Getting Started FAQ’s

About Open Science Framework and Center for Open Science 

What is Center for Open Science (COS)?  

The Center for Open Science (COS) is a non-profit organization with the mission of increasing the openness, integrity, and reproducibility of scientific research. By supporting communities with infrastructure, we allow researchers to focus on their research and on growing communities around open and transparent practices. Please see our Strategic Plan for more information about our mission and organization.

What Is The Open Science Framework (OSF)? 

The Open Science framework or (OSF) is an online platform that enables researchers to transparently plan, collect, analyze, and share their work throughout the entire research life cycle. Each tool available on the OSF is specifically designed to promote the integrity of research while supporting researchers' individual comfort levels related to sharing and collaboration. See our Introduction to OSF 101 video for more information. 

How does the Center for Open Science (COS) relate to The Open Science Framework (OSF)? 

OSF is maintained and developed by the Center for Open Science (COS), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. COS is supported through grants from a variety of supporters, including federal agencies, private foundations, and commercial entities. Read more about our finances.

How much does OSF service cost?

It's free!

How can it be free? How are you funded?

OSF is maintained and developed by the Center for Open Science (COS), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. COS is supported through grants from a variety of supporters, including federal agencies, private foundations, and commercial entities

What if you run out of funding? What happens to my data?

COS established a $400,000 preservation fund for hosted data in the event that COS had to curtail or close its offices. If activated, the preservation fund will preserve and maintain read access to hosted data. This fund is sufficient for 50+ years of read access hosting at present costs. COS will incorporate growth of the preservation fund as part of its funding model as data storage scales. Registrations on ths OSF are preserved though our external partner Internet Archive For information about OSF backups and technical preservation details, see the OSF Backup and Preservation Policy.

How will OSF be useful to my research?

OSF integrates with the scientist's daily workflow. OSF helps document and archive study designs, materials, and data. OSF facilitates sharing of materials and data within a laboratory or across laboratories. 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. To see how it works, watch our introduction to the OSF video.

What accessibility standards does OSF adhere to?

COS maintains the OSF and associated support resources as a free service to maximize access and opportunity for research producers and consumers of any means or experience level. We aim to achieve WCAG AA compliance for accessibility and to support language translations. COS is committed to responding to community needs and will continue to make resources available in new languages and with additional accessibility evaluation.

Find more information in the Center for Open Science Accessibility Conformance Report.

What new features are coming to OSF?

For updates on new features, find us on Twitter and on Facebook, or follow the COS GitHub page. 

How can I contact the OSF team if I have a question that the FAQs or OSF guides don’t answer?

Send us a message and we'll be happy to help you. Contact our support team using the support center beacon found on the bottom right side of any OSF support page: 

How do I create a lab group/organizational group?

The best way to create a lab or organizational group on the OSF is to create a project for that group. Then, individual projects within the lab can either be organized into components of the lab project or into their own projects which are linked to the lab group project. Check out our help guide on “Getting started for a research group”

How can I get started on using OSF?

Anyone can create an OSF account for free at osf.io. Check out our support center for help guides to get you started. Specifically, check out our “Getting started” section for a streamlined set of guides to get you started using the OSF.  These FAQs will only cover a few of the most basic questions about OSF, so it’s highly recommended that you read through our OSF guides.

What web browsers are supported by the OSF? 

The OSF supports the latest versions of Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge browsers. If you are experiencing an error or issue, please be sure to install the latest version of your browser and try the action again. If after doing so the issue persists, please email support@osf.io

OSF Communities 

How can I help develop new features for the OSF?

Check out the open source code for OSF on GitHub or read our API docs. For more information, contact our support team using the support center beacon found on the bottom right side of any OSF support page: 

How do I become an ambassador for the Center for Open Science?

Please fill out our Ambassadors Interest Form, and we will reach out to you once we have reviewed your submission. For more information on the ambassador's program, visit the following links:

Additional FAQ’s 

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