A few weeks ago, the Open Science proposal finally went to commitment. When the site initially was proposed, Jeanne Holm wrote:

It takes a HUGE amount of effort to lift up and get people involved in a new Stack Exchange, and if there's a way to work together, that would be great!

If there is a way for the Open Science topic to be asked on Open Data, it might make sense to direct people on the Area 51 proposal to this site. On the other hand, if the users of this site have not special interest of expertise in Open Science, the proposal won't have much impact on this site.

So I was hoping someone would look through the example questions on the Open Science proposal and let me know roughly how many fall into the following categories:

  1. On-topic on Open Data
  2. Currently off-topic, but with a reasonable change in scope could be welcome on Open Data
  3. Unrelated to Open Data

If the overlap is big enough or if the topic space of Open Data could be expanded, we might be able to save a lot of effort needed to get a new Stack Exchange site started.

1 Answer 1


I quickly went through the first 40 questions of the Open Science proposal.


Many questions about science and publishing would currently be off topic here on Open Data. However, there is a strong overlap on data related questions, which could be a starting point for collaboration, in whatever shape or form.

The full analysis

I categorized the 40 questions into science, publishing, and data related questions.

Here is what it looks like from my point of view:

Then I checked if the questions of each of the three categories would currently be on topic, on the edge, or off topic here on Open Data.

The results, according to my personal judgement:




What does this mean?

  • There are a lot of science related questions that would currently be completely off topic here (e.g. How do I convince my collaborators to do open science?).

  • There are also a lot of publishing related questions that would currently be off topic (e.g. What is a 'predatory publisher'?).

  • Unsurprisingly, the most interesting category is data. Almost all of the questions would already be on topic or at least on the edge here on Open Data. Only 2 data related questions would probably be off topic (How can I give study participants the usual assurance that their data won't be misused, but still openly share my raw data? and Should data and other information be shared as it is collected/written, or should publishing wait until the study is complete?).

  • The fact that most data related questions would be a good fit for Open Data came as no surprise. However I personally find it irritating that there are 4 data related questions that are not specifically related to science. Even worse, the question Are there any version control systems for datasets? is one of the most up-voted questions here on Open Data and already has some great answers.


In addition to the Open Science proposal, there is also an Open Source proposal underway. I'm quite sure that there will be some overlap as well …

  • Good work, very meta.
    – philshem Mod
    Feb 25, 2015 at 20:28

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