Open Science Leaps Forward In 2014

Marcus D. Hanwell | | December 23, 2014

We have had quite a year of open science at in 2014! I couldn't hope to cover every article we published over the year, but I will highlight some of my favorites. The tide is turning in science. More funding is going to open science projects, more publications are making their data available to everyone (especially other researchers), and all of this is hopefully beginning to impact hiring decisions.

One of the busiest periods we saw on this year was during our Open Science Week, where we gained many new contributors and saw an enormous breadth of topics. Science impacts every area of life, and one of our goals has been to ensure our writing reflects that diversity.

Some articles asked great questions, like: Can open science help patients and save pharma? Others tracked the amazing, distributed teams of researchers exploring the open source way, like those searching for a cure for malaria.

We covered the convergence of NASA, Earth science, and open source, along with the news of Mozilla's Science Lab and their efforts to open up the research community. I reached out to Arfon Smith about opening up science at GitHub.

Meanwhile, OpenStack Editor Jason Baker covered OpenStack and its use in scientific research, and Project Lead Jason Hibbets interviewed Tim Bell on OpenStack powering the research at CERN. Then we go right down to visualizing nanotechnology in 3D with open source. It is clear that open source has an enormous role to play in scientific research.

The publication of scientific research is another emerging topic of great importance when it comes to the future of science and our discoveries. I spoke to the F1000Research journal about making scientific publication more open. Luis Ibanez, formerly of Kitware now at Google, covered the open digital science journal that has been pioneering reproducible software publications. Shauna Gordon-McKeon of OpenHatch and the Open Science Collaborative, dove into how being online changes how we think about the traditional research paper at length.

During Careers in Open Source Week, we learned about a number of careers that operate at the intersection of open science and open source. Scientist Peter Murray-Rust making a strong case that we cannot do modern science unless it's open, and Ross Mounce discussed his career as a scientist making the point that the future of scientific discovery relies on open. I wrote about my own journey from bench scientist to open science software developer and the difference that has made in my life.

Workshops and hearty discussion of sustainable software for science continued this year, while the value of open data in academic science becomes more apparent.

Finally, if you are a student or know a student, see how this group built smart devices and scientific instruments with Arduino. Then, give it a try!

Here's to new discoveries that we can share, build upon, and improve in 2015!

Open Science Leaps Forward In 2014 was authored by Marcus D. Hanwell and originally published in It is being republished by Open Health News under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. The original copy of the article can be found here.