Scholarly Communication Program to Host Panel on Open Science

(NEW YORK, February 3, 2009) A panel presented by Columbia University's Scholarly Communication Program will discuss online science communities and the practice of open science, with guest speakers from the Public Library of Science, Drexel University, and OpenWetWare. The event, "Open Science: Good for Research, Good for Researchers?" will take place on Thursday, February 19, 2009, at 3 p.m. in Davis Auditorium in the Shapiro Center on Columbia's Morningside Campus, and is free and open to the public.

Panelist Jean-Claude Bradley is Associate Professor of Chemistry and Coordinator of E-Learning for the School of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University. Dr. Bradley's lab runs the UsefulChem Project, which is employing Open Notebook Science in its current effort to synthesize novel antimalarial compounds. Barry Canton is a founder of Gingko BioWorks and the OpenWetWare wiki, an online community of life science researchers committed to open science that has over 5,300 users. Bora Zivkovic is the Online Discussion Expert for the Public Library of Science (PLoS) and author of "A Blog Around the Clock." Zivkovic has been blogging since 2003 and is a PhD candidate in zoology at North Carolina State University.

Open science refers to information-sharing among researchers, and encompasses a number of initiatives to remove access barriers to data and published papers and to use digital technology to more efficiently disseminate research results. Advocates for this approach argue that openly sharing information among researchers is fundamental to good science, speeds the progress of research, and increases recognition of researchers. The panel will discuss frequently raised questions such as "Can open science practices work for researchers who need to establish priority of publication to advance their careers?" and, "Is open science compatible with peer review?"

This event is the fourth in the speaker series on today's pivotal issues in scholarly communication organized by the Scholarly Communication Program of Columbia University Libraries/Information Services. Follow the live event remotely via Twitter at Video of each event will be distributed through the Scholarly Communication Program website and Columbia University's iTunesU page. For information on the series, Research without Borders: The Changing World of Scholarly Communication, please email Kathryn Pope at, or visit

The Scholarly Communication Program is an initiative of the Columbia University Libraries/Information Services' Center for Digital Research and Scholarship. Established in April 2008 to encourage discussion about and innovative solutions to scholarly communication issues, the Program aims to support faculty members, librarians, staff, and students as they consider their options for creating, distributing, evaluating, reusing, and preserving new knowledge in a rapidly changing communications environment.

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 25 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries at is the gateway to its services and resources.