July 2, 2020
Exciting news in an otherwise troubled time. This month, the team behind OpenBehavior is expanding and going international. We would like to welcome Jibran Khokhar and Jude Frie to the team. They are based at the University of Guelph and their lab has shared several highly imaginative open source projects to the community. Jibran and another recent member of the team Wambura Fobbs are planning some new content on educational applications of open source tools. Wambura is also leading the development of the new open source video repository. (More on that below.) Jude will be working with Samantha White and Linda Amarante on new content, and will bring his background in electrical engineering to the site.
We hope that with this expanded team we will be able to create more content and also get our new video repository live within the next two weeks. Wambura is working with Josh Wilson and Mark Laubach to get the site rolling. We received very positive responses from the community and will have videos from several sites available for you soon. If anyone would like to contribute videos, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
We will also be able to create longer, more in-depth posts on topics that are useful both for research, training, and education. We have wanted to get some basic tutorials on the core methods needed for working with open source tools posted, and now we have the staff to do so.
In the education space, there are many available options, such as Backyard Brains and new platforms for using recently developed microprocessors for learning about electronics, for example, littleBits. We will soon be disseminating on these tools and also writing about how open source tools are crucial for global literacy in science and for making research affordable and overcoming barriers that exist due to worldwide systemic racism.
A third line of expanded work is on developing RRIDs for open source research tools. OB has a grant pending with the NSF to support this effort, but we would like to get going on it sooner than later. RRIDs were created to enable citations of research tools (without requiring publication of a technical report) and also tracking of batches and variations in things like antibodies. They are maintained by the SciCrunch project at UCSD, and Dr Anita Bandrowski is collaborating with the OB team to support the creation of RRIDs for open source devices and programs used in neuroscience research. We have already created RRIDs for some of the most popular devices that we have posted about on OB. (Check out our paper from the summer of 2019 about those devices: https://www.eneuro.org/content/6/4/ENEURO.0223-19.2019.) We will start creating more RRIDs and will be reaching out to the community to make sure that you know when your device has an RRID. If you would like to discuss this effort with us, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, we will be launching a redesign of our website this summer. It will allow for tagging devices more thoroughly and maintaining a database of available projects on the OB website. Sam White and Marty Isaacson (an undergraduate in the Laubach Lab) are working on the redesign and we will share it with you soon.
Finally, we would like to highlight a new effort by André Maia Chagas and his team called Open Neuroscience. They have created a bot for posting about open source tools. The account is on Twitter and is rocking the content. Check it out: https://twitter.com/openneurosci