Catalyst for Change: Center for Open Science 2022 Impact Report

Advancing Open Science

We are in the 10th year of a system-wide effort to proactively reform the norms and reward system in science and elevate rigor, transparency, sharing, and reproducibility. Change is hard, particularly in a decentralized system like science. And, scaling sustainable change is even harder, especially with the persistence of dysfunctional incentives that reward exciting over accurate, novel over rigorous, and tidy over transparent.

But the reform movement has made remarkable progress, primarily because of grassroots actors changing norms despite the dysfunctional reward systems, and because of actions by progressive leaders at journals, funders, societies, and institutions that are changing incentives and policies directly.

Continue reading

Brian Nosek

Brian Nosek
Executive Director
Center for Open Science

Alison Mudditt

Alison Mudditt
Board Chair
Center for Open Science

Strategy for Culture Change

COS’s Theory of Change recognizes that academic research is a social system, and that starting and scaling behavior change requires a systems-based intervention strategy. That means that every organization and participant in the research culture is an agent of stasis or change. And, to succeed in aligning scholarly practices with scholarly values, we must solve the coordination problem and ultimately activate everyone. But, no realistic strategy for behavior change can expect to activate everyone all at once.

COS’s strategy is to catalyze innovators and early adopters as the beachhead for change in a scholarly community by providing tools to make it possible to do the new behaviors. Then, making early adopters’ behavior visible and aspirational initiates changing community norms about how science should be done. That, combined with training and ensuring that the behaviors are fit for purpose, brings the behaviors into the mainstream. To scale and sustain those emerging norms, publishers, funders, and institutions align their incentives and policies so that researchers are rewarded and ultimately required to do the behaviors.


5. Make it Required

The Transparency and Openenss Promotion (TOP) Guidelines provide and promote a policy framework for aligning values, incentives, and policies for journals, funders, and institutions.

4. Make it Rewarding

Journals and funders to realign incentives with Rigor and Transparency Initiatives using Registered Reports, a publishing format where peer review happens prior to data collection.

3. Make it Normative

Grassroots organizing activates champions to adopt new practices and engage their community. Targeted communications such as badges make their new behaviors visible to others.

2. Make it Easy

OSF is constantly evolving with user-centered product development to integrate into researchers' daily workflows. Training and customization ensures that the tools are fit-for-purpose for all kinds of research.

1. Make it Possible

The open-source Open Science Framework (OSF) makes it possible for researchers to improve rigor, transparency, and sharing of all their work across the research lifecycle.

By the Numbers

Cumulative Registered OSF Users

Cumulative Registered OSF Users

OSF Users


Journal policy evaluations included on TOP Factor


Increased webinar registrations in 2022


Research claims extracted as part of the SCORE program

[links heading]


Get to Know COS



Previous Impact Reports

Impact Report 2021
Impact Report 2020