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[26 Feb 2016 | One Comment | ]

It has been painful to watch the tensions at the Wikimedia Foundation explode over the last few months and with the stepping down of the Executive Director there seems a mood of conciliation and a desire for WMF to learn from the process. I know next to nothing of the details or the story, so while it is the spur for this post I don’t want to offer any opinions on WMF itself. But the story fits the outline of a pattern I’ve seen in a lot of organisations in the …

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[13 Jan 2016 | One Comment | ]

I’m not much for end of year or beginning of year posts but I have found that putting down plans is a good way of holding myself to account (and that a few people out there might help with that job…you know who you are). I also think my use of this space may change a little over the coming year, so for those of you still using RSS (yes! we do still exist!) this may have an impact on including me or not in your selection for 2016.
As it …

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[28 Dec 2015 | 4 Comments | ]

Standard Analytics have released a very useful paper looking at platform costs for scholarly publishing. In the paper (which coincidentally demonstrates part of the platform system they are developing) they make some strong claims about the base cost of publishing scholarly articles. In this post I will critique those claims and attempt to derive a cost that fully represents the base marginal cost of article publishing, while pointing out that such average estimates are probably not very useful. The central point is that the paper shows not marginal costs but (a …

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[22 Oct 2015 | 8 Comments | ]

This is the approximate text of my talk at City University London on 21 October for Open Access Week 2015. If you prefer the “as live” video version then that its available at YouTube. Warning: Nearly 6000 words and I haven’t yet referenced it properly, put the pictures in or done a good edit…

Eight years of Open Access Week, massive progress towards greater access to research, not to mention data and educational resources. The technology landscape has shifted, the assessment landscape has shifted. The policy landscape has certainly shifted. And …

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[19 Oct 2015 | 5 Comments | ]
PolEcon of OA Publishing II: What’s the technical problem with reforming scholarly publishing?

In the first post in this series I identified a series of challenges in scholarly publishing while stepping through some of the processes that publishers undertake in the management of articles. A particular theme was the challenge of managing a heterogenous stream of articles and their associated heterogeneous formats and problems, in particular at a large scale. An immediate reaction many people have is that there must be technical solutions to many of these problems. In this post I will briefly outline some of the charateristics of possible solutions and …

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[18 Oct 2015 | 3 Comments | ]

Last week I was lucky enough to spend five days in North Carolina at the Triangle Scholarly Communications Institute, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded initiative that brings teams together on a retreat style meeting to work on specific projects. More on that, and the work of our team, at a later date but one thing that came out of our work really struck me. When we talk about the web and the internet, particularly in the context of scholarly publishing we talk about how the shift from an environment …

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[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 …

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[10 Sep 2015 | Comments Off on Who’s in the Club? New frames for understanding knowledge sharing | ]
Who’s in the Club? New frames for understanding knowledge sharing

The following is a version of the text I spoke from at the STEPS 2015 Conference, Resource Politics, at a session on Open Science organised by Valleria Arza, where I spoke along with Ross Mounce and Cindy Regalado. This version is modified slightly in response to comments from the audience.
There aren’t too many privileged categories I don’t fall into. White, male, middle class, middle aged, home owner. Perhaps the only claim I could make in the UK context is not having a connection with Oxbridge. The only language I speak …

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[15 Apr 2015 | Comments Off on Community Support for ORCID – Who’s next to the plate? | ]

Geoff Bilder, Jennifer Lin, Cameron Neylon
The announcement of a $3M grant from the Helmsley Trust to ORCID is a cause for celebration. For many of us who have been involved with ORCID, whether at the centre or the edges, the road to sustainability has been a long one, but with this grant (alongside some other recent successes) the funding is in place to take the organization to where it needs to be as a viable membership organization providing critical community services.
When we wrote the Infrastructure Principles we published some weeks …

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[6 Apr 2015 | Comments Off on .everyone or .science? Or both? Reflections on Martha Lane Fox’s Dimbleby Lecture | ]

On March 30 the BBC broadcast a 40 minute talk from Martha Lane Fox. The Richard Dimbleby Lecture is an odd beast, a peculiarly British, indeed a peculiarly BBC-ish institution. It is very much an establishment platform, celebrating a legendary broadcaster and ring marshaled by his sons, a family that as our speaker dryly noted are “an entrenched monopoly” in British broadcasting.
Indeed one might argue Baroness Lane Fox, adviser to two prime ministers, member of the House of Lords, is a part of that establishment. At the same time the …