Open Science Reading Group

What is the Open Science Reading Group?

The Open Science Reading Group is intended to bring together members of the Stanford Medicine and UCSF communities to learn about open science, discuss the application of open science practices in a biomedical context, and meet other members of the community who are interested in (or already are) incorporating open science practices into their work.

Prior to each meeting, the organizers will circulate a small number of articles or links related to a particular topic, issue, or development in open science. The meetings themselves will generally consist of short presentations followed by facilitated discussions related to the readings.

For the foreseeable future, all meetings will be conducted virtually. If you are interested in attending an upcoming meeting, please register on our classes and events page to receive the Zoom link. You can also follow along with the discussion by subscribing to our mailing list or visiting our community page on Zenodo.

What is Open Science?

Open science is an umbrella term that covers a variety of efforts focused on making scientific research more transparent and accessible. Though the term is frequently used to refer to efforts aimed at ensuring access to the products of the research process - journal articles, datasets, code, and other materials - open science also encompasses efforts to ensure that the scientific enterprise is inclusive and equitable.

Different open science efforts may have different motivations and goals and it is often more accurate to say that a set of practices exists along a continuum of openness rather than simply being "open" or "closed".

This is an evolving list, but some specific practices under the open science umbrella include:

Open Access - Includes a range of practices in which research outputs (such as journal articles) are distributed online, free of cost or other access barriers. Different models of open access publishing are often described using a color system.

  • Open Access Publishing (Gold OA) -  Refers to the model in which a scholarly journal makes all articles and related content available for free immediately through their website. Open access journals such as PLOS and eLife are examples of this model.
  • Self Archiving (Green OA) - Refers to the model in which an author is able to "self-archive" a copy of their work on a website, server, or other system so others can read it free of charge. Depositing papers in PubMed Central under the NIH Public Access Policy is an example of this model as is Stanford's new open access policy.
  • Preprints - Preprints are a special case of self-archiving where authors submit a copy of an article that has not yet gone through peer view to a preprint repository so it can be accessed and read by others. Preprint servers for biomedical and health sciences-related work include bioRxiv and MedRxiv.

Data Sharing - Includes practices related to making research data and related materials (often, but not always underlying a scientific publication) as accessible as possible. There are a variety of models for how data can be shared.

  • Publically Accessible Data - Data are made available through publicly-accessible repositories.
  • Controlled Access to Data - Data are made available to authorized users after a screening process (e.g. data use/sharing agreements, data access committees).
  • Collaborative access among scientists - Data are made available to other researchers in a collaborative network or consortia.