I forgot to blog about this article in The Scientist when Bora first linked it, but now Jean-Claude has reminded me. The main focus is on Reed Cartwright’s adventures in authorship (and do go read that link; it’s a nice example of how science should work, and Comai is a class act), but Bora and Jean-Claude also get a mention; they’ve posted the relevant excerpts on their blogs. The bit that really grabbed me, and that I meant to write about, was this quote about/from Bora:
Zivkovic concedes that he has had less luck in convincing people that he should post his dissertation on his blog before he publishes it [than in convincing them to publish orphan data]. “But if and when I get to having my own lab I’d like to be completely open,” he says, “having a live blog where everyone posts what happens in the lab every day.”
Bravo, Bora! I’ve said the same thing, here and elsewhere, and of course Jean-Claude is actually doing it. It makes me wonder, who else is out there, hoping and planning to do open science? In comments here, Propter Doc (I wish I’d thought of that nick!) wishes there was a way to publish orphan data in the open (and Jean-Claude points to a couple of possibilities, including blogging). I have previously pointed to some other examples: bioinformatics work from Sandra Porter and Pedro Beltrao, chemoinformatics software from Egon Willighagen, organic syntheses from Org Prep Daily and Rosie Redfield and her students blogging hypotheses, thinking-out-loud and even data. I recently noticed that Jonathan Eisen had started blogging his OA papers (reminding me that I must get my professional back catalog, such as it is, onto a repository somewhere).
There must be more. Who else is doing, or planning to do, open science? And further, how can we help each other?
My working hypothesis is that open, collaborative models should out-produce the current standard model of research, which involves a great deal of inefficiency in the form of secrecy and mistrust. Open science barely exists at the moment — infancy would be an overly optimistic term for its developmental state. Right now, one of the most important things open science advocates can do is find and support each other (and remember, openness is inclusive of a range of practices — there’s no purity test; we share a hypothesis not an ideology).
So talk to me, putative ally and colleague! Who are you, where are you, how can I help you? I sure would like to hear from you.