Why Open Science

No central authority validates scientific claims; a claim that depends on its source's authority is not scientific. Rather, the observation of consistent results when well-defined procedures are repeated—reproducibility—demarcates science and nonscience [Braude 2002, p. 33]. Thus replication should be a core scientific practice, and scientists should routinely supply methods of sufficient detail to support replication with their observations. Scientists must also confront the "file-drawer problem" by routinely supplying all studies regarding a claim. "Open Science"—providing sufficiently complete methods and observations—improves public confidence in science, scientific education, and the community's ability to advance prior work. Thus openness should be a core scientific value.

About the Center

The Center for Open Science (COS) is a non-profit organization based in Charlottesville, Virginia. COS is dedicated to improving the alignment between scientific values and scientific practices to improve the accumulation and application of knowledge. Operating with a technology start-up atmosphere and mindset, the COS team moves quickly, identifies problems and creates solutions, encourages risk-taking, blends science and technology, and is collaborative, high energy, and dedicated to openness.

COS has three primary activities:

Infrastructure Development

Infrastructure development to support the scientific workflow and to connect technologies that support scientific research and communication, such as the Open Science Framework.

Community Building

Community building on open practices among open-source developers, open science researchers, and the broader scientific community, such as the Open Science Collaboration, whose blog you can find here.


Metascience, research on scientific practices, such as Reproducibility Project: Psychology and our partnership with Science Exchange, Reproducibility Project: Cancer Biology.

Get more information about COS goals and activities from the COS strategic plan. See how COS and its projects are being presented in the media. Or read two scholarly articles by the founders outlining a vision of scientific utopia for research communication and research practices.