Monday, March 4, 2013

Open Science is Cool in Concept, but What About Practice

First, the really great news!  My research proposal won first place at the Texas Academy of Sciences meeting on Friday!  That means I've got the money to purchase liquid helium and play with a superconductor this summer.  The proposal can be viewed below on the blog, or you can grab it from [1] if you're reading this somewhere else.

Now, the question.  I've been reading lots of posts from G+ers like +Mark Hahnel+Laura Wheeler, and +Emily Coren on the value of open access and communicating science to the public.  I'm thinking of doing something cool like Google+er +Katrina Badiola has done with her lab notebooks.  I'm curious how this works out and what experience people have had with it.  If you can answer any of the following questions, that would be awesome!  If you'd like to answer anonymously, leave and anonymous comment on the blog post.

What do you think the benefits of an entirely open access scientific process are?  
Can it build a more diverse team of collaborators/colleagues?  Does anyone have examples of this?  Can it serve to interest people in the STEM fields?  If so, how should it best be done to make integrate/interest the public with the project?  Are there any books or articles already written about doing something like this?  Is there any value in publishing a meta-report on how the project fared with open access, (in addition to the scientific reporting of course).  If so, are there metrics that should be measured to this end?  What are the other benefits?

Is there a down side?
Are there portions of a project that just shouldn't be made open access?  Can open access lead to endless discussions on the validity of a step in a project, or the validity of an entire project?  Should researchers be concerned that other researchers will 'scoop' them by having access to their day to day activities?  Is there a stigma to open access?  Can it effect reviewers of scientific papers that are aware the project was open access?  I've read that there are demographics of scientists that are not overwhelmed by the concept of open access or science available via the internet.

The Poposal

1.  Proposal

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