Big Idea Famine

“Which successful company has benefited the most from basic science and technology, yet given the least back to it? The answer: Apple. It is so extreme, that the runners-up are not even close. Apple funds internal research galore, then locks it up, reportedly refusing to allow its own scientists to attend public and open research conferences. It does make some software open (sort of), but funds no accessible research to speak of that would help further the kind of basic computer science upon which others can build. You might think that such behavior is natural; how could Apple—or any company for that matter—be competitive otherwise? And yet there is a long history of precompetitive basic science that, for example, came from the likes of Bell Labs (like semi-conductors), later IBM, and more recently Microsoft. You cannot keep skimming the cream off the top, without doing some basic, open research that is widely shared. Open and shared are the key words….”

OSF | Public Access Submission System (PASS)

“The Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins University, the Center for Open Science, MIT Libraries and the Harvard University Office for Scholarly Communication are building the Public Access Submission System (PASS), an open platform that would support researchers’ workflows related to compliance with funding agencies’ public access policies. The main ideas for this project arose based on discussions between Harvard, MIT and COS over the last two years….

While many federal agencies require research results to be made publicly accessible, the processes and requirements to do so vary greatly from one agency to another. The heterogeneous processes and requirements have become burdensome for researchers and their institutions, resulting in lower rates of compliances or compliance efficacies. Federal agencies, however, are not in a position to develop and commit to a solution, which would harmonize these workflows.

On the university side, many researchers are subject to more than one OA policy, for example, a university policy and a funder policy. Similarly, in the case of researches with multiple funding sources, researchers are subjects to public access policies from different funders. Universities would face an implementation nightmare, if the only paths to compliance were the different submission interfaces at different funders and institutions,. A unified submission interface would lighten the load on universities, and improve compliance, even if the unified submission interface were not exclusive….”

Toward Open-source Epidemiology : Epidemiology

“There are equally important reasons for embracing open-source principles. Transparency begets reproducibility and allows subsequent methodologic advancement. Cross-collaboration is inherent in science, and allowing our work to flow unfettered across institutions can propel the field. One such example, the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, which recently become the first open-science institute in the world, foresees accelerated innovation, participation, and implementation of clinical research by removing existing data barriers.”

Commons In A Box

“Commons In A Box (CBOX) is a free software project aimed at turning the infrastructure that successfully powers the CUNY Academic Commons into a free, distributable, easy-to-install package. Commons In A Box is a project of the City University of New York and the Graduate Center, CUNY and is made possible by a generous grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

CBOX takes the complexity out of creating a Commons site, helping organizations create a space where their members can discuss issues, collaborate on projects, and share their work. CBOX also provides:

  • Out-of-the-box functionality with an intuitive set-up that guides site administrators through each step of installation.
  • A powerful, responsive, highly customizable theme developed for community engagement, based on PressCrew’s Infinity Theming Engine.
  • Responsive design for easy viewing on many devices, including tablets and smartphones.
  • Collaborative document creation and file sharing.
  • Reply-By-Email functionality for quick, on-the-go communication.
  • Compatibility with many other WordPress and BuddyPress themes and plug-ins.
  • Expansive wiki options….”

Antirival goods, network effects and the sharing economy | Olleros | First Monday

Abstract:  Nothing facilitates large-scale collaboration like the prospect of inclusive, all-win games. Modern humans have gotten much better at large-scale collaboration because they have discovered, or invented, a broad range of collective goods that are easy to share and become more valuable the more they are shared, thus multiplying the opportunities for all-win outcomes. Steven Weber (2004) and Mark Cooper (2006a, 2006b) have drawn our attention to ‘antirival goods’ — subject to increasing returns to shared use — to differentiate them from ‘rival goods’ — subject to decreasing returns to shared use — and ‘nonrival goods’ — subject to constant returns to shared use. Unlike Weber and Cooper, I argue that nonrivalness and antirivalness are orthogonal properties of some collective goods, rather than stages along the same continuum away from rivalness. Collective goods, I also argue, are most inclusive when they are both nonrival and antirival. In an economy rich in both nonrival and antirival goods, the collaborative stance will often be the default collective choice, at large and small scales alike. Digital technologies are ushering in a transformative age as they expand the cornucopia of nonrival and antirival goods available to us. This inclusiveness of many digital goods eliminates the free-riding problem and mobilizes large amounts of volunteer work.

In Conversation with the Wellcome Trust – sharing & managing research outputs | Unlocking Research

“In July 2017, the Wellcome Trust updated their policy on the management and sharing of research outputs.  This policy helps deliver Wellcome’s mission – to improve health for everyone by enabling great ideas to thrive.  The University of Cambridge’s Research Data Management Facility invited Wellcome Trust to Cambridge to talk with their funded research community (and potential researchers) about what this updated policy means for them.  On 5th December in the Gurdon Institute Tea Room, the Deputy Head of Scholarly Communication Dr Lauren Cadwallader, welcomed Robert Kiley, Head of Open Research, and David Carr, Open Research Programme Manager, from the Wellcome’s Open Research Team. 

This blog summarises the presentations from David and Robert about the research outputs policy and how it has been working and the questions raised by the audience….”

The importance of open data and software: Is energy research lagging behind? – ScienceDirect

Abstract:  Energy policy often builds on insights gained from quantitative energy models and their underlying data. As climate change mitigation and economic concerns drive a sustained transformation of the energy sector, transparent and well-founded analyses are more important than ever. We assert that models and their associated data must be openly available to facilitate higher quality science, greater productivity through less duplicated effort, and a more effective science-policy boundary. There are also valid reasons why data and code are not open: ethical and security concerns, unwanted exposure, additional workload, and institutional or personal inertia. Overall, energy policy research ostensibly lags behind other fields in promoting more open and reproducible science. We take stock of the status quo and propose actionable steps forward for the energy research community to ensure that it can better engage with decision-makers and continues to deliver robust policy advice in a transparent and reproducible way.

SemEHR: A general-purpose semantic search system to surface semantic data from clinical notes for tailored care, trial recruitment, and clinical research* | Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association | Oxford Academic

“Unlocking the data contained within both structured and unstructured components of electronic health records (EHRs) has the potential to provide a step change in data available for secondary research use, generation of actionable medical insights, hospital management, and trial recruitment. To achieve this, we implemented SemEHR, an open source semantic search and analytics tool for EHRs….”

Interview: ‘Everyone, Whether a Historian or a Geologist, Should Learn Mathematics’

“SR [Sandhya Ramesh]: What do you think about open science and open data?

SB [Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay]: That’s where the world is heading. All research done with taxpayer funds are open, and this is essentially how biology works already. A lot of biological data is available online free of cost, which helps researchers from countries like ours who cannot buy data. Same with software, too. The open source movement is prevalent, important and will continue. Healthcare especially can’t grow unless it’s global and open. But I’m curious to see how businesses will work around this….”

How Can Blockchain Help Science? – Inside Bitcoins – News, Price, Events | Inside Bitcoins – News, Price, Events

“Gideon Greenspan, the founder of Coin Science, another London-based blockchain technology company, says Scienceroot and Pluto are both elements of the same “universe.”. The company is planning to provide an open-source, decentralized platform dubbed Multichain. Researchers could use the platform to upload data to the publicly shared digital ledger which won’t be controlled by any individual or group.

Greenspan opposes blockchain projects of Scienceroot and Pluto as it can get very costly to record and maintain all data in the long run. According to Greenspan, recording research data can be even more expensive than cryptocurrencies as it produces more data than virtual currencies….”