A couple of weeks ago I submitted my proposal for the ERC Consolidator Grant 2016 call. Since I believe that open science includes not only the actual research activities but the research ideas themselves, I’ve decided to make my proposal public. You can read here:

Very Large Community-based Software Development (ERC proposal)

My goals with this public posting of my proposal are:

  • Help other researchers going through a similar “ERC experience”. Obviously, this is just a proposal so I’m not saying this is a good example of a ERC proposal, it could be a terrible one but, still, it’s an example and, unfortunately, many people talk aboutopen science but few practice it so I’m sure some of you  will find it useful when writing yours. Also this research proposal is aimed at studying open source development so I’d find counterintuitive not to have the proposal itself in the open
  • Hope to find other researchers interested in this research line to collaborate with
  • Find practitioners/contributors to OSS projects that would be open to help with our reserach by accepting to be contacted/interviewed to learn more about how OSS is developed, commit to read the results we produce  and (maybe) try them in their projects. If you’d like to help please fill this form

Let me know when you post yours! And don’t be afraid, this fear of people copying our ideas and publishig them first is what makes this portrait of our community (from the very recommended Team Geek book) so (sadly) true:

Professional science is supposed to be about the free and open exchange of information. But the desperate need to “publish or perish” and to compete for grants has had exactly the opposite effect. Great thinkers don´t share ideas. They cling to them obsessively, do their research in private, hide all mistakes along the path and then ultimately publish a paper making it sound like the whole process was effortless and obvious. And the results are often disastrous: they accidentally duplicated someone else´s work or made an undetected mistake early on … The amount of wasted time and effort is tragic

As a final rant, what amazes me even more is that researchers are not forced to make public all details of, at the very least, all accepted grants / projects funded with public money. What a world we live in!