| Academia’s Partnership with Britann…

“Academia has teamed up with Encyclopedia Britannica to offer access to all of Britannica’s content to Academia Premium users.

 Academia is also inviting its members to contribute as authors on Britannica’s Publisher Partner Program. We’ve joined dozens of institutions including UC Berkeley, Northwestern University, the University of Melbourne and others in support of the initiative, which aims to expand Britannica’s free, open access content.”

Impact of Social Sciences – Increasingly collaborative researcher behaviour is the real threat to the resilient academic publishing sector

“Traditional academic publishing has been rumoured to be imperilled for decades now. Despite continued criticism over pricing and a growing open access movement, a number of recent reports point to the sector’s resilience. Francis Dodds suggests this is partly attributable to the adaptability of academic publishers but also highlights attitudes of researchers surprisingly committed to the status quo as another key factor. However, other aspects of researcher behaviour may prove more disruptive in the long term, with greater collaboration leading to the growing informal use and exchange of free material between researchers….”

The new alchemy: Online networking, data sharing and research activity distribution tools for scientists – F1000Research

“There is an abundance of free online tools accessible to scientists and others that can be used for online networking, data sharing and measuring research impact. Despite this, few scientists know how these tools can be used or fail to take advantage of using them as an integrated pipeline to raise awareness of their research outputs. In this article, the authors describe their experiences with these tools and how they can make best use of them to make their scientific research generally more accessible, extending its reach beyond their own direct networks, and communicating their ideas to new audiences. These efforts have the potential to drive science by sparking new collaborations and interdisciplinary research projects that may lead to future publications, funding and commercial opportunities. The intent of this article is to: describe some of these freely accessible networking tools and affiliated products; demonstrate from our own experiences how they can be utilized effectively; and, inspire their adoption by new users for the benefit of science.”

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 375,000 windows on art history, and that’s just the beginning – Wikimedia Blog

“Richard Knipel, the Wikimedian in residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, looks back at the efforts made and future plans to further support collaboration between the museum and the Wikimedia movement.”

Federal innovation guidance fails on open data, open dialogue, says GAO

“Governmentwide guidance for implementing open innovation strategies is particularly inefficient when addressing agency challenges in open data collaboration and fostering ideation and open dialogues, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office.”


Primary Document (GAO Report) is accessible here:

Novel processes and metrics for a scientific evaluation rooted in the principles of science

Abstract:  Scientific evaluation is a determinant of how scientists, institutions and funders behave, and as such is a key element in the making of science. In this article, we propose an alternative to the current norm of evaluating research with journal rank. Following a well-defined notion of scientific value, we introduce qualitative processes that can also be quantified and give rise to meaningful and easy-to-use article-level metrics. In our approach, the goal of a scientist is transformed from convincing an editorial board through a vertical process to convincing peers through an horizontal one. We argue that such an evaluation system naturally provides the incentives and logic needed to constantly promote quality, reproducibility, openness and collaboration in science. The system is legally and technically feasible and can gradually lead to the self-organized reappropriation of the scientific process by the scholarly community and its institutions. We propose an implementation of our evaluation system with the platform “the Self-Journals of Science” (

How Frankenstein helps a scientist think about his research.

“Technological hubris is ignoring the suggestions of others—even if only by neglecting to inform them of an advance. It is most common among those suffering from the curse of knowledge: scientists.

That’s why my colleagues and I seek to ensure that all gene drive research takes place in the open light of day. People deserve a voice in decisions that might affect them, and building gene drive systems behind closed doors denies them that opportunity. Even apart from the moral hazard, keeping research plans secret—as the current scientific enterprise incentivizes us to do—is appallingly inefficient and outright dangerous. It doesn’t just slow the rate of advances, thereby jeopardizing our ability to sustain our civilization; it practically invites global catastrophic risk. No one, be they science-fiction author or Austin Burt himself, anticipated a form of gene drive as versatile as is theoretically enabled by CRISPR. What else have we not anticipated that this time might be truly dangerous? And given this possibility, why on earth do we send out small teams of ultra-specialists, mostly working on their own and in secret, to find and open every technological box they can? Better to default to open research plans, enabling diverse teams to evaluate new advances, implementing measures to obscure and counter anything deemed truly dangerous, than to proceed blindly.

Of course, any wholesale restructuring of the scientific enterprise would also be an act of reckless hubris. My personal rule of ecological engineering: start local and scale up only if warranted. In this case, the best “local test” is the field of gene drive research. Scientific journals, funders, policymakers, and intellectual property holders should change the incentives to ensure that all proposed gene drive experiments are open and responsive.

The message from fiction and reality is clear: Scientists should hold themselves morally responsible for all consequences of their work. The least we can do is muster enough humility to ask for help….”

Fighting a One-of-a-Kind Disease – The New Yorker

“If a team hunting for a new disease were to find a second case with the help of researchers from a competing lab, it could claim to have “solved” a new disease. But it would also have to share credit with competitors who may have done nothing more than grant access to existing data. When I asked Shashi if she could imagine a scenario that would result in one research team’s publishing a paper with data from a different research group working on a similar project, she said, “Not that I can think of.”

David Goldstein added, “It’s not an overstatement to say that there are inherent conflicts of interest at work.” Daniel MacArthur, a genetics researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, is even more blunt. “It’s an enormous deal,” he told me. “And it’s a big criticism of all of us, but it’s a criticism we all need to hear. The current academic publication system does patients an enormous disservice.” …”

John M. Pye | People | SRS

“Most of my research has been conducted as an ecologist with the US Forest Service…A key part of the Forest Service mission is to provide the science that managers need to promote the health and resilience of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to benefit the American people. Transparency of objectives, operations, and accomplishments builds trust with taxpayers, collaborabors, and future partners. Open access to the results of federally funded research means better informed decisions….”