A Data Sharing Renaissance: Music to My Ears! – Office of Science Policy

“When world famous cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, visited the NIH campus, he shared a story from the history of music, in which the peak of stringed instrument quality occurred in the late 17th century at a time of great collaboration and sharing of knowledge. When instrument makers began to compete, all of that changed: secrets of craftsmanship were held close and the quality of instruments plummeted. This decline lasted, according to Ma, until the 20th century, when again the free-flow of knowledge resumed. NIH Director Francis Collins noted, “There’s a lesson here about science.”

Data sharing is important. It is critical to continued progress in science, to maximize our investment in research, and to ensure the highest levels of transparency and rigor in science. But data sharing is a means to an end, not itself an end goal and, as such, needs to be done thoughtfully, in a way that fulfills the vision and mission of NIH and continues the advancement of treatments for disease and improvement of human health. NIH has long been on the forefront of making access to the results of our research accessible and has described our vision for expanding access to publications and data both in the 2015 NIH Plan for Increasing Access to Scientific Publications and Digital Scientific and in the 2018 Strategic Plan for Data Science….

Today, NIH released a notice in its Guide to Grants and Contracts that seeks public input on the key policy provisions that NIH is considering for inclusion in a future draft policy aimed at replacing NIH’s existing Data Sharing Policy. By obtaining robust stakeholder feedback we can help ensure that the future NIH policy will promote opportunities for data management and sharing while allowing flexibility for various data types, sharing platforms, and strategies.  The information stakeholders provide can also assist us in developing streamlined approaches that could potentially reduce unnecessary administrative burdens….”

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Talks Music, Science – The NIH Record – January 27, 2017

“Great improvements, said [Yo Yo] Ma, can come from collaboration. He said his cello was crafted in Cremona, Italy, at a time when apprenticeships were popular and the quality of instruments peaked, between 1695 and 1735. But then instrument makers around the world began competing for business and keeping secrets.

“There’s a lesson here about science, I think,” interjected Collins.

In the ensuing two centuries, Ma said, the quality of instruments plummeted. In the 1970s, however, apprenticeships resumed around the world; knowledge flowed and the quality of instruments dramatically improved….”

Keynote address for Open Science at LIBER

“As you have understood, open science can only be conceived as a comprehensive approach that integrates all facets of scientific activity. We can eventually achieve the figure of 100% of French scientific publications being available through open access. We must initiate processes to open research data to all, whenever it is reasonable, ethical and legal to do so. We must develop training courses, new tools and new services, or simplify and improve existing ones. But we must also be part of the global Open Science movement. I would like France to be a proactive leader in the field of open science, participating fully in its global reach. France supports, in particular, the initiatives of the European Union which, since 2012, has adopted voluntary policies with respect to open science. This is why we will support the “S plan” [Plan S] for open publications that ScienceEurope and Robert-Jan Smits have developed and which will be announced at the EuroScience Open forum (ESOF) Congress in Toulouse in the presence of Commissioner Carlos Moedas. We will thus be in sync with the implementation of the Conclusions of the May 2016 Competitiveness Council in full support of Commissioner Moedas’ Open Science agenda….”

Open Access och Big Business Hur Open Access blev en del av de stora förlagen

English title: Open Access and Big Business: How Open Access Became a Part of Big Publishing

Article in Swedish with this English abstract: This study explores the Open Access phenomenon from the perspective of the commercial scientific publishing industry. Open Access has been appropriated by commercial publishers, once sceptical opponents of the concept, as a means among others of distributing scholarly publications. The aim of this study is to highlight a possible explanation as to how this has come about by looking at the internal and external communication of two of the main scholarly publishing industry organizations, the STM Association and the PSP division of the AAP. Via a thematic analysis of documents from these organizations, the dissertation aims to explore how the publishers’ communication regarding Open Access has changed over time. Furthermore, the study takes on how these questions are interlinked with notions of power and legitimacy within the system of scholarly communication. The analysis shows two main themes, one that represents a coercive course of restoring legitimacy, where publishers’ value-adding is stressed and at the same time warning of dangerous consequences of Open Access. The other theme represents a collaborative course of action that stresses the importance of building alliances and reaching consensus. Results show that there has been a slight change in how the publishing industry answers to public policies that enforce Open Access. One conclusion is that this is due to the changing nature of said policies. 

History of open access – Peter Suber

“Analogy. Suppose a small town began to grow in a former wilderness. Early in its history it had a newspaper. In time it had a phone book, tax roll, town hall, post office, telegraph office, public library, school, church, cemetery, train station, doctor, surveyor, bartender, and private eye, each accumulating records in its own idiosyncratic, incomplete way. None of these caches of information is a history of the town. All are useful for studying the history of the town. Someone who knew where a good fraction of them were located would do a service by pointing them out. In this sense, I [Peter Suber] haven’t written a history of OA. But I’ve created materials, alone or with others, useful for studying the history of OA. And here I’m pointing them out, with some notes on their scope, preservation, and searchability. Needless to say, the history of OA is still unfolding. The small town didn’t disappear except in the sense that it grew into a large city….”

Effects of copyrights on science

Abstract:  Copyrights grant publishers exclusive rights to content for almost a century. In science, this can involve substantial social costs by limiting who can access existing research. This column uses a unique WWII-era programme in the US, which allowed US publishers to reprint exact copies of German-owned science books, to explore how copyrights affect follow-on science. This artificial removal of copyright barriers led to a 25% decline in prices, and a 67% increase in citations. These results suggest that restrictive copyright policies slow down the progress of science considerably.

Guest Post: From Supermarkets to Marketplaces – The Evolution of the Open Access Ecosystem – The Scholarly Kitchen

“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….”

Pathfinders: Documenting the Experience of Early Digital Literature

“Pathfinders begins the necessary process of documenting early digital literature, specifically pre-web hypertext fiction and poetry, from 1986-1995. These literary works were produced with programming languages like BASIC or authoring systems like Storyspace and HyperCard and require a degree of interactivity between the reader and the work. They were also among the first computer-based works of literature to be sold commercially in the U.S. and, because of their availability through commercial distribution, were influential in shaping literary theory and criticism that, today, are used to discuss born digital writing. They are also literary works in danger of becoming inaccessible to the public because they were produced on and for computer platforms that today are obsolete….”