About the Federation
The Open Science Federation is a nonprofit alliance working to improve the conduct and communication of science. We are scientists and citizen scientists, writers, journalists, and educators, and makers of and advocates for Open Data, Open Access, and Open Source and Standards.
Get to know us at @openscience on Twitter, or in Google+, and elsewhere, with which we have connected the largest Open Science network in the world. We recently took up a count, deduplicated, and identified more than 30,000 people and groups across our social network.
We do not intend to be at the centre of the Open Science community per se, though analyses often place us there such as in NodeXL SNA Maps via @marc_smith, here and here. A network can be stronger than any one organization, and a federation of networks can be stronger than any network. Thus we share access to our social media accounts with many individuals and organizations. Some of our account managers are listed in Google+ while most of our friends @openscience on Twitter and elsewhere remain anonymous. Multiple companies in the publishing industry and one in the healthcare industry have attempted to purchase our social media presence and our contacts’ data; we have declined and always will. Our efforts are by, for, and belong to the Open Science community.
As technically skilled volunteers and sometimes contractors, we do take up technical projects under the Open Science Federation banner from time to time, especially in open source software for science or for science publishing. Some of our favourite recent work has been to build a federation of publishing and social networks, initially for the SciFund Challenge, ScienceOnlineSeattle, ScienceOnline Bay Area, and ScienceOnlineVancouver, and since then many others. SciFund’s network of researcher blogs and sites, for example has spawned another, Open Notebook Science Network. Altogether, this federation is comprised of now more than a thousand individuals sites and blogs, serving researchers and labs, event series, and workshops and working groups such as the People Matter Project hosted within the Communications Lab network.
The networks are federated in several regards, for example one’s username and password can be used in any federated site to which one has access, and all sites share one version of the open source software and services, which we administer pro bono. It’s a bit like a WordPress.com for science, except rather than being one network, it’s a network of networks, and we don’t only run WordPress.
At the same time, we began a separate federation for young adult researchers and bloggers, and their teachers and mentors, including FutureScienceLeaders.org, StudentBioExpo.org, and U20Science.org. For this junior federation alone, our volunteers have given in the low thousands of hours of pro bono software development and technical support. We also donate the cost of services such as web and email hosting.
Separately from all of the above, we maintain more highly secured, semi-private networks, used for example by biomedical researchers for notebooks, intranets, event management, and so on. Contact us if you are interested — if your work contributes to opening science, then we are probably interested, too.
OpenScienceFederation.com is currently a yearbook with a couple dozen projects representative of our 2012 and 2013; head to our home page and have a look around. We will update it with more from 2014. Some of us are considering projects that could make our web site more interesting, such as hosting a global calendar of Open Science events, a directory of people and projects in Open Science, and a distributed, open source social layer for science.