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Badge of Honor?

I met up with Shirley Wu, Michael Nielsen, and a few other ISMB attendees yesterday to talk about what’s variously called Science 2.0 or Open Science. It was pretty rushed (and not helped by the bar we wound up in), but it got me thinking about creating an “open science” badge that scientists could apply to their work. Right now, people are using a variety of terms in inconsistent ways; it sometimes takes a very close reading to figure out exactly what the mean. I’d really like to see the PSB workshop (or some other meeting like it) put a peg in the ground and say, “If you do the following things, you can put this ‘open science’ badge on your lab’s web site, and put, ‘This research is certified open.’ in your papers.” The W3C’s familiar badges and the Open Source Initiative‘s certification of software licenses have done a lot to clarify discussion, and have given people standards to aspire to. Nine years after the “Open Source/Open Science” workshop at Brookhaven National Laboratory, maybe it’s time to borrow those ideas and put them into practice.


Written by Greg Wilson

2008/07/19 at 19:57

Posted in Community

8 Responses

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  1. The only thing I’d be careful about is getting overly dogmatic or “religious” here. I’ve seen way too many efforts fall flat because of nitty gritty stuff and semantics. I like the minimum required approach, and the idea of putting something at the end of a paper makes sense. Badges, not quite my cup of tea, but perhaps others might jump to it.


    2008/07/20 at 00:30

  2. Here’s hoping it has a knock-on effect of making what is written less intelligible gibberish and more approachable.

    – Paddy.


    2008/07/20 at 01:14

  3. @Deepak: the Open Source Initiative is a pretty broad church, yet does a widely-accepted job of distinguishing between what *is* FLOSS and what isn’t; I think we could borrow a lot from them.

    @Paddy: +1.

    Greg Wilson

    2008/07/20 at 07:38

  4. […] Greg Wilson: “This research is certified open” […]

  5. This sounds like a good idea, but I suppose one needs a clear definition of that the badge means/entails. In the case of the various software licenses, or creative commons licenses, that is straightforward — what is being licensed is clear, as well as the terms of the license.

    What is being distributed in open science? Is it just the text describing a particular piece of work? If that is the case, don’t the creative commons licenses/badges apply?


    2008/07/22 at 10:15

  6. […] back to the badge meme from earlier this week, John Cook’s new Reproducible Research blog pointed me at this page on […]

  7. […] but think that something like the Open Source Initiative’s “certified open” badge would be more useful than UN-ish statements like, “Effort should be made to identify and […]

  8. […] blogged last summer about creating a badging scheme for open science. Turns out it’s been done: ONS Claims has badges for four flavors of open […]

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