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Industrial related research tend to hide detail information and are therefore the opposite of open science. Obvious advantages are:

  • Reproducibility of proposed approaches
  • Methodology transparency

Does anyone have industrial open science experience? Does disclosure of the source/data benefit industrial research?

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While I am unaware of any past or present open science collaborations in industry (I might expect something of this sort in bioinformatics / drug discovery, but I am not in that field so I don't know), I would note that there have been many corporate technology consortia that have led to significant advances. See for instance:

  1. The AIM (Apple/IBM/Motorola) Alliance, which created the PowerPC chip. Although the PPC did not last, it engendered competition in the CPU marketplace and kept Intel and other x86 chip manufacturers on their toes.
  2. The Digital Display Working Group, without whom we'd have no DVI ports.
  3. The Khronos Group, which works on improving graphics performance on PCs.
  4. SEMATECH, which performs basic research on chip-manufacturing techniques.

I think whether or not such consortia benefit individual members depends. If you're a smaller company, joining a consortium might help you tremendously, since you would be able to perform research on a larger scale than if you were just trying to work independently. If you are a larger company with enough cash in the coffers to do big science (or tech R&D, in the above instances) without others, you might be able to duck out of a consortium and still do very well (Intel and Samsung are, in fact, trying to do this with SEMATECH right now). In general, open consortia have created standards that have been adopted much more widely than individual proprietary standards. All in all, there's some serious game theory involved.

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