How can I assess the impact of our "openness"?

I've been asked -- in several different contexts now -- whether not the openness of my lab has had any specific impact. I blog about active research; we develop our code in the open; we post papers to arXiv; we emphasize remixability; I'm pushing open data in consortia; and we are trying to train scientists in the underlying techniques and technology necessary to be open. (I have a link-heavy summary of this available in my draft blog posts, actually; never posted it tho.)

I'm giving a talk in a few weeks at my local institution where having specific examples of this would be helpful. I also want to write up something for my tenure paperwork, and having an example or three of how others have benefited from something I've made open would be really great.

So, umm, could people send me any stories they might have? Either posted in comments or e-mailed to me? (I won't make them public if you don't want me to, but I'd like to talk about them anecdotally.)

Right now, all I could really say is that (a) there are a surprising number of people using khmer, (b) an awful lot of people have found the NGS course materials useful, and (c) ... well, that's really about it.

I like to think of my lack of coherence here as a feature -- I think there's quite a bit to be gained by simply doing what is straightforward and easy, and not proselytizing it too much as being super-ground-breaking or part of a coherent long-term vision (which would be hard for me to pull off anyway as I have no idea where I'm going) -- but it does make it hard to "sell" the impact of it to doubters. What should I say when asked?

Anyone? Anyone? Buhler?


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