The title of this post misrepresents the position of the Society for Scholarly Publishing just about as much as their recent blog post did with the publishing practice, standards and goals of the Public Library of Science, and their journal PLoS ONE in particular. There may be a grain of truth in this headline, though, in that the rising heat of the debate may indeed be indicative of a tipping point coming in sight, after which toll-access (i.e. subscription-based) scientific journals would shrink into a niche in the prelude to a larger disruption of the scientific communication process, the transition to open science.
I agree that mandates and integration with the workflow of the researchers are the essential ingredients to a proper strategy.
Advice on filling your repository
I was moved to produce this by Hugh Glaser's remarks that no-one was prepared to offer advice to beginners or people transitioning to a properly mandated repository. This advice is not new. It has been said by many others in part, and I have been preaching it in Australia and New Zealand for at least five years. It is however firmly based on experience, and knowledge of what works and what doesn't in many universities, right around the world.
Two weeks ago, I invited suggestions as to what may have been the breakthrough of the year in open science. On the basis of the candidates that came up (plus a few that I had on my own list), a poll was then set up for everyone to vote their preferences amongst the following candidates (presented in random order):
This is a document that goes way beyond the draft version of the WSF 2009 Communiqué, and for the better. I paste it in full below (source: http://fcforum.net/ ; extended version at http://fcforum.net/charter_extended ).
Next Euroscience Open Forum will take place on 2 to 7 of July, 2010 in Torino, Italy. I think it is the ideal forum to talk also about new science communciation tools.
That why I am proposing here a session on young researchers and Science 2.0. for the Career Programme of ESOF 2010.
We still need include names of interested experts to join the discussions with Second Life, Friendfeed or similar services in the proposal. The deadline for proposals for ESOF is September, 30.
The exact time within the frame of 2-7. July 2010 will be fixed later, taking into account the availabilities of the participants. It will be an one hour session. So is anybody interested to join the discussions?
This is a response to http://www.wittylama.com/2009/09/wikipedia-journal/ - a new (still hypothetical) initiative consisting of an Open Access journal (with ISSN and CC license) that publishes scholarly reviews that are peer-reviewed and ready to be pasted into Wikipedia.
I like this idea a lot. It is much like Scholarpedia (which contains commissioned but anonymously peer-reviewed articles and which has an ISSN but no coherent license), just has a broader scope and does not confine itself to the top-notch experts in the field. Your proposal, as mentioned above, also bears some resemblance to Citizendium (where the review process usually involves domain generalists rather than topic specialists, and it is non-anonymous; has CC license but no ISSN). Both operate stable versions that can be updated. The former allows for attribution, the latter not.
You also mentioned that a similar journal could be set up for original research (something that the Wikipedias, but also Scholarpedia and Citizendium have avoided so far), and in this regard, it is very close to the journal PLoS ONE (meant to be for all scientific disciplines, though currently with a bias towards the biomedical fields; has ISSN and CC license) and the recently launched PLoS Currents (which, in essence, uses Knol as a preprint server), which I have commented here.
I am also currently drafting a blog post for the Euroscientist on these matters at Wikiversity, to which everzone is welcome to contribute and where a number of related posts is referenced. To quote from just one of them: "science is already a wiki if you look at it a certain way. It's just a really, really inefficient one - the incremental edits are made in papers instead of wikispace, and significant effort is expended to recapitulate the existing knowledge in a paper in order to support the one-to-three new assertions made in any one paper."
-Good framing of the discussion, though at places lacking in references
-On "discussions in comments", see here and here.
-If you do not comment in detail on the "different discursive universe", you might as well shorten or delete that phrase.
-Open-process publishing and reviewing advantages, (1)
--A good reference on the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics model is here.
-Open-process publishing and reviewing advantages, (3)
--Plagiarism detection already works quite well now, some tools are listed here.
-Open-process publishing and reviewing advantages, (4)
--On speeding up the publication process, see here (my comment).
-Open-process publishing and reviewing advantages, (5)
--The readership and even reputation of open-process publishers may increase, but "journals" in the sense we know them may well cease to exist (in fact, already now there is but one journal — the scientific literature), since the open-process handling of submissions will naturally focus on the article level (as long as these exist) and later perhaps on individual submissions to the global knowledge system, and be this a single wiki edit (e.g. via tools like WikiTrust). On incremental publishing, see here and here and here.
-Internal benefits for journals, general
--given my reservations on the last point, it may be worth considering to exchange the term "journal" for something else in this section (I used "public research environment"), which will obviously affect other aspects of the phrasing
-Internal benefits for journals, (1)
--on the feedback loop between productivity and recognition, see here.
-Internal benefits for journals, (4)
--Karma system in use at Slashdot may be relevant for this section, see here.
-Modular process: stages and states
--These stages fit well with text-based disciplines, but there may be more components (overview here)
Typos and phrasing
-production work . Still,
-what i think ought to done
-publish and perish devaluing model. Model
-argument even more focused that those in an average 8000 paper are
-on whose work the organization relies on
(yes, I would like to subscribe)
-or at to have
"Fantasy Science Funding" is an online game played by people with concrete ideas about science funding who are not currently in a position to put these ideas into practice. There are five rules to the game: 1 - choose a funding body whose funds you are managing in your fantasy, 2 - imagine how their funds could be distributed to the benefit of science, 3 - choose areas of science to be "fired" (i.e. whose funding should be decreased with respect to present state), 4 - choose areas of science to be "hired" (where funding should be increased with respect to now), 5 - blog about it.
Previous shindings that I am aware of were hosted by Duncan Hull, Björn Brembs and Cameron Neylon.
After having written my diploma thesis in Microsoft Word, I switched to LaTeX for my PhD, and I never wanted to switch back since. However, PLoS ONE - an Open Access journal that abandoned the traditional discipline-specific scope, which made it a potentially interesting publication venue for research on topics or methods that are hard to classify in traditional discipline-centred terms - didn't accept TeX-based documents, even though this had been pointed out soon after the launch of the journal in 2006. Now they seem to have solved their technical problems and, starting a few days ago, do indeed accept LaTeX documents. I hope that this significant invitation to what they call "math heavy communities" is going to be accompanied by an overhaul of the scheme they use to categorize their articles, in which "physics" still stands at the same hierarchical level as "ophthalmology", even though the system is more fine-grained internally.
I am pleased to announce that the new website of S.A.P.I.EN.S (Surveys and
Perspectives Integrating Environment and Society), is now up and running.
S.A.P.I.EN.S is a new peer-reviewed, Open Access, multidisciplinary
journal on sustainability dedicated to synthesize
information and foster understanding between scientific disciplines.
S.A.P.I.EN.S seeks to address the complexity of the interactions between society and the
environment from a plurality of perspectives.
The natural, social and human sciences each
have their own usage of words, specific standards and methodologies to
ensure depth and integrity. S.A.P.I.EN.S
publishes critical state-of-the-art and evidence-based opinions to provide readers
with clear access to relevant advances in scientific areas other than their own.
With this initiative, the Veolia Environment
Institute moves the Open Access movement forward: All S.A.P.I.EN.S articles are
fully free of charge for the scientific community, i.e. for both readers
I tentatively call this model the Full Open Access model. comments welcome.
For more information, please take a tour.
authors are encouraged to send a short synopsis to:
Please note that S.A.P.I.EN.S does not publish original research
...are the subject of this recent review at PLoS Computational Biology (Open Access).
In the light of limited global energy resources, we have to make up our mind on how to use them efficiently. An initial step in this process is to find out how much energy we currently spend on key elements of our global infrastructure, and how this may plausibly develop over the next few years to come.
One such attempt, relevant to online networks like WAYS, is being made in a recent paper by Jonathan G Koomey in Environmental Research Letters 3 (2008), entitled "Worldwide electricity used in data centers" (not Open Access).
Would be nice to link such considerations with those on the resource use by an individual scientist, as reported previously. Any takers?
This post is meant as a contribution to Open Access Day (OA day) which strives to raise awareness - amongst researchers, research funders, academic publishers, students, politicians and the public - of the importance of Open Access (to literature containing peer-reviewed results of scientific investigations, that is) for our global society.
One way to do this is to have people like you blog in synchronization, i.e. on four questions during OA day. To give you some inspiration on the topic, you may wish to take a look at the first such synch-blogging entry, which came from Neil Saunders, based at the University of Queensland, Australia.
I will follow Neil's formatting to address the four questions:
- Why does Open Access matter to you?
- How did you first become aware of it?
- Why should scientific and medical research be an open-access resource for the world?
- What do you do to support Open Access, and what can others do?
OA, for me, marks a turning point within the scientific cycle, i.e. the iterative process which leads (if sufficiently funded) from a research question or idea to a hypothesis or new method that can be tested and, ultimately, to the results of those tests which then have to be communicated. This communication step is crucial, as it adds to our global knowledge foundation (often described, following Newton, as "the shoulders of giants") for new research questions or ideas that may eventually lead to things like "innovation", "insight" and "progress". If innovators-to-be, however, do not have access to the findings of their forebears (which may indeed be contemporaries), they will have to spend a lot of their time and resources by (re)inventing some aspects of the giants' shoulders before starting to work on their innovations in the first place. Open Access is a movement to lift those access barriers, and it is not only useful to researchers but it can also, for instance, help patients and their relatives to gather first-hand expert information on their specific health conditions, and it can help to inform public debates about research data with scientific implications. The full power of Open Access, however, can only be harvested if all other steps within the scientific cycle (including, e.g., notebook keeping) also become increasingly open, a goal with multiple names (of which Open Science is my favourite). This would not only reduce the considerable time lag between the obtainment of some results and their application in other circumstances but also foster the development of new citation metrics that would allow to more adequately evaluate the research accomplishments of young scientists.
I had been aware of the barriers since I started reading scientific papers in the mid-1990s, as I rarely had access to much of the literature cited therein, no matter what library I went to (and I went to more than a dozen regularly at that time). I got a glimpse of a possible solution when checking out the freely available content at BioMed Central on a weekly basis some years later but this again did not cover much of my core areas of interest (Evolutionary Biophysics), nor did arxiv.org that I had discovered around the same time. So it took the Budapest Open Access Initiative to make me aware of the progress that had already been achieved or was underway by 2001, and I signed it shortly after starting to work on my PhD thesis.
Knowledge grows when shared. And what else is the goal of research if not growing knowledge on a global scale? Besides, I find it non-sustainable to use the limited resources that we have to constantly re-invent the wheel for reasons external to the research process.
As an author, I strive to publish OA (i.e. gold) but independent of whether this is possible or not, I self-archive my papers (i.e. green OA). I am neither a journal editor nor part of a publishing house but I occasionally use my blog to cover OA and related topics, particularly Open Education, and Open Science as a whole, and I link to others who do this more intensively. Finally, I am playing around with platforms and technologies that may facilitate the transition to a more open scientific cycle, keeping a special eye on what these upcoming changes might mean to young scientists, e.g. in terms of theses and online lectures rather than papers. Others can, of course, familiarize themselves with the issue of effectively (in both time and resources) communicating (peer-reviewed) research results via the channels that are technically possible, they can experiment with the tools at hand to communicate their thoughts, and they can educate even more others about these matters in more traditional ways. In fact, I think they should.