Reproducibility? It’s Still a Challenge

Some scientific research are inherently easier (or harder) to reproduce others. A recent blog post by Rich FitzJohn, Matt Pennell, Amy Zanne and Will Cornwell at rOpenSci. The level of reproducibility depends upon the set of tools available to researchers, for instance, open source software, cloud computing, data archiving, standardized biological materials, and widely available computing resources. Authors also discuss two parts of the reproducibility, the data and the analysis, as well as associated challenges.

So, is Open Science already here?

According to Wikipedia, “Open science is the umbrella term of the movement to make scientific research, data and dissemination accessible to all levels of an inquiring society, amateur or professional. It encompasses practices such as publishing open research, campaigning for open access, encouraging scientists to practice open notebook science, and generally making it easier to publish and communicate scientific knowledge.” Despite the wealth of Open platforms, most of the products of science, including, most notably, the data upon which scientific insights rests, remain behind closed doors. While attitudes and regulations are clearly changing, as the latest attempts by PLoS to establish routine sharing of data illustrate (just Google #PLOSfail), we are not there yet.

Continue reading a most recent blog post by Wiley Exchanges….

Open Data Can Empower Archaeologists

Over the last few years, the DART project collected large amounts of archaeological data, and as part of the project, a group of archaeologists created a purpose-built data repository to catalogue data and make them available, using CKAN, the Open Knowledge Foundation’s (OKF) open-source data catalogue and repository. In their recent blog post of OKF, Anthony Beck and Dave Harrison talk about the project and its progress, and revisit the meaning of open data and open science for archaeologists.

Accelerating Impact: Real-world Applications of Open Research

Video Featuring Practices of Open Access, Open Data, and Open Science

This 5-minute video features six teams of scientists whose innovative reuse of existing research enabled important advances in medical treatment and detection, ecology and science education. These examples demonstrate how the reuse of Open Access research can accelerate scientific progress and benefit society as a whole. This includes comments from Open Access advocates from publishing, academia and industry and features finalists, winners and sponsors from the Accelerating Science Awards Program (ASAP).

Gene Patents Impeding Data Sharing? | Science

Lock Up the Genome, Lock Down Research? by Eliot Marshall, Science

Researchers say that gene patents impede data sharing and innovation; patent lawyers say there’s no evidence for this.

(C)ritics say the system can work against innovators. Instead of promoting the sharing of ideas, it is often used to dam up knowledge. A handful of recent studies, for instance, have concluded that gene-related intellectual property has created a legal thicket that stymies biomedical science and locks away data that could improve clinical tests. Similar, but more muted, complaints have emerged in other fields, from computer science to engineering. That’s far from the innovation and sharing that the patent system is supposed to encourage, critics add.

On the other side, champions of the patent system, including many lawyers and a former patent court chief judge who spoke with Science, say such attacks are unsupported by the evidence. Claims by gene patent critics, they argue, are based on emotion. “The idea that scientific researchers are being sued or threatened with lawsuits [for doing research] is a fiction,” says Paul Michel, former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the top patent review body below the Supreme Court. “I don’t know where this myth comes from.”

Some researchers, meanwhile, are working to sidestep patent battles by making sure that gene sequences and other kinds of data are quickly entered into public databases, where they are free to all.

Continue reading….

Science 4 October 2013:
Vol. 342 no. 6154 pp. 72-73
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6154.72

Why Science Should Be (Even More) Open? | Boston University Library

Point of View: Why Science Should Be (Even More) Open? Sharing Research Data is Vital

In his recent blog post, David Fristrom, head of the Science Engineering Library, Boston University points out the difference between science and alchemy, stressing the importance of the scientific tradition of openness and collegiality. To support scientists in making research data even more open, David says, “the University is already doing some things, but needs to do more”.

  • Researchers at BU need support in developing and implementing the data management plans required by the NIH, the NSF, and other funding agencies. BU Libraries, in consultation with other offices, has created a research data management website that provides information and practical advice on creating such plans, and also offers classes and consultation on data management. Similarly, Information Services & Technology provides the technical infrastructure for many researchers to store and manage their data and intends to expand its offerings in this area.
  • BU researchers need places to share their data. No single solution fits all research data, which can range in size from a few megabytes to several petabytes and come in a bewildering array of formats. In many cases, discipline-specific repositories such as NCBI are the appropriate vehicle for sharing data. Some of these repositories are government-funded, others are supported by consortia of research institutions, and BU should participate in such consortia where feasible.
  • Because appropriate repositories don’t yet exist for all data, there are some cases where the researcher’s institution needs to step up and provide a home for the data. The Association of Research Libraries, with others, has put forward a strong proposal for a Shared Access Research Ecosystem (SHARE), “a network of digital repositories at universities, libraries, and other research institutions across the United States that will provide long-term public access to federally funded research articles and data.”
  • BU should support the SHARE project, and a good first step would be expanding the capabilities of OpenBU, our institutional repository, so that it can support research data as well as articles.
  • BU researchers need a clear policy on how the new costs of data management and sharing will be met. Funding agencies are reluctant to allow specific line items for data management in a grant, considering it part of overhead. So it will be up to BU as an institution to provide and pay for the infrastructure required.
  • Finally, BU researchers need the University to recognize the importance of data sharing to the advancement of scientific knowledge. One way would be to consider a researcher’s data—whether it is shared, how often it is cited—as well as publications in hiring and tenure decisions.

Open Science: Driving Forces and Practical Realities

A One-Day Workshop “Open Science” Co-sponsored by CENDI and NFAIS, Hosted by FEDLINK at the Library of Congress

This one-day workshop is a must for anyone involved in managing the flow of scientific and scholarly communication. The Open Science movement has the potential to dramatically change that flow as well as the roles of all involved if the key emerging issues can be resolved. Open government, open data, and open access are all necessary but insufficient movements to make open science a reality. This workshop will explore the technical, financial, political, and social/cultural forces that are driving the movement; the key issues that may impact your organization – issues such as creator/author rights, attribution, information sharing and re-use, machine access and interoperability, preservation of the record of science, etc.; and the policies and tools that are being created to make open science a reality. Mark your calendar now to reserve the date. Registration will open September 6, 2013, to accommodate those who need to pay before the new fiscal year begins. Seating is limited so register early!