By Siouxsie Wiles 08/03/2019


If you’ve not heard of Mozilla, you’ve likely heard of their web browser Firefox. The Mozilla Foundation is a global non-profit that wants to shape the future of the web for the public good. So, what’s Mozilla got to do with the Open Source Period project?

For the last seven years, the Mozilla Foundation has run a programme called Open Leaders. Each year a cohort of people are chosen to go through 14 weeks of mentoring and training to “fuel the Internet Heath movement”.

I came across the call for applicants for Round 7 of the programme on Twitter last year. I’d been looking around for a mentor to help guide me as I looked to start the Open Source Period project (more on that here). I was so excited to be accepted on to the Culture Track which focuses on people keen to build an open culture in any community, organisation, or project.

My Open Leader goals

As part of the programme, I’ve been assigned an incredible mentor, Sarah Melton. Sarah is head of Digital Scholarship at Boston University Libraries. At the beginning of February, Sarah and I met online to chat about what I hoped to get out of being on OL7 as it’s called. I also had to set myself some goals and here they are:

  1. To develop my lab manual. You can check it out here. Feel free to leave a comment! I’ve been working on this for a little while. The manual is intended to be a how-to guide for being in my lab. It starts with a section on values and expectations and will eventually have the processes that will help my lab be an open research lab.
  2. Become more familiar and comfortable with using Github. This is the goal that scares me the most.
  3. Develop a first draft of the rules of engagement for people who want to be involved with the Open Source Period project.
  4. Think about the cultural and technical requirements of a community building platform for the Open Source Period project.

My mission statements

I’ve also had to come up with a mission statement and I’ve come up with two, one for the work I’m doing around with my lab manual, and the other the bigger picture for what I’m hoping to achieve with the Open Source Period project. And here they are:

  1. I’m working with my lab and colleagues at the Centre for eResearch at the University of Auckland to develop a how-to manual so that my lab and any other can work more openly and transparently at every stage of the research cycle.
  2. I want to work with individuals, researchers, community groups, social enterprises, and NGOs to build a community that will challenge the widespread paradigm of how scientific research is done.

I’m curious to see how much progress I can make by the end of May!