Welcome to Mozilla Science Lab's Study Group Orientation!


What’s the Mozilla Science Lab? And who's Mozilla?

Meet the Mozilla Science Lab

The Study Group Orientation materials were developed by the Mozilla Science Lab (MSL), with lots of help from members of the MSL community. The Mozilla Science Lab’s mission is to help scientists and researchers (anyone from students to established researchers to citizen scientists) to work openly and do better research, more research, and make that research more useful by sharing it widely.

Although our name suggests otherwise, MSL is not a brick and mortar laboratory, nor do MSL staff regularly do scientific research. We do work in an iterative, experimental way, building on learning and constantly evaluating our outcomes and fine-tuning our programs. Our community includes scientists, researchers, designers, developers, and librarians, all working to making research open and accessible.

MSL seeks to promote open research through:

  • Fellowships. We offer a 10-month, funded fellowship for researchers who want to influence the future of open science and data sharing within their communities. Fellows receive training around open source, data sharing, open science policy, and licensing. Fellows work on their own open projects and create code, learning resources, and trainings to support open practice at their institutions and in their local communities.
  • Mentorship. In our mentorship programs, participants connect with experienced mentors to gain open leadership skills and advance their research projects
  • Project-based learning. In addition to our Study Group program, we produce learning materials and workshops on Open Data and open practice designed specifically for researchers and project leads; our online Projects directory is a curated collection of open source, web-based tools to help you do better science.

In addition to the Study Group calls, MSL also has regular Community calls open to all-- drop in to meet fellow community members and learn about exciting topics in the world of open research. Explore the MSL website to learn more about our offerings.

Oh by the way, we’re from Mozilla!

The Mozilla Science Lab is a program of the non-profit Mozilla Foundation. You may recognize the name Mozilla-- we’re the group of people, organized as a non-profit, public charity-- best known for making the Firefox web browser. Mozilla’s Firefox is an open source project, which means the source code is freely, publicly available and anyone who would like to can help develop the project. Firefox was created and is sustained by the Mozilla staff and a collaborative community of volunteers, called “contributors.” Currently, 1/5th of the web's traffic comes through the Firefox browser, giving some of the big corporate browsers a bit of competition! Many open practices-- such as the use of the web as a collaboration tool and a space to share code, resources, and data-- were created, tested, and refined by software developers working on open-source projects like Firefox.

The open source movement showed that scrappy, self-organized groups of passionate volunteers could collaborate to develop viable alternatives to proprietary software, and even compete against huge corporations! The principles of participation, self-organization, flexibility, and open sharing of resources are at the heart of Mozilla’s Study Group Program, and the open source ethos drive’s Mozilla’s commitment to open science and its Science Lab program.

In addition to developing Firefox and supporting the Science Lab, Mozilla fights for what we call the “open web.” We’re doing this by championing:

  • Inclusion: an accessible, free Internet for all
  • Privacy: user control of their own data on the web
  • Web literacy: the ability for everyone to meaningfully
    • Read: navigate the web, and find, evaluate, and synthesize web content
    • Write: code, design, compose, revise and remix content for the web
    • Participate: connect with online communities, share, contribute, and work collaboratively on the web
  • Decentralization: internet technologies and platforms based on open standards, allowing for the seamless flow and transfer of information and content
  • Open Innovation: the web as a space for new ideas and creativity, where all users can create, innovate, and compete online without asking permission.

To drive this work, Mozilla coordinates and staffs programs to work directly with interested, motivated community members on Learning, Advocacy, Science, the emerging Internet of Things, and Women in Web Literacy. We think of this constellation of programs and the amazing community leaders (like you) who work with us as the Mozilla Leadership Network. Members of the network are leading projects as diverse as improving civic engagement, creating better educational experiences, building more human technologies, and making scientific research more collaborative and efficient (through data sharing, open projects, and Study Groups, just like yours!).

To see what’s exciting and new in Mozilla’s network, check out Network Pulse, a space for updates and information on network projects and activities. As a Study Group lead, you’re a member of our Network, and encouraged to take advantage of resources, trainings, and make connections with others in the Network.