This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ PrePrints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
Cite this article
Hampton SE, Anderson S, Bagby SC, Gries C, Han X, Hart E, Jones MB, Lenhardt WC, MacDonald A, Michener W, Mudge JF, Pourmokhtarian A, Schildhauer M, Woo KH, Zimmerman N.2014. The Tao of Open Science for Ecology. PeerJ PrePrints2:e549v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.549v1
The field of ecology is poised to take advantage of emerging technologies that facilitate the gathering, analyzing, and sharing of data, methods, and results. The concept of transparency at all stages of the research process, coupled with free and open access to data, code, and papers, constitutes "open science." Despite the many benefits of an open approach to science, a number of barriers to entry exist that may prevent researchers from embracing openness in their own work. Here we describe several key shifts in mindset that underpin the transition to more open science. These shifts in mindset include thinking about data stewardship rather than data ownership, embracing transparency throughout the data life-cycle and project duration, and accepting critique in public. Though foreign and perhaps frightening at first, these changes in thinking stand to benefit the field of ecology by fostering collegiality and broadening access to data and findings. We present an overview of tools and best practices that can enable these shifts in mindset at each stage of the research process, including tools to support data management planning and reproducible analyses, strategies for soliciting constructive feedback throughout the research process, and methods of broadening access to final research products.
This is a pre-print of a collaborative paper that began at the NCEAS OpenScience Codefest 2014, and has been submitted to the journal Ecosphere.
This is an important topic and yours a good contribution. However, it reads to me a bit too rosy. There is little discussion of cultural roadblocks, such as proper attribution of credit. Doing things "for science" is nice, but we live in a world with high competition for few jobs, tenure, grants, etc. all of which expect us to be able to show what we've done. I also think you need to think more about the possible negative sides of public critique: will it undermine the credibility of scientists among the general public to have peer critiques out in the open? Will unconscious bias mean that critiques about work by women and minorities be harsher and more personal (as they are in business) and out in the open? That could work against diversity initiatives. Also a few minor things: LTER allows scientists to embargo their work for a couple years before releasing it. And a URL is not a stable identifier. Also: in the interest of transparency, it would be nice if you explained what each author actually did. I find it very hard to believe that 15 people "wrote the paper".
Regarding your last point, it is certainly impressive that most of the specific writing contributions of individual authors can (mostly) be reviewed on the first  and second  drafts of the manuscript (on etherpad and google docs, respectively).