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Research and education often revolve around tracking questions to which the questioner has no good answers.

So far, we have used this platform mostly for general-purpose open science questions, which are of interest to only a small sliver of those engaged or interested in open science, and it is very likely that way more people are trying to engage in open-science fashions within their domain.

Hence, I would like to use this ticket to invite feedback on how we might make this platform more useful in such contexts.

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As you know, so far, our thinking has been that it is up to each discipline to evolve. Currently, many disciplines evolve towards more openness, but this transformation is discipline-specific, and I not sure how this site can help there.

On the other hand, given the low level of activity on this site, it is hard to gauge how useful it is as it stands. Analysing the webserver logfiles might give some insights. I wanted to present a detailed evaluation of this website's usage at this year's Open Science Conference in Berlin, but my poster abstract was turned down (for the first time). So let me just throw in some basic numbers:

Total number of visits and page impressions per year (according to awstats):

yearnumber of visitspage views
2019292,150998,631 (+ 7,434,836 by robots)
2018

249,758

822,335 (+ 3,422,786 by robots)
2017170,529752,621 (+ 850,991 by robots)

So this site sees a lot of use even when it does not show any activity on the surface.

However, I understand and enjoy the fact that the community who created this site is seeking to expand its remit. Please chime in!

PS: As usual with real-world data, on closer inspection, it turns out to be unreliable. In this case I just realised that awstats received no log data from the webserver between 25 July 2019 and 2 September 2019. So in reality, usage in 2019 was higher than the table suggests.

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I would personally expect that more focussed disciplinary questions will have less people who are interested and will get less answers. Still there is nothing against trying.

We now have tags, which I guess are freely chosen terms, it may help disciplinary questions to have categories based on a standard system of scientific disciplines to make it easier to find them.

Putting the questions on social media is also a good idea. Because there is not much traffic here, I do not look that often at the homepage, but now noticed the question on Mastodon.

Ask Open Science used to be called Open Science Q&A but we changed the name when we registered the domain ask-open-science.org. Everything else stays the same: We are still hosted by Bielefeld University.

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