Science! by Alexandro Lacadena, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 A few weeks ago we wrote about how the European Union is pushing ahead its support for open access to EU-funded scientific research and data. Today at the meeting of the Council of the European Union, the Council reinforced the commitment to making all scientific articles and data […]
Complying With HEFCE’s Open Access Policy: What You Need To Know
Most researchers working in the UK will know that the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) open access policy took effect from April 1st of this year, but what does that mean for you, and how can you make sure you are fully compliant? What is the HEFCE open access policy? Around…
In late October, more than sixteen hundred developers, science buffs, and Open Web advocates converged on the Ravensbourne campus in South-East London to kick off MozFest, a hands-on festival dedicated to envisioning and creating the future of an open, global web. MozFest, now in its fifth year, began as a small, community-driven gathering with an…
Thank you for the invitation to review for the Journal of X. I appreciate the work you do and have done for the X community.
That said, I have decided not to review for Elsevier journals unless the journal making the request is willing to convert one mutually agreed-upon article in the same journal to Gold Open Access status. If that condition can be met, I would be happy to review this paper, but if not, I’m afraid I must decline.
Do you have a coding project that could benefit from collaboration, or software skills you’d like to share? The codefest will be held from September 2-4 in Santa Barbara, CA.
Inspired by hack-a-thons and organized in the participant-driven, unconference style, the Open Science Codefest is for anyone with an interesting problem, solution, or idea that intersects environmental science and computer programming. This is the conference where you will actually get stuff done – whether that’s coding up a new R module, developing an ontology, working on a data repository, creating data visualizations, dreaming up an interactive eco-game, discussing an idea, or any other concrete collaborative goal that interests a group of people.
PLOS has announced some changes to their publishing policies, and these changes are great news. The new PLOS policies will go a significant way towards encouraging open data and open source. Although the announcement itself is somewhat vague on the subject of source code, the actual PLOS One Sharing Policy is excellent:
…if new software or a new algorithm is central to a PLOS paper, the authors must confirm that the software conforms to the Open Source Definition, have deposited the following three items in an open software archive, and included in the submission as Supporting Information:
The associated source code of the software described by the paper. This should, as far as possible, follow accepted community standards and be licensed under a suitable license such as BSD, LGPL, or MIT (see http://www.opensource.org/licenses/alphabetical for a full list). Dependency on commercial software such as Mathematica and MATLAB does not preclude a paper from consideration, although complete open source solutions are preferred.
Documentation for running and installing the software. For end-user applications, instructions for installing and using the software are prerequisite; for software libraries, instructions for using the application program interface are prerequisite.
A test dataset with associated control parameter settings. Where feasible, results from standard test sets should be included. Where possible, test data should not have any dependencies — for example, a database dump.
However, the one loophole is that they allow for code that runs on closed source platforms in “common use by the readership” (e.g. MATLAB), although it must run without dependencies on proprietary or otherwise unobtainable ancillary software. That “common use” loophole could potentially be a mile wide in some fields. Is Gaussian a common use platform in computational chemistry and therefore exempt from this new policy? If so, the policy is a bit toothless. I’d like to see the limits and bounds of the “common use” loophole more clearly stated.
The announcement makes PLOS ONE a much more attractive place to send our next paper.
In 1998, Open Science seemed like a pretty obvious projection of basic scientific principles into the digital age. I didn’t think the ideas would meet much, if any, resistance from the scientific community. And in October 1999, Brookhaven National Lab sponsored a meeting called Open Source / Open Science that, in retrospect, was a pretty utopian gathering. There were a lot of the current OpenScience community members present at the meeting (notably Brian Glanz and Greg Wilson). It felt like everyone would be convinced to do Open Source & Open Data science in short order.
The past 14 years have been instructive in just how long it can take to make cultural changes in the scientific community.
There was a second group who got the opportunity to present at this event at a poster session later that day. I haven’t seen the list publicized elsewhere, but these are some sharp folks who deserve recognition for their work. I’m going to highlight some of these in the coming week. Here’s the list of posters: