[27 Sep 2015 | 6 Comments | ]
The Political Economics of Open Access Publishing – A series

One of the odd things about scholarly publishing is how little any particular group of stakeholders seems to understand the perspective of others. It is easy to start with researchers ourselves, who are for the most part embarrassingly ignorant of what publishing actually involves. But those who have spent a career in publishing are equally ignorant (and usually dismissive to boot) of researchers’ perspectives. Each in turn fail to understand what libraries are or how librarians think. Indeed the naive view that libraries and librarians are homogenous is a big …

Read the full story »

Blog, Featured »

[5 Jan 2018 | 6 Comments | ]

Three things come together to make this post. The first is the paper The 2.5% Commitment by David Lewis, which argues essentially for top slicing a percentage off library budgets to pay for shared infrastructures. There is much that I agree with in the paper, the need for resourcing infrastructure, the need for mechanisms to share that burden, and fundamentally the need to think about scholarly communications expenditures as investments. But I found myself disagreeing with the mechanism. What motivates me to getting around to writing this is the recent …

Blog »

[4 Jan 2018 | 2 Comments | ]

It’s not my joke but it still works. And given my pretty much complete failure to achieve even written resolutions it’s probably better to joke up front. But…here are a set of things I really need to write this year. Maybe more for my benefit than anyone else but it’s good to have a record.
Blog Posts: I have a few things that either need finishing or need writing, these are relatively immediate

Against the 2.5% Commitment – argument that fixed top-slicing of scholarly communications budgets is not the right way to …

Blog »

[4 Dec 2017 | Comments Off on Leaving the Gold Standard | ]

This is a piece I wrote for Jisc, as part of a project looking at underpinning theories of citation. There are a few more to come, and you can read the main report for the project at the Jisc repository. This post cross-posted from the Open Metrics blog.
Citations, we are told, are the gold standard in assessing the outputs of research. When any new measure or proxy is proposed the first question asked (although it is rarely answered with any rigour) is how this new measure correlates with the “gold …

Blog »

[6 Nov 2017 | Comments Off on Packaging Data: The core problem in general data sharing? | ]

In this final post about the IDRC data sharing pilot project I want to close the story that started with an epic rant a few months ago. To recap, I had data from the project that I wanted to deposit in Zenodo. Ideally I would have found an example of doing this well, organised my data files in a similar way, zipped up a set of directories with a structured manifest or catalogue in a recognised format and job done. It turned out to not be so easy.
In particular there …

Blog, Featured »

[2 Nov 2017 | Comments Off on Walking the walk – How easily can a whole project be shared and connected? | ]
Walking the walk – How easily can a whole project be shared and connected?

One of the things I wanted to do with the IDRC Data Sharing Pilot Project that we’ve just published was to try and demonstrate some best practice. This became more important as the project progressed and our focus on culture change developed. As I came to understand more deeply how much this process was one of showing by doing, for all parties, it became clear how crucial it was to make a best effort.
This turns out to be pretty hard. There are lots of tools out there to help with …

Blog »

[24 Oct 2017 | Comments Off on Policy for Culture Change: Making data sharing the default | ]

Open Access week is a fitting time to be finalising a project on Open Data. About two years ago I started working with the Canadian development funder, the International Development Research Center, to look at the implementation of Open Data policy. This week the final report for that project is being published.
Everyone, it seems agrees that opening up research data is a good thing, at least in the abstract. While there are lots of good reasons for not making data open in specific cases, its hard to make a case …