The exhibit is set to open on Nov. 13. (File)

UBC to be first Canadian institution to join open science platform

The new service aims to make transparency, collaboration and reproducibility easier

UBC is now the first Canadian institution to join the Center for Open Science’s online platform.

In the interest of promoting academic research, UBC Okanagan’s Sharon Hanna, Matthew Vis-Dunbar and Jason Pither announced that the university has become the first Canadian post-secondary institution to join the Center of Open Science’s online platform, Open Science Framework Institutions (OSFI).

“OSFI is a highly flexible collaboration and research management tool that encourages best practices in project organization and reproducibility,” stated a UBCO press release.

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Vis-Dunbar is a librarian for the Southern Medical Program, biology and human kinetics. He has been leading UBC’s adoption on the system.

“With recent concerns about a reproducibility crisis plaguing scientific research, the benefits of open science, where everything from research plans to the data and results of a study is posted for all to review and scrutinize, are well recognized,” said Vis-Dunbar.

“Breaking down traditional barriers to collaborative research is also very effective at improving the quality and impact of research, making connections and accelerating the pace of scientific discovery.”

This is where OSFI comes in, said Jason Pither, associate professor of biology at UBC Okanagan and collaborator on the project.

“We all strive to publish ground-breaking research, but equally important is ensuring that our work is reproducible, and discoverable to all who wish to see it,” says Pither. “OSFI facilitates this. It is a free online platform that helps researchers organize their research projects and workflow, to keep track of all changes made along the way, and to store and share protocols and outputs.

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Pither also said that OSFI integrates with many tools that researchers are already using, making large international collaborations that much easier.

“OSFI accommodates all aspects of the work that goes into research, such as storing data and making them accessible and discoverable,” said Pither. “And unlike other platforms, OSFI provides storage infrastructure that resides in Canada.”

More information about the initiative at UBC behind OSFI can be found at openscience.ubc.ca/about.

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