Planet Open Science


A discussion around setting up a ‘planet’ aggregator/curated feed for open science posts has been taking place via IRC and this pad:

Results were:

  • SubjectSeeker comes out on top for features.

  • Svetlana was going to have a look at what is possible with WordPress/BuddyPress but general feeling was that the community curation options with SS are better and this works through WP plugins anyway /

  • Mike Chelen is setting up a sandbox on an Open Knowledge Labs server for interested members to play with SubjectSeeker.

Moving forward, we need to set interested parties up with access to the server to try installing and playing with the software.



Mitar presented at OpenCon 2014 on the need for a blog aggregator, you can see the video and find his slides here:

I have subsequently requested over on the mailing list that more people join this discussion and we start evaluating and playing with options. Do say hi below if you are interested!



I think we should start simple. Just a planet and this is it. Later on we can see what is needed if anything more is needed.

But just starting collecting feeds of blogs and then having a big fat feed of all of those posts would be a good start. If we will have too much posts, this will be a good problem to have and we will also have a larger community then to address that problem.

So I really think we should just install a ready made planet software and this is it. sounds really nice.

At PeerLibrary we can help hosting it. I propose it is made as a Docker image and then it is easy to run it anywhere.

I would say that there are two types of blog posts we are interested in:

  • blog post about open access and open science
  • open science research blog post (I made new research and I published it on my blog post and would like to disseminate it through alternative ways)

Should this be two planets or one and just tagging?


Over IRC, mchelen and I decided on working with FeedWordPress. As of now, we are waiting for a admin to install the plug in of FeedWordPress. What we have decided is to allow anyone to import their feed into the system. We haven’t figured on how to mod it yet.


There have been some suggestions to use WP if possible because it is already used for many OKFN sites, and would reduce admin setup & maintenance. There is a WP plugin called FeedWorldPress that allows sitewide import of RSS feeds
Would it be possible to use or adapt this plugin to meet these needs? It sounds like the biggest issue is the desire to let community members import feeds, as opposed to being admin-only. Would it be acceptable to require admin/mod approval feeds before adding them to import? Or should we look into changing the permissions to allow import by regular users?


here some thoughts from me, i use this plugin to syndicte open data posts for

i would create form for adding a new feed. then some editors should review it and decide, if it will be added to the stream. some feeds could be classified for publishing without reviewing, some maybe published by editors or the content owner itself (as an author).

for usage: all articles are automatically imported. some with known high quality and always fitting content maybe auto-published, the others by a team or the website owner itself as an registered author of the page (should only be allowed, to publish articles from his own page, so some user management needs to be done). would keep the effort for editors and core-team as low as possible and look for self-organizing structures and rules.


+1 to @mikechelen here re WP + FeedWordpress. That is already set up and i think fixing the permissions (or having a process for having a few designated site admins update in response to requests) would be very feasible.


In terms of user import, has anyone looked at PressForward?

It’s Open Source (GPL2) and was funded by Sloan, already being used by open/citizen science organisations like PLOS and Zooniverse.

Also, we could apply to be a partner and potentially get a bit of funding (always welcome) to help develop an open science planet. It seem more aimed at highly curated content, but that’s probably OK because we could have a curated stream as well as a more free-flowing news stream:

What are your thoughts on this? Seems like it’s under active development and the team behind it is already in the open knowledge space.


My 2c: PressForward looks pretty interesting and would integrate directly with our existing platform (wordpress)

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PressForward looks really interesting. But it seems that it requires quite some editorial work? I think that for the first stage it would be better to just have some automatic planet/aggregator, which just collects posts and creates one feed, completely automatically. We deploy it and leave it running.

And this can then help getting more community support and more hands to then do such things like PressForward.


It does require a lot more editorial work, it’s an additional function to an automatic aggregator or even some lighter weight community tagging and curation, but I thought I’d flag it here for interest. I agree with the community development model of have something lighter weight to begin with and then moving towards more refined content curation once more people are interested.

It seems strange to me that PressForward don’t enable both functions, but I just installed on my own WordPress to take a look and there doesn’t seem to be any ‘accept this feed automatically’ option.

If Stefan has used FeedWordPress successfully then +1 for installing that and trying it out - hopefully the ticket won’t take too long.
@mikechelen I have added you onto as an admin so you can configure the plugin.
@belkinsa - I’ve emailed you an invitation for the same.


@mitar That’s the aim of all of this, to get more community support. With the community support, we then allow anyone to make more connections within the Open Science community and even outside it.

@jcmolloy I got the e-mail and got the account set up. But I didn’t look at the plugin yet.


@belkinsa great! No plugin yet, but I understood a sysadmin request had been made - if I got that wrong then I’m happy to submit one now. Looking forward to getting this rolling :smile:


Sure, please do submit a request! I also want to see this rolling and also build from this into adding more tools to create a hub for Open Science.


Request submitted, I’ll let you all know when I get word from the sysadmins that the plugin is installed.

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Thank you for doing this.


Update: it’s activated and ready to go. But I have’t looked at it yet. I will update when I do.


Anyone know what domain / subdomain is being used for this WP instance?


Not yet. I need to first figure out how to log into the interface!

But I think we need to call it or something like that.


It’s currently a plugin on rather than a fresh WP install. I assume you assign a page for the feeds so I guess you could name it something like

If we need a seperate and clean WP instance then I can ask for that so let me know. You have both been added to as admins (you should have received an email) so let me know if you have trouble logging in.