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iHub By Angela Okune / August 3, 2014

Introducing the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet)

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We are happy to announce the launch of the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet)!

Open and Collaborative Science (OCS) is a movement that aims to change the traditional culture of research by making the production and dissemination of scientific evidence inclusive and publically accessible.  Open approaches to science include increased sharing of research plans and data, participatory citizen science, distributed “crowdsourced” forms of data collection and innovative models for global scientific collaborations, enabled by networked technologies.

The Internet and networking technologies offer significant opportunity for knowledge building and sharing, especially across the Global South. While principles of openness and collaboration are recognized as critical for development, they remain to be realized.

We are therefore excited to launch a new network, OCSDNet, coordinated by iHub and the University of Toronto Scarborough, with support from International Development Research Centre (IDRC). OCSDNet aims to achieve a better understanding of whether, and the conditions under which a converging set of open practices based on networked collaboration could lead to development outcomes in the Global South. By contributing this new area of study, OSCNet will also build a community of open science practitioners and leaders.

This network is especially important to iHub as it directly links to our existing research work looking at the role of citizens in the scientific process including data collection and verification. We also strongly believe that opening up the research process to a wider range of stakeholders, especially those from the Global South holds great promise in improving development outcomes and accountability and are keen to test this notion further.

At iHub, we have been testing the model of Open Innovation for several years. Through our participation in OCSDNet, we hope to develop greater understanding on whether such ‘openness’ in science, technology, and innovation may lead to improved development practices or not.

At least 12 projects across countries in the Global South will be supported through this new network. These projects may include field research, capacity building initiatives including implementation and experiments, and critical analysis of Open and Collaborative Science.

 

OCSDNet has launched an open call for concept papers for OCS development projects. The call is open to researchers and practitioners affiliated with organizations based in countries that are eligible for support by the IDRC (see here for complete list). The deadline for submissions is September 8, 2014. More details can be found on the network website, www.ocsdnet.org.

We encourage you to apply if you have a relevant project and would like to play an active role in exploring open and collaborative approaches to science.

 

For further questions, please contact us at info@ocsdnet.org.

 

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Author : Angela Okune

Angela is Research Lead at iHub. She is keen on growing knowledge on the uptake and utility of ICTs in East Africa. She is also co-lead of Waza Experience, an iHub community initiative aimed at prompting under-privileged children to explore innovation and entrepreneurship concepts grounded in real-world experience.


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