Open research

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Open research is research, conducted in the spirit of free and open source software. If the research is scientific in nature it is frequently referred to as open science; open research can also include social sciences and the humanities.

Much like open source schemes that are built around a source code that is made public, the central theme of open research is to make clear accounts of the methodology, along with data and results extracted therefrom, freely available via the Internet. This permits a massively distributed collaboration.

Most open research is conducted in existing research groups. Primary research data are posted which can be added to/interpreted by anybody who has the necessary expertise and who can therefore join the collaborative effort. Thus the 'end product' of the project arises from many contributions rather than the effort of one group. Open research is therefore distinct from open access in that the output of open research is mutable.[1] Issues of copyright are dealt with by either standard copyright or by releasing the content under licenses such as one of the Creative Commons Licence or one of the GNU General Public Licenses.

Several early (2005) examples arose in the area of the search for new/improved treatments in Neglected Diseases.[2][3][4][5]

In June 2008 The Open Source Science Project was launched in Michigan to invite members of the internet community to directly fund scientific research projects in exchange for researchers publishing their insights and research data under a Creative Commons license. In September 2008 the Open Source Drug Discovery Network was launched in India to combat infectious diseases common to developing countries.

While first attempts towards opening research primarily aimed at opening scientific data, methodologies, software and publications now increasingly also other artifacts of the scientific work-cycles are tackled, such as scientific meta-data[6] and funding ideas [7].

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