Choosing a Criminal Procedure Casebook: On Lesser Evils and Free Books by Ben Trachtenberg :: SSRN

Abstract:  Among the more important decisions a law teacher makes when preparing a new course is what materials to assign. Criminal procedure teachers are spoiled for choice, with legal publishers offering several options written by teams of renowned scholars. This Article considers how a teacher might choose from the myriad options available and suggests two potentially overlooked criteria: weight and price.

The Article then explores the possibility of providing criminal procedure casebooks to law students for much less money than is currently charged, taking advantage of the public domain status of Supreme Court opinions, which form the backbone of most criminal procedure syllabi. The Article suggests that law schools could encourage faculty to produce casebooks that would be made available to our students for the cost of printing, with electronic versions available gratis (that is, “free” as in “free beer”).

Rewriting the Code of Life – The New Yorker

“There has never been a more powerful biological tool [than the gene-editing tool CRISPR], or one with more potential to both improve the world and endanger it. [Kevin] Esvelt hopes to use the technology as a lever to pry open what he sees as the often secretive and needlessly duplicative process of scientific research. “The only way to conduct an experiment that could wipe an entire species from the Earth is with complete transparency,” he told me. “For both moral and practical reasons, gene drive is most likely to succeed if all the research is done openly. And if we can do it for gene drive we can do it for the rest of science.” …He also insists that he will work with absolute openness: every e-mail, grant application, data set, and meeting record will be available for anyone to see. Intellectual property is often the most coveted aspect of scientific research, and Esvelt’s would be posted on a Web site. And no experiment would be conducted unless it was approved in advance—not just by scientists but by the people it is most likely to affect. “By open, I mean all of it,” Esvelt said, to murmurs of approval. “If Monsanto”—which, fairly or not, has become a symbol of excessive corporate control of agricultural biotechnology—“did something one way,” he said, “we will do it the opposite way.” …Esvelt explained his goal by saying, “I want to drag my entire field kicking and screaming into the open.” …”

[Elsevier’s rationale for its non-disclosure clauses]

“So it seems that Elsevier is once again trying to avoid revealing the prices that they charge university libraries for journal subscriptions. A few years ago they tried the same thing with us. Making prices public would harm the customer, they claimed. If prices were disclosed, they argued in one legal brief, “actual and substantial harm would result…to customers (particularly large customers such as [defendant] WSU) because— such information being known to competitors—Elsevier would be pressured into a onesize fits all pricing policy that would undermine its ability to advantageously tailor terms and conditions to a customer’s individual requirements.” I find this insufferable. Partly, it sounds like a threat: “Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.” But the bigger issue is that as an economic argument it’s utter bullshit….”

Ten simple rules for considering preprints [PeerJ Preprints]

“So why make your work available as preprints? There are perceived positives and negatives to disclosing scientific work in the form of a preprint, explored here in the form of 10 Simple Rules. These rules, if they pass review, will appear as part of the PLOS Computational Biology Ten Simple Rules Collection. The rules cover such issues as reward, incentives, speed of dissemination, quality, scooping, and record of priority. You cannot have an article describing preprints, without itself being a preprint!!’

Scientists in Germany, Peru and Taiwan to lose access to Elsevier journals : Nature News & Comment

“Thousands of scientists in Germany, Peru and Taiwan are preparing for a new year without online access to journals from the Dutch publishing giant Elsevier. Contract negotiations in both Germany and Taiwan broke down in December, while Peru’s government has cut off funding for a licence….Elsevier and the [German] DEAL consortium, says Hippler, are still far apart with regards to pricing and the OA business model. “Taxpayers have a right to read what they are paying for,” he says. “Publishers must understand that the route to open-access publishing at an affordable price is irreversible.”

In Taiwan, meanwhile, more than 75% of universities, including the country’s top 11 institutions, have joined a collective boycott against Elsevier, says Yan-Jyi Huang, library director at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST, also known as Taiwan Tech).

On 7 December, the Taiwanese consortium, CONCERT, which represents more than 140 institutions, announced it would not renew its contract with Elsevier because fees were too high. Elsevier switched to dealing with universities individually. But the NTUST and many others — including Taiwan’s leading research institute, Academia Sinica — have each decided to uphold the boycott, from 1 January 2017….”

DOE Data Explorer

“The DOE Data Explorer (DDE) is an information tool to help you locate DOE’s collections of scientific research data and also retrieve individual datasets submitted by data centers, repositories, and other organizations within the Department. The DDE database includes collection citations prepared by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, as well as citations for the individual, submitted datasets.

All of the collections and all of the individual datasets result from research and development funded in whole or in part by the Department of Energy. Some reflect combined funding – DOE’s combined with that from other agencies or the private sector…”

15 ways to convert subscribed journals to open access

From Google Translate: “In August 2016, a report systematically summarizing how to convert academic journals operated by subscription fee income to open access (OA) by the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication in Harvard University Library in the United States Has been released.

?The main objective of this report is to provide various scenarios of conversion to OA. Since the environmental conditions such as the subject field and financial situation vary from journal to journal, indicating many choices leads to individualized journals making informed decisions about conversion to OA . The breakdown of the scenario is that scenario of funds source is 10 for the paper processing cost (APC), and scenario with source other than APC is 5. For each scenario, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis was shown in addition to the four items “relevant publisher type”, “preconditions”, “related fields” and “purpose of conversion” , Making it easier to check deeply relevant scenarios for your case. A table in which these are summarized briefly is published on the research data publishing platform figshare, so please refer to it as appropriate. Below is a summary of each scenario….”

Scientists Could Learn an Important Lesson From Trump’s Victory

“Luckily, scientists and other experts are now equipped with ways to meaningfully engage with everyday people, citizen science being an important one. Distributed throughout the country without regard to politics, economics, or other divisive categories, citizen science groups and projects can help close the gap between professional scientists and the public. Citizen science can bring political diversity to scientific culture and produce open knowledge that is useful to public and private research interests. And when public engagement goes beyond data collection -as vital as that is for science and education-citizens can add their voices as input to decisions about issues that can affect their lives….”

Gates Foundation Adopts Progressive Open Access Policy | Beyond IP Law

“The Gates Foundation is on the brink of implementing an Open Access policy that is the purest in the world. Under the Gates Foundation policy, “information sharing and transparency is promoted by unrestricted access and reuse of all peer-reviewed published research funded, in whole or in part, by the foundation, including any underlying data sets.” The radical aspect of the Gates Foundation Open Access policy is that no embargoes, no waivers and no exceptions are allowed. This is not a sudden policy implementation. Three years ago, the Gates Foundation announced and implemented a modified form of this policy. The date of rigorous implementation without embargoes, waivers or exceptions was explicitly detailed as taking effect on January 1, 2017….”

The West Midlands as an ‘Electronic Super Highway’: BOM and the Emergence of New Art Infrastructures

Applying Clayton Christensens’s theory of Disruptive innovation to seminal artworks and the development of film and photography, Newman considers the new art infrastructures emerging through the sharing economy. Newman considers the importance of manufacturing and industry in the West Midlands and suggests the region could claim the position of an authentic “Electronic Superhighway” (a term coined by artist Nam June Paik in 1974), as well as providing fertile ground for new collaborative spaces and the local manufacturing of artists’’ ideas.The WEst Midlands as an ‘Electronic Super Highway’: BOM and the Emergence of New Art Infrastructures