COS’s mission is to increase openness, integrity, and reproducibility of research. Openness refers to transparency and inclusivity. COS aims to make visible and accessible the content and process of all research to facilitate reuse and self-correcting to accelerate discovery. And, COS aims to increase accessibility of research for all potential contributors and consumers.
Science will not meet its potential until the research culture enables and supports contributors from all backgrounds and circumstances and contributions of all kinds based on the interests, skills, and resources available. Failure to achieve diversity and inclusion of all stakeholders in science will slow progress in discovery and translation of knowledge to solving humanity’s most pressing problems. The benefits of diversity and inclusion for enhancing the research culture are partly articulated in the paper Scientific Utopia III: Crowdsourcing Science.
Also, like many other groups advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in research and technology, COS recognizes that talent is distributed across people of all backgrounds and identities, but opportunity is not. COS promotes opportunity, particularly for those that have less access, as a mechanism to increase equity and to leverage all available talent for advancing our mission.
Some examples of concrete actions in line with our mission to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion among COS staff, among COS’s collaborative partnerships, and in the wider research community are:
- We prioritize diversity and inclusion in our organization staffing, policies, and practices. Our team consists of individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and identities, and we strive in hiring to further diversify our team toward representativeness of the community that we serve. Examples of staff diversification efforts include wide-casting job advertisements to maximize visibility, direct outreach to groups serving underrepresented communities for recruitment, and direct requests to staff, board members, and individual stakeholders to nominate individuals or share ads with people from underrepresented communities. COS also seeks diversity in its governance via its Board. The Board member nomination process is described below. Our policies are transparent and supportive of a variety of life circumstances to maximize inclusion and opportunity for success at COS. We update these policies regularly to meet emerging best practices for inclusion, and based on feedback gathered from internal surveys, annual and real-time reviews, and exit interviews.
- Our organizational practices reinforce our policies to create an environment that values each team member and provides opportunity for feedback to improve alignment between our policies and practices. Illustrative examples include: scheduling team social events overlapping with normal work hours to be inclusive of those with outside of work commitments, virtualization of all key staff rituals to include individual’s working from home or working remotely, genderless bathrooms on site, attentiveness to holidays and cultural traditions from a variety of backgrounds, de-emphasis of status and hierarchy in office and working spaces, accessibility of leadership to everyone in the organization, open feedback channels, and flexibility for staff to manage working arrangements with appointments and other life responsibilities.
- COS maintains the OSF as a free service to maximize access and opportunity for research producers and consumers of any means and experience. We aim to achieve WCAG AA compliance for accessibility and to support language translations. OSF storage options in the U.S.A, Germany, Australia, and Canada, so far, enable as many as possible to use the services in compliance with local rules and regulations.
- COS builds and maintains open-source products to maximize transparency, integrity, and accessibility of the code supporting our products and services.
- COS organizes and conducts inclusive, collaborative projects involving individual researchers and teams worldwide, with a particular emphasis on lowering the barrier to entry for researchers with time, skills, or interest but lacking the resources to conduct a full research program on their own. For example, Open Science Collaboration (2015) included 270 co-authors from all over the world, and the Many Labs series of papers have large and diverse authorship lists (e.g., Klein et al., 2018). More recently, COS’s DARPA SCORE project involves hundreds of researchers. COS is committed to making its own research content and outcomes as openly accessible as possible to promote reuse by anyone from anywhere.
- An important opportunity to accelerate science and leverage all available talent and interest is to increase the access and opportunity for research and researchers globally in underserved communities in the developing world. COS cultivates and supports communities of practice in underserved areas to raise capacity of those research communities. For example, OSF hosts community preprint services that primarily serve researchers from developing nations.
The research community is diverse with people in very different places on awareness, beliefs, knowledge, and behaviors about openness, integrity, and reproducibility of research. We aim to meet researchers where they are with our products, services, and message. In practice, this means avoiding self-righteousness and judgmentalism about whether others’ meet idealistic standards of openness that risks alienating people, especially those from marginalized communities, from being included in the movement to improve research transparency and rigor. Adopting open scholarship is not all or none, nor is it clear yet how best the principles apply in all research situations in practice. With an incremental, forward-looking, evidence-based approach, we aim to bring aboard all researchers to the shared goal of making science as effective as possible for generating knowledge, solutions, and cures. With everyone providing voice, perspective, and evidence about what works and what doesn’t we are much more likely to achieve our mission.