Welcome to Mozilla Science Lab's Study Group Orientation!


4.1 Why Open Science and Open Research?

Whether you're studying the human genome, black holes, deep-sea ecology, or the cultural implications of climate change, research is the practice and process of learning and creating knowledge. Researchers always build on (or transform) our existing understanding of the world. When a researcher shares an insight or discovery, makes her data available on the web, or makes the details of a new experimental technique or tool public so others can use and reuse it, she empowers both fellow researchers and citizens, furthering our collective knowledge... knowledge that can be used to solve problems, save lives, and inspire and amaze us all. The more research data, knowledge, methods, tools and skills made widely and openly available to all, the better.

While the idea of “open” (drawing inspiration from the open-source movement in software engineering) has taken root in the sciences recently, it is relevant and useful to any kind of research: economics, psychology, sociology, the humanities-- you name it.

Making your research open will likely require some shifts and changes in how you’re currently doing research, but you don’t have to rush in and do it all at once! The following sections provide a bit more information about some key concepts in open science, and links and resources for you to explore and learn more, and decide which of these open practices make sense for you and your work.

As you read through this module, you might encounter some unfamiliar terms. This handy Open Research Glossary https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uXZzyXPHNcjCPiR5qkzEuB5u2PUIYQzq0mrG9BtD-Qo/edit#heading=h.tsneh02k2pc8 should help with definitions!