Social sharing and online collaboration may be buzzwords of the modern-day internet, but that doesn't mean they aren't useful tools for all manner of endeavors, including the scientific process. The New York Times outlines a new movement, known as "open science," which seeks to shake up the deep-rooted traditions in how scientific advances are evaluated, shared, and eventually put into practice. For hundreds of years, the process has involved private research submitted to scientific journals for review by the community, but open scientists feel that this process can be sped up significantly.
The Times covers a number of websites used in this movement, including ResearchGate — a social network divided up by different scientific disciplines that's used for sharing work, finding partners, and having questions answered. While there's certainly still opposition from the community around breaking down the traditional process, it wouldn't surprise us to see more and more researchers using instant internet communication and collaboration as their main tool to push their work forward.