STM Autumn Conference

Blogs selected for Week November 11, 2019 to November 17, 2019 -

1. Can Geowalling Save Open Access?

Geowalling open content is proposed yet again. Jean-Claude Burgelman, the Open Access Envoy of the European Commission who serves on the cOAlition S Executive Steering Group, has suggested geo-specific access as an approach to achieving open access. When pushed to reconcile his proposal with the principles of open access, Burgelman replied that regional access "is better than no OA and that it could be imagined at a regional level." In this post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe explores what Plan S principles would be compromised by this tactic.

The Blog post says (quote): By “open access” to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.........(Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

2. Using AI-powered Text Mining to Re-use Research Insights Published in Scientific Literature

Traditionally, getting information out of written papers for re-use has been manual; individuals reading, reviewing and extracting the key facts from tens or hundreds of papers by hand, in order to summarise the most up to date research in a field, or understand the landscape of information around a particular research topic. Over the past few decades AI tools, such as Natural Language Processing (NLP), have evolved that can hugely speed up and improve this data extraction. NLP solutions can enable researchers to access information from huge volumes of scientific abstracts and literature; developing strategies and rules that drill deep into literature for hidden nuggets, or more broadly, ploughing the landscape for the nuggets of desired information. Jane Reed, in this post in the CCC Blog, uses two very different papers to demonstrate the value of using an artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Whether digging deep for very focused information, or extracting a broad set of knowledge from hundreds or thousands of papers, text mining can provide significant benefits; it enables a more efficient approach to finding key information, meaning that researchers spend less time is spent on search, and more time on understanding and action, she notes.

The Blog post says (quote): Many of us know the joys and sorrows of research. Weeks, months and years can pass, developing hypotheses, working in the lab or clinic, analyzing results, sometimes going back to square one, but then writing the paper, and finally, seeing the final version published and in print. The intent is that your research is shared, discussed, re-used, so that others can build on it, "standing on the shoulders of giants," as Isaac Newton famously said..........(Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

3. Researchers’ Social License – in Need of Renewal?

Social license, in the context of research, is a form of public ‘approval’ that ensures research is funded, that its results are respected, and that participation is willingly engaged in, where needed. For many reasons, it seems as if researchers’ current social license is in danger of being revoked. In this post in the Scholarly Kitchen Blog, Charlie Rapple explores what might be required to ensure it is renewed.

The Blog post says (quote): It is perhaps ironic that more widespread communication and engagement with research can be seen as both the source of the current backlash, and part of the solution. Perhaps, to borrow the Tuckman model, we have been through the “forming” phase of engagement, communication, and co-creation, and are in the “storming” phase. Academia needs to hold steady and double down on engagement before the promise of “performing” results in renewal of its slightly dog-eared social license...........(Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

4. If we choose to align open access to research with geo-political borders we negate the moral value of open access

It has recently been suggested that to support the development of open access (OA) in Europe, access to open research might be ‘geoblocked’, or limited, to those countries that were involved in funding the research and its publication. In this post in the LSE Impact Blog, Martin Paul Eve, argues that to do this is not only technically and practically very difficult, but would also fundamentally undermine the moral imperative of open access to enable widest possible level of engagement with research.

The Blog post says (quote): Education and research must exist beyond this insularity and serve humanity. University researchers outside the EU who may not otherwise have access to research articles should not be excluded based on the actions of their government. To do so only impedes the worldwide benefits of research and degrades the principle enshrined in the UN Declaration on Human Rights that ‘everyone has the right to education’..........(Unquote)

The full entry can be read: Here.

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