Open-source science refers
to the transparent, accessible, and collaborative pursuit of knowledge
The term 'open source' is
one that we have borrowed from a software development practice
where the 'source code' for an application is provided in a
readable (unencrypted) form to all users.
This practice enables a
large network of distributed users to fix any errors which may
exist in the application, to further improve upon it, and to
share the improved application with other users who will then do
the same. Ultimately, this practice - and the community of
users who adopt it - will enable the application to develop and
evolve far faster, and more efficiently, than it otherwise might
if it were created and developed entirely by a single individual
or team working within a closed laboratory.
By adapting and applying
this term to scientific research, we hope to accelerate the pace
of academic innovation and discovery by encouraging academic
researchers - especially those engaged in 'basic research' - to
embrace similar practices.
To do so, we have developed
a unique model for research funding, peer review, and
publication that encourages researchers to openly broadcast
their ideas and methods to their peers, and to collaborate with
researchers outside their immediate fields of study as they work
to address the research questions they seek to understand.
For most of the twentieth
century, Bell Labs (a network of research laboratories
supported through funding from the AT&T Corporation)
existed as a playground for researchers and
engineers from around the world working to improve
integrating a microfunding platform within The OSSP, we
seek to facilitate the support of a virtual network of
laboratories and researchers pursuing pure research
uninhibited by market demands.