Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Open Knowledge Week Six - Open Science, Data, Access, Scholarship

Michael Nielsen

I wrote about Michael Nielsen in a previous blog.  Suffice it so say he was our introduction to this week's work.

Next came a video that was 1.25 hours long and too long for me.  If you want to look at it here's the link.  This was a recent discussion/debate on Open Knowledge   https://class.stanford.edu/courses/Education/OpenKnowledge/Fall2014/courseware/c7433bd5ef7d4839b1aa91151e7e8d8d/08a1769a9370441a8103c83558c16a30/

David Cameron Neylon

Neylon - an Australian - took us through "From Network Architecture to Concrete Action".  He was riveting in his enthusiasm.  I have but one reservation.  Neylon assumes that we are all doing research for the common good (otherwise we wouldn’t get the funding) but what of some scientists doing research not for the common good.  After all, Openheimer was funded to create the atomic bomb and in the end it may have saved lives but it created the most destructive force on this earth.

And there are destructive people out there.  Many of them.  I won’t politicise this debate by naming them or their organisations.  The fact is they are there and they could use ‘Open Access’ for destructive means.

How do we deal with that?

Jack Andraka

Andraka is a 16 year old who, through Open Access came up with a way to detect pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer in a new inexpensive and foolproof way.  If this doesn't sell 'Open Access' nothing will.

Towards another Scientific Revolution was a paper that brought all the video material in to focus. http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-00026-8_1/fulltext.html

Peter Suber

Peter Suber has written a book on the subject of Open Access.  He is easy to read and clearly an expert in his field.  Apart from the book, he lectures on OA around the world and has submitted many contributions to the Internet in the past.  Some excerpts from his book

“Digital technologies have created more than one revolution. Let’s call this one the access revolution”

“Imagine a tribe of authors who write serious and useful work, and who follow a centuries-old custom of giving it away without charge. I don’t mean a group of rich authors who don’t need money. I mean a group of authors defined by their topics, genres, purposes, incentives, and institutional circumstances, not by their wealth. In fact, very few are wealthy. For now, it doesn’t matter who these authors are, how rare they are, what they write, or why they follow this peculiar custom. It’s enough to know that their employers pay them salaries, freeing them to give away their work, that they write for impact rather than money, and that they score career points when they make the kind of impact they hoped to make. Suppose that selling their work would actually harm their interests by shrinking their audience, reducing their impact, and distorting their professional goals by steering them toward popular topics and away from the specialized questions on which they are experts”

There was one other highlight in the reference to the Budapest Open Access Initiative which lays down guidelines for OA.  

Crowd Science

Finally here's a link to a very interesting article on 'Crowd Science' and some of the projects that have worked in the recent past.

It seems to me that OA is here and here to stay.

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