term. I especially
> like Cameron's last sentence!
> Cheers,
> Michael
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John Wilbanks
VP for Science
Creative Commons
web: http://creativecommons.org/science
blog: http://scienceblogs.com/commonknowledge
twitter: @wilbanks

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