Mozilla Science Lab Week in Review, November 17-23


Big thanks to Jared Hawkins, science lead for our first Weekend Challenge! If you didn’t have time to jump in last weekend, his project on visualizing tweets for tracking the spread of disease is available on Collaborate – jump in there!

Also, many thanks to Nicole Zhu and Alex Duner for their session at MozFest on user testing for scientists – we’ve finished a first cut at turning that material into a teaching kit – more iterations to come, but the first draft is live now.

In & Around the Lab

Abby blogged earlier this week about the Science Lab’s new collaboration on contributorship badges with publishers BioMed Central (BMC) and the Public Library of Science (PLoS); the biomedical research foundation, The Wellcome Trust; the software and technology firm Digital Science; and the registry of unique researcher identifiers, ORCID. This project seeks to standardize how we give credit for the many and varied roles in modern science, and is now looking for feedback on its proposed workflow for assigning badges, and the taxonomy around which it is built. The figure below illustrates the proposed workflow between submitting papers, viewing papers, viewing researchers by ORCID ID and the badging infrastructure. Let us know how contributorship badges can work best for you!

badges workflow Implementation scheme for contributorship badges, illustrating how submitting papers, viewing papers, and viewing researcher profiles by ORCID ID will interact with the badging infrastructure.

Also this week, Bill was busy on curriculum projects. Two big things landed this week: substantial updates to Software Carpentry Instructor Training based on what we’ve been experimenting with at the University of Virginia, The Genome Analysis Centre and the University of Washington, and a first cut at a stand-alone lesson on user testing for scientists, based on the Break My Projects session from MozFest. We’re excited at how Instructor Training is taking shape for Carpentries Software and Data, both in anticipation for our upcoming training workshops at UC Davis and the Research Bazaar at the University of Melbourne, and for what the broader community can learn about education from this collaborative endeavor – thoughts on making Instructor Training even better are waiting for your feedback here. On the user testing teaching kit side, this is only the first draft of the first project in our series of stand-alone teaching kits on skills and ideas crucial to open science; your feedback is always welcome, and stay tuned for future installments.

Also this week was Kaitlin Thaney‘s keynote at WSSPE, on the system design and societal considerations associated with sustainable scientific discovery in a distributed, open fashion. You can check out papers, abstracts and recordings from the conference here – as always, we’d love to hear your feedback!

Finally, this week saw two of our regular events – the first Weekend Challenge, and another round of Instructor Hangouts. We would love to hear from the community on how we can make these events even better and more engaging; what do software workshop instructors feel is missing in their preparation for teaching? What sort of infrastructure would help you jump on board with open science projects like those on Collaborate? Let us know, and we’ll be happy to tailor our projects to what the community is hoping for.

Near-Term Forecast

December is almost upon us, which means it’s time to plan for the new year! Over the coming weeks, the Science Lab is going to lay in its course for 2015 with new events, partnerships and projects – now is a great time for everyone to let us know what you want from your Science Lab, and what sort of community and infrastructure you most want to see built and supported.

Reading List

The Rights Stuff: Copyright, Scientific Debate, and Reuse | PLOS Blogs

Data Visualization for All | Jack Dougherty et al

A Worm’s Mind in a Lego Body | I Programmer

Baby Steps for the Open-Curious | Practical Data Management for Bug Counters