[cc-community] Science Commons [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Alejandro Pisanty apisan at servidor.unam.mx
Mon Oct 12 23:50:21 EDT 2009


Shlomi,

the rigor that goes into a scientific paper is far more - and costs 
fa-a-a-aa-a-r more - than citations.

And the potential economic value the authors may see in it may -often 
erroneusly, loaded with wishful thinking - far exceeds the benefits they 
perceive as accruing immediately or short-term from openness.

Sadly, thus, scientific endeavour still will not be very open for a while.

Something that was published some time ago and which I studied tended to 
show, interestingly, though, that the richest institutions and 
environments  - say, the MIT - are sharing their teaching contents far 
more extensively than the institutions - say, many in developing countries 
- which stand to gain more from this sharing.

This was shown on Open Access publication and Open-Knowledge-Initiative 
types of projects.

So there is hope that a move towards less-restrictive commons licenses and 
towards open access may eventually become widespread in academica not only 
in the US and among the "richer" institutions.

Yours,

Alejandro Pisanty


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      Dr. Alejandro Pisanty
UNAM, Av. Universidad 3000, 04510 Mexico DF Mexico

Tels. +52-(1)-55-5105-6044, +52-(1)-55-5418-3732

* Mi blog/My blog: http://pisanty.blogspot.com
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* Twitter: http://twitter.com/apisanty
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On Mon, 12 Oct 2009, Shlomi Fish wrote:

> Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 21:07:00 +0200
> From: Shlomi Fish <shlomif at iglu.org.il>
> Reply-To: cc-community at lists.ibiblio.org
> To: cc-community at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [cc-community] Science Commons [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
> 
> On Monday 12 Oct 2009 19:40:17 Mike Linksvayer wrote:
>> On Sun, Oct 11, 2009 at 3:03 PM, Trevor Wakely <T.Wakely at bom.gov.au> wrote:
>>> Re: Science Commons...
>>>
>>> I heard about Science Commons - like Creative Commons for Scientists the
>>> other day.
>>>
>>> Here's the web site:   http://sciencecommons.org/
>>>
>>> I heard about it on a podcast:
>>> http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/shows/detail4255.html
>>
>> Hi Trevor, Science Commons is actually a part of Creative Commons.
>> See "programs" on the lower right column of http://creativecommons.org
>>
>> :)
>>
>> Some of our work in science involves mostly promoting and explaining
>> our existing tools in that community (eg something like 1000 Open
>> Access journals now are under CC licenses, mostly CC BY), some of it
>> extends our technical Semantic Web work, eg for description and
>> interoperability of scientific datasets, and some of it simply builds
>> on our overall expertise in constructing sharing regimes that are
>> "easy, legal, and scalable" to borrow from the .sig of John Wilbanks,
>> who is our VP for science.
>>
>
> Sounds nice. My father who is a Bio-technologist told me that there's a lot of
> talk about open access in regards to publishing biological researches, but he
> said that you still usually need to pay for an electronic copy (and quite a
> lot).
>
> In any case, I'd like to discuss a thought I had in regards to that. What I
> thought was that scientific papers require a lot of rigour - finding
> citations, going through peer review, etc. On the other hand, publishing on
> the Internet: in blogs, on personal web-sites, in blog/Slashdot/etc. comments,
> on mailing lists, etc. requires much less rigour and has a lower barrier to
> entry. Obviously, the median blog post/comment has incredibly low quality or
> relevance, but very few people will read it. However, there's enough bloggers
> and blog posters out there so the top low percentage (however small) of blog
> posts will be very good or insightful.
>
> Paul Graham already wrote about how newspapers face competition from blogs:
>
> http://www.paulgraham.com/opensource.html
>
> Now I've recently written an essay on my web-site[1] called "What makes
> software high-quality".[2] Several people seemed to enjoy it, or had high-
> quality commentary on it. However, someone I showed it to him (who is
> currently a university student) said that he enjoyed and would like to cite it
> in his works, but that would require me to cite my sources, which in turn will
> need to cite theirs.
>
> Now, I would consider adding the relevant citations to the relevant scientific
> papers (which will imply reading them) too much trouble and not worth my time.
> I'm not sure I can ever publish it in a scientific journal, and just adding
> citations will make it more suitable only in a relatively small number of
> cases. I have better things to do, like work on newer articles, essays,
> stories or even blog posts.
>
> My point in all this, is that it's possible that the added rigour of the
> scientific papers, (at least in some fields which don't really require it)
> will prove to be a huge slowdown in comparison to the blogosphere as the
> Internet has become more prevalent. And I'm not sure if they can keep up or if
> one day, science will advance without the extra rigour, just by the added peer
> scrutiny and review of the blogosphere.
>
> As the obligatory XKCD nicely illustrates, no one is going to write a
> scientific paper criticising a bad blog comment:
>
> http://xkcd.com/406/
>
> So do you think scientific research in some fields of science will face
> similar competition from the blogosphere , like old-style newspapers or
> journals now do, or like vendors of proprietary software face from open-source
> developers? I think the time-to-market of Internet writing has some distinct
> advantages, but hopefully, it's not too full-of-hubris out of me to say that,
> since while I'm a bright, intelligent and prolific person, I am still very
> unprofessional in my methods in comparison to most researchers in my fields of
> expertise.
>
> Regards,
>
> 	Shlomi Fish
>
> [1] - I dislike calling it a blog, because:
>
> 1. I have several other blogs.
>
> 2. It's more organised than the average blog, with nice navigation menus, a
> hierarchy that makes sense, etc.
>
> 3. Most importantly, I put somewhat more effort into publicising an article
> there than I do to my blogs. It's not the same amount of effort, I would put
> into publishing a paper book, much less a scientific paper, but it is still
> much less spontaneous than writing a blog or blog comment.
>
> [2] - It can be found here:
>
> http://www.shlomifish.org/philosophy/computers/high-quality-software/
> -- 
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
> What Makes Software Apps High Quality -  http://shlom.in/sw-quality
>
> Chuck Norris read the entire English Wikipedia in 24 hours. Twice.
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