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OSF 2020 Community Milestones, and Looking Ahead

December 16th, 2020,

In 2020, OSF users collectively created over 20,000 new registrations, made nearly 2 million files publicly available, and shared more than 24,000 preprints. Research consumers also downloaded more than 32 million of these data points from OSF in 2020, meaning open, transparent, and rigorous research was used again and again to inform, extend, and accelerate discovery.

The Center for Open Science is dedicated to empowering the OSF community—which soared past 250,000 registered users in September 2020—with inclusive, intuitive workflows and integrations that allow them to move effortlessly through the open research lifecycle. But we can’t do this without you! Our technology teams are grateful to those who took the time in 2020 to provide rich feedback regarding how OSF can more efficiently serve researchers working to produce and discover open scholarship.

Here’s a snapshot of the new OSF products, features, and interface enhancements that helped provide a more strategic and seamless experience for researchers and open science stakeholders in 2020, and what you can expect from OSF in 2021:

2020 Milestones

Customized research collections for all communities. Now any research stakeholder (funders, journals, societies, etc.) can use OSF Collections to create a customizable repository of open scholarship according to their discipline, chosen taxonomy, or research type to improve the visibility and discoverability of open outputs in any given research area. An OSF Collection offers a dedicated space for researchers to browse existing work—enhanced through OSF’s rich metadata fields—or contribute their own work through an easy-to-use submission interface.

Discoverable repositories of rigorous registrations. Branded Registries on the OSF Registries infrastructure is a new mechanism for research stakeholders seeking to improve transparency in their research area while empowering their community members with rigorous methods. Every branded registry supports community-developed preregistration templates to help set rigorous standards. And now, new moderation workflows assist registry administrators in ensuring submissions meet the quality standards of their repository. Registry owners can invite their research members to browse or submit a registration and use the open OSF workflows and project infrastructure to manage their research immediately after submission.

Revealing institutional research ROI. OSF Institutions administrators can now take advantage of the platform’s new analytics dashboard to gain insight into the degree of open and rigorous practices among their affiliated users. The dashboard shows aspects of OSF project activity, user behavior, and even departmental affiliation. See a demo to learn how institutions can leverage the analytics dashboard to better engage and empower their communities toward openness and rigor.

Sustainable stewardship of open data. OSF and Internet Archive announced a collaboration in 2020 to implement interoperable infrastructure and training to secure the preservation, archiving, and perpetual access of open data shared on OSF and across repositories. The data stewardship project is undergoing inclusive development to accommodate and benefit preservation networks, data curators, libraries, and archive services alike. View a recent conversation between COS and Internet Archive to learn more.

An enhanced registration experience. Creating a registration on OSF is easier and more intuitive than ever thanks to a reengineered submission workflow. Newly editable metadata fields allow users to update key information in their registrations for improved discoverability. And, users can also enjoy a facelift to their registration’s overview page, with easier navigability to supplemental materials and project information.

Looking Ahead in 2021

A high-functioning project Files page. Project admins and visitors alike can look forward to a Files page redesign that facilitates easier organization and viewing, FAIR data sharing, and quicker load times. Visitors can more quickly identify file information through an improved hierarchical structure and individual file metadata.

Community contributions to OSF. We’re partnering with more community services in 2021 to integrate interoperable environments that allow for more dynamic workflows across the research lifecycle. New third-party integrations and add-ons, like OneDrive for Business, will reduce effort and streamline processes by connecting the tools researchers are already using.

Curious about integrating your tools and platforms with OSF? Explore our open API and documentation to learn more.

New tools for reporting research outcomes. We’re thrilled to begin work on templates and workflows for reporting the outcomes of preregistered studies. Preregistration defines study designs and analysis plans to make clear what was planned in advance to allow for more serendipitous findings and to reduce selective reporting. Soon, researchers will have a place on OSF to share the outcomes of their planned research along with final data, analysis scripts, and supplemental materials. 

Follow @osframework on Twitter to stay up to date with the latest OSF interface features and improvements.

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