The Open Science Lab, established in 2013, is a team of experts at the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB) who test and refine web applications for scientists.
The internet influences the way in which researchers work. Today, e-mails, Google and PDF files are taken for granted, any yet developments will not stop there:
Social software: Tools such as blogs, RSS, Twitter and social network services enable us to communicate with one another quickly and more effectively. It is easier to receive feedback about provisional results from peers. Or, seen from the other perspective, it is easier to look over the shoulders of researchers working on their current projects. Traditional research publications are often discussed and criticised in blogs. (Post publication peer review.)
Open Collaboration: Collaborative platforms such as Github, wikis (e.g. OpenWetWare) and Stack Exchange (e.g. MathOverflow) enable users to contribute quickly and easily to projects of third parties. Despite sometimes being only minor contributions, their authorship and significance for the final product can be presented with precision. As with software, projects “live” on such platforms: they can be refined to make new versions or copied at any time, e.g. for use in other projects.
Open Access: Preprint servers such as arXiv and Golden Road Journals enable research results to be disseminated more quickly and widely than was previously possible using printed paper or closed access. Open primary data and tools enable research results to be reproduced more effectively. The CC-BY licence, which is compatible with Open Access, has become a popular means of supporting the remix of multimedia content and of integrating content into Wikipedia.
The continual development of new tools and practices in all of the above-mentioned areas raises new issues that TIB wishes to help solve. A number of examples are mentioned in the blog post on the launch of the Open Science Lab.
TIB is a founding member of the strategic research network Science 2.0 of the Leibniz Association that watches other initiatives in this area with interest, e.g. the Open Knowledge Foundation and the Open Science Federation.