If Voltaire had used Wikipedia… | Voltaire Foundation

“Sharing open knowledge about Voltaire’s histories

To raise awareness of Voltaire as a historian, we used three tools:

  1. Histropedia: a free tool for creating engaging, interactive visualisations
  2. Wikidata: a free database and sister site of Wikipedia that drives Histropedia and other visualisations
  3. Wikipedia: the free multilingual encyclopedia.

As well as holding data about people, publications, and events, Wikidata acts as a cross-reference between the different language versions of Wikipedia, showing which concepts are represented in which languages. By querying Wikidata, we could count how many language versions of Wikipedia had an article on each work by Voltaire. This showed, as expected, a large imbalance: forty languages for Candide versus three for the Essai sur les mœurs, for example. The current number of articles for each work is shown by the size of the bubbles below.”

How to solve the crisis of science | News | Expatica Switzerland

“Being able to reproduce scientific results was a key issue at the congress, and often relates back to the problem of time pressure, as scientists have an incentive to publish results that appear most interesting as soon as possible.

But attendees agreed that, while there often seem to be too many papers published in journals, there are still important phenomena – even negative results or failed experiments – that should be shared instead of thrown in the trash.

Better infrastructure for sharing such results, as well as open access data and publications, was also called for. According to [Marcel] Tanner, SCNAT [Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences] is already working with the Swiss Science and Innovation Council and the Swiss National Science Foundation to manage open access in Switzerland, where about 40% of publications produced with public funding are freely available….”

Scoring the players in European copyright reform.

“At Politico, Chris Spillane and Ryan Heath have estimated who has the most and least power over the direction of European copyright law.

Much the news is bad for readers, users, consumers, and open access. For example:

The quietest and weakest players on the board — bar none — are university academics.

Nearly as quiet and weak are the academic libraries represented by LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche, or Association of European Research Libraries).

Elsevier is much louder and more effective than academics or libraries. …”

Obama’s top science adviser’s guide to navigating the Trump era – Vox

“If there’s a subtext to this year’s meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest gathering of scientists of the year, it’s anxiety for the future. John Holdren, the top science adviser to President Barack Obama who spoke Friday at the conference, summed it up like this: “I’m worried — based on early indications — that we can be in for a major shift in the culture around science and technology and its eminence in government. We appear to have a president now that resists facts that do not comport to his preferences. And that bodes ill on the Obama Administration’s emphases on scientific integrity, transparency, and public access.” …”

Workshop: IPR, Open Science and Technology Transfer | Agricultural Information Management Standards (AIMS)

“The delicate interplay between ensuring protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and fostering knowledge circulation will be at the core of the workshop ‘IPR, Technology Transfer & Open Science – Challenges and opportunities’, which will take place on March 9th in Brussels. Starting from the idea that Open Science does not mean ‘free science’, the participants will discuss the approaches to striking a good balance between protected data and open access to information.

The present Workshop, jointly organised by JRC and DG Research and Innovation, gathers experts in Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Technology Transfer, Open Science and cloud computing, with a view to analysing the interaction between these elements and, in particular, to understanding to what extent the current European copyright framework is fit for an Open Science setting.

The Workshop is expected to result in a set of policy recommendations to be included in a policy brief following discussions.

Since seats are limited, you are kindly invited to register early in order to secure your place.”

Scholarly journal publishing in transition– from restricted to open access

Abstract: While the business models used in most segments of the media industry have been profoundly changed by the Internet surprisingly little has changed in the publishing of scholarly peer reviewed journals. Electronic delivery has become the norm, but the same publishers as before are still dominating the market, selling content to subscribers. This article asks the question why Open Access (OA) to the output of mainly publicly funded research hasn’t yet become the mainstream business model. OA implies a reversal of revenue logic from readers paying for content to authors paying for dissemination via universal free access. The current situation is analyzed using Porter’s five forces model. The analysis demonstrates a lack of competitive pressure in this industry, leading to so high profit levels of the leading publishers that they have not yet felt a strong need to change the way they operate. OA funded by article publishing charges (APCs) might nevertheless start rapidly becoming more common. The driving force currently consists of the public research funders and administrations in Europe, which are pushing for OA by starting dedicated funds for paying the APCs of authors from the respective countries. This has in turn lead to a situation in which publishers have introduced “big deals” involving the bundling of (a) subscription to all their journals, (b) APCs for their hybrid journals and (c) in the future also APCs to their full OA journals. This appears to be a relatively risk free strategy for the publishers in question to retain their dominance of the market and high profit levels also in the future.

Opening Meta – Hypothesis

“A serious piece of scholarly infrastructure is being made open, free and effectively non-profit. Meta has built a cutting edge system to mine scholarly papers new and old, and allow the data to be employed in diverse ways–predicting discoveries before they’re made, projecting the future impact of papers just hours old, and unlocking the potential for innumerable applications applying computation at scale across scientific literature. In what must have taken extraordinary patience, persistence and a lot of finesse, they managed to secure access to some of the most strategic closed content in the scholarly world.”

List of federal government agencies told not to communicate with the public

“For the past decade, the Sunlight Foundation has advocated for all branches of the federal government to use modern technologies to inform and engage the American people, from social media to websites. We adamantly oppose measures that limit disclosing documents and data to the public, particularly the publication of scientific papers, research and analysis, or public access to government scientists or technologists that can explain the findings.

The following list are reported formal actions to limit public communication at federal agencies….”

French minister seeks to mend ‘broken links’ between academics and political leaders

” “As politicians [said Axelle Lemaire, the French minister of state for digital affairs], we create policies that are not always based on facts [and] checked by academics and researchers. We shouldn’t have one administrative silo taking decisions on one side, and researchers researching on the other. The [French] government decided to open public data with the objective of providing researchers with the resources they need for their work.” It is “extremely paradoxical,” Lemaire continued, that we live in a “post-truth reality” when we have more access than “ever before in history” to technology that can help to verify information and inform government thinking on how to improve societies through policy. “We can have access to information and use the tools — big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning — to make use of these facts and information for the benefit of all,” she added….“We need to keep in sight the values that lie behind the academic research and the aim for education for all,” she said. “That’s what I’ve tried to put into place with the bill, by arming researchers with the tools that they need to research in an open environment.” With the bill’s open access provision, which gives researchers the right to share their research freely, academics should be able to take full advantage of “living in an open international world.” …”