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The Community Comments on Why Open Science/Research Won't Work

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How can you make a position on something you don’t understand? How can you say something won’t work when all you know if it is from a couple of Google queries? I understand from your blog post that you have a short attention span and are not willing to spend much time researching ideas, but just because you have reached the end of the amount of time you are willing to spend on understanding doesn’t mean that you are reached the point at which you are read to judge that concept.

Apparently, my writing is pretty bad, or your reading comprehension is pretty bad (but I’m betting on the first in Vegas). I know what Open Science/Research is, but the graduate student down the hall does not, and he or she has many other important things than “waste time with the hell of OS/R”. I don’t have a short attention span, but the grad student down the hall might have, who knows. eh? And I’m not judging the concept, I have a very clear idea of what the “concept” is, I just think it won’t fly, at least now.

Egon pitches in:

I think you can approach Open Science from various angles. The OpenScience project (where Jmol originated!) comes from an angle that OpenSource tools is an important step in making the data analysis in science reproducibility, and people sometimes seem to forget that data analysis is science too.

On the other hand, data discovery can be seen as the first step where science should open up. This is closer to the Open Notebook Science things.

I understand your confusion. Doing science involves many steps, and if you have no clue where to start doing science, it won’t work. Similarly, if you have no clue where to start making your Science Open, you won’t get it to work either. But that does not mean, it cannot work at all.

Nice introduction, and hoping that your further analysis may trigger some thoughts on why Open Science can work.

Yes, there is confusion, and I agree the Open Source software is an important step. I have seen many cases of closed source software hindering data analysis because you don’t know what’s going on. Many people out there don’t know, don’t want to know or don’t have time to learn about Open Science and they’ll sure get confused if they search for resources. The lack of a centralized, useful and with a nice user interface resource (website, application whatever) makes difficult to anyone to start.

Rajarshi also wants to comment:

I’ve always thought of Open Science as a social process rather than a technical process (though it has technical aspects). From that point of view, the lack of a central repo of information, is certainly a bottleneck, but I doubt it’s a deal-killer. In the absence of such a repo, the ideas behind Open Science will just take longer to diffuse.

Indeed, it’s a social process, never technical. And no, as he pointed, is not a deal-killer, but it helps make the process slower, which is the conclusion I would like to have included in the post, or at least make the reader conclude that. If it’s social, why not take advantage of the so-called WEb2.0 (another thing that I don’t believe, just a clever name to sell books – or whatever they sell on the web these days).

Next time, I will tell a short story of an open science blog. That was when I started thinking “If is it open, why some stuff is closed (or not shown)?”