Author’s Note: This post is based on a talk I gave this week at NISO Plus 2021.
25 years or so after journals first went online, we’re just on the cusp of realizing what that really means in terms of reporting research results. Our first efforts, really our first decades, were spent recreating the analog print experience for journal readers – monthly issues filled with PDFs of laid out, space-limited articles. But there’s a lot that happens over the course of a research project, and while the resulting paper provides a really useful summary of that project, a lot gets left behind and never sees the light of day.
A very interesting Scholarly Kitchen piece about the road to open science, through open data, open methods/protocols and making a research project transparent and more reproducible.
On the surface, this seems like an obvious idea, creating a detailed public record of everything that happens every day throughout a research project. In the real world though, this runs into practical limitations. Storage space, discovery, and infrastructure issues aside, this is a huge ask and a huge timesink. In nearly every talk I’ve given over the last 15 years or so, I’ve used some variant of the phrase, “time is a researcher’s most precious commodity”, and this continues to ring true.