Curvenote Principles

Authors
Steve Purves
Rowan Cockett

#Curvenote is mission driven

Curvenote is a for-profit company with a core mission to promote and develop technologies to support practices of open science. We, Curvenote’s founders, believe that making a lasting, positive impact in science communication and discovery is achieved through a combination of academic institutions, non-profits as well as businesses. Each of these has access to different types of investment, resources, and expertise.

The rapid progress and infrastructure that open-science requires, will require efforts and input from all of these areas. Open-science and open-source technology cannot be driven by altruism, grants or volunteers alone.

The current business practices of many incumbent publishers are not aligned to the principles of open-science (i.e. pay to publish or pay for access), however, there is ample space for businesses that do align to these principles.

Curvenote’s business model must be aligned to these community goals - such that if Curvenote does well, the community improves; collaboration improves; reproducibility improves; computational access and literacy improves; and there is more accessible, open, and interactive content in the world. Specifically, this must be aligned to:

  1. improving the communication of individual scholarship
  2. improving the collaboration between groups of scholars

It is our goal to support fundamental change in scientific communication that has a measurable impact on human scientific progress within 10 years.

#Our Principles

Curvenote (1) operates with open-core components (e.g. our editor, components, schemas, API; see curvenote.dev); (2) participates in the open-source and open-science ecosystems - improving and contributing to existing projects rather than forking them; and (3) follows and encourages FAIR data principles, rather than own or paywall scientific content.

#Current Contributions

We are advocates and participants in open-source ecosystems, communities, and technologies. Our open-source contributions are available at curvenote.dev and on github.com/curvenote. Curvenote.dev is a collection of resources to provide open-source tools that promote and enable interactive scientific writing, reactive documents and explorable explanations. All libraries are released under the permissive MIT license, and we encourage community contributions.

#Integrating and building on Jupyter & JupyterBook

Curvenote integrates heavily with Jupyter and builds on its data-structures, interfaces, and protocols. We are committed to integrating, interoperating, and building with this open-source community. Our current efforts are focused on integrating with JupyterBook, a static website generator built out of Jupyter and the Sphinx documentation ecosystem. We are helping to build open-infrastructure in parsers/schemas and components that improve the editing and interactivity experience in JupyterBook, Jupyter as well as in Curvenote.

Version control, diffing, sharing & re-using content, and portability were all identified as major pain points by the Jupyter community in their 2020 survey. One approach, that many companies take, is to develop proprietary notebook clones with this functionality; these often do not directly contribute back to nor improve existing open-source projects. Instead, our approach is to extend functionality, release open-source libraries and components where appropriate (e.g. commenting components) as well as listen, engage in conversation, and develop relationships with contributors in the ecosystem.

#Access, Export, Data, and Privacy Policies

Our data and security policies are listed on our website (under Data and Security), we will continue to be transparent here, please always let us know if you have any other questions. Additionally, there are more detailed privacy and terms & conditions documents available on our website. Our own principles, and FAIR data principles more generally, require us to export and give access to your content in useful formats.

We do not own your content, and will always allow you to export your data and documents in full and useful formats.

Our API documentation is available on our website, and all content that we bring into Curvenote will have a public-facing, programmatic API that is useful for scientific data management and stewardship.

#Curvenote, now & future

In August 2020, Curvenote (then called iooxa) was a bootstrapped Company built by Rowan, and fuelled by his and Lindsey’s determination to do science collaboration differently.

After Steve joined in July 2020, we applied and were accepted into the YCombinator W21 Batch. We choose and work with partners and investors who support our shared open-science mission as well as encourage or adopt our principles of open-components, open-source participation, and FAIR data access.

YCombinator provides initial investment, a startup community, a period of focussed growth, (less sleep), and an excellent opportunity to raise further investment and reach a scale where we can help to make an outsized impact on science communication.

Our mission is to modernize how researchers collaborate and share their work — to accelerate discovery by enabling connections.