Sunday, January 13, 2008

RRRESEARCH: UBC leadership in open source science

Dr. Rosie Redfield of the University of British Columbia, author of the RRRESEARCH blog, is an innovator in open source science. The RRRESEARCH blog supplements traditional forms of scholarly communications such as peer-reviewed articles, by providing information about experiments at every step along the way.

Open sharing in this manner allows for early feedback, for example as blog commenting. The full potential of this form of communication is not yet known, but here are some thoughts:

If there is a better way to approach some element of an experiment, or something the researcher should probably know, isn't it better to receive this feedback early on while the experiment is still in progress (or perhaps still in the planning stages), rather than waiting for feedback until the research is completed and written up, and it is too late to make changes?

It takes some courage to take this step; one might worry about being scooped. On the plus side, it has been pointed out that open blogging provides a time stamp. Will we see a movement towards blogging or other open sharing of works in progress, just so that researchers can appropriately claim priority?

Congratulations to Dr. Rosie Redfield for yet another example of Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement.