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This question is taken straight from https://twitter.com/kirstie_j/status/801785914972405760 and I think is a good one to ponder here.

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First, I think it is important to clarify to them that the transition from closed to open research has multiple dimensions, and that they are not the first to go down that path. This means that they can start by

  • observing what others have done and engaging with that
  • watching out for mentors
  • sharing just with the mentors rather than the entire world
  • opening one of their research projects rather than all of them
  • opening some aspects of that project (e.g. data, code, protocols, final narrative) one by one rather than the entire research cycle
  • progressively iterating over these points rather than switching all at once
  • making a plan for the above open, rather than the research itself


Second, we have to help provide support for each of these activities, e.g. by

  • making our own open activities easier to find and engage with
  • acting as mentors (or helping build mentoring programs)
  • providing a safe space (that may not be open from the start) to test the sharing of research at small scale
  • advising on how to choose suitable projects to start with
  • advising on how to choose which aspects of a research cycle to open first
  • advising on next steps
  • providing feedback on the plan


Third, we have to keep communicating about such issues, and not just in our own echo chambers but also in places where the doubtful might actually look or that they might trust.

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Here's a list of things that people can do to contribute to GitHub projects, much in line with what's outlined above: https://whdb.com/blog/2016/be-a-social-coder-with-these-top-3-web-designer-resources/ .

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