Education & Community at #mozsprint

The Mozilla Science Global Sprint is less than two weeks away – have you signed up to join us at one of our over 30 sites, or as a remote participant? If not, please do! There are dozens of exciting open science projects from around the world coming together on June 4 and 5 to work on their shared vision of a more open paradigm of research – many of those projects will give you a chance to practice your coding skills on the technical challenges they present. But in this blog post, I want to give a few brief highlights to the projects you can jump into at #mozsprint with no coding at all.


There are several curriculum & education projects joining us for #mozsprint this year; these projects would be delighted to hear what you’d like to learn about on their topics, and need writers, educators and curriculum designers to help craft & test them. Brainstorms very welcome!

  • Yours truly will be leading a project to use the open data recently released by the British Columbia Ministry of the Environment to build a lesson (series of lessons?) introducing R, themed towards open government / environmental data. This is a brand new project, so the sky’s the limit! I’d like your help picking through the materials that have been released by the province, and creating a road map for what would be an interesting set of lessons to build from them.
  • Scott Richie will be leading work on Software Carpentry’s Gapminder R lesson, a new and popular formulation of the popular workshop’s R material. Help proofreading, trying materials out, translating into other languages and feedback on the text will be very welcome!
  • Isabell Kiko will be working on a set of lessons teaching how to use the D3 visualization library; again, please jump in and check out what’s been written so far, try things out and let the authors know your ideas on how they can make these lessons even better.


Open Science doesn’t work in a silo – like the Science Lab itself, #mozsprint emphasizes the importance of bringing the community together to collaborate, communicate and share. These projects are trying to support the collaborative, open community, and need your help with testing, feedback and documentation.

  • The VIVO project is a platform to highlight the connections between research and the people behind it; part of its ontology informed the popular Contributorship Badges project also at the sprint. The VIVO team is planning on sprinting on documentation, and would like your feedback on whether their documentation is clear, complete and usable.
  • The Research Bazaar is going worldwide in 2016! The 2015 event in Melbourne was a wonderful festival that brought together lessons and workshops in everything open science, from coding to 3D printing to social media in the lab. In 2016, ResBaz is inviting institutions around the world to throw concurrent events, and at the sprint the 2015 team will be hashing out a cookbook for just how you can do that at your home institution. If you have questions about ResBaz, post them in the issue tracker! Understanding what people are wondering about ResBaz will help the team make the most useful resource possible.
  • The University of Washington is working on Open Science & Reproducible Badges, and effort to help offer guidance in what it means to participate in open research, and offer acknowledgement for those efforts. Take the quiz they’ve developed, and check out their project page to help hash out criteria for openness that will help uplift the scientific community – also, they’ve compiled a reading list of primers for introducing open research; if you’re new to the idea, this is a great place to start, or if you know of documents that should be on the list, let them know!
  • One of the great problems in open science is the discoverability problem – even with all this wonderful open content out there, how do you go about finding out about it? Rob Schaefer‘s team is brainstorming ideas for a tool to help a research group pool their knowledge about scientific software, and would love your help and feedback in designing a strategy for sharing that would be most helpful for you.
  • Brett Buttliere is convening a discussion to explore what an effective platform for communication around science would look like, with a particular emphasis on the platform being designed by the researchers it is intended for. If you’d like to learn more or participate in the brainstorm, start with the group’s notes here.

These are just a few of the dozens of projects on deck for #mozsprint – every single project at the Sprint would be delighted to have your feedback and input as a contributor, a user, and as a collaborator. Remember to sign up, and we’ll see you all on June 4 & 5.