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Open science - Coming to a town near you.


figshare has been in attendance at a plethora of conferences recently and so we'd like to give you a round-up of all things that seem to be going on in the world of open science, open access, open data and open research. In the last month, we have been represented at the following:

VIVO 2012: Revaluing Science in the Digital Age - Was attended by Scholars, scientists, researchers, developers, publishers, funding agencies, research officers, students, institutional officials and those supporting the development of team science.

International Council for Science (ICSU) /Royal Society invited workshop on 'Revaluing Science in the Digital Age'. An actionable workshop now looking to pull together a statement of outcome that ICSU can pass to its members to possibly officially agree to endorse.

Wolfram Data Summit: A gathering of data-oriented entrepreneurs, policy makers, and scientists in virtually every field of human endeavor.

Digital Research - Digital Research 2012 brought together digital researchers and developers from all disciplines to showcase and share their latest digital approaches and visions - from Big Data Analytics and e-Infrastructure to Citizen Science and Software Sustainability.

The frequency of conferences focussing on open research outputs demonstrates the impact and importance that different communities are realising on a global level. As well as illustrating the need for social change, these conferences highlighted all of the really cool tools that have already been developed that can be applied to open research data.

The feeling seems to be that there is lots of mini efforts pulling in the same direction, be it Stevan Harnad continuing to fight the good fight for open access, Rob Simpson and all of his work on the Zooniverse and crowdsourcing academic datasets, or Peter Murray Rust and his continuing development of new tools for freeing up and linking data.

The policy side of things is also getting interesting. Myron Gutman from the National Sciience Foundation (NSF) shared how their data management plans now will be reporting on 'Products' and not 'Publications', in a nod to the diverse amount of research outputs that science is now presented and disseminated in. The Royal Society workhop brought together an good mix of publishers, academics and policy makers to see how we can help shape a more efficient academic future in the UK, following the government's commitment to open data.

These are indeed exciting times in the open data and open science space. We would love to hear your ideas on what you think we can be doing to help this effort further. The figshare development team is up to full speed now, so you can expect some great site improvements and new features in the coming weeks.

  • OKCon: Immediate Access to Raw Data from Experiments Panel, 18-21 September 2012
  • CODATA 2012 “Open Data and Information for a Changing Planet”. 28-31 October 2012, Taipei
  • ALM - PLOS is hosting the 2012 ALM Workshop. November 1-3, 2012. San Francisco.

If you are at any of these conferences, please drop by and say hello, feedback, discussion and questions are always welcomed. Also, if you would like a figshare representative to come and do a demo in your lab, building or institution, just drop us a line at and we'll endeavour to get it sorted.

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