Twitter poll on open science hardware in journals

Hi folks,
I started a twitter poll today asking for opinions about journals asking article submissions to certify their design using a standard such as the OSHWA certification.
The thread is here and it would be wonderful if people could take a second to reply it and another second to promote it on their networks!


Edit on 14/12/2020 :point_down:
Since what I wrote above is a bit short on information and even a bit misleading, here is a longer description of what I am trying to learn with the poll:

Please help me share a little informal poll on Twitter about open source hardware documentation in academic papers:
Long version:

  • Journals that publish Open Source Hardware designs have different requirements for the documentation that goes together with the paper being published. This ends up leading to a lot of variability in the quality of the hardware description, making it harder/easier to reproduce and sometimes making something that is not properly open to get an “open source” tag.
  • However, the Open Source Hardware Association has spent a lot of time and effort creating a certification system that is easy to use and makes sure hardware designs conform with a very good definition of open, without putting too much burden on developers in terms of achieving this certification.
  • The poll is to see if people would find it useful/good idea for journals to require from authors submitting open hardware designs that they certify their hardware before submission. This would save a lot of review time, and make sure all published tools meet a minimum documentation standard.

Right now we have more than 110 respondents, but for this to be a good indication of what next steps we should take, this number would optimally be much higher! So please, if you can, take a moment to answer the poll, and another moment to share it with your networks!


I don’t have a Twitter so I’ll just shout here. It is a thought provoking question my two worries are:

  • Different types of hardware require different types of documentation, capturing this is hard.
  • So much hardware is so closed, that we need to use the carrot to coax some level of openness out of people rather than a stick to tell them they are not compliant.

This all being said. If we can convince funding councils to require open designs for funded hardware publications, this is where pushing for a standard criteria of openness would work.


Hi Julian!
thanks for your thoughts :slight_smile:

So, I realize that I did not express myself properly here… What I should have written was that articles describing self proclaimed open hardware have very different sharing of files. some are wonderful, with nice documentation, editable files, everything stored in one location, etc.

Some, unfortunately share things in a more chaotic way… STLs only, files spread in Dropbox, OSF, etc…

Considering that the OSHWA certification exists and we are talking about people sharing what they call open hardware, it should be, in my opinion, a no-brainer for journals to adopt the certification process. Simple text entry on submission: “certification number”: XXXXX

This would make the life of reviewers easier, and there would be some conformity in between journals.
(golden would be to add Open Knowhow for findability)

But then again it is just one idea on how to implement this…

This clarifies things and I think is useful. I think the caveat exists still that if we make the barrier too high for “our journals” it is hard for people to transition to our side. This being said “open hardware” that is not really open does our community a disservice.

Further question. I should know this but I don’t. What is the overhead and time frame for OSHWA certification?

As far as I know, considering a project developer has done his/hers/theirs job properly, the only extra overhead would be filling out this form and the time frame to get it certified is not big (a couple of days maybe? but I guess this really depends on how many projects are being sent there…)

1 Like