It is interesting to learn what is the viewpoint of Academia.SE community on the following situation.

There is an Area 51 proposal for OpenScience which recently went into the private beta. As we have learned today, it will be closed this Friday.

There are now two alternatives:

  • Second start (think what we can do better and retry by starting another Area 51 proposal here)
  • Use Academia Q&A (this is not suggested for the first time, similar idea already has been expressed here)

Please follow the links from this question to read further details, but to keep all discussion in one place, I suggest to express your opinions as answers to this question here.

  • I do want to ask whether many open-science tags are actually properly tagged. The first questions with the open-science tag that I see is "I want to open source my code. Is it legal?" From the looks of it, that's an Open Source question (we have a site for that, for which I moderate). Therefore, (I haven't fully read the question bodies) I need to question the definition of Open Science on Academia. Most of these questions are about source code, which means that they would fit more appropriately on Open Source. I'm not sure that Open Science is established on Academia SE.
    – Zizouz212
    Aug 18, 2015 at 17:00
  • Is there any way to share the key content here for those of us who aren't part of the beta site?
    – jakebeal
    Aug 18, 2015 at 20:15
  • @Zizouz212: If you have in mind this question, then reading it further one could see that it perfectly fits into Academia.SE too: it relates to a specific situation that arose during PhD studies, and both the question and the answer attracted many votes. You're right that some other questions under "open-science" should be re-tagged - of course, one could edit them, and also improve the description of this tag here. Aug 18, 2015 at 20:23
  • @jakebeal: you need to get an invite - see this Tweet or tell me your email address please. Without that, one could access all links from the question above, except "it will be closed this Friday". Aug 18, 2015 at 20:32
  • Links are broken.
    – Nemo
    Aug 26, 2015 at 7:08
  • 1
    @Nemo - thanks, for me just one link from "it will be closed this Friday" does not work. It is no longer accessible since the proposal has been closed :( Aug 26, 2015 at 8:37

2 Answers 2


Looking at the proposal questions for OpenScience, virtually all of those would be on-topic here, as they all relate to academic-level research—specifically, open-access academic research, but still academic research. Heck, some of those questions have already been asked.

So, with that background, I suggest that people looking to ask those types of questions just post here. If it turns out that there's a subset of questions that I'm missing that are distinctly not related to academia, we could bring that subset up in Meta for inclusion in our on-topic list at that time.

  • 1
    How about question about research that is not necessarily academic? Aug 18, 2015 at 18:28
  • @FranckDernoncourt - I'd need some more details. In the past, we've allowed some industry research that were specific to the research process, but not about seeking industry jobs. High school science fair research would be a no-go.
    – eykanal
    Aug 18, 2015 at 19:18
  • 1
    @FranckDernoncourt: perhaps anything that may be relevant to knowledge transfer activities and increasing the non-academic impact of the research would be on-topic? Aug 18, 2015 at 20:55
  • @eykanal Thank you, good to hear this! FYI, there is now a post here to shortlist questions to be migrated from OpenScience to Academia SE. Aug 19, 2015 at 12:30
  • What about the attitude towards questions like this by @FranckDernoncourt ? Is it worth to try to revise this policy? For example, Math.SE has a tag big-list for similar questions, many of which perhaps would be viewed as "Shopping" here, and it's common on Math.SE to mark those questions as community wiki. For Academia SE, I'd very much agree that shopping for individual universities, academic programs etc. is not acceptable, but IMHO the question on platforms is different. Aug 20, 2015 at 13:58
  • @AlexanderKonovalov - That should be it's own question, not a comment here. Can you post that separately?
    – eykanal
    Aug 20, 2015 at 14:02

Looking at the questions posted on the private beta site, it looks to me like the vast majority of the questions there would fit quite well on Academia.SE. Perhaps they could even simply be migrated over here?

Examples of questions that would fit well:

  • What should I do if I cannot afford a journal Article Processing Charge?
  • How to protect scientific open research from being patented?
  • How to deal with sensitive individual data in open science?
  • How do I get a DOI for a dataset?
  • Percentage of the world population with subscription journal access?
  • What is the difference between “Green” and “Gold” Open Access?

Others look like they'd currently be closed here for being too broad, too dependent on particular regulations, or too opinion-based, but could probably be adjusted to be answerable within the rules and customs of this site. Examples include:

  • How much does it cost to publish an academic article?
  • What criteria does a research project need to match to be called open science?
  • How can one share data for open science?

Only a few appear to be too far off-topic for this site, primarily because they concern technical details, such as:

  • Using knitr to produce multiple output documents
  • Publishing location based data in Easting and Northing, Longitude and latitude, or Addresses?
  • Is there a specification for versioning a dataset?
  • 1
    Thank you! I've created this post on OpenScience meta to collect list of questions that may be migrated (not only to Academia SE, but perhaps some to OpenData and OpenSource). Aug 18, 2015 at 23:21
  • The "Publishing location based data" one probably sits better on open data anyway? (I'm not involved with that site, so I don't know exaclty what's on topic)
    – Flyto
    Aug 20, 2015 at 15:35
  • @SimonW: or maybe even at gis.stackexchange.com, but I'm also not involved there, so can't judge for sure. Aug 21, 2015 at 11:36

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