A few months ago, we exposed how difficult it is to open science from outside Academia. This week we decided to settle our core values in an open manifesto for companies willing to contribute to the Open Science initiative.

TailorDev - Open Science Company Manifesto

Maybe it’s a French and not a worldwide Academia problem, but, as a company, we have serious trust issues from our peers. At first, we thought that the only solution to this problem was to become a not-for-profit organization such as a foundation or an institution. But after digging a while, we decided to prove the world that a company like TailorDev could do ethic business with openness and transparency in mind; not all companies are big publishers making huge profits on the back of public institutions after all. Some companies are willing to contribute to the common goods. We, TailorDev, are a company willing to contribute to the Open Science movement, and we are not alone! We have skills to build tools that could help our cause, and we will fight to defend our convictions.

One may think that this is a utopia and that we are a bunch of idealists. Sure, we will certainly not “make the world a better place”, and we chose an alternative lifestyle, including a different way of running a business. The worst thing would be that we succeed. Right now, we are full of energy, positive yet rational.

The first step of this quest for a change has started with the formulation of the Open Science Company Manifesto (available on GitHub). For now, this manifesto is still a draft, and we invite you to:

We are delighted to present the very first draft of this manifesto below.


The Open Science Company Manifesto

This manifesto aims at defining fundamental statements every Company running with the Open Science initiative in mind must respect and promote.

Open Science pillars are [the Company] culture

Unless [the Company] has good reasons for not respecting them (such as National Security), every principle of the Open Science initiative should be considered as an organization’s credo.

Each time [the Company] produces source code that could help other scientists in their everyday work (software, data analysis, web servers, etc.), the code should be open and stored in a public forge that eases community contributions and explicitly states on its licensing and credits.

If relevant for the scientific community, scientific data collected by [the Company] should be stored in a public repository that explicitly states on its licensing and credits. [The Company] should carefully pay attention to the repository terms & conditions before submitting data to this repository. Institutional repositories (such as Zenodo) must be the primary choice, but, third-party repositories can also be considered if the service maintainer (company or institution) explicitly states on the future of stored data when that maintainer status evolves (fusion, acquisition, liquidation).

When the time to publish research results has come, [the Company] submits its manuscript to Open Access journals with an Open Peer Review process.

Users are not the product

If [the Company] provides a service such as a platform available through the World Wide Web (SaaS), [the Company] commits itself to never exploit users’ data or behaviors. By “exploit” we mean sending users’ data (even anonymized) to a third-party in order to make profit. Users should be considered as contributors to the common goods, not as products.

Open & Privacy must cohabit

Being open does not mean sharing everything with no respect for privacy. Hence, [the Company] must provide a way for its customers to keep their data private until they decide to free their content. [The Company] must incentive, not force to share though.

Transparency & Ethic-first

[The Company] must value transparency in communicating its mission, goals and choices. The more transparent [the Company] is, the better.

[The Company]’s primary motivation must be contributing to the common goods. Hence, [the Company] must always adopt the most ethical acts/behaviors/decisions when multiple options are available to it.

Investors must embrace this Manifesto

If [the Company] is raising funds, incoming investors must accept all rules stated in this Manifesto without any modification. To prevent further corruption of [the Company] values, [the Company] statuses deposited to the administration of the country of affiliation should refer to this Manifesto.


One Two More Things

The content of this Manifesto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Feel free to remix it, and to proudly use it to empower your company’s mission.

The online version of the Open Science Company Manifesto is available at: manifesto.tailordev.fr. Now, let’s all spread the word! :open_hands: