OpenScholar began as a research project at Harvard in 2009. Faculty and clinicians at Harvard wanted websites that would showcase their research and increase their visibility, and so the OpenScholar project grew organically and rapidly within Harvard. In 2017, I joined OpenScholar as CEO and expanded the company out of Harvard to better support research institutions around the world.
A recent Research!America survey shows that more than half of Americans cannot name a scientific research institution and that most Americans cannot name a living scientist. Yet, the majority of Americans would like to know more about science.
Making science more visible benefits everyone - the researcher, lab, research institution, and society. The researcher, lab, and institution become more recognized and understood by the science community as well as the general public. By raising their visibility, they have more opportunity to attract collaborators and funding that propels their work.
As more and more researchers share their work, a few things happen. Researchers have a dedicated space to tell their stories, directly from the lab and classroom. That creates more visibility for science, which leads to more funding, hiring, and collaboration. Additionally, by showcasing diversity in science, we inspire more children and adults to explore careers in science.
Our goal as a company is to be a trusted network for the research community, to provide enabling, empowering, and secure infrastructure. The bigger, meta goal of OpenScholar is to help researchers and scientists collaborate and accelerate, so they can bring discoveries to the world faster. If we can do that, then we all benefit.