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How Unpaywall is opening up science

What’s hot? What’s not?/Niklas Bildhauer, Wikimedia

In 2011, “de-roomed” computer scientists developed a way to open up access to journal papers:

After being kicked out of a hotel conference room where they had participated in a three-day open-science workshop and hackathon, a group of computer scientists simply moved to an adjacent hallway. There, Heather Piwowar, Jason Priem and Cristhian Parra worked all night on software to help academics to illustrate how much of their work was freely available on the Internet. They realized how much time had passed only when they noticed hotel staff starting to prepare for breakfast.Holly Else, “How Unpaywall is transforming open science” at Nature

One way open access may change science publishing is that people who are knowledgeable about a topic but are not the author’s “peers,” in the sense of “peer review,” may impact it. People who, for example, have evidence that never entered the literature that challenges asserted historical or biological facts. A long-missing letter turns up and it isn’t forgery, … an animal is filmed doing something that is supposed to be impossible and it isn’t a fake … The finders may not be scientists but the impact of their finds might be felt more quickly. We shall see.

News at Linked In:

I (O’Leary for News) recognized a need for reform when, a few years ago, I would have to pay more for a Nature review of a book than for the book itself. That starts one reflecting on how much science is actually funded by taxpayers anyway. It turned out, thankfully, that millions of people were way ahead of me in reflecting on that fact…

Apparently, almost half of recent research papers today are free but you need to know where to go to find them. Have a look at Unpaywall.

Hat tip: Pos-darwinista

See also: Scenes from the life of open access

Open Access founder abandons free science; just go back to “name” journals, he says 😉


Mutiny at Elsevier Publishing over open access


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