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[30 Jul 2014 | 2 Comments | ]
A Prison Dilemma

I am currently on holiday. You can tell this because I’m writing, reading and otherwise doing things that I regard as fun. In particular I’ve been catching up on some reading. I’ve been meaning to read Danah Boyd‘s It’s Complicated for some time (and you can see some of my first impressions in the previous post) but I had held off because I wanted to buy a copy.
That may seem a strange statement. Danah makes a copy of the book available on her website as a PDF (under a CC BY-NC license) …

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[23 Jul 2014 | 6 Comments | ]

I have a distinct tendency to see everything through the lens of what it means for research communities. I have just finally read Danah Boyd’s It’s Complicated a book that focuses on how and why U.S. teenagers interact with and through social media. The book is well worth reading for the study itself, but I would argue it is more worth reading for the way it challenges many of the assumptions we make about how social interactions online and how they are mediated by technology.
The main thrust of Boyd’s argument is …

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[29 May 2014 | 3 Comments | ]

It takes me a while to process things. It often then takes me longer to feel able to write about them. Two weeks ago we lost one of the true giants of Open Science. Others have written about Jean-Claude’s work and his contributions – and I don’t feel able to add much to those reflections at the moment. I will also be participating in a conference panel in August at which Jean-Claude was going to speak and which will now be dedicated to his memory – I may have something …

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[26 Apr 2014 | 11 Comments | ]

Over the past few weeks there has been a sudden increase in the amount of financial data on scholarly communications in the public domain. This was triggered in large part by the Wellcome Trust releasing data on the prices paid for Article Processing Charges by the institutions it funds. The release of this pretty messy dataset was followed by a substantial effort to clean that data up. This crowd-sourced data curation process has been described by Michelle Brook. Here I want to reflect on the tools that were available to …

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[16 Apr 2014 | 2 Comments | ]

One of the things that has been bothering me for some time is the question of finding the right governance and finance models for supporting both a core set of scholarly communications infrastructures and shared innovation spaces. In this post I wanted to think about how we bridge the funding gap from promising pilot to community infrastructure and how debt financing might play a role.

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[21 Feb 2014 | One Comment | ]

…one of the motivations I had to get writing again was a request from someone at a traditional publisher to write more because it “was so useful to have a moderate voice to point to”. Seems I didn’t do so well at that with that first post back.
When you get a criticism about tone it is easy to get defensive. It’s particularly easy when there has been a history of condescension, personal attacks and attacks on the fundamental logic of what you’re doing from “the other side”. But of course …

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[8 Feb 2014 | 18 Comments | ]

Access to Research is an initiative from a 20th Century industry attempting to stave off progress towards the 21st Century by applying a 19th Century infrastructure. Depending on how generous you are feeling it can either be described as a misguided waste of effort or as a cynical attempt to divert the community from tackling the real issues of implementing full Open Access. As is obvious I’m not a neutral observer here so I recommend reading the description at the website. Indeed I would also recommend anyone who is interested to …

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[10 Jul 2013 | 13 Comments | ]
Open is a state of mind

“Open source” is not a verb
Nathan Yergler via John Wilbanks
I often return to the question of what “Open” means and why it matters. Indeed the very first blog post I wrote focussed on questions of definition. Sometimes I return to it because people disagree with my perspective. Sometimes because someone approaches similar questions in a new or interesting way. But mostly I return to it because of the constant struggle to get across the mindset that it encompasses.
Most recently I addressed the question of what “Open” is about in a online talk …

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[6 Jul 2013 | 9 Comments | ]

This is a guest post from Joseph McArthur and David Carroll. They have an idea and they’re looking for your help to make it happen.

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[7 Jun 2013 | 4 Comments | ]

The Association of American Publishers have launched a response to the OSTP White House Executive Order on public access to publicly funded research. In this they offer to set up a registry or system called CHORUS which they suggest can provide the same levels of access to research funded by Federal Agencies as would the widespread adoption of existing infrastructure like PubMedCentral. The bottom line is that it is necessary to bear in mind that this is the same group that put together the Research Works Act, a group with a long standing, and in some cases personal, antipathy to the success of PMC. There is therefore some grounds for scepticism about the motivations of the proposal. However here I want to dig a bit more into the details of whether the proposal can deliver. I will admit to being sceptical from the beginning but the more I think about this, the more it seems that either there is nothing there at all, or alternately the publishers involved are setting themselves up for a massive and potentially hugely expensive failure. Let’s dig a little deeper into this to see where the problems lie.