The Open Source movement has evolved into other areas of computering. Open Data, Open Hardware, and ,the topic that I want to talk about, Open Science, are three examples of this. Since I’m a biologist, I’m deeply connected to the science community but I want to also tie in my hobby of FOSS/Linux into my work. There are many non-coding (and coding) based things and groups that one can use for research and I want to talk about a few of them.
Mozilla, the creators of Firefox and Thunderbird, started a group last year that aims to help scientists, “to use the power of the open web to change the way science is done. [They] build educational resources, tools and prototypes for the research community to make science more open, collaborative and efficient.” (main page of Mozilla Science Lab).
Right now, they are are focusing on teaching scientists the basic skills in research via the Software Carpentry project. But I know that they are planning to get some projects for the community-building side for non-coders. I don’t know what those projects are but I know that they will be listed soon on the mailing-list of the group. For myself, I can’t wait until I get my hands on those projects to help them grow.
Another fairly new project within the last two years that was started by Center of Open Science that focuses on creating a framework that allows scientists to use the, “entire research lifecycle: planning, execution, reporting, archiving, and discovery”, (main page of OSF) fully and be able to share that with other people in there teams but thy could be in another place not near the head researcher.
I think this is one of the best tools out there because it allows you to upload things on the site and also from Dropbox and other services. I played around with it a bit but I have not fully used it, but when I do, I will write a post about it.
This is maybe one of the oldest projects that I think there is for Open Science and it’s Open Notebook Science. It’s the idea of have the lab notebook publicly available online. There is a small network of these.
I think, along with the OSF project, it is one of the best tools out there mainly because the data and other stuff is publicly available online for everyone to learn from your mistakes or to work with the data.
Hopefully as the time goes by, these projects will grow and researchers can collaborate better.