VCU Libraries

Research Guides

OSF - Open Science Framework

Questions?

Learn more about VCU Libraries research data management services, or contact our Research Data Management Team at libdatahelp@vcu.edu.

What is OSF?

Open Science Framework (OSF) is a free, open source web application built to help researchers manage their workflows. The OSF is part collaboration tool, part version control software, and part data archive. The OSF connects to popular tools researchers already use, like Dropbox, Box, Github and Mendeley, to streamline workflows and increase efficiency. 

The OSF integrates with the researcher's daily workflow. The OSF helps document and archive study designs, materials, and data. The OSF facilitates sharing of materials and data within a laboratory/group or across laboratories/groups. The OSF also facilitates transparency of laboratory research and provides a network design that details and credits individual contributions for all aspects of the research process. 

View VCU projects through our OSF Institutions portal.

Learn how to set up your own project.

Benefits of OSF

  1. Backup your important research data and materials

Simply drag and drop files into OSF to safely and securely store them in the cloud. Built in version control automatically saves previous versions of files that can be easily retrieved.

  1. Simplified project management and collaboration

Selectively grant colleagues and students access to view or edit your project. Keep track of what everyone is working using the project activity log.

  1. Less email using improved communication

Every OSF project includes a chat interface for project-based discussions with your collaborators.

  1. Adapts to your existing workflow

OSF projects can include files from a huge variety of cloud-based providers like Dropbox, Google Drive and more.

  1. Quickly get your students and collaborators up to speed

Every project includes an optional wiki: provide a landing page for project summaries, lab notes or anything needed to bring new lab members up to speed on research goals.

  1. Improve the transparency and reproducibility of your work

Not only makes adopting best practices for tracking research activities, methods, and results easy for users of all skill levels, but also documents scientific rigor and reproducibility requirements for funding agencies and journals.