Quality sharing best practices for Open Science Hardware

This guide is a result of collaborative efforts by members of the Open Science Hardware Movement.

DOCUMENTATION is key. Best practices to ensure reproducibility:

  • think about your audience - tailor documentation and design to them e.g. education, DIY, peer scientists, professional
  • indicate purpose of documentation to manage expectations e.g. proof of principle vs. easy to make in educational workshop
  • document along functionality and include meta information about design decisions
  • connect all pieces of information well (using documentation tools like DocuBricks or linking them)
  • include design files!
  • name files intuitively and in detail
  • instruction steps should be minute and explicit
  • include a lot of media such as explanatory diagrams (very useful!), videos and pictures
  • include calibration and testing instructions at modular points
  • test your instructions without giving additional information - peer review
  • bonus to let it go viral: include thoughts on possible improvements and modifications

DocuBricks provides an easy access to these practises.

DESIGN FILES best practices to ensure usefulness:

  • provide design files in an open format wherever possible, see open source hardware definition
  • share modifiable design files in addition to build files (provide more than only STL, PDF, DXF files or similar)
  • design the project to be easily adaptable for common differences (metric vs imperial) and adaptations, ideally make parametric
  • utilise asymmetric design to make parts fit together uniquely and avoid miss-assemblies
  • name files with a clear name, material specs and number of pieces