The battle for free knowledge | Fin24

“The consensus seems to be that a lawsuit isn’t going to stop Sci-Hub, it’s more than likely here to stay. 

Some in the publishing industry have even suggested that the sector needs to be introspective and acknowledge that it has failed to provide fair access to researchers.

What is clear is how much power the publishing industry that services the academic world appears to have.

Two activists who have challenged that power have met with the full force of the law. One forced into suicide and the other into hiding, fearing being kidnapped for extradition.

In a time of #FeesMustFall perhaps we as South Africans should be paying more attention to this global battle.”

Impact of Social Sciences – Formalised data citation practices would encourage more authors to make their data available for reuse

“It is increasingly common for researchers to make their data freely available. This is often a requirement of funding agencies but also consistent with the principles of open science, according to which all research data should be shared and made available for reuse. Once data is reused, the researchers who have provided access to it should be acknowledged for their contributions, much as authors are recognised for their publications through citation. Hyoungjoo Park and Dietmar Wolfram have studied characteristics of data sharing, reuse, and citation and found that current data citation practices do not yet benefit data sharers, with little or no consistency in their format. More formalised citation practices might encourage more authors to make their data available for reuse.”

What can fact-checkers learn from Wikipedia? We asked the boss of its nonprofit owner – Poynter

“Several studies have shown that Wikipedia is as reliable if not more reliable than more traditional encyclopedias. A 2012 study commissioned by Oxford University and the Wikimedia Foundation, for example, showed that when compared with other encyclopedic entries, Wikipedia articles scored higher overall with respect to accuracy, references and overall judgment when compared with articles from more traditional encyclopedias. Wikipedia articles were also generally seen as being more up-to-date, better-referenced and at least as comprehensive and neutral. This study followed a similar 2005 study from Nature that found Wikipedia articles on science as reliable as their counterparts from Encyclopedia Britannica.”

Sharing by Law: Open Science Takes a Legal Approach

“‘A partnership between the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) at the University of Toronto and U of T’s Faculty of Law has yielded a new concept that could change the way scientists share research tools. Aled Edwards, who leads the SGC, is lead author of a recent paper that applies the concept of a legal trust to open research reagents ­— substances that scientists use to test biological hypotheses and give insight into potential new therapies. Under this model, the researchers who receive reagents would become ‘trustees’ obligated to treat the materials as public goods. The article is published in Science Translational Medicine….Academic researchers use public funds to create reagents to use the lab. Currently any reagent created at any University is legally the property of the institution and is shared only under contract. Although this is the status quo, many of us believe science shouldn’t belong to an institution or an individual, but to society and that our work should be viewed as a public good,’ says Edwards, who is also a professor in the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Molecular Genetics and an expert in open science drug discovery.”

Dear Martin… « Walt at Random

“Maybe I’m misreading Eve’s article; maybe he’s not actually suggesting that there hadn’t been much OA activity in the humanities. Because there has, starting from the very beginning (quite a few of the earliest OA journals were in the humanities, including PACS-L Review, Postmodern Culture, EJournal and New Horizons in Adult Education. I guess it bothers me to see all the work that’s been done to date somewhat minimized–and, again, I may be unfair in reading Eve that way. I’d much rather see a celebration of the enormous amount of work that’s been done in OA by humanities people (certainly including librarians) along with a call to do more and a recounting of innovations. But that’s just me, someone who’s been nattering on about ‘free electronic journals’ for at least 20+ years now.”

BCcampus welcomes two new Open Education Advisors | BCcampus

“BCcampus is delighted to announce the newest members to join our team.  Please help us in welcoming Open Education Advisors, Lucas Wright (UBC) and Rajiv Jhangiani (KPU). Lucas joins BCcampus from UBC, where he works as an Educational Consultant: Learning Technology, Teaching and Learning Professional Development, at the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Rajiv joins BCcampus from KPU, where he is the University Teaching Fellow in Open Studies and a Psychology professor. Both Lucas and Rajiv have tremendous experience in open education and the B.C. post-secondary environment. As Open Education Advisors, they will support open education projects, including the newest Zed Cred degrees, and OER grants, advocate for open education in B.C., and work with all B.C. post-secondary institutions to advance open education initiatives.”

NASA Honors Renowned UMD Comet Science Pioneer Michael A’Hearn | UMD Right Now :: University of Maryland

“On June 12, at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, NASA posthumously awarded the Exceptional Public Service Medal to University of Maryland Distinguished University Professor Michael F. A’Hearn, one of the world’s leading cometary scientists. The NASA Medal is for “fundamental work on comets and small bodies of the solar system, leadership in space missions, and ensuring public access to data from NASA missions and related projects.” …In addition to being a pillar of cometary science, another major contribution to planetary science was A’Hearn’s nearly three decades as principal investigator for the Small Bodies Node, which is the part of NASA’s Planetary Data System that specializes in the archiving, cataloging, and distributing scientific data sets relevant to asteroids, comets and interplanetary dust. A founder and advocate for the Planetary Data System, A’Hearn championed its mission to preserve data of planets and make it publically accessible….”

PKP Position on Online Harassment | Public Knowledge Project

“Since 1998, PKP has been the source, developer, and maintainer of Open Journal Systems (OJS), Open Monograph Press, Open Conference Systems, Open Harvester Systems, and related software and services.  PKP, which has been based at the SFU Library since 2005, is responsible for coordinating all of the ongoing development and releases of the software, and operating related services such as the PKP Community Support Forum….In the Fall of 2013, an online OJS journal hosting service — openjournalsystems dot com — appeared in Phoenix, Arizona.  Paxter is the company offering this service and the sole registered owner of Paxter is Ben Amini (see Arizona Corporation Commission entry).  Mr. Amini uses the online and public persona of David Green who is generally identified as Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of openjournalsystems dot com….Since 2013, PKP, its team members, and individuals in our user community have been subjected to defamatory statements, online harassment, cyber-bullying, and other actions that have originated from Mr. Amini, his aliases (such as David Green) and Paxter.   We have been collectively and personally accused of having done all sorts of inappropriate and even illegal acts, including claims that PKP is attempting to destroy the business of Paxter (even though this business relies on the open source software PKP maintains).   All of these accusations are wholly unfounded.  PKP has made the decision to now say so publicly in order to set the record straight….By choosing openjournalsystems dot com as the name for his OJS hosting services, Mr. Amini has caused considerable confusion within the PKP community.  Many have assumed his operation is connected in some way with PKP.   We want to be very clear that PKP is not associated in any way with openjournalsystems dot com or the company behind it (Paxter LLC)….PKP has decided that it is time to take an open and public approach regarding Mr. Amini’s conduct.  We are sharing with the entire PKP community our side of what has been a one-sided narrative until now.  While we are acutely aware of the limitations of legal tools in maintaining a civil cyberspace, we are prepared to defend PKP and its staff against these unfounded accusations by addressing any of the claims made by Mr. Amini in an open manner. His behaviour is the antithesis of everything that PKP and our user community represents.”