Science 2.0

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Science 2.0 or research 2.0 takes its cue from the technologies of web 2.0. It creates conversations between researchers, lets them discuss the data and connect it with other data that might be relevant. Blogs, wikis and such, permit users to make information available in ways that create a conversation. Web 2.0 permits scientists to create digitized conversations that provide context for the data. They can use our powerful filtering processes found in our brains to find the needle in the much larger haystack. [1] [2] [3]

Ben Shneiderman, a computer science professor at the University of Maryland, argues that studying the interactions between people will be more important than studying the interactions between particles for finding solutions to bigger problems like disaster response, health care and energy sustainability. Because web 2.0 technologies make sure researchers and scientists can interact with each other through existing social networks, like facebook, twitter and linked in it's a great way to enhance our science and find these solutions.[4]


The idea behind Science 2.0 is the online publishing of scientific research data and results. In conventional science, used methods, data and results are typically only known by people directly involved in the research and are only made available to the general community during the final stages of the process. In contrast, the science 2.0 method actively encourages scientists to publish and share updates about the steps taken and the results obtained. The exact amount of information to be shared is entirely up to the researcher. Possible advantages of science 2.0 include early feedback, relevant thoughts and ideas and involvement by interested third parties.

Open data

In Science 2.0 research data is published online. That way millions of people can review the data or use it for further experiments. Nowadays data is only used by the handful of researchers that are conducting the experiment in question.

An open data repository allows for the data of many different experiments to be aggregated and new patterns or conclusions to be found. Collaboration on a common data set becomes an integral part in the research process.

An example of open data in action is Gapminder, which offers a large amount of statistics data for free. People are encouraged to make contributions to the project or to use the data for their own research.

Open publishing

Peer review of scientific publications helps to filter out bad science or to correct errors. Unfortunately this is a slow process and the actual publication is often months after its submission.

By taking the papers themselves to the cloud, they become much more accessible. More peers will have a chance to read and review the paper, which could potentially lead to higher quality and faster publication.


Information visualization becomes more and more important as the data sets grow bigger. As Shneiderman notes: The inherent complexity of social, political, and economic processes may finally become more understandable as information visualization tools for seeing temporal changes, relationships among variables, or surprising clusters become more widely used. This could lead to interesting discoveries that provoke livelier evidence-based discussions, which in turn are the basis for informed decision-making.[5]


There are 2 kinds of implementations for science 2.0 applications, the first one focuses on collaboration between scientists so they can work together on something bigger. The second one focusses on research, sharing of papers and improving the communication between researchers.


Examples of collaboration tools are OpenWetware and WikiSpecies. In the case of Wikispecies, it's a specifies directory anyone can edit an collaborate to.


Mendeley and Epernicus are good examples of an science 2.0 implementation focused on research. Epernicus wants to help researchers to connect and Mendely wants to help you organize, share and discover research papers. A special tool is the More application it helps researchers connect online.

Open Science

An important element of science 2.0 is the Open Science (or Open Research) movement, which has the goal of increasing transparency of scientific research and wider sharing of its results both within and beyond the scientific community, e.g. by means of Open Data, Open Source and Open Access.[6]

The vision of Science 2.0

The vision of science 2.0 is that communication between scientists will accelerate the distribution of new knowledge. Without anonymous review processes, the concept of open-access journals will assure research quality. Science is collaboration, so scientific social networks will facilitate and improve the way scientists collaborate. Cooperation on scientific publications can be facilitated through Wiki-like concepts.


When developing a science 2.0 application there are a few concerns you need to keep in mind. The most important concern is how to make people trust your application? You have to try to do this by making your application look professional and secure. Users must have the right permissions, their own space and have to be defended against vandalism. For example, if you make an application on which you can upload papers. How do you make sure users can't upload someone else his paper and take credit for it?


Example science 2.0 applications are:


  1. Waldrop, M.M. (January 9, 2008) "Science 2.0: Great New Tool, or Great Risk?" Scientific American
  2. Shneiderman, B. (2008) "Science 2.0" Science 319(5868):1349-50
  3. Stafford, J.B. (2009) "Scientists Built the Web. Do They Love Web 2.0?" The Science Pages (Stanford School of Medicine)
  4. Alexis Madrigal "The Internet Is Changing the Scientific Method" (Wired Science 2008)
  5. Moeller, S. (November 18, 2009) "You Know and Use Web 2.0 Tools. What About Those of Science 2.0?" CommGAP
  6. "What Is Science 2.0" Spreading Science

External links

Science 2.0 people:

  • Christopher Surridge, editor of the Web-based journal, Public Library of Science On-Line Edition (PLoS ONE).
  • Bill Hooker, a postdoctoral cancer researcher at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Portland, Ore., and the author of a three-part survey of open-science efforts in the group blog, 3 Quarks Daily.
  • Richard Gayle, SpreadingScience
  • Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful by Beth Simone Noveck
  • “This requirement ensures an easily accessible, high-profile and high-quality Wikipedia article is generated for each RNA family we publish,” writes Paul Gardner, associate editor of RNA Biology and a researcher at the Sanger Institute.
  • Prof. Ben Shneiderman, the founder of the University of Maryland’s Human Computer Interaction Laboratory.