Open (adjective)

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Open [oh-puh n ] (adjective) not closed…having no means of closing or barring…relatively free of obstruction…without restrictions as to who may participate…undecided; unsettled… (from Dictionary.reference.com1)

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 There is a great deal of confusion out there as to what ‘Open’ means, especially in science. The definitions above seem particularly apposite ‘…relatively free of obstruction…’. Certainly undecided or unsettled seems appropriate in some cases. The claims of a journal to be ‘Open Access’ can set off a barrage of comment in the blogosphere. Whether this makes any difference to the journal is unclear but definitions are clearly important. If my aim here is talk about Open Science then it is sensible to be clear what I mean.

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 So the following stand as definitions until they need to be changed;

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Open Access (of journals, data, or anything else really): Means freely available and accesible to use, re-use, re-distribute, re-mix subject only to a requirement to attribute the work. Essentially as described in the Berlin2 and Bethesda3 declarations4. Well summarised by Chris Surridge in his blog56 at PLoS ONE.

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 Freely accesible: On the web, indexed by search engines, in a useable format, with no requirement to pay for access and no exclusion of any potential users (except perhaps for antisocial behaviour).

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 Open Notebook Science: This is Jean-Claude Bradley’s term which I think encompasses much of what I am interested in doing and has been pretty clearly defined 78. To summarise this means that every experiment that is done and every piece of data that is collected is placed online in a freely accessible repository in a timely manner. I would add to this something which I don’t think is explicit in previous definitions but I think is implicit in the way his group works and make their data available. That is that there must be space for interaction, comments, and questions from the outside world.

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 Open Science is really too woolly a term to mean anything much but it encompasses the movement that is working towards more of the above throughout the science community. Its a good phrase, it captures the imagination, is evocative, and memorable. Its just too big to be pinned down. But its a big set of ideas, so let’s see where it leads us.

  1. 8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0
  2. Open, retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com
  3. Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, retrieved from http://openaccess.mpg.de/Berlin-Declaration
  4. Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing
  5. It is intriguing that I don’t reference the Budapest Declaration here as it is really the three of the BBB declarations that has subsequently had the most influence on me
  6. Surridge, C (2007), Free but not open, retrieved from https://blogs.plos.org/plos/2007/07/free-but-not-open/
  7. Obviously this should be blog POST but I guess I don’t get to correct those kinds of mistakes when republishing
  8. Bradely, JC (2006) Open Notebook Science, retrieved from http://drexel-coas-elearning.blogspot.co.uk/2006/09/open-notebook-science.html
  9. Bradley, JC (2007) Open Notebook Science Using Blogs and Wikis, Nature Precedings, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/npre.2007.39.1
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