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The Open Science Working Group Needs You!

- December 19, 2013 in Announcements, Meetings, Members


The Open Science Working Group has had a great year, growing to over 630 members (!) on the mailing list and we now have local groups or representation in:

  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • UK (Oxford, London, Cambridge)
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • France
  • Brazil
  • US

Which is fantastic, but we’d love to expand further! If you would like to be an open science ambassador for your region/country/city/university then get in touch with

To help us keep track of all these activities and make sure we’re being as effective as possible at providing a space for discussions and collaboration around open science, it would be great to hear from anyone who would like to be more involved in managing the working group.

You also might get to hang out with Chuff and this #animalgarden friends.

You also might get to hang out with Chuff and this #animalgarden friends.

We would like to put together a group of community organisers to contribute to a variety of roles. There can be a name for this group but we haven’t settled on one yet – suggestions welcome.The time commitment will be flexible and relatively low, roles and tasks might include:

  • Organising working group meetings
  • Planning open science events at OKFest 2014
  • Documenting events and updates from the working group
  • Coordinating specific projects or documents
  • Blog Editing
  • Tech/Dev Liaison
  • Event Organisation
  • Designing publicity materials and logos etc.

Do get in touch if any of this sounds of interest even if you are only able to contribute a small amount of time – we’d love to hear from you! Tweet us on @okfnscience or email

Stockholm Open Science

- September 30, 2013 in Announcements, events, Members


There are plans afoot to revive the Stockholm Open Science group and more generally increase activities in Sweden!

If you’re keen to get involved, head on over to the Stockholm Open Science discussion group and introduce yourself.

If you’re not based in Sweden but would like to start open science activities elsewhere, get in touch via to see how we can help!

OKCon Open & Citizen Science hackday: projects

- September 14, 2013 in Announcements, events, Hackday, Members, OKCon, Tools

Join us geeking out Thursday, Sept 19, 10:00 to 17:00 CEST at #OKCon and online! Details are below. See also our announcement of this event and everyone’s votes for favourite projects.

For WikiSprint: Global overview of Open Science initiatives please join us remotely via the coordinating Etherpad (found: and working either here or on Wikipedia.

For other projects, join us in IRC: #openscience on freenode or via the web at Find us on Twitter @MaliciaRogue, @stefankasberger, @openscience, and at #openscience or #OKCon.


Proposal 1

Title: “Open Data in Research: an illusion?”

Details: Despite the dazzling development of the open access movement, open data initiatives in science and research are still trailing in involvement. Additionally, disparities in research data sharing and openness are huge across scientific communities and domains.

Last but not least, formats and licensing terms greatly vary even within specific field. This suggested activity will wrap-up current initiatives and achievements prior to formalizing the challenges ahead. The middle-term goal is to bootstrap connections converging to a true institutional change that leads to more participative, shareable and transparent science: the science of tomorrow.

Support: Open Data enthusiasts, geeks and science nerds welcome.

Comment: Remote participation welcome (IRC, pad). Hashtag: #OpenSciData

Proposal 2

Title: “An inclusive approach to open science”

Details: The discourse in open science often runs along the lines of open vs. closed approaches. In reality though, most researchers act in-between those two extremes. From successful examples such as genomics, we can see that open science is essentially a community effort (cp. Bermuda Principles). Therefore, we (the Austrian chapter of the OKFN) advocate an inclusive approach to open science.

From a community perspective, it is the commitment to openness that matters, and the willingness to promote this openness on editorial boards and program committees. It is therefore important to get as many researchers on board as possible. This approach is _not_ intended to replace existing initiatives but to make researchers aware of these initiatives and helping them with choosing their approach to open science.

The idea of this hackathon is to create a manifesto/declaration for such an inclusive approach. A draft and a first discussion can be found here:
We invite contributions from researchers in various disciplines on their experiences with advocating and implementing open science practices. This could be in the form of presentations, lightning talks, or focused discussions.

Support: We mainly need creative minds; designers, illustrators, and animators are welcome as we could produce a short video about the idea.

Comment: N/A

Proposal 3

Title: “Wikisprint: Global overview of OpenScience initiatives”

Details: A few months ago an event was organised to agregate links and knowledge about P2P initiatives.
In partnership with Michel Bauwens of the P2P Foundation and HackYourPhd I’d like to organize a similar event for OpenScience initiative. The P2P Foundation aims to promote and document peer to peer practices in a very broad sense. The collective HackYourPhd federate numerous students, researchers and citizens interested in the production and the sharing of knowledge. Being an administrator on the French Wikipedia, I will likely get support from the Wikimedia communities.

This “wikisprint” will be set up as follow:

  1. The idea will be to announce the event a few days ago and invite people on twitter and other plateform to share their initiative with us.
  2. We could for exemple use the hashtag #OpenScienceWiki
  3. During the hackathon People in Geneva but also elsewhere could help to agregate the links in a wiki, interact with people all around the world and invite them to share their initiatives.
    We can use the P2Pwiki:
    We could also map this OpenSciene initiative in a map
  4. We could also visualize all the interaction with the hashtag
    Here is an example of what people have done during the #GlobalP2P event:
  5. Once the broad mapping is done on the P2Pwiki, it could serve to enhance several Wikipedia articles on Open Science. The content is currently rather poor: see for instance and to a lesser extent Wikidata — the growing open data repository of the Wikimedia Foundation — could also use some contributions to the topic and are empty.
  6. Illustrations and dataviz might also be welcome: for instance, graphics of academic publishing economics (figures are rather hard to get).

Support: Designer and programmer are welcome for the visualisation

Comment: Here are some guidelines given by Michel Bauwens to help us organize this workshop.

  • it’s important to give some basic how to advice at the beginning of the process
  • in each locale, it’s good to have a person that can just wander around and help and stimulate the other people (this makes a big difference)
  • we had a permanent rolling hangout, with every hour a different topic to be discussed (it went on for 15 hours or so during the hispanic wikisprint)
  • it makes it much more easy if there is a pre-established form, with the tickable tags etc.
  • clear delimitation of subject matter, not anything goes , make sure you specify what open science is inclusive of, perhaps some geographic limitation (say Europe) etc..
  • choice of tags: one for the event itself, say [[Category:OpenScience Wikisprint]]; one for the topic, so that it continues to live on after the event, say [[Category:Open Science]]
    this can be combined for example with country tags, [[Category:France]] etc.
    (the wiki already has for the broader p2p/commons aspects of science, this would allow a more specialized focus)
    I will be also present during this workshop to help the interaction with Wikipedia and the wikipedia community.
  • Including Wikipedia within the wikisprint could stimulate global contribution by attracting experienced wiki user. We can create a parallel contribution project (an example: )

Proposal 4

Title: “rOpenGov – R ecosystem for social and political science”

Details: With the avalanche of open government data and other fields relevant to computational social science, new algorithms are needed to take full advantage of these new information resources – to access, analyse and communicate such information in a fully transparent and reproducible manner as part of scientific inquiry or citizen science projects.

A scalable solution will require coordinated effort from independent developers. Hence, we are now building up a community-driven ecosystem of R packages dedicated to open government data and computational social and political science, building on lessons learned from analogous and wildly successful projects in other fields. The site already provides open source R tools for open government data analytics for Austria, Finland, and Russia and we are now actively collecting further contributions.

The preliminary project website is at:

Support: In addition to internet access, the project would benefit from contributions from website designers, scientists and R package developers.

Comment: Distant participation to the hackathon through IRC/Skype is also possible.

Proposal 5

Title: “Crowdcrafting Everywhere”

Details: Crowdcrafting is a straightforward, open source handy tool for citizen science. Unfortunately, Crowdcrafting solely speaks English for now. What about translating it into other languages, e.g. French, Spanish, Russian,…?

Support: Multilingual enthusiasts welcome!

Comment: Remote participation welcome.

Hashtag: #CCEverywhere.

Crowdcrafting’s lead developer, Daniel Lombrana-Gonzalez, will also be with us throughout the whole day.

Proposal 6

Title: Open Access Button

Details: Open Access Button is a browser-based tool which tracks every time someone is denied access to a paper. We want to display this, along with the person’s location, profession and story on a real time, worldwide, interactive map of the problem. While creating pressure to open up scholarly and scientific research, we also want to help people work within the current broken system by helping them get access to the paper they need.

That’s the project summed up really briefly. We built a prototype at the start of the summer and are working towards a launch of later in the year.

Support: tbc

Comment: Waiting for confirmation for founders to join in person. Remote participation will be confirmed soon.

Proposal 7

Title: “Booksprint: OpenScience Guidelines for PhD Students and researchers”

Description: Organize a book sprint to write a guide about how to do open science for researchers or PhD students.

No special skills are needed to participate, if you are a PhD student or a students or know the basic of science from another area. We will share our ideas and experience with open science.

Possible chapters:
* What does it mean to publish in open access?
* How do you go about publishing in open access?
* What is an “Open notebook”?
* How do I organize an open notebook?
* Which other tools are available?
* What tools are missing?
* How do we communicate and better support each other?

To write the book, we will use Fidus Writer ( ), an open source, webbased editor that typesets academic writing with citations and formulas, and lets us publish PDFs or ebooks of articles and/or journals without any technical skills. The Fidus Writer team will assist via hangout/chat.

Support: Some designers are welcome to help for figures, and other visualisations.
Internet access has to be available and Google Chrome or Chromium installed on the machines.
Artististic minds are also welcome 🙂

Comment: I think it would be a good idea to find a printing solution as well, because to have something in your hands, can be very engaging and it would be great for hackyourpdh to have something to show around. But this could be done afterwards.

Meet the Members: Carl Boettiger, Sridhar Gutam and Matt Jones

- April 22, 2012 in Members

The Open Science Working Group has over 350 mailing list members and many have chosen to be listed as official members here on the website. You can find a complete alphabetical list at the bottom of the Members page.

To showcase the work and interests of our diverse group, members of the open-science mailing list were recently asked to answer a few questions on themselves and their thoughts on open science. You can find what we hope will be the first of several of these features below! The working group should be a place to link up with people and projects that may be of interest to you, so don’t hesitate to start a conversation with Carl, Sridhar or Matt individually or via open-science.

If you would like to be added to the membership list or contribute a mini profile please get in touch with the Working Group Coordinator: Jenny Molloy (

Carl Boettiger

What’s your background?

I received my bachelor’s in physics from Princeton, currently I am PhD student at UC Davis, working on regime shifts in ecology & evolution.

What got you interested in open science?

Theorists aren’t often taught to to keep lab notebooks. After years of scribbling on the nearest napkin or chalkboard and acquiring a good intuition for which tables and other surfaces display chalk well, I started to realize my need for a less ephemeral way to keep track of my research (if I had a better memory maybe I would have made it as a biologist earlier in my career). I turned to the internet oracle for answers, and stumbled into a videocast from Cameron Neylon about his open lab notebook. Experimental chemistry is a different as possible from my own workflow, but it was obvious that electronic & web-based tools were offering him something a chalkboard would never do.

Trying to learn how to create my own notebook meant reading Cameron Neylon, which soon meant friendfeed’s science 2.0 / life-scientists room & later twitter. Reading these ideas, it sounded like these notebook systems had all these additional benefits beyond having a search function, that worked to their fullest capacity when open. I wanted the full experience, the full benefit. I wanted to see if it was true. I decided to try out an open lab notebook. It’s accelerated my career, expanded my network, improved the quality and reach of my work, at times intrigued, puzzled, and frightened my colleagues, and has since inspired others to similar endeavors. Keeping an open lab notebook intensifies the things I most enjoy in research and keeps me from taking myself too seriously.

In your opinion, what is the most exciting thing that open science makes possible?

Science. Someone once said, science is like a parachute: It only works if it is open. Sure, there’s different degrees of openness — Galileo announced his discoveries in ciphered anagrams — but until you share your discoveries your just a funny crank in the attic. Today we prize the public communication of the result over primacy of the discovery itself. Greater openness makes science advance more quickly, more accurately, and with greater impact to the rest of the world. The innovations which served this function in previous centuries were never designed to scale to the pace, breadth, and depth of science practiced across the globe today. The open science movement explores and creates practices for sharing science that can scale and adapt to these needs.

Sridhar Gutam

What’s your background?

I am a Plant Physiologist and I am into Agriculture Research Service (ARS) (of Indian Council of Agricultural Research [ICAR], New Delhi ). Currently I am working as Senior Scientist (Plant Physiology) at Central Institute for Subtropical Horticulture (CISH) , Lucknow an constituted establishment of ICAR.

What got you interested in open science?

I started following IPR issues in Research since my joining in ARS in 2004 and was very much convinced with the thoughts and opinions of Open Access and Biological Open Source and started practicing & advocating Open Access among my peers by gaining knowledge from various online fora.

In your opinion, what is the most exciting thing that open science makes possible?

In my opinion, its individual interest and commitment to the science for people which can only make open science happen. However, policy issues of the research managers, Universities and Government influence the science to progress by Open Science approach.

Matt Jones

What’s your background?

Basically, ecological informatics, focusing on data management, data integration, analysis and modeling in support of synthetic science. More details here in my bio.

What got you interested in open science?

The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis is predicated on the re-use of existing data for synthesis that advances our knowledge of ecological and environmental systems. Open Science has been a natural thrust of our institute since its inception because of this reliance on other people’s data.

In your opinion, what is the most exciting thing that open science makes possible?

Open science enables new scales of collaboration that accelerates science in ways that were unimaginable just a few years ago. I am excited about the possibilities for accelerating synthetic science through the synergies among open data, open source, and open access publications.