On not-research, case-studies and irony

I know, for someone doing an open research project I have been awfully quiet lately. My contract at the Open Science and Research Initiative ended on 30 April and since then I have concentrated on my dissertation. Except I haven’t.

So what have I been up to lately, instead of what I should have been up to? First of all I wrote three stories on open science and research ethics here, here and here and participated in a discussion event concerning the same topic. Then I organised a sub-event for the Nordic Open Data Week, the Open Science Lounge. After that it was time to prepare for a presentation at the Finnish symposium on Science and Technology Research, topic being again open science and research ethics. Yesterday I participated in a workshop on data management tool Tuuli and now I’m starting to work on a workshop proposal for the Mindtrek Openmind Academic Mindtrek. It actually feels like I’m doing exactly the same job as I was earlier, just not getting paid for it (I do have a grant for the research I’m not doing).

It’s not like I am reluctant on starting on my research. I dream about it. The silence of the archive (it’s literally in a bunker underground). The neat stacks of paper to leaf through. The excitement of new discoveries and ideas. There is just so much fun stuff going on that it’s hard to focus. It’s probably a positive problem because in all honesty I’m not too worried. Finland is about to close for summer, so I’ll have plenty of time to sit in my bunker during some of the sunniest and nicest days of the entire year. I also just got (in my view) the best idea for a case-study in the history of science (or lady science, as they are calling it these days #distractinglysexy): I want to pick out cases of “ultra” open research and look at them from the point of view of a few key guidelines and statements on good scientific practice. I already have one case in mind: the NMR lipids blog and Samuli Ollila has been kind enough to agree on an interview. Other possibilites: the history of Linux and the Polymath Project. I would love times three a case from the humanities, but are there any? I will be eternally grateful for ideas and leads.

I find it not so slightly ironic that I am planning on doing a study on open research and I still have no clue on how to open mine, besides babbling on this blog. Since my data deals with human subjects I am thinking that I may need to get an ethical evaluation before I publish any of it. This is something that I’m planning on delving into in a separate blog post.

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