An Onion of Open

Open Science and Open Data need not be binary efforts. You can curate and nurture a “core” comprised of fully-open, public data. Surrounding that, you can have a layer open to your organization, but not the public. And surrounding that, you can have a layer open to your team, but not the broader organization.

“Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow."1 Issues with resources can get resolved more robustly when relevant stakeholders can easily discover them.

FAIR data2 isn’t just about making your data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable by the general public – it’s also about making it so for a large organization, for a smaller team, and even for just you (i.e., the “team” of your past selves, current selves, and future selves, none of whom can ask the others where you saved the data for that one experiment).

Do you steward an Onion of Open? Let me know.


  1. Raymond, The Cathedral and the Bazaar (1999). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cathedral_and_the_Bazaar ↩︎

  2. Wilkinson, M., Dumontier, M., Aalbersberg, I. et al. The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Sci Data 3, 160018 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.18 ↩︎