Contest and Showcase: The Rewards of Being Open

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Photo by Zach Dischner

There is a growing body of evidence that open access, open data, and open methodologies accelerate discovery and expand access to research results.  However, for open approaches to science and scholarship to be widely adopted, sharing one’s research early and openly must explicitly benefit career success, especially for the next generation of researchers.  

We believe that this is already the case, and to prove it, we are partnering with Advancing Research Communication & Scholarship and launching a project to capture and publish research communication success stories that are rooted in open practices.  We want inspiring, evidence-driven examples that demonstrate the connections between open digital scholarship and success as a student or early career researcher.  

Tell us how open access, open source, data sharing, blogging, or other open science and scholarship approaches helped you find your mentor, get your postdoc, secure funding, launch a business, get invited to present at a conference, or otherwise helped you succeed!  All stories will be submitted and immediately published via The Winnower.  A committee of students, researchers, librarians, academic administrators, open access publishers, and entrepreneurs will review submissions and award a $1,000 prize to the most compelling essay, based on the quality of the story and the success of the evidence presented in demonstrating the value of open.  A second prize of $1,000 will be awarded to a crowdsourced reader favorite.  All reviews and comments will be open and archived.  The winners will be announced during Open Access Week 2015.  

How you share your research should contribute to your success, be it in the lab, classroom, industry, or garage.  The strategies and successes this project will collect and reward will support the transition to a more open and productive scholarly communication system by providing research sharing roadmaps for scientists and scholars, and evidence of the positive influence of early and open sharing on career success.  Ultimately these success stories, to which we hope people will continue to contribute, can be mined and applied to benefit educational and policy efforts, as well as the work of libraries, publishers, and any others who are working to improve scholarly communication. More importantly, however, we hope these stories will inspire the scholarly community to practice the many facets of open, while simultaneously persuading skeptics that what is good for the community is also good for the individual.

Share your story!

To submit your open success story, simply click HERE. Use ARCS2015 as a keyword, so your submission is included in the project collection and considered for a prize.  The final version of your story will be assigned a DOI and remain open (DOIs will be issued to authors for free). Please submit your story by October 5, 2015 to be considered for a prize.  

Your 750 - 1,000 word submission should include:

  • A description of your open science or scholarship activities.

  • An explanation of how those activities positively affected your career, science, or scholarship.  

  • Evidence of the the positive impacts you described.


Submissions will be evaluated for their “inspiration factor”, the compelling nature of the evidence, the quality of the writing, and the impact of the activities on personal goals, science, or scholarship.