[open-science] Marketing goals
Open Science Kentucky
opensciencekentucky at gmail.com
Thu Nov 3 20:18:06 GMT 2011
I mentioned before that OSK's purpose is to identify and implement ways in
which open science might become more mainstream. I'm hoping to solicit your
commentary on this matter. Alternatively, here's a quick run down on some
of our projects. Please send along your ideas.
Open science (OS) is a paradigm shifting idea. Many scientists use pieces
of it, but, in my experience, the average scientist has no idea OS is a
viable option. For him/her, OS is a catchy yet inconvenient,
career-jeopardizing medium with almost no incentives. Because OS cannot
become reality based on utilization by zealots alone, the average scientist
must adopt it. For this to happen, the average scientist has to believe OS
will be the predominant scientific paradigm, challenging him/her to not use
it. At OSK, we believe visibility is the first step toward achieving this.
There are a remarkable number of scientists who immediately become
interested when I talk with them about OS. Most suggest the standard
impediments to implementation, including publish or perish, loss of grant
funding, etc. However, what really strikes me is that they have no idea
there're groups working on this issue. These scientists are definitely
interested in OS, voice the standard concerns with it, but have no idea
what else to do with it. They don't know who to contact for more
information, where to contribute ideas or $$, how to provoke an OS
dialogue. They don't know anyone doing open science and consequently can't
imagine doing it themselves.
We propose that OS becomes a brand.
OS is a collection of varied ideas and practices, but they all lead back to
a fundamentally different view of science than the one in place now. We
propose that OS adopts a symbol, like the one attached to this email, to be
noted on our websites, offered to our collaborators and colleagues who have
websites, and shared with strangers inadvertently practicing OS. This
symbol can supplement our business cards and adorn t-shirts and whatnot.
The conversations this symbol will provoke are free advertising.
We propose that OS employs some loose form of membership.
In Kentucky, we implement weekly meetings with OS-minded people, seeking to
constantly increase our membership. We are creating networks with our local
hackerspace and open source groups, facilitating dynamic discussions among
a diverse group of scientists with far reaching connections. We have a
Google group pulling it all together. Everyone we meet is offered
attendance at our meetings, and every attendee is offered admission to our
network. There is something tangible. Members are aware of their
membership. We hope they'll share it, put it on their CV's. Most
importantly, creating this membership creates ownership, encouraging new
blood to innovate in remarkable ways. Our plan is to implement similar
tactics in cities across the US, starting with the midwest (where we are),
subsequently creating a self-perpetuating movement. It's an exciting idea
and people want to be a part of it.
We propose that OS thinks like a business.
This isn't suggesting OSK should maximize profit or shareholder incentives.
Rather, successful businesses, both entrepreneurial and not-for-profit,
maintain a vision while simultaneously addressing the practical concerns of
implementing that vision. This includes market research, a successful
product, and marketing. In this case, we know OS is a great idea with
unlimited market potential. From reading the discussions on this message
board, it sounds like we've not yet agreed upon a product. Marketing may be
our most important, yet most poorly realized piece.
At OSK, we are beginning meetings with our friends in the marketing
community. We recommend each local group does the same. At a minimum, OS
needs to implement classical marketing strategies to increase its
visibility. This will include ground-level, grassroots, get-out-the-voice
type marketing. Better still, when novel ideas to increase OS's outreach
emerge locally, they can be shared with other OS groups for mutual benefit.
If there are successful outreach programs in place, we at OSK would love to
hear about them.
In terms of a successful product, we think open science itself is that
product. OS is thus the thing to market. Facets of OS like open publishing,
open access, open data, are icing on the cake. Successful marketing
campaigns don't elaborate on every piece of a product, just the most
innovative/desirable/interesting aspects. For example, trucks have HEMI
engines -- I have no idea what a HEMI versus any other engine is, but I've
seen it advertised on bumper stickers and I assume the HEMI comes with
powerful American trucks. OS is the innovative new thing, but it won't sell
if we constantly talk about every possible derivation of it. It's the
cultural change of OS that is so powerful. IMHO, the rest should be
reserved for those hoping to improve on OS that is implemented; there will
be plenty of time to utilize best-practices, but we must provoke the
We propose that OS forms clear goals and sets things in motion to achieve
In our experience, if anyone at a meeting leaves without a clear set of
tasks to complete before a prearranged next meeting, very little will be
accomplished. Has OS established a culture of action? If not, we encourage
each of you to plan your next steps, to coordinate with others on the
message circuit to find bigger goals and task them out, to find allies in
the community to make things happen faster, all with an end point in mind.
We at OSK think it would behoove the group to set up a Google group for
OSK, list relevant goals and tasks there, and note what evolutions have
been successful/unsuccessful already. This will help us avoid repeating
mistakes, while helping us to stay in constant forward motion.
If you like our OS symbol, please feel free to add it to your website and
share it. If you have a better idea for a trademark, share it with us and
we'll use it. If you'd like to join us in any of our endeavors, please send
us a note.
Looking forward to hearing from everyone! Cheers!
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