I recently had an engaging email exchange with @paoladm, a new researcher at IGDORE. This discussion touched on a lot of areas, but one of the most important was encouraging research groups/teams to form and work on projects that address questions related to IGDOREs values (healthy, global, open and replicable). IGDORE affiliates discuss OS a lot (on this forum and elsewhere) - IGDORE research teams could offer a new way for distributed research teams to form and conduct research on OS that have real research outcomes.
What would IGDORE research teams look like? Well, many researchers at IGDORE are interested in Open and Replicable Science and/or metascience: several researchers could come together and form a research team looking at, for example, the use and attitudes towards preprints in different fields. After approval from the IGDORE board, this could be called the ‘IGDORE preprint usage evaluation group’ and would receive institutional support from IGDORE, like administrative assistance, a page on our site describing the group’s work and findings, etc. New IGDORE affiliates interested in studying preprint usage could join the existing team and while individual team members could apply for individual project funding through IGDORE (or another academic affiliation they may have), there may also be opportunities for the team to apply for institutional grants through IGDORE. As many IGDORE affiliates work independently, research teams would provide peers and increased support for independent researchers to make scientific contributions through IGDORE.
Why experiment with new models for research organization? Well, constraining work to a single lab or institute generally limits the location where participants can be based, a collaboration between researchers based at different universities fragments the administration and infrastructure between different institutions, while founding a new organization for each project involves requires going through a lot of bureaucracy that isn’t central project’s goals. Are any of those well suited for how most of IGDORE’s researchers want to work on OS projects? Probably not. IGDOREs goal would be to work in consultation with our researchers to develop an organization model that is well suited for enabling most of our researchers to work on the sorts of OS projects they are interested in. Last and possibly least, experimenting with institutional design has recently become quite trendy.
What would we need to make IGDORE research teams a reality? (suggestions mostly from @paoladm):
- a process/workflow template
- metrics to track outcomes
- internal project pages (OSF, GitHub?)
- external project pages (on the igdore.org site?)
- internal communication channels (private forum category, slack?)
- funding (this is potentially a recursive problem as results+teams are often needed before the funding that facilitates them)
- team leaders (not necessarily PIs, but people motivated to start team moving and take some responsibility for ensuring goals are met)
And what would IGDORE’s research teams work on? Well, basically anything related to the intersection of the values of healthy, global, open and replicable with research and education! (IGDORE’s current Open Scientific Practices page is an initial example) Specifically, @paoladm mentioned interest in exposing flaws in the peer-review process (do you want to expand on this Paola?). Open and replicable (let alone health and global) science is a big space and more project ideas are also very welcome
@heidi also recently suggested using IGDORE to support the creation of new types of research collaborations and teams (The IGDORE Project: Reinventing Academia with an Open (Science) Mind - #8 by heidi) and two of our recent In Focus interviewees (@Daniel_Cleather and @sivashchenko) have also mentioned wanting to see more collaborative activities at IGDORE. So to keep the momentum going, I’m tagging @IGDORE_everyone - please feel free to share your thoughts on this with the rest of the institute:
- Do IGDORE research teams sounds like a good idea?
- Would you be interested in working on one?
- Or do you think that the existing options for research collaboration are already good enough?
IGDORE research teams are still just an idea, but if there is enough interest in them then I think the institute could start moving towards making them a reality
Note that I can also imagine IGDORE affiliates developing collaborations and projects related to their individual research areas (e.g. psychology and physics). I also think that IGDORE would be a good place for field-specific research collaborations to form, but I feel that these are likely to be more similar to traditional collaborations and require less formal support from IGDORE. However, this is also open to discussion and it might eventually make sense to have an ‘IGDORE particle physics group’ (for example)