Here are the various open science projects I’m currently working on. Until I can figure out a more sustainable revenue stream for this work, I’ll be funding it by playing poker.

Project Free Our Knowledge

The world’s first collective action platform for researchers Open science practices have the potential to radically transform the way scientists conduct and communicate their research. Unfortunately, hyper-competition between academics keeps us locked into the old way of doing things (e.g., journals, publishers, sequestering data/code, etc.) and limits the full embrace of digital communication made available by the internet. Project Free Our Knowledge (FOK) aims to overcome this cultural inertia (otherwise known as a collective action problem) by organising collective action between researchers on a global scale. Using our website, researchers can pledge to take action subject to there being a critical mass of their peers who have agreed to take the same action. By acting together, we hope to accelerate the adoption of open science practices in academia, while protecting and motivating those individuals who feel unable to take action on their own.

Join the mailing list here, donate to the project here, or get in touch via twitter, facebook or email. See the presentations page for a list of conferences and workshops I’ve presented these ideas at.


Metaresearch Evaluation Repository to Identify Trustworthy Science In recent years, there has been an explosion of interest in post-publication peer-review, with many models proposing multidimensional article-level ratings as an alternative to unidimensional journal-level metrics (e.g, the journal impact factor). In line with these ideas, a growing number of preprint review platforms solicit reviewers’ ratings of preprints on multiple dimensions (e.g. PREreview, Rapid Reviews Covid-19), but these ratings typically remain siloed within each project, thus limiting their interoperability, searchability, and comparison between sites.

MERITS is a prototype database for organising and storing article ratings in a common, machine-readable format. We anticipate that this database will: (1) facilitate meta-research into the nature of these ratings and how they relate to real-world outcomes (see below), (2) help various stakeholders in society (e.g., researchers, journalists, the general public) identify peer-rated research and assess it accordingly (e.g., new COVID-related preprints), and (3) foster innovation in scholarly evaluation and publication. Read more about this project here.

Meta-research into the peer review process

I’m also developing a meta-research(research on research) paradigm into the types of judgements experts make during peer review. This research paradigm will explore (a) what dimensions/characteristics researchers are interested in when they evaluate research, (b) how these dimensions can best be captured during a structured peer review process, (c) how these dimensions relate to one another, (d) how these dimensions relate to real-world outcomes (e.g., citations, patents), among other questions. My plan is to evolve this line of research alongside the MERITS database and other projects, with the view to develop an open, inclusive, evidence-based, researcher-controlled system of scholarly communication and evaluation. You can see a glimpse of what I’m planning here.

Measuring valuable contributions to the open science movement

Open science projects are often developed by passionate researchers in their own time, above and beyond the requirements of their regular jobs. At present, there is no clear way to identify all of the value that an individual might add to one or many different open science projects. I argue that this imprecision in how contributions are valued can be a barrier to effective cooperation and collaboration. I propose to develop a common, independent system to quantify and recognise valuable contributions to open science projects. Read more about this project here.

Open Heart + Mind (OHM)

We face incredible challenges as a global society, but the current political and information systems have proven woefully inadequate to deal with them. Never before has it been so critical that we come together and build new systems based on transparency, reliability, equity, diversity, inclusion, and compassion, so that we can avert catastrophic climate change and transition to a harmonious way of life for all beings on this planet. In my experience, the scientific and spiritual communities are perfectly aligned in their intentions to solve these problems, but often seem to be at odds when it comes to the best actions to take. I believe that we could find great strength, growth and understanding by meeting in a non-judgemental setting to learn from one another as we navigate the uncertainties of the mind and heart in these challenging and crucial times. Open Heart + Mind (OHM) is a concept for an ‘open science festival’, where people could come together in a fun, loving and tolerant space for open discussion on topics spanning both science and spirituality, so that we can explore the space between these worlds and motivate action in the service of humanity and the planet. The format will reflect a combination of an open science conference (including short talks, group discussions, and action-oriented sessions) and a gift-based music/arts festival (including live music, DJs, art installations, etc). Read more about it here.