“Consequently, the last 20 years have seen a transformation of public policies – legislative, regulatory, and administrative – grounded in the philosophy that access to and dissemination of government data is a public right and that any constraints on access hinder transparency and accountability. While there is broad recognition of the need to maximize access to government data, the types of government data are increasingly diverse and complex. For instance, there are many cases where the government collects or licenses private sector data, often combining this data with other data produced by the government. These datasets are often referred to as “hybrid data” or “privately curated data” – data licensed to or collected by the government that comprises both public and private sources. Access to and use of hybrid data is increasingly critical for government to transform data into actionable information….
Examples of curated, or hybrid, datasets include…peer-reviewed scientifc and technical literature that is based on government-funded academic research but published in the private sector. Subjecting this full range of information to unfettered “openness” requirements risks the availability and quality of these valuable data-driven resources. Such requirements will ultimately harm the public interest when the inevitable “tragedy of the commons” scenario compromises the quality of the dataset, as private-sector actors begin avoiding these government partnerships for fear losing control of their data. Unfortunately, some current open data policies invite unintended consequences – specifcally, well-intentioned but overly broad open data mandates that nullify intellectual property rights by extending to data produced in the private sector and collected by, or licensed to, the government….
Collecting, verifying, analyzing, and publishing accurate datasets is a resource-intensive activity that generates valuable assets and solutions which governments need. This effort demands time and money and manages several competing interests, including individual privacy, national security, and intellectual property. Entities – both private and public – who engage in this economic activity prefer not to have the fruits of their investment publicly released in a way that would undermine their value. Yet that is what some open government advocates appear to be demanding as a blanket rule – a rule that, if followed to its logical conclusion, could discourage or eliminate public– private data collaborations that result in enormous beneft for the government and taxpayers alike….”
“Microsoft has reportedly acquired GitHub, and could announce the deal as early as Monday. Bloomberg reports that the software giant has agreed to acquire GitHub, and that the company chose Microsoft partly because of CEO Satya Nadella. Business Insider first reported that Microsoft had been in talks with GitHub recently.
GitHub is a vast code repository that has become popular with developers and companies hosting their projects, documentation, and code. Apple, Amazon, Google, and many other big tech companies use GitHub. Microsoft is the top contributor to the site, and has more than 1,000 employees actively pushing code to repositories on GitHub. Microsoft even hosts its own original Windows File Manager source code on GitHub. The service was last valued at $2 billion back in 2015, but it’s not clear exactly how much Microsoft has paid to acquire GitHub….”
“Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Sven Fund. Sven is the Managing Director of Knowledge Unlatched and founder of fullstopp, a digital consulting agency serving publishers, libraries, and intermediaries. From 2008 to 2015, Sven was the CEO of Berlin-based publisher De Gruyter. Prior to that he served in different functions from Managing Director to Executive Board member at what is now Springer Nature. He is a lecturer at Humboldt University in Berlin.
Open access (OA) is undergoing yet another metamorphosis. So far, the space has been dominated by author-pays (via Article Processing Charges – APCs) models, both hybrid and “pure”. And while funders like Wellcome and the German Research Foundation are reviewing their policies – many of them a decade old by now – it is becoming ever clearer that APCs will not be the future of OA, at least not uniquely. With their normative approach of flipping traditional acquisition budgets, Ralf Schimmer, Kai Geschuhn and Andreas Vogler have been advocating in principle that which is now becoming reality: i.e. that in order to really shake up the academic publishing market, other transactional models are necessary….
To make OA really work, libraries have to cooperate and co-spend in order to shift the market-shaping from publishers to themselves. Publishers are structured like supermarkets: They operate as global consortia around their own products, generating demand, shouldering financial risk and investments and in the process generating profit. As long as libraries or other agents are not prepared to supersede this role with a better structure, the underlying problem will remain….”
“It was a long and difficult road to get the major publishing houses to open up to open access, but in the end the Dutch universities got their much awaited ‘gold deal’ for open access. A recently revealed contract between Elsevier and the Dutch research institutes lays bare the retardant tactics the publishing giant employs to stifle the growth of open access….”
“Combining results from bibliometric analyses, a global sample of researcher opinions and case-study interviews, a new report reveals that although the benefits of open research data are well known, in practice, confusion remains within the researcher community around when and how to share research data….”
“If you’re reading this, then you probably know something of Issa’s record on #openaccess. For those familiar with that history, this looks like giving Donald Trump the Feminist of the Year Award because he once said, “Nobody respects women more than I do.” …”
“Legislators rewrite bill that originally required use of freely accessible educational materials, amid criticism that legislation would have infringed academic freedom and harmed, not helped, the open-access movement.”
“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….”
A year ago (February 7, 2017) we were able to screen scrape pricing details for all Taylor and Francis fully open access open select journals, in multiple currencies. Today, to find the price one has to select a journal, type of article, and country to find the open access article publishing charge (APC) list price. This is a useful service – and a barrier to pricing transparency.