What is Open Science?

Open Science does not have one universal definition or understanding. We recognise that different people view it in a variety of ways, and often it is used interchangeably with ‘open research’ or ‘open scholarship’.

For us, Open Science is about increased rigour, accountability and reproducibility for research. It is based on principles such as inclusion, fairness, equity, freedom, and justice. As such, Open Science can be viewed as research done properly, and it extends across the Life and Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Mathematics, to Social Science and Humanities.

What is a MOOC?

A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course. They are educational courses designed to increase participation using technologies afforded to us by the Web. MOOCs provide interactive user forums to support community interactions among students and teachers, combined with traditional educational resources such as assignments, video lectures, and reading material.

How was this project started?

The idea for the project originated from casual discussions in early-mid 2017. It became clear to us that there was a distinct void in the demand for ‘Open Science skills’ and the level with which they were being taught. The concept of the Open Science MOOC was born, and a Steering Committee formed for it. Shortly after, the European Commission released several reports calling for increased training, education, and skills in Open Science. This catalysed us to send a letter to many of their members engaged in Open Science, and the development of the MOOC began.

Who is involved?

At the present, Jon Tennant is the founder of the project. Moreover, we have a 14-strong Steering Committee. Their role is to provide expert guidance and direction for the MOOC as it evolves.

This project is carried out solely by volunteer work at the present. We are very happy that within short time, more than 150 volunteers have signed up to support us. If you want to be one of them, please add your name to the list, sign up for our newsletter, and join our Slack channel.

Contributor List

Where are we, and what are the next steps?

At the present, we are focusing on two main aspects:

  1. Developing Module 5, Open Research Software and Open Source, on GitHub.
  2. Expanding our institutional and strategic partnerships.

The next steps are to continue developing along these paths. After Module 5 is completed, our objective is to release it for testing, and use that feedback to improve the protocol and the module content, and use this as the basis for developing the remaining 9 modules.