The non-profit Center for Open Science (COS) seeks to connect and streamline the research workflow through use of its web application, OSF (https://osf.io). Free and open source, OSF manages the entire research lifecycle: planning, execution, reporting, archiving, and discovery. The OSF represents a research coordination center: a hub that connects many services a researcher uses, allows for customized access controls to manage many collaborators, and maintains an accurate record of the project via a history log and built-in version control.
The main functions of the OSF are in managing and streamlining scholarly and scientific workflows and providing a platform for openly communicating scientific knowledge. The OSF streamlines workflows by connecting tools researchers already use — examples include ownCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, figshare, and Dataverse — allowing resources housed in different services to be displayed in one central location. Users can also choose to store files in default OSF Storage, configuring the physical location of storage from options in North America, Europe, and Australia. Institutions can leverage OSF workflows with a view layer on top that aggregates and showcases public research outputs affiliated by researchers at that institution or university.
This presentation will discuss the features of the OSF, and ways it can improve a researcher’s workflow. It will also include discussion of where the product is going: how feedback from the community can inform feature development and how partnerships with other services and repositories can improve functionality.