Boston University Superfund Research Program

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Open Science

Our SRP holds the view that publicly supported scientific knowledge and tools produced by research programs like ours should be freely available and accessible. On this web site we have implemented our commitment to open science in different ways, including using new web-based technologies and alternative approaches to licensing work that make the vision of shared research possible. This page provides more information about what we're doing and links to additional resources.

The use of open source wiki software encourages communication and collaboration on research, both externally with the public and internally within a research group. BU SRP is developing an internal wiki for research collaborations.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) allows subscribers to automatically see the latest products of research, including new publications, events, and research tools freely accessible through a web site.

Emerging permissionless licensing systems allow researchers to choose the terms under which they want to share their work; these include Creative Commons Licenses and the General Public License.

Finally, open access journals are those which make content available to everyone, without requiring a subscription. With the emergence of web-based publishing, this model can make research more easily available to more researchers in more locations. A list of open access journals can be found at DOAJ.

As the products of research come in many forms, these tools can be used in different ways. Statistical techniques and computer code for modeling environmental exposures and health outcomes can be licensed through permissionless systems, written in open source languages and fully commented, and shared through a wiki. Laboratory methods and synthetic data created to test different techniques can also be shared, updated, modified by individual researchers or collaboratively, and discussed through wiki software. Published articles can be made accessible through Open Access online journals.

Our ultimate goal is to provide a compelling model for sharing scientific findings, analytical tools, data, and research methods developed by research programs. With the help of alternative licenses for scientific work and web-based technologies that promote information sharing and collaboration, we are making these research results freely available to anyone who can use them. We hope these new technologies will enable research to be shared in a more open, accessible way, ensuring that it will be used widely and effectively for the general welfare.