Open by Design: ICOR partners with TWCF to implement a fully open research initiative

The Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF) has awarded $100,000 to ICOR/Rapid Science to support the launch and analysis of its Open Research Program. ICOR’s focus is TWCF’s Listening & Learning in a Polarized World (LLPW) program as an open science initiative. In addition to helping develop methodologies, assets, and incentives for collaborative, open research, ICOR will evaluate and document best practices based on the outcomes.

Templeton World Charity Foundation has launched the LLPW initiative to support research for discoveries that can help humans flourish in a world confronted with increasing volumes of polarizing information. It is a direct output of their new five-year strategy to support new scientific research on bold, high-risk, interdisciplinary projects. Discoveries will be rigorously tested and replicated before launching practical interventions and tools for wide dissemination.

ICOR’s mission is to enable and incentivize an open and collaborative research culture — another goal of TWCF’s five-year strategy — by connecting and implementing projects that seek to change the status quo of competition throughout the research cycle. ICOR is building a body of evidence and case studies on the impact of projects that facilitate collaborative open research, and demonstrating how these practices, tools, metrics and incentives address the larger objective of finding innovative solutions to complex, real-world problems.

“We are aiming for breakthrough research in polarization from LLPW. ICOR’s experience in creating environments that maximize collaboration and the open sharing of research will be crucial to our success.”

Principal Advisor for Programs in Discovery Science at Templeton World Charity Foundation,
Eric Marshall

As described in an earlier post describing ICOR’s work with the fledgling Arcadia Science, the concept of “Open by Design” refers to infusing open practices into research projects from their inception – including grantee training, logging all outputs, facilitating collaboration, sharing early data and findings, and overseeing ongoing review and revisions. By recommending the necessary infrastructure and tracking these activities, credit can be attributed to all contributors — for both their work and their open behaviors — at every stage of the research cycle. This is a necessary step in changing an incentive system mostly based on publication as currently practiced by funding bodies and institutions.

Listening & Learning in a Polarized World is an ambitious project that will involve multiple teams in highly diverse disciplines. TWCF recognizes that an open collaborative approach involving global, interdisciplinary teams will achieve more reproducible and innovative outcomes.

The ICOR community looks forward to working with TWCF to implement, refine and record best practices and provide a blueprint that other funders and institutions can use to advance transparency and reuse of research worldwide.