Abstract: As a growing number of biologists formally share their papers in online repositories, it’s often said that they are catching up with physicists, who have posted preprints in the online arXiv server since 1991. But biomedical scientists were actually first, reveals a researcher who has traced a “forgotten experiment” from the 1960s, when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, created a preprint exchange but shut it down when publishers objected. Matthew Cobb, a biologist and science historian at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, recounts how starting in 1961, a 70-year-old NIH administrator named Errett Albritton formed what he called information exchange groups, consisting of interested scientists working in the same subfield.
“The internet now provides a free platform for sharing knowledge. How is it possible—or even socially just—that so many of us can’t get access to scholarly research? Isn’t society propelled forward by access to the science, literature, and art of the world’s scholars? What if that research is publicly funded? These are the primary concerns that drive the open access movement.
What would these concerns look like if we removed them from the scholarly communications circle and applied them to realms beyond the ivory tower like nature, society, technology, and ultimately the intersection of those things—agriculture. How does resource sharing affect biodiversity? How does knowledge exchange drive community resilience? How is information access—delivered via technologies—an equalizer among the underrepresented, marginalized, and oppressed? How does our ability to feed a growing planet depend on a culture of openness? Let me work my way back.”
As an entity, whilst preprints have been around for some time, there have been a number of significant developments over the last few years. In this short talk, Graham will take you through a journey in time, touching upon the history, developments and what the future may hold in terms of preprints.
“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.”
“Presentation given at Open Repositories 2017, Brisbane, Australia. General track 13: Evaluation and assessment. This presentation discusses the open agenda supported by funder policies in the United Kingdom (UK), how these policies interact with one another and the resulting implications for higher education institutions using the case study of the University of Cambridge. The University of Cambridge has responded to the challenges of open research by founding the Office of Scholarly Communication and dedicating specialized teams to manage compliance with both Open Access and research data requirements. Since 2013 the Open Access Service has processed over 10,000 article submissions and spent more than £7 million on article processing charges. The experiences at Cambridge in responding to these challenges are an important lesson for anyone engaged in open research. This talk offers some insights into a potential way to manage funder mandates, but also acts as a cautionary tale for other countries and institutions considering introducing mandates around Open Access and what the implementation of certain policies might entail. The skills around management of open policies are significantly different to traditional library activity, and this has implications for training and recruitment of staff.”
“Looking back at arXiv’s 25 years (and forward to Open Repositories, next week!), I read through all the old arXiv news on the arXiv.org website, as well as Paul Ginsparg’s recent “Preprint Déjà Vu: an FAQ,” and put together this timeline (PDF). It’s really interesting to note the start up of additional subject area services at other institutions (and their later consolidation to LANL), the addition of new subject areas, the start up and decommissioning of mirrors, and a lot of other arXiv milestones. It’s an idiosyncratic summary, but it was fun to put together. Enjoy.”
“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.”
“Back in 1989, I never thought that a wacky idea and a few handouts would lead to 28 years of digital publishing projects.
You can find a complete chronology of my digital publishing activities in A Look Back at 28 Years as an Open Access Publisher.”
“After the recent London conference on Intelligence, we visited the Science Museum in South Kensington. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to explore everything, but we did spend some time in the flight section. A number of the texts on display highlight the importance of open science, and are worth posting here….”
Several of the postings show how secrecy and patents have held back the progress of science.