Open Science Framework

Yesterday we had a Skype training session with Courtney Soderberg from the Open Science Framework (www.osf.io). We have been debating incorporating this system into our collaboration model to help organize research projects within the lab, as well as distribute materials and manage group work within a classroom setting. We are going to pilot this platform with the Experimental Design course this semester and from there determine whether or not it would be useful for our collaborative research projects as we already use several platforms for this already (Google drive, dropbox, figshare, slideshare, etc).

Here are some of the main take-away points from the meeting:

PROS:

  • All components of research project available in one place
  • Advanced versioning allows you to easily track what has been added by who, as well as jump back to older versions of the same document(s).
  • Can link to other platforms that sync with each other (Google, Dropbox, figshare, Github, and several more)
  • Can exit text-based files within the program
  • Privacy settings by component (i.e. can allow certain collaborators to see some sections such as data, but not others)
  • Can make certain components public, and share widely
  • Useful for group work within a classroom setting to monitor progress and individual student contributions/workload

CONS:

  • Learning curve of using a new platform
  • Component organization may be too complicated (especially for students to learn quickly and make use of)
  • Cannot edit non-text files within, must edit externally and re-upload (word doc, powerpoint, etc)
  • Many features not entirely novel–we have seen this before on other platforms so may not be worth the effort to switch over.
Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 9.50.15 PM

Screenshot of the main project page within the OSF website.