Dr. Heidi Seibold

Open and/or efficient? Choosing tools as open scientist ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ

Published 5 months agoย โ€ขย 2 min read

As an open scientist I strive to use open source software and open tools whenever possible. But sometimes I choose a more efficient tool over the open tool. When and why? Let's break it down!

It is no secret that I am an open source enthusiast. I've been working with R since 2009 and the wonderful R community has shown me the path to Open Science. But at the same time I am using commercial tools like this newsletter service. I use Miro for teaching and Google Docs for collaborating on documents.

Since working on my self-employment and the Digital Research Academy, the decisions between open tools and other tools have become more and more difficult. Sometimes there are no good open source options available, but sometimes I just want to use a closed tool, because it is just so good at what I want to do.

So I've decided that I need to somehow at least be clear with myself and the team, what I think is a good strategy. Let's see what they say ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜….

Heidi's rules for deciding on tools (WIP):

  1. Change a running system only when there is a strong pain.
  2. If there is a tool that is far better than anything else, use it.
  3. If there are several good options: Open over closed. Non-commercial over commercial.
  4. Exceptions apply, when the entity offering the tool has intentions we don't like (e.g. never use tools connected to Elsevier).

Ok, so this list is a work in progress. I am very much looking forward to your thoughts! How do you make those kinds of decisions?


In other news

Open Science Retreat 2024

I am so excited to announce that there will be a second edition of the Open Science Retreat. Edition 2024 is co-organised by OSC-NL: the bottom up, community-led, social infrastructure of Open Science Communities in the Netherlands, and will take place on the sea side, again amidst nature in a secluded setting. Hope to see you in the Dutch dunes next March!

Updates on the Digital Research Academy

Our Train-the-Trainer (TTT) pilots were successful and we are currently working on the plans for the next TTTs. You can find the materials from both TTT pilots on the OSF:

Want to get involved, too? There's a mailing list, where we will let you know about next meetups, TTTs, and more:

Interested in receiving training? We on-boarded 11 trainers and everyone is excited to get started ๐Ÿค“. Get in touch and receive targeted training โœ….


That's all for today. Hope you enjoyed it! If you did, consider forwarding this post to your friends and colleagues.

All the best,


P.S. If you're enjoying this newsletter, please consider supporting my work by leaving a tip.

Heidi Seibold, MUCBOOK Clubhouse, Elsenheimerstr. 48, Munich, 81375
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Dr. Heidi Seibold

All things open and reproducible data science.

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