Foundation Embraces Open Science in 2017


The concept of Open Science – or immediate access to papers, research data, and procedures – is changing how knowledge is shared.

The idea was thrust into the spotlight in part by the 2016 Cancer Moonshot Initiative led by Vice President Joe Biden. Having set out to achieve a decade’s worth of cancer progress in five years, the Moonshot encouraged Open Science as a means to break down silos that often create duplicative efforts and stall innovation.

Recently, Philip Bourne, PhD, FACMI, Associate Director for Data Science at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), visited the Foundation to discuss open science practices and follow up in depth on the topics he presented at our Symposium in August.

Discussion centered on the concept of preprints, the need for a central data repository, and the appropriate citation policy to mine the data available. Bourne also shared current NIH initiatives toward Open Science, and we explored how the Foundation might contribute to or glean best practices from their work.

“I think preprints and data accessibility are really going to be at the forefront of Open Science in the next few years,” shared Bourne. “Any way that your organization can help to disseminate quality research results faster will help drive both the field and the Open Science initiative forward.”

The Foundation is passionate about fostering collaboration among clinicians and researchers to drive progress, and Open Science is central to this mission. We are currently developing an Open Science Policy that will govern our funded research projects.

“It is essential that the Foundation be on the forefront of best practices for research standards,” says Foundation Chairman Neal F. Kassell, MD. “There has been a tendency in medical research to guard one’s work closely, but that mentality can complicate and delay progress. We are now in an era where we need to collaborate to get to the finish line as soon as possible.”

We look forward to instituting our Open Science Policy in the coming months. Also, with Dr. Bourne’s upcoming move to the University of Virginia, we look forward to a continued dialogue and hope to invite him back to host a webinar for our stakeholders.

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