The RRID Initiative by OpenBehavior and SciCrunch

The OpenBehavior project received support from the National Science Foundation in January 2021. There are three main goals for the initial funding period: (1) create a database of open-source tools used in behavioral neuroscience research and issue Research Resource IDentification (RRID) for all projects featured on the OpenBehavior website, (2) initiate a repository of video recordings for common neuroscience tasks and community conversations on video analysis, and (3) host training sessions on the use of open-source hardware and software at conferences such as the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting.

The first goal of the project has been achieved this summer due to hard work of Marty Isaacson, a senior majoring in Neuroscience at American University and working in the Laubach Lab, and Anita Bandrowski and Edyta Vieth from SciCrunch.

This initiative will allow for citing the use of open-source tools in manuscripts and other reports. The RRIDs will also allow for tracking spin-off devices or programs, as the database includes tags such as “related to”. Over the next two years, our team will develop what we call the “R factor” that will allow for tracking citations of open-source tools, similar to the h factor. We hope that the initiative stimulates sharing of designs and code as described in the figure below.

Three types of RRIDs were issued. One is for “project portals”, websites that host a number of related tools from a lab or collaborative group. Another is for “instruments” such as FED. The third category of RRIDs is for “software”, such as Bonsai.

All projects posted to OpenBehavior now have RRIDs. A total of 229 RRIDs were created. An example of the listings of related projects and software is shown in the figure below for the Social LEAP and MotionMapper projects.

SciCrunch has developed a Twitter bot that posts news when RRIDs are cited in papers. Here is an example:

SciCrunch has also developed a tool called SciScore for generating summary tables of methods sections in manuscripts, and this could be very handy for saving time when preparing those summaries. Efforts are underway to pilot out the use of this new tool through collaboration between SciCrunch, OpenBehavior, and the Society for Neuroscience journals.

For an overview on RRIDs, please check out this paper by Anita Bandrowski and Maryann Martone:

We hope that this initiative is useful to the community and welcome feedback on the overall approach and any issues that may exist with the RRIDs that were created so far. Please use the feedback forum on this page or send a DM on Twitter to @OpenBehavior or email to to get in touch.

Also, if you are a tool developer with a project posted to OpenBehavior, you claim ownership of the existing resource on SciCrunch by following these steps:

  1. Create an account at SciCrunch
  2. Make sure that you are logged in
  3. Go to the resource page that you wish to own
  4. Click on the button middle right to “get alerts and claim ownership”
  5. You should see a box that allows you to provide documentation that that you are the owner of the resource.
  6. Your claim then goes to the SciCrunch curators, who will review and approve your ownership status.
  7. After approval you will have access to do updates on the listing.

Thanks to Edyta Vieth from SciCrunch for providing these instructions.