Saturday, April 28, 2007

Assignment Zero and Open Source Science

Fans of Open Source Science (or just the open source concept in general) should take a look at Assignment Zero. Jay Rosen writes on the About page:
Inspired by the open-source movement, this is an attempt to bring journalists together with people in the public who can help cover a story. It's a collaboration among NewAssignment.Net, Wired, and those who choose to participate.

The investigation takes place in the open, not behind newsroom walls. Participation is voluntary; contributors are welcome from across the Web. The people getting, telling and vetting the story are a mix of professional journalists and members of the public -- also known as citizen journalists. This is a model I describe as "pro-am."

The "ams" are simply people getting together on their own time to contribute to a project in journalism that for their own reasons they support. The "pros" are journalists guiding and editing the story, setting standards, overseeing fact-checking, and publishing a final version.
There is a page for crowdsourcing science, where I added some info about Open Source Chemistry. The existing info on that page is pretty sparse - maybe Bill Hooker can pick out a few gems from his comprehensive reports on Open Science in 3QuarksDaily.

The site functions like a wiki in that information from anyone is sought but it looks like only an editor can include the contributions in the main content pages. There is no edit button - in order to submit you have to find an existing open item and respond to it, just like in a forum.

The final article will be published in Wired magazine.

More info about crowdsourcing from Jeff Howe

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