Open Science Framework

Create a project and provide the outputs in an open access repository

Persistence and Preservation

OSF is a trusted repository in that it generates citations for each component in a project and assigns every project, component, and file a short url that is globally unique and whose persistence is guaranteed by a data preservation fund currently sufficient to provide 50+ years of public access.

Data Services, Open Education, Distance Learning

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Lora Lennertz
University of Arkansas Libraries

MULN 415

365 N. McIlRoy Ave

An Introduction to the Open Science Framework

Maintained by the Center for Open Science , the Open Science Framework (OSF) is a suite of free and open-source tools that enable research project management through capturing research products throughout the research lifecycle. Once these projects are captured (even data sets) they may be made public and open.

                                                A diagram of the Open Science Frameork as part of the research workflow.


OSF integrates with the scientist's daily workflow as it helps document and archive study designs, materials, and data. OSF facilitates sharing of materials and data within a laboratory or across laboratories as well as transparency of laboratory research by providing a network design that details and credits individual contributions for all aspects of the research process.

OSF is designed to support both private and public workflows. You can keep projects, or individual components of projects, private so that only your project collaborators have access to them.

Interactivity of the Tool

The central OSF tool (upon which the others revolve) can allow you to do the following:

  • Maintain project documentation
  • Manage security and permissions for accessing and editing project documentation
  • Register a research project
  • Store and serve open access documents and data
  • Create a wiki to describe and promote your project team
  • Create a Digital Object Identifier (doi) for your project or project components

The OSF central tool is also able to interact with other tools within the scholarly communication landscape.


The OSF goals and the interactivity with other scholarly communication products

What is a OSF Project?

OSF projects are the largest form of categorization that OSF supports. A project can be an experiment, a lab group, or a paper—anything that has contributing members and files or explanatory texts/images.

Projects include the following elements:

  • Information on your storage location within the OSF repositories
  • Components or sub-projects below the top-level project. Components help organize your research and create hierarchy within your parent project. A component's privacy settings, contributors, tags, wikis, add-ons, and files are separate from the parent project. If you choose, components can inherit the contributors and tags of a parent project. Examples of components include "Literature REview," "Presentations," or "Analysis Code"
  • Collaboration between project members that includes security and permissions settings on individual project components
  • Logs of changes for any project elements
  • Licenses for your project in order  to allow others to copy, distribute, and make use of your data while allowing you to retain copyright. By default, components receive the same license as the top-level project but they may be modified.
  • Email notifications on your project allows you to stay up-to-date on your project activity
  • Built-in analytics to track popular pages and number of visits over time. You can view the impact of any public project by a clicking its Analytics tab
  • A built-in wiki for your project and team
  • Users can leave comments on OSF projects and files. Commenting can be configured to allow only project contributors to comment or to allow any OSF user to comment
  • Connectivity to citation managers
  • In addition to its own unique, persistent URLs, OSF offers DOIs for your public research
  • Tagging  to your projects and components to enhance discoverability of your work
  • The availability of both shared public projects, files, and registrations as well as private.  Separate elements can be shared in different manners. Admistrators of the projects may provide links and embed codes and allow others to fork project contents
  • Projects may be linked to other projects
  • Redirect links to any project or component to give visitors an option to redirect to an external site, such as a personal website, blog post, journal article, etc.
  • Ability to register / pre-register your research