Well, this has been in the works for awhile. A couple of days ago, the Center for Open Science announced the public beta release of SciNet on twitter and Facebook. I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty excited about this. Countless hours have been spent learning new technologies, testing ideas, and getting the infrastructure established for the project.
What is OSF SciNet?
To summarize, SciNet is an open source project whose goal is to crowdsource the collection, standardization, and release of a dataset containing scientific citations and their corresponding references.
Why is this important?
While many researches have conducted studies of the citation network, their efforts have been hindered by small or inadequate datasets. Services like PubMed have made research easier in the biomedical science domain, but no such solution exists that cuts across all areas of science in a fully open and transparent way. The dataset generated through this project will make it easier to see the connections in the scientific literature and to promote open science.
This is a huge task.
But, I have high hopes for the project. Since the release over 100 new users have downloaded Citelet, a Chrome extension that allows users to passively contribute to the project as the browse articles. I have to admit it feels pretty awesome to see people using our tools and watching the number of articles in our dataset increase each day. As I write this we are almost up to 112,000 articles!
Want to learn more?
If you’d like to learn more about the project, how to contribute to it, or even help develop future tools check out some of the following links:
- SciNet – Homepage of the project
- Citelet – Information on how to install and us the Citelet Chrome extension
- OSF SciNet GitHub – The backbone of SciNet
- SciNet-Citelet GitHub – The crowdsourced Chrome extension that helps us collect metadata