Blog archive for December, 2006

Let’s talk about cyberinfrastructure …

December 20th, 2006 by Kaitlin Thaney

Science Commons has joined the Committee for Economic Development, the Council on Competitiveness, the National Science Foundation and the University of Michigan in sponsoring a conference this January on Cyberinfrastructure.

Entitled “Designing Cyberinfrastructure for Collaboration and Innovation – Emerging Frameworks and Strategies for Enabling and Controlling Knowledge,” this conference hopes to do just that – to open the lines of communication in hopes of further assessing emerging models. The event brings together policy makers and opinion leaders in government, industry and academia to discuss the future of cyberinfrastructure, enabling it to successfully continue to support current and future discoveries in science and engineering. Participants will help examine the strategies needed to fully address the tension between enabling infrastructure and traditional controls on the expression and application of knowledge. Questions will be posed on how experience in attempting to resolve this issue affects policies governing the creation and application of knowledge.

The move towards a more digital environment, globalization, and the rise of collaborative research and innovation, knowledge is now managed and created in new ways. Cyberinfrastructure is said to offer the vision necessary that can integrate diverse resources across barriers based on time, geography and jurisdiction across the disciplines.

This event, the fourth in a series on the economic implications of advancing digital technology and infrastructure, builds on issues recently examined in “Advancing Knowledge and the Knowledge Economy”, held in January 2005.

The conference will be held at the old National Academies Building, adjacent to the Mall, and will run from January 29-30, 2007. For more information about the event and registration, please visit the conference’s Web site.

Debunking Open Access Myths

December 5th, 2006 by Kaitlin Thaney

In a post on Open Access Now, BioMed Central responds to some of the most common – and most misleading – arguments against Open Access. These contentions were presented to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into Scientific Publications in 2004.

BioMed Central, the “Open Access Publisher”, debunks 11 of the most prevalent myths fueling the anti-Open Access mindset. There well-crafted responses shed some light on some common misconceptions to the relatively “new” open model.

The myths, in the order presented on the Web site, are as follows:

– Myth 1 – The cost of providing Open Access will reduce the availability of funding for research

– Myth 2 – Access is not a problem – virtually all UK researchers have the access they need

– Myth 3 – The public can get any article they want from the public library via interlibrary loan

– Myth 4 – Patients would be confused if they were to have free access to the peer-reviewed medical literature on the web

– Myth 5 – It is not fair that industry will benefit from Open Access

– Myth 6 – Open Access threatens scientific integrity due to a conflict of interest resulting from charging authors

– Myth 7 – Poor countries already have free access to the biomedical literature

– Myth 8 – Traditionally published content is more accessible than Open Access content as it is available in printed form

– Myth 9 – A high quality journal such as “Nature” would need to charge authors £10,000-£30,000 (approximately $19,368-$58,104 USD) in order to move to an Open Access model

– Myth 10 – Publishers need to make huge profits in order to fund innovation

– Myth 11 – Publishers need to take copyright to protect the integrity of scientific articles

To read the positions in support of these myths as well as against, click here.