"De Musica", Boethius, ca. 12th century via National Library NZ, No Known Copyright Restrictions

“This is a manuscript about the theory of music. It was copied probably in England at Christ Church, Canterbury, in the second quarter of the twelfth century. Its main focus is the mathematical basis of music, and the beautifully-drawn diagrams with their graceful arches illustrate the mathematical ratios which produce the various intervals in the musical scale. Sometimes these diagrams take on animal forms such as here.” - National Library NZ on Flickr Commons

What scientists say, and what the public hear

Although originating from 2011, this table is currently making the rounds on Twitter.  It comes from an article written by Richard Summerville of +Scripps Oceanography and Susan Hassol of Climate Communication focusing on ‘communicating the science of climate change’, and how science communicators aren’t really getting their message across.

Actually the points they make are relevant to all science communication - not just for climate change.

The original article is very much worth a read - you can find it here 

#scicomm   #openaccess   #science


Open Access explained:

How scientific innovation is being restricted by greedy publishers.

For more, read Aaron Swartz’s Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto.

But those are just details; what really matters is the fact that collectively the top two or maybe three publishers take out of the academic world enough profits to pay for every research article in every discipline to be made freely available online for everyone to access using PLoS’s publishing fee approach.

"In the past year, the Open Access movement has cracked the lid on some of the world’s largest digital collections. Freeing users to greater utilize collections under the public domain and creative commons, Open Access has taken the digital humanities by storm. Giving a public unrestricted access to better reflect on our histories through the glow of digital interfaces, pooling Open Access collections with content focusing on World War I is a first step toward the creation of projects and learning materials circling the centennial.”

But the literature itself is changing. It no longer consists of only static papers that document a research insight. In the future, online research literature will, in an ideal world at least, be a seamless amalgam of papers linked to relevant data, stand-alone data and software, ‘grey literature’ (policy or application reports outside scientific journals) and tools for visualization, analysis, sharing, annotation and providing credit.

The future of research litterature… by Nature

You are an Open Source Being. Your parents did not need a prestigious university degree in order to understand and learn how to have you. They also did not purchase the special “top USA company” licence to “make” you. They were in love - that was more than enough to bring you to life.
—  Aleksandar Blagojevic, Leader and Founder of Pirate Party Serbia
Over the past 10 months, I have submitted 304 versions of the wonder drug paper to open-access journals. More than half of the journals accepted the paper, failing to notice its fatal flaws. Beyond that headline result, the data from this sting operation reveal the contours of an emerging Wild West in academic publishing.

This is fresh in my mind because I just attended an interesting day-long virtual conference on ebooks in libraries. In fact, I was a panelist for a session on marketing ebooks to students in academic libraries. Sadly, what I had to say probably wasn’t what the audience came for. Our students aren’t interested in ebooks, so we aren’t buying lots of them and thus have nothing to market. Frankly, I would much rather see libraries fund the production costs of open access monographs, the way the University of Michigan is doing with their Digital Culture imprint or what the National Academies Press has been doing for years, rather than become the open wallet used to fund another digital transition.

The policy covers more than 8,000 UC faculty at all 10 campuses of the University of California, and as many as 40,000 publications a year.

UC Faculty Senate Passes #OA Policy on DataPub

“The ten UC campuses generate around 2-3% of all the peer-reviewed articles published in the world every year, and this policy will make many of those articles freely  available to anyone who is interested anywhere, whether they are colleagues, students, or members of the general public”

You see, regardless of what we might think about open access, or dissertation embargoes, or any of the other issues that came up in the ahagate conversation this summer, if we accept that history has been and remains a book-based discipline, then we are accepting that the book is the standard by which historians should be judged for such things as jobs, promotion, tenure, raises, etc. For our professional association to make such a bold defense of the book as the gold standard is more than just counter productive, it’s really out of touch with the realities of the history job market our MA and PhD grads find themselves in.