Why Open Science?

A lot has been said about Open Source, Open Data and Open Science (just google it to see the sheer amount of pages coming up), and data sharing and open access publishing mandate is something all major funding sources are implementing (see the OSTP Open Data Mandate from the US government. Similar mandate are now present also in Europe and other nations).

In some disciplines this is no news. The molecular biology community has been ahead of the open science and open data game for years, as the deposition into public and open database of all sequences is a prerequisite for publishing (and this extends to organisms, plasmids, and other biological constructs). Open Source software development (especially science oriented in this context) is another good example.

Besides the funding agency pressure, and the hot topic wave following the open movement you should opt for a open model for many other reasons. Recently, I watched a wonderful talk on line by Matthew Todd, the founder of the Open Source Malaria project. If you never heard of this project watch the video below, head to the http://opensourcemalaria.org website and check one of their experiments. Perhaps you could contribute to the fight against malaria (and you can do it even if you are not a scientist, as explained here.

As Matthew explains toward the end of the video, Open Science is transparent, is immortal and it’s fast. If you think about this for some time, it can really change your perspective on the issue. And while the Open Science model still has its loose ends (see here and here for a quick hints to some of the problems), I believe Open Science is the way of the future.

At the last Deep Carbon Observatory Early Career Scientist Workshop we thought it was time to do the same, and share with everyone our science, and the making of it. During the workshop we designed and performed a multidisciplinary co-located sampling effort, aimed at characterizing multiple aspect of carbon science at a single geographic location (Furnas Volcano, São Miguel, Azores, Portugal). We decided that beside the final publication, also the experiments, the analyses and the raw data should be part of the public domain, to help scientist and educators to build on our work, as fast and efficiently as possible.

Keep following us to see the hows and whys of our collective open science project!

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