What Happens When Science Just Disappears? | WIRED

“KAY DICKERSIN KNEW she was leaping to the front lines of scholarly publication when she joined The Online Journal of Current Clinical Trials. Scientific print-publishing was—and still is—slow and cumbersome, and reading its results sometimes required researchers to go to the library. But as associate editor at this electronic peer-reviewed journal—one of the very first, launched in the summer of 1992—Dickersin was poised to help bring scientists into the new digital age. Dickersin, an epidemiologist, acted as an associate editor, helping researchers publish their work. But the OJCCT was a bit ahead of its time. The journal was sold in 1994 to a publisher that eventually became part of Taylor & Francis, and which stopped the e-presses just a couple years later. And after that happened, its papers—reports, reviews, and meta-analysis of clinical trials—all disappeared. Dickersin wasn’t just sad to lose her editing gig: She was dismayed that the scientific community was losing those archives. “One of my important studies was in there,” she says, “and no one could get it.” Couldn’t, that is, until Dickersin decided to go spelunking for science. For more than a decade, Dickersin’s paper was missing along with about 80 others. Sometimes, the ex-editors would try to find out who had the rights to the articles, whether they could just take copies and put them on their own website. “We don’t want to do that,” they’d always conclude. “We don’t want to get in trouble.” Finally, Dickersin went to the librarians at Johns Hopkins University, where she is a professor, for help—and that’s how she found Portico. Portico is like a Wayback Machine for scholarly publications. The digital preservation service ingests, meta-tags, preserves, manages, and updates content for publishers and libraries, and then provides access to those archives. The company soon signed on to the project and got permission from Taylor & Francis to make the future archives open-access….”

Principles for disseminating scientific innovations | Broad Institute

“As an academic non-profit research institute [associated with Harvard and MIT], Broad recognizes the unique role that such institutions play in propelling the biomedical ecosystem by exploring fundamental questions and working on risky, early-stage projects that often lack clear economic return.

To maximize its impact, our work (including discoveries, data, tools, technologies, knowledge, and intellectual property) should be made readily available for use, at no cost, by other academic and non-profit research institutions….

With respect to commercial licensing, our most important consideration is maximizing public benefit.

  • In most cases, we believe that this goal is best accomplished through non-exclusive licensing, which allows many companies to use innovations and thus compete to bring to market products incorporating them.
  • In some cases, we recognize that an exclusive license to an innovation may be necessary to justify the level of private investment required to develop a product and bring it to market. (An example is the composition-of-matter of drug. Without an exclusive license, a company would be reluctant to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in a clinical trial to demonstrate safety and efficacy, because competitors could subsequently ‘free-ride’ on their results to bring the same product to market.)

In each case, we evaluate the justification for exclusivity and seek to limit the scope of exclusivity….”

Open Science | Your guide to Open Access publishing and Open Science

“The OpenScience.com blog is affiliated with De Gruyter Open Access, an Open Access imprint of De Gruyter.

This blog strives to serve as a comprehensive guide to Open Access publishing for scholars across a wide variety of academic fields. The blog provides information and advice on how to publish books and articles in the open access format. Additionally, it shares suggestions on how to increase publication visibility and citation counts. The blog also publishes articles that pertain to the wider cultural, social and economic context in which the open access model operates….”

Why the term ‘Article Processing Charge’ (APC) is misleading – Green Tea and Velociraptors

“The term ‘article processing charge’, or APC, is ubiquitous in discussions about Open Access. It refers to the author-facing charge levied by many publishers in order to make an article freely available on their website. Now, putting aside the fact that this system actively discriminates against less-wealthy authors and institutes, I think that the term APC itself is incredibly misleading. Furthermore, I believe that this misdirection occurs in favour of publishers, to the detriment of all other parties. Hopefully in this post, I can explain why, and offer a potential solution to it.”

A New Study Found OER to Match and Even Outperform a Commercial Textbook | eLearningInside News

“A new study conducted by researchers at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia, Canada examines the performance of students using open education resources (OER) in both print and digital formats compared to a traditional textbook from a commercial publisher. The study found that students using OER spent less time overall studying for the class while scoring comparably with those who used a commercially published textbook.”

Wevolver | Develop Better Hardware Together

“Wevolver is a file sharing and revision management solution, empowering both private teams and open communities….

  • Wevolver offers a secure, central location for your project files and documentation.
  • Past revisions are stored out of sight in a version control system.
  • No more ‘final-final-final’ in your file names.
  • Everyone knows the concurrent revision. Never work on the wrong version of a file….”

On making public policy with publicly available data: The case of U.S. communications policymaking

Abstract:  A fundamental principle of public policymaking should be that public policy must be made with publicly available data. This article develops this position and applies it to an assessment of the current state of communications policymaking, a policy area in which controversies surrounding the transparency of policy research and the accessibility of policy-relevant data have been both common and extremely contentious in recent years. This article provides a detailed assessment of the challenges confronting greater transparency and accessibility of communications policy-relevant data, as well as a detailed set of proposals for improving the current situation, in an effort to build towards an environment in which public policy is made with publicly available data.