[open-science] "open science" definition?

Tom Roche Tom_Roche at pobox.com
Sun Oct 12 23:38:26 UTC 2014

Tom Roche Thu, 09 Oct 2014 14:00:45 -0400 [1]
>> Every day, scientists (and the better sorts of philosophers) exclude "factors which are really difficult to define," refuse to "allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good," and model what can be modeled. As relevant factors become definable, we include them

Jenny Molloy Sun, 12 Oct 2014 19:57:06 +0100 [2]
> If we exclude all of the aspects of open science that are particularly difficult to strictly define (i.e. basically all the social aspects)

s/exclude/defer/. Toward this definition (as with so much else in life and code :-) composition, layering, and versioning are our friends.

> my feeling is that ensuring that the knowledge and tools created through your research are available as per the Budapest Open Access Initiative (or Berlin Declaration), Open Knowledge Definition, Free Software Definition plus similar implementations for hardware and more specialised tools like seeds, cell lines, reagents, other materials (not all of which exist but most are being worked on) just about covers open scientific knowledge from a legal/technical perspective.

That sounds about right, though I would need to read up on {Budapest Open Access Initiative, Berlin Declaration}. Again, I suspect we can *quickly* get 95% of a useful Open-Science Definition 1.0 just by composing definitions of the main parts: open input data/assimilation (e.g., the Open Definition[3]), open processing (e.g. (computationally), open-source code in public repositories), open output data/analysis (e.g., open-access publishing--the OD seems applicable here as well). I have a much weaker grasp of open-processing standards in non-computational science, so defer to the "wet-benchers" in that domain, but assume the reproducibility folks have standards regarding non-computational protocols.

For a verbal manifesto, ...

> Research Information Network: “science carried out and communicated in a manner which allows others to contribute, collaborate and add to the research effort, with all kinds of data, results and protocols made freely available at different stages of the research process."

... I like the RIN definition, except that

- "collaborate, collaborate and add" seems redundant
+ there is no mention of replication/reproducibility, which I (et al) find important

so I would prefer something like "Open science is performed and communicated so as to allow others to contribute, collaborate, and reproduce research, with all kinds of data, processes, and results made freely available at each relevant stage."

YMMV, Tom Roche <Tom_Roche at pobox.com>

[1] https://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/open-science/20141009/003542.html
[2] https://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/open-science/20141012/003550.html
[3] http://opendefinition.org/od/

More information about the open-science mailing list