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[3 May 2012 | 6 Comments | 249 views]
Parsing the Willetts Speech on Access to UK Research Outputs

Yesterday David Willetts, the UK Science and Universities Minister gave a speech to the Publishers Association that has got wide coverage. However it is worth pulling apart both the speech and the accompanying opinion piece from the Guardian because there are some interesting elements in there, and also some things have got a little confused.
The first really key point is that there is nothing new here. This is basically a re-announcement of the previous position from the December Innovation Strategy on moving towards a freely accessible literature and a more public announcement …

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[22 Apr 2012 | 8 Comments | 350 views]

I attended the first Sage Bionetworks Congress in 2010 and it left a powerful impression on my thinking. I have just attended the third congress in San Francisco and again the challenging nature of views, the real desire to make a difference, and the standard of thinking in the room will take me some time to process. But a series of comments, and soundbites over the course of the meeting have made me realise just how seriously bad our situation is.

Attempts by a variety of big pharma to replicate disease …

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[22 Feb 2012 | 12 Comments | 753 views]
Github for science? Shouldn’t we perhaps build TCP/IP first?

Github for science sounds like a great plan? But do we have the underlying stack of equivalent services needed to provide “http for science” and “tcp/ip” for science. I argue that until we do we will struggle to really deliver on the excitement that examples (rightly) inspire.

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[6 Feb 2012 | 10 Comments | 898 views]
Network Enabled Research: Maximise scale and connectivity, minimise friction

Prior to all the nonsense with the Research Works Act, I had been having a discussion with Heather Morrison about licenses and Open Access and peripherally the principle of requiring specific licenses of authors. I realized then that I needed to lay out the background thinking that leads me to where I am. There is little new here in any sense but it remains a perspective that very few people really get.

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[3 Feb 2012 | 44 Comments | 2,353 views]
The Research Works Act and the breakdown of mutual incomprehension

When the history of the Research Works Act, and the reaction against it, is written that history will point at the factors that allowed smart people with significant marketing experience to walk with their eyes wide open into the teeth of a storm that thousands of people would have predicted with complete confidence. That story will detail two utterly incompatible world views of scholarly communication.

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[5 Jan 2012 | 12 Comments | 2,211 views]
Update on publishers and SOPA: Time for scholarly publishers to disavow the AAP

In my last post on scholarly publishers that support the US Congress SOPA bill I ended up making a series of edits. It was pointed out to me that the Macmillan listed as a supporter is not the Macmillan that is the parent group of Nature Publishing Group but a separate U.S. subsidiary of the same ultimate holding company, Holtzbrinck. As I dug further it became clear that while only a small number of scholarly publishers were explicitly and publicly supporting SOPA, many of them are members of the Association …

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[14 Dec 2011 | Comments Off | 490 views]
An Open Letter to David Willetts: A bold step towards opening British research

On the 8th December David Willetts, the Minister of State for Universities and Science, and announced new UK government strategies to develop innovation and research to support growth. key aspect for Open Access advocates was the section that discussed a wholesale move by the UK to an author pays system to freely accessible research literature but doesn’t refer to Open Access per se. I think this is missing a massive opportunity for Britain to take a serious lead in defining the future direction of scholarly communication.

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[12 Dec 2011 | 7 Comments | 586 views]

One of the things you notice as a visitor from the UK in South Africa is how clean the toilets are. In restaurants, at the University, in public places. Sometimes a bit worn down but always clean. And then you start to notice how clear and clean the pavements are and your first response, well at least my first response, is that this is a sign of things going right. One element of the whole is working well. But of course one of the main reasons for this is that …

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[23 Nov 2011 | 2 Comments | 789 views]
Good practice in research coding: What are the targets and how do we get there…?

The software code that is written to support and manage research sits at a critical intersection of our developing practice of shared, reproducible, and re-useble research in the 21st century. Code is amongst the easiest things to usefully share, being both made up of easily transferable bits and bytes but also critically carrying its context with it in a way that digital data doesn’t do. Code at its best is highly reproducible but how do we get from “at its best” to its best being common practice? How hard should we be pushing on standards?

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[11 Nov 2011 | Comments Off | 127 views]
Reflections on research data management: RDM is on the up and up but data driven policy development seems a long way off.

The Research Data Management movement is moving on apace. Tools are working and adoption is growing. Policy development is starting to back up the use of those tools and there are some big ambitious goals set out for the next few years. But has the RDM movement taken the vision of data intensive research to its heart? Does the collection, sharing, and analysis of data about research data management meet our own standards? And is policy development based on and assessed against that data? Can we be credible if it is not?