Monday, January 14, 2013

Agents of Change

I recently went to a meeting of the Open Knowledge Foundation and decided to attend the open science section. The person in charge of the roundtable clearly did not believe me when I told him that:
  • reviewers are not paid
  • journals are not a warrant of quality per se and 
  • journal staff do little in the publication process.

If somebody in charge of a discussion on open science thinks that open science is mostly about science education and not know some of the root problems in academic publishing, then why would the general public be knowledgeable about how science work ? Why would the general public care about an overzealous unbecoming prosecution in academic publishing cases ?

Unless you've been hiding in a cave this week-end, you probably heard of Aaron Swartz's passing

Here on Nuit Blanche, a whole many papers are coming out of ArXiv but not everybody in our rather large community goes through that route. A tiny minority still publishes only the title of their papers out of fear of breaching some sorts of contract with the publisher. In most cases however, it's been my experience that these people did not read entirely the terms and conditions under which they "surrendered" the rights to their papers. 

The SHERPA/Romeo database allows you to figure out, given the journal you published in, the conditions under which you can put your articles on the web. In some areas, it is not difficult to find one that allows, at a minimum, the sharing of preprints. 

Our community has gone beyond some of these issues however. Most of you go the extra-length by even sharing your codes and implementations as witnessed in the long list of implementation featured here and the list of solvers on the big picture and the jungle page.

Let me say it out loud again, as a agent of change Nuit Blanche will make a specific entry of your paper if there is an implementation of your algorithm attached. If you implement an algorithm, however simple and not a duplicate of a previous implementation, you will be featured on Nuit Blanche  Quite simply, if you are an agent of change, you will be featured here on Nuit Blanche   

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