User:Daniel Mietchen/European Commission Open Science Policy Platform

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Open research — often used interchangeably with Open science — is concerned with making scientific research more transparent, more collaborative and more efficient. A central aspect to it is to provide open access to scientific information, especially to the research published in scholarly journals, to the underlying data and the entire research process, much of which traditional science tends to hide away. Other aspects are more open forms of collaboration and engagement with a wider audience, including citizen scientists and the public at large. I was involved in the creation of this video and have uploaded or otherwise contributed to the other media embedded below.
The Chelyabinsk meteor as caught on a dash cam. Social media are an important source of information for such events that have many observers. The file — originally posted to Youtube — is now used dozens of times in multiple languages on articles relating to meteorites.
This video provided the basis for a research article on how to cut water droplets with a superhydrophobic knife, but it was not published alongside that paper. Once uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, it was watched thousands of times within days, which highlights the interest the public can have in research and thus the potential for engaging them in the research process. The file now illustrates articles around hydrophobicity and surface tension in a number of Wikipedia languages.
Hackathons helped inspire initial work around the Open Access Media Importer, about which I am interviewed here as part of the Accelerating Science Awards Program. That same day, I was interviewed about Open educational resources (in German).
A brief introduction to the Open Access Signalling project, which aims at a closer integration of the Open Access literature with Wikipedia, Wikisource, Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata.
My talk Transforming the way we publish research at Academic Publishing in Europe 2012. A similar one from UKSG 2015 is available here.
The Wikipedia article on Dengue fever was formally published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
Bonus track: Audio recording of the owl Otus jolandae, a new species initially known only via its vocalizations.
Update: the outcome of the candidacy

The following is my application to join the European Commission Open Science Policy Platform. The OSPP will provide expert advice to the European Commission on implementing the broader Open Science Agenda. As you will see, some of us have a concern that the focus of the call is on organisations, rather than communities. This is a departure from much of the focus that the Commission itself has adopted on the potential benefits and opportunities of Open Science. The community of interested and experienced people in the Open Science space does have organizational structures, of which the Open Science Working Group at Open Knowledge is the most prominent example, and its global coordinator Jenny Molloy received a very strong mandate (which includes my support) to represent the group at the Open Science Policy Platform (see public discussion).

On the other hand, given that the OSPP is expected to have between 20 and 30 members, there is room for representing the diversity of ways in which the community practices and engages with Open Science, beyond the rich activities within the Open Science Working Group. A few of us are therefore applying as representatives of the community of interested and experienced people in the Open Science space. These candidacies have been posted in public by Cameron Neylon, Björn Brembs, Konrad Förstner, Chris Hartgerink, Bastian Greshake and me (this page). An overview of our candidacies is available. I know all of them, am familiar with part of their Open Science activities and confident that each one of them can not only contribute from their own perspectives but also make the OSPP aware of other perspectives that may otherwise not be represented within the OSPP members.

I have asked for endorsements — in the form of a comment on the talk page or via Twitter — as someone who could represent this broader community of people, not necessarily tied to one type of organisation or stakeholder. These endorsements are embedded below. This being an open form, readers of these lines are also of course free to not endorse me as well, and to edit this page directly to make it better. The deadline for submitting candidatures was March 22, 2016, by the end of which I submitted a version of this page, along with a link to the live version.


I am writing to declare my candidature for membership of the Open Science Policy Platform as a representative of the common interest community engaged in the open sharing of scientific information, both in research contexts and beyond. This community is not restricted to specific organisations or roles — nor to Europe — but includes interested people, institutions and organisations from around the globe across the spectrum of stakeholders including researchers, technologists, publishers, policy makers, funders, educators and all those interested in the research landscape and the changes it is undergoing.

I have a concern that the developing policy frameworks and institutionalisation of Open Science are leaving behind precisely the community focus that is at the heart of Open Science. As the Commission has noted, one of the key underlying changes leading to more open practice in research is that many more people are becoming engaged in research and scholarship in some form. At the same time, the interactions between this growing diversity of actors increasingly form an interconnected network. It is not only that this network reaches beyond organisational and sector boundaries that is important. We need to recognise that it is precisely that blurring of boundaries that underpins the benefits of Open Science (I will get back to that in the next section).

I recognise that for practical policy making, it is essential to engage with key stakeholders with the power to make change. In addition, I would encourage the Commission to look beyond the traditional sites of decision making power within existing institutions to the communities and networks which are where the real cultural changes are occurring. In the end, institutional changes will only ever be necessary, and not sufficient, to support the true cultural change that will yield the benefits of Open Science.

I am confident I can represent some aspects of this community, particularly in the areas of:

  • Integrating research workflows with the Web
  • Engaging the research community and the public with open research workflows
  • Using open research workflows in educational contexts

To provide evidence of my relevance to represent this common interest, I have posted this application publicly and asked for endorsement by community members. I am detailing my relevant experiences below.

Supporting information[edit]

Trained in Biophysics at Humboldt University in Berlin, I did a PhD in Physics at Saarland University, focusing on applications of Magnetic Resonance Microscopy to biological systems low in liquid water. Thematically, my research ranges from fossils and embryonic development to cold hardiness, music perception, brain morphometry, vocal learning and more recently semantic integration and data science. This entails the transdisciplinary collaboration with researchers from around the globe, which sparked my interest in the integration of research workflows with the World Wide Web more generally, particularly by way of collaborative platforms like wikis. Within the open research community, my focus is on streamlining publication workflows all around the research cycle and on facilitating the reuse of open-access materials in educational contexts, and Wikimedia platforms in particular, with special emphasis on open licenses and technical interoperability. I have worked at the Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering, at the Korea Basic Science Institute, at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, at the University of Jena, at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, served as Wikimedian in Residence on Open Science at the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany and was involved in several FP6 and FP7 projects. Currently, I am a researcher in bioinformatics and scholarly communication working as a contractor for the National Institutes of Health.

I first learned about Open Science from chemists who were keeping their notebooks in public and communicated about it through various Web-based channels that I had begun to explore after finishing my PhD in 2006. Step by step, I discovered others who were experimenting with ways of sharing ongoing research as well. Their precise research topics were often far off my expertise and involved tools or workflows I was not familiar (let alone comfortable) with. Yet, they inspired me to engage with their research, to contribute to their grant proposals, talks and other activities, while I was not allowed to let them in on my ongoing research.

My initial papers all ended up in different journals — some behind a paywall, some not, some had been reviewed behind closed doors, some in public, some were on research, some on its societal context. This way, I got a first overview of technical, policy and other aspects of research publishing and lots of ideas for improvement along these dimensions, particularly around integrating publishing more closely with Web-based research workflows (which are often referred to as Science 2.0).

Seeing many Web-based platforms, tools and even standards come and go over the course of that decade has made me aware of sustainability aspects of using them in research workflows. Conversely, some features of these workflows — e.g. public version histories (this page has one too, and view stats), collaborative editing and open licensing — repeatedly showed their value way beyond software development (where they are standard), and efforts to integrate them with automated tools got me interested in standards like JATS, especially after I finally ventured into wiki-based open notebooks myself by way of side projects for which I did not need a permission to share.

My engagement with both Open Access and Wikipedia dates back to 2002, and while these were initially independent activities, they have gradually become closely intertwined, both in general and for me personally: several organisations within the Wikimedia movement have signed the Berlin Declaration or provided input to pertinent public consultations by the EU or by the White House, and the Wikimedia Foundation has a rather forward-looking Open Access policy. I was involved in part of this and, starting in 2010, have given numerous talks on wikis and other non-traditional approaches to research communication. I am closely involved in WikiProject Open Access as well as in several journal-wiki co-publishing initiatives, amongst many other activities at the interface between Wikimedia projects and scholarly communication.

A key theme in this context is the reuse of scholarly materials on Wikimedia platforms. For instance, I am running a bot that uploads supplementary video and audio files from suitably licensed articles on PubMed Central to Wikimedia Commons, from where they can be reused, e.g. in Wikipedia articles or Wikiradio channels. Building on this bot, efforts are underway to integrate Wikimedia platforms more closely with openly licensed scholarly articles that they cite. Across Wikimedia sites, files originating from Open Access sources are already being used more than a hundred thousand times, collectively getting about a million page views per day. Of note, Wikimedia sites are also amongst the largest referrers of traffic to the scholarly literature, which amounts to tens of thousands of hits daily to Crossref DOIs (which you can follow being cited and uncited).

Open Science and Wikimedia workflows have a lot in common and could (and sometimes already do) benefit from closer integration: RNA families are being annotated via Wikipedia, Wikiversity operates a peer-reviewed medical journal, new species have been discovered on Wikimedia Commons (there was a similar case on Flickr too), Wikisource has been used to transcribe field notes or annotate books, art curators can find new (and relevant) information on Wikipedia about the artists whose work they are curating, while Wikidata — the structured database that anyone can edit — facilitates a citizen science approach to data curation and is on the way towards becoming "a platform for data integration and dissemination for the life sciences and beyond". Of note, a Horizon 2020 proposal to enable Open Science by integrating Wikidata more closely with research workflows was drafted in public and, albeit not selected for funding, later published in a journal that I co-founded to facilitate the sharing of all steps in the research process.

Many new research findings are only reported in English but routinely become integrated into Wikipedia articles in many other languages. Similarly, “Wikipedia has been the most widely used single source of information about Ebola in the most affected countries".

As alluded to in the section above, all of this blurs traditional boundaries of research, and with the ongoing development and diversification of Open Science, this blurriness is bound to increase. It is therefore important to pursue the Open Science Agenda in a way that involves those engaged in the open sharing of scientific information at all levels, not just in institutional settings.

I believe I am well placed to represent this perspective on the OSPP as well as to bring a critical view to how the details of implementation can help to bring about what it is that we really want to achieve in the long term, a cultural change that embraces the opportunity of the Web for research across all domains of inquiry.


This page has been forked from Cameron Neylon's blog post (archived version) on the same topic. Like the original, it is available under CC0. The licensing for the embedded images and media may differ, but is always compatible with the Open Definition.


The following text is transcluded from the Discussion page associated with this page.


  • Since several years Daniel Mietchen has been a practitioner and advocate of Open Science. Due to this I endorse him to represent the Open Science community. --Konrad Foerstner (talk) 11:40, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I think Daniel Mietchen would be an excellent representative of OKFN at the European Open Science Policy Platform. As somebody working in academic library IT, I found him easily approachable when I needed advice in open science matters, and he was eager to introduce me to the open knowledge community. Disclosure: We recently launched an Open Science Q&A site together. --ChPietsch (talk) 12:17, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Happy to endorse Daniel for this role. He is an ideal candidate, with both an understanding and in-depth experience of (not to mention a passion for) Open Science. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:20, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
  • With confidence, I'd like to endorse Daniel Mietchen's application that would make an excellent choice for the High-Level Advisory Group 'Open Science Policy Platform', coping all five points the OSPP's mandate is about. Daniel Mietchen has impressively shown his engagement in openData and Open Science and with his envolvement in the Wikimedia movement he has shown all the qualities required for becoming a member of that group. For the past 5 years I've been mainly a consumer of Open Science [mostly] (and not so open science [unfortunately]) and am tramendously pleased to learn that the EU commission has launched a programme to estalish a Commission Expert Group. -- Rillke (talk) 13:36, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I am very confident to support Daniel’s application for the OSPP. Daniel has been an intense driver of the work on and dissemination of the open science principles over the last years, participating and initiating quite a number of projects. With his deep understanding, wide experience and established network within the open science community I am sure that he can make a valuable contribution to the expert group. -- Matthias Fromm 16:28, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
  • As a researcher at the French National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA), I endorse Daniel's candidature. In my view, and I also feel I can speak for colleagues who are familiarized with his work, he is one of the most capable people to join this commission, being knowledgeable and experienced in the issues, practices and policies related to open science. --Solstag (talk) 16:01, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I'm sure Daniel's contribution will be an asset to the EC. Nemo 16:52, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I have known Daniel for many years now and fullheartedly endorse Daniels candidacy. He is an experienced natural scientist as well as an open science entrepreneur (with the RIO Journal), a thoughtful thinker, and very knowledgable about Open Data, Open Science, and Wikipedia. He is also an excellent collaborator and highly suited for the position. --G.Hagedorn (talk) 21:20, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I cannot comment on Daniel's professional aspects, I can, however, comment upon his passion, interest and especially the advocacy role and implementation of openly sharing knowledge. Daniel, and his colleagues, in 2014 took a broad Wikimedia approach to sharing open science across the multiple properties (the multimedia, the library and the encyclopaedia). He approached the Wikisource community with his plan to import editions of articles that were referenced within Wikipedia. This enabled the ultimate of data becoming information feeding into knowledge. If you want a practical person who is able to bridge the gap of the strategy and the operations, then Daniel should be given due consideration for his rare ability to collaboratively implement successfully.  — billinghurst sDrewth 23:58, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I've been a Wikipedia editor for ten years and am on the board of Wiki Project Med with Daniel. He is an intelligent, articulate, informed advocate for open science and no one understands Wikipedia/Wikimedia's place and potential roles in that movement better than he does. I unreservedly endorse his candidacy. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 02:51, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I endorse the candidature of Daniel Mietchen. He has been an active and constructive Open Science advocate in the past, and I would like to see his views represented at the EU level. Konrad Hinsen 09:01, 19 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I endorse Daniel Mietchen as representative of the Open Science community in the Open Science Policy Platform advisory group --Frankhellwig / @frankhellwig
  • As Biotechnology teacher and former Chief Science Officer of the Swiss Wikimedia Chapter I endorse the candidature of Daniel MietchenChandres 14:24, 20 March 2016 (UTC)
  • As a researcher in Science & Technology Studies and leader of a research group on Open Science and Innovation I endorse the candidature of Daniel Mietchen. Eduard Aibar 18:54, 20 March 2016‎ (UTC)
  • As an Open Access digital librarian and wikipedian, who has worked on the matter for years, I endorse Daniel: he's been a great advocate of open science inside and outside Wikimedia projects, and his contribution to the open knowledge cause is immense. I strongly support him. Aubrey (talk) 09:09, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia is the world's single most consulted science information source and more than any other single person, Daniel Mietchen has been its champion in the realm of open science and for science generally. I take it for granted that Daniel's publishing practices have made him the most requested, published, accessed, and consulted science editor in the world based on audience size and the number of views the Wikipedia articles containing his contributions have received. I have collaborated with him since 2010 in the development of science content on Wikipedia. His support led me to seek employment with an American nonprofit organization in a role in which I train others to develop Wikipedia's medical information, and I have been doing that since 2012 with open science on my mind greatly because of him. Wikipedia is the only nonprofit organization to operate in the space of the world's biggest media houses and even among the giants, Wikipedia out-competes its peers in international reach, scope of content, public engagement, and by simple count of audience and pageviews. If Daniel sees fit to serve with the European Commission Open Science Policy Platform then that organization would be lucky to have him. Not only is he dependable to assess the merit of digital publishing ideas, but also he can be trusted as well as anyone to be able to predict trends for the future in this space. Other people might have made bigger impacts in science among scientists, but I think were it not for Daniel, the massive amount of science content which he has delivered to the general public would not have been delivered in these past few years. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:47, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I know Daniel Mietchen from several open scholarship projects, and wholeheartedly endorse his candidacy for the OSPP. His extensive experience with, and expertise in, the use of wikis as both sources and users of open scholarship give him a unique and valuable perspective. --Mike Taylor (talk) 16:04, 21 March 2016 (GMT)
  • Wikimedia Italia endorses Daniel's candidature. We appreciate the passion and commitment of Daniel in bridging the Wikimedia and OA worlds. - Laurentius (talk) 21:42, 21 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Open Science Foundation supports Daniel's application for Open Science Policy Platform. Pawel Szczesny, President of Open Science Foundation
  • Daniel Mietchen played a key role in sustaining and extending the OA movements toward new reciprocical collaborations with contributive communities (the crowdsourced proposal Wikidata for research comes first in my mind). As a French researcher, longtime Wikipedia contributor and OA activist, I fully endorse his devotion to develop a wider open knowledge ecosystem, where the stake is not only to reuse amators' contributions for scientific purposes but establish a virtuous feedback within the knowledge commons. Alexander Doria (talk) 11:16, 23 March 2016 (UTC) / Pierre-Carl Langlais
  • I worked with Daniel on several projects while running PLOS Labs, an innovation incubator at the Public Library of Science. Our work included creation of the data for bibliomentric source identifiers in Wikidata, and more recently a collaboration on citations systems. I fully endorse Daniel for the European Commission Open Science Policy Platform and would be happy to write a letter of support. Jmdugan (talk) 21:37, 24 March 2016 (UTC)
  • A machine-generated summary of endorsements from Twitter is available here. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 20:10, 22 March 2016 (UTC)
  • As a Wikipedia contributor and working scientist a can endorse Daniel Mietchen. — Finn Årup Nielsen (fnielsen) (talk) 19:39, 23 March 2016 (UTC)
  • As a Wikipedia contributor, OS volunteer and scientific resarcher I support Daniel for the European Commission Open Science Policy Platform.--Alexmar983 (talk) 06:14, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
  • In my role as head of the Wikipedia Library and a board member of Wiki Project Med Foundation, I have consistently seen Daniel excel in difficult technical and sociopolitical debates to advance our data, research, and rights infrastructure--and its openness. Ocaasi (talk) 16:46, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
  • As Wikimedia Deutschland's Advisor on International Relations, I endorse Daniel Mietchen, who has been a long-standing Wikimedia activist, Open science advocate and expert. I am sure that he would greatly enhance the platform with his expertise and community perspective. --Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 15:33, 31 March 2016 (UTC)
  • I have worked with Daniel on Wikidata, and would like to endorse him too. He is a very knowledgable scientist and a skilled science communicator. I especially think that he will be very successfull at building bridges between the scientific community and the the open data ecosystem. --Tobias1984 (talk) 19:02, 11 April 2016 (UTC)
  • I'm familiar with Daniel's work as an activist in the area of open science, in particular open research for medicine, and endorse his affiliation with European Open Science Policy Platform. Sydney Poore/FloNight (talk) 14:41, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
  • I endorse Daniel Mietchen as representative of the Open Science community in the Open Science Policy Platform advisory group --Geraki TL 07:19, 18 May 2016 (UTC)

Our representative[edit]

Given, shall we consider Eva Méndez to be Our Woman in Havana? --Nemo 17:23, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

Saw this only now — sorry. Not sure about the Havana part but otherwise, it's certainly helpful to have her there. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 09:41, 11 July 2016 (UTC)