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[22 Sep 2016 | No Comment | ]
FAIR enough? FAIR for one? FAIR for all!

The development of the acronym “FAIR” to describe open data was a stroke of genius. Standing for “Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable” it describes four attributes of datasets that are aspirations to achieve machine readability and re-use for an open data world. The short hand description provided by four attributes as well as a familiar and friendly word have led to its adoption as a touchstone for funders and policy groups including the G20 Hangzhao Concensus, the Amsterdam Call for Action on Open Science, the NIH Data Commons and the European Open …

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[2 Aug 2016 | Comments Off on Submission to the European Commission Expert Group on Altmetrics | ]

As part of the broader Open Science agenda of the European Commission an expert group on “altmetrics” has been formed. This group has a remit to consider how indicators of research performance can be used effectively to enhance the strategic goals of the commission and the risks and opportunities that new forms of data pose to the research enterprise. This is my personal submission. 
Next Generation Altmetrics
Submission by Cameron Neylon, Professor of Research Communications, Curtin University
1. Introduction
The European Commission has an ambitious program for Open Science as part of three aspirations, …

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[19 Jul 2016 | Comments Off on Squaring Circles: The economics and governance of scholarly infrastructures | ]

This is a version of the paper I’ve had accepted for SciDataCon in a session on the sustainability of Research Data Infrastructures. It was also the basis for the session that I helped lead with Simon Coles at the Jisc-CNI meeting in mid-July in Oxford. The original version was quite short and skips over some of the background material and context. I’m hoping to work it up into a full paper at some point soon so any comments are welcome.
Summary
Infrastructures for data, such as repositories, curation systems, aggregators, indexes and standards are …

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[28 Jun 2016 | Comments Off on A letter to my MP, the Honourable Ben Howlett, member for Bath | ]

The Honourable Ben Howlett MP
Member for Bath
House of Commons, United Kingdom
Dear Ben,
I need to come clean at the beginning of this letter. I did not vote for you in the general election. I am unlikely to vote for you or any member of your party in the future. We come from different political, and I would imagine cultural backgrounds. Nonetheless we were on the same side of the debate for the referendum. This as I will return to, offers me some hope for repairing the damage that has been done.
I write without …

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[22 Jun 2016 | 3 Comments | ]

I’ve been conflicted about posting this. I had planned to write something along these lines for several weeks but the murder of Jo Cox threw that sideways. The way I write tends to involve pushing words around in my head for a week or so, and then writing it all out. Thus most of this existed in some form prior to her murder but it was not written down. I don’t want to claim any prescience but those events, and the subsequent debate over their meaning, so reinforced the fears …

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[7 Jun 2016 | 2 Comments | ]
Canaries in the Elsevier Mine: What to watch for at SSRN

Just to declare various conflicts of interest: I regard Gregg Gordon, CEO of SSRN as a friend and have always been impressed at what he has achieved at SSRN. From the perspective of what is best for the services SSRN can offer to researchers, selling to Elsevier was a smart opportunity and probably the best of the options available given the need for investment. My concerns are at the ecosystem level. What does this mean for the system as a whole? 
 
 
The first two paragraphs of this post have been edited following …

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[18 May 2016 | 6 Comments | ]
Scholarly Communications: Less of a market, more like general taxation?

 
This is necessarily speculative and I can’t claim to have bottomed out all the potential issues with this framing. It therefore stands as one of the “thinking in progress” posts I promised earlier in the year. Nonetheless it does seem like an interesting framing to pursue an understanding of scholarly communications through.
The idea of “the market” in scholarly communications has rubbed me up the wrong way for a long time. Both the moral and political superiority claimed by private and commercial players for the presumption that markets should be unregulated and …

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[16 May 2016 | 2 Comments | ]
Open Access Progress: Anecdotes from close to home

It has become rather fashionable in some circles to decry the complain about the lack of progress on Open Access. Particularly to decry the apparent failure of UK policies to move things forward. I’ve been guilty of frustration at various stages in the past and one thing I’ve always found useful is thinking back to where things were. So with that in mind here’s an anecdote or two that suggests not just progress but a substantial shift in the underlying practice.
I live with a chemist, a group not known for their engagement …

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[13 May 2016 | 2 Comments | ]
What is it publishers DO? (Reprise)

This is more a note to write something on this up in some more detail. In the original post What is it publishers do anyway? I gestured towards the idea that one of the main value-adds for the artist formerly known as the publisher is in managing a long tail of challenging, and in some cases quite dangerous issues. What I didn’t quite say, but was implicit, is that a big role for publishers in preventing the researcher-author from getting egg on their face.
Enter this weeks entry into the pantheon of …

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[10 May 2016 | Comments Off on PolEcon of OA Publishing VI: Economies of Scale | ]
PolEcon of OA Publishing VI: Economies of Scale

I think I committed to one of these every two weeks didn’t I? So already behind? Some of what I intended in this section already got covered in What are the assets of a journal? and the other piece Critiquing the Standard Analytics Paper so this is headed in a slightly different direction from originally planned.
There are two things you frequently hear in criticism of scholarly publishers. One is “why can’t they do X? It’s trivial. Service Y does this for free and much better!”. I covered some of the reasons that this is …