The goals of OWW are to support open sharing of research, education, publication, and discussion in biological sciences and engineering. We promote and support collaborations among researchers, students, and others who are working towards these goals. We believe that open sharing of research improves the quality and pace of scientific and engineering research.
We are taking three approaches to achieve our mission -
1. Lower the technical barriers to sharing and dissemination of knowledge in biological research
Scientific and engineering research have strong traditions of publishing research. However, the pace of publishing research (often 6-12 months) has lagged the pace of research. Moreover, much of the information generated in the course of research fails to get captured in research articles (the traditional mechanism for sharing research). Thus, we advocate new, faster timescale publishing mediums like OpenWetWare that can capture biological knowledge as it is generated to complement the existing scientific publishing mechanisms. We are always seeking new tools and technologies that make this open sharing of research easier.
2. Build a community of researchers in biology and biological engineering that values, practices, and innovates the open sharing of information
Peer review is a fundamental part of biological research. We use it to assess papers for publication, talks to be presented at conferences, grant proposals for funding and job hiring and promotion. Thus, an important part of our mission to promote the open sharing of research is building a community that recognizes and values that sharing.
3. Integrate OpenWetWare into existing and future reward structures in research
Ultimately, for the open sharing and digitization of research to be standard practice in scientific research, it will need to be integrated into existing reward structures in science. Researchers need to "receive credit" when they make their protocols, datasets, model files etc. freely available to others. We consider this to be a critical but long-term goal of OpenWetWare.
- OpenWetWare steering committee/SC retreat - notes from retreat where the mission was outlined.