Octopus is born

May 10, 2018 by Alex Freeman

Welcome to the Octopus project!

The idea of Octopus is to create a one-stop place for all scientific research… Freely open to all and language agnostic.

Thinking ‘what would we want science to look like if we started again?’ Octopus is designed to be a community-owned platform, using several Open publishing tools already developed and encouraging others to develop more to make it serve the needs of science.

Main Concepts

All scientific publishing is here, in underlying distributed database (hosted but not owned by academic institutions across the world). Read access is free to all.

The concept of a ‘paper’ is dead – registered users (using OrcID as authentication login) can publish whatever they have been working on, in one of 7 categories (described below).

Registered users can also ‘review’ other people’s work. A review consists of rating it (on 1-3 pre-defined aspects, dependent on the category of work) and optional text comments. Reviews are also themselves rateable.

The whole system uses automatic translation to be language-agnostic, opening up access to all.

All writing and reviewing is done non-anonymously, meaning that each author’s activity is recorded against their ID, providing a rich source of data for metrics.

This system will mean that individuals can get credit for their work in a much more granular way (eg. they can publish hypotheses and get credit for them without having worked further on them; reviews are public, recorded and rated and so authors can get credit for them too).

Octopus is designed to make science more meritocratic, efficient, collaborative and reward replicable and replication work.

The categories of publication Users can publish in the following categories:

  1. A problem/research question
  2. A hypothesis/theory
  3. A protocol or method (experimental and statistical)
  4. Data (a data overview linked to a data repository for the raw data)
  5. A statistical analysis of data
  6. An interpretation
  7. A real-world application
  8. A review

The first 7 form a natural chain, and it will only be possible to publish each if it is linked to the level above.

Contributing to Octopus We are just starting out. Please feel free to browse and contribute!

GitHub page