Tuesday, December 29. 2015
From the thread "A creature of its own making?" on GOAL (Global Open Access List).
Jean-Claude Guédon: "Alicia Wise always speaks with a forked tongue! I wonder how much she is paid to practise this dubious art?"I wonder what is going on here? Why are we getting lessons in etiquette on GOAL rather than discussing OA matters of substance?
Yes, Alicia is paid to keep on talking Elsevier double-talk. Yes, she does it politely. That's not the point. The point is that it is double-talk:
Alicia Wise: "All our authors... have both gold and green Open Access publishing options."What that means is:
That is indeed fork-tongued double-talk*: Say what sounds like one thing but mean another, and say it politely. (Why rile the ones you are duping?)You may either (1) pay
So, yes, Richard is right -- and others (including myself: google “harnad pogo”) have already said it time and time again in this self-same Forum -- that Elsevier is not the only one to blame. There are the dupers (Elsevier) and the duped (universities and their researchers). We all know that.*Actually, it's double-double-talk, and, as pointed out many times before, if Elsevier authors were sensible they would realize that they can provide immediate, unembargoed green OA if they wish, ignoring Elsevier's never-ending attempts at updating their pseudo-legal double-talk to sound both permissive and prohibitive at the same time.
But it is not a co-conspiracy -- much as conspiratorial thinking comes in handy at lean times when there is nothing new to talk about.
So although the dupees have themselves to blame for allowing themselves to be duped, that does not put them on the same plane of culpability as the dupers. After all, it is the dupers who gain from the duping, and the dupees who lose, whether or not they have themselves to blame for falling for it.
Blaming the victim, as Richard does, below, also has a long pedigree in this Forum, but I will not rebut it again in detail. The short answer is that adopting effective Green OA mandates (rather than vilifying the victims for their foolishness) is the remedy for all the damage the victims have unwittingly allowed to be done them for so long.
And stop fussing about metrics. They too will sort themselves out completely once we have universally mandated (and provided) green OA.
Richard Poynder: "What Jean-Claude’s criticism of large publishers like Elsevier and Wiley omits is the role that the research community has played in their rise to power, a role that it continues to play. In fact, not only has the research community been complicit [emphasis added] in the rise and rise [sic] of the publishing oligarchy that Jean-Claude so deprecates, but one could argue that it created it — i.e. this oligarchy is a creature of its own making.And so are Richard's reproaches...
Your increasingly bored archivangelist,
Friday, December 25. 2015
Rick Anderson: "Stevan, is it really true that any institution can join the EOS? According to the webpage, membership is "available to approved institutions" (emphasis mine). I assume that EOS itself does the approving -- is that correct? And if so, that means that it's not really true that "any institution can join," is it?"
Ok. You caught me, Rick! I guess I'll have to 'fess up now: EOS is a secret organization whose true goals I am not at liberty to divulge. The approval of the approved institutions (just a small subset of the many who have applied for approval across the years) is done by an invisible college whose identities are all classified, along with the identities of the institutions and the true goal of the organization, but if you make a formal FOI request it might be possible to provide you with an edited transcript of the list (with identities coded for confidentiality).
Rick Anderson: "Stevan, Is it really true that the EOS is "public"? I don't see any list of its members anywhere on the site. (If I'm missing it, please do provide a link.) I would assume that an organization that is "public" (as distinct from a "secret society," the term at which you took such umbrage) would at the very least make its institutional membership a matter of public record, wouldn't it?"
You're right again, Rick. EOS is indeed not public: It is a secret society whose true purposes (which have no relation to what it says on the website) I am not free to reveal.
Rick Anderson: "And does the EOS really make all of its documents public? On the site I see a small list of briefing papers -- are those the only documents the organization has produced? No minutes, no agendas, no other documents that would normally characterize the work of an organization committed to transparency and public openness?"
I'm truly embarrassed now, Rick. Fact is, you've got me again! The documents on the website have nothing to do with the true objectives and activities of EOS. We do have minutes and agendas, but those are all confidential (especially our true goals) as we are in fact not committed to transparency and public openness -- or, for that matter, to openness of any kind.
[Please get out the clippers. Many quotes here suitable for clipping and using in the context of your choice, Rick!]
Rick Anderson: "To be clear, the EOS is under no more obligation to be public and transparent in its work than any other organization is -- this isn't about legal or ethical obligation. It's just about commitment to principles of openness and transparency."
You're quite right Rick, and I'm really grateful to you (and to Richard too) for giving me this opportunity to unburden my conscience, which has been weighed down for years with remorse about all the play-acting we've been doing. Indeed Yuletide is almost the optimal moment for at last coming clean about this shabby business. (I can think of only one early spring date that might have been even better.)
Congratulations on your successful sleuthing! You have both (and of course the intrepid PMR too!) performed an invaluable service to the academic community and the public at large for unmasking this sordid affair. Please do keep up the courageous and insightful work in the service of openness, transparency and verity. In the world we live in today, one can't be too careful.
Instalment #2 (2015/12/28)
Despite the season, I am beginning to take a less jolly view of this exchange than Bernard Rentier does (if only because I have been less successful in my planned holiday catch-up than I had hoped, which makes the diminishing returns from this sort of dawdling increasingly diminutive).
In particular, although the suspicions about EOS were silly from the get-go -- they didn't even have the elementary support of a putative motive that even amateur detective novels know they need in order to generate suspicion -- they seem now to have sunk into abject absurdity. Levity is clearly unavailing to restore common sense, so let me provide a motive (in fact three) -- not for the suspected lack-of-transparency on the part of the suspects, but for the suspiciousness on the part of the sleuths:
(1) For PMR the motive is an inordinate fondness for open data, even if it is at odds with OA -- a motive EOS clearly does not share.So let me propose three topics of substance, any of which would make a jolly basis for seasonal discussion in "Open and Shut":
I. Can anyone provide a substantive link between the need for open access to published, peer-reviewed research and the need for peer review reform?
II. Can anyone provide a substantive link between the need for open access to published, peer-reviewed research and the need for academic freedom?
III. Can anyone provide a substantive link between the need for open access to published, peer-reviewed research and the need for freedom of information?
(And can anyone still remember what the words "access to research" meant before they somehow got conflated with re-use rights or with "transparency"?)
I've been on this ride a long time now but I can't help noting that as we get exercised over all these other worthy matters, we are still rather far from having open access to published, peer-reviewed research...
Monday, December 21. 2015
The only feelings we can feel are our own. When it comes to the feelings of others, we can only infer them, based on their behavior — unless they tell us. This is the “other-minds problem.”
Within our own species, thanks to language, the other-minds problem arises only for states in which people cannot speak (infancy, aphasia, sleep, anaesthesia, coma). Our species also has a uniquely powerful empathic or “mind-reading” capacity: We can (sometimes) perceive from the behavior of others when they are in states like our own. Our inferences have also been systematized and operationalized in biobehavioral science and supplemented by cognitive neuroimagery. Together, these make the other-minds problem within our own species a relatively minor one.
But we cohabit the planet with other species, most of them very different from our own, and none of them able to talk. Inferring whether and what they feel is important not only for scientific but also for ethical reasons, because where feelings are felt, they can also be hurt.
Animal Sentience [ASent] is a new international, interdisciplinary journal devoted to the other-minds problem across species. As animals are at long last beginning to be accorded legal status and protection as sentient beings, ASent will explore in depth what, how and why organisms feel. Individual “target articles” (and sometimes précis of books) addressing different species’ sentient and cognitive capacities will each be accorded “open peer commentary,” consisting of multiple shorter articles, both invited and freely submitted ones, by specialists from many disciplines, each elaborating, applying, supplementing or criticizing the content of the target article, along with responses from the target author(s).
The members of the nonhuman species under discussion will not be able to join in the conversation, but their spokesmen and advocates, the specialists who know them best, will. The inaugural issue launches with the all-important question (for fish) of whether fish can feel pain.
ASent is a publication of the Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy (HSISP). Based in Washington DC, HSISP’s mandate is to advance the application of scientific and technical analysis and expertise to animal welfare issues and policy questions worldwide. The HSISP is an affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States, the world’s largest animal protection organization.
ASent is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal. Thanks to HSISP sponsorship, ASent need not charge either publication fees to authors or subscription fees to readers.
Authors' opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or editors.
The table of contents of the inaugural issue of ASent follow below. Commentaries by scientists, scholars, practitioners, jurists and policy-makers are invited on any of the target articles (in bold); continuing commentary is also invited on the commentaries and responses. And of course the journal now calls for the submission of target articles. All target articles are peer-reviewed and all commentaries are editorially reviewed. Open peer commentary is intended particularly for new target articles written specifically for ASent, but updated versions of articles that have appeared elsewhere may also be eligible for publication and open peer commentary.
(Open peer commentary is modelled on the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS), of which the editor-in-chief of ASent was also the founder and editor-in-chief for 20 years.)
Harnad, Stevan (2016) Inaugural Editorial - Animal sentience: The other-minds problem Animal Sentience 2016.001
Safina, Carl (2016) Animals think and feel: Précis of Beyond words: What animals think and feel (Safina 2015) Animal Sentience 2016.002
Key, Brian (2016) Why fish do not feel pain Animal Sentience 2016.003
Balcombe, Jonathan (2016) Cognitive evidence of fish sentience Animal Sentience 2016.008
King, Barbara J. (2016) Animal mourning: Précis of How animals grieve (King 2013) Animal Sentience 2016.004
Botero, Maria (2016) Death in the family Animal Sentience 2016.040
Broom, Donald M. (2016) Considering animals’ feelings: Précis of Sentience and animal welfare Animal Sentience 2016.005Chandrasekera, Charukeshi (2016) From sentience to science: Limits of anthropocentric cognition Animal Sentience 2016.048
Clarke, Nancy (2016) Sentience and animal welfare: Affirming the science and addressing the skepticism Animal Sentience 2016.049
Copeland, Marion W. (2016) Life in translation Animal Sentience 2016.050
Donaldson, Sue and Kymlicka, Will (2016) Linking animal ethics and animal welfare science Animal Sentience 2016.051
Duncan, Ian J.H. (2016) Is sentience only a nonessential component of animal welfare? Animal Sentience 2016.052
Durham, Debra (2016) The science of sentience is reshaping how we think about animals Animal Sentience 2016.053
Rolle, M.E. (2016) Animal welfare and animal rights Animal Sentience 2016.054
Rowlands, Mark (2016) Mentality and animal welfare Animal Sentience 2016.055
Sammarco, Andrea L. (2016) Is humanitarianism recent? Animal Sentience 2016.056
Broom, Donald M. (2016) (Response) Sentience and animal welfare: New thoughts and controversies Animal Sentience 2016.057
Lachance, Martine (2016) Breaking the silence: The veterinarian’s duty to report Animal Sentience 2016.006
Ng, Yew-Kwang (2016) How welfare biology and commonsense may help to reduce animal suffering Animal Sentience 2016.007
Friday, December 18. 2015
1. Richard Poynder's take on Berlin 12 is basically valid (even though perhaps a touch too conspiratorially minded).
2. The much-too-long series of Berlin X meetings, huffing on year after year, has long been much-ado-about-next-to-nothing.
3. The solemn 2003 "Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities," with its unending list of signatories, was never anything more than a parroting of the 2003 "Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing [sic]," which was, in turn, a verbose reiteration of half of the 2002 Budapest Open Access Initiative -- skewed toward only BOAI-II ("gold" open access publishing), virtually ignoring BOAI-I ("green" open access self-archiving).
4. For what it's worth, I attended Berlin 1 in Berlin in 2003 (out of curiosity, and in the hope it would lead to something) and we hosted Berlin 3 in Southampton in 2005 (at which it was officially recommended to require BOAI-I, green OA self-archiving, and to encourage BOAI-II, gold OA publishing -- exactly as had been recommended in 2004 by the UK House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology).
5. After Berlin 3 in 2005 the Berlin X series went on and on, year after year (I never attended again), but the progress on implementing the Southampton/Berlin-3 recommendations was transpiring (though still much too slowly) elsewhere (with the ROARMAP mandates being adopted in the UK, Australia, EU, and US, starting from 2003 and continuing today).
6. As far as I can tell, the Berlin X series just continues fussing about gold OA, and although I am less suspicious than Richard, I too suspect that the "secrecy" was because the institutional reps attending Berlin 12 are trying to forge a common front for working out a gold-OA "flip" deal with publishers.
And my prediction, for reasons I've repeated, unheeded, many, many times, is that any such flip will be a flop.
Monday, December 7. 2015
Disagreement is always good — creative, even. I am not trying to change Richard Poynder's mind, just openly airing points and counterpoints, in the spirit of open peer commentary...
1. I agree that the home pages of Institutional Repositories that simply tout their generic overall deposit counts are doing numerology.
2. "Dark deposit" is rather ominous-sounding. The reality is that there are:
(i) undeposited articles,And there's the Button to supplement them. One can always describe cups as X% full or as (1-X)% empty.
3. No, to calculate yearly deposit ratios using WoS or SCOPUS in order to estimate total yearly deposit ratios is definitely not "deceptive": it is valid for WoS-indexed or SCOPUS-indexed output (which also happens to be the output that the OA movement is mostly about, and for), but it might be an underestimate or overestimate for non-WoS/SCOPUS output, if for some reason their ratio differs. So what?
4. Numerology is meaningless numbers, counted for their own sake, and interpreted according to taste (which can be occult, ornate or obtuse). Calculating correlations between mandate conditions and deposit ratios and drawing predictive conclusions from correlations whose probability of having occurred by chance is less that 5% is conventional predictive statistics (which only turns into numerology if you do a fishing expedition with a very large number of tests and fail to adjust your significance level for the likelihood that 5% of the significant correlations will have occurred by chance). We did only a small number of tests and had predicted a-priori which ones were likely to be significant, and in what direction.
5. Yes, there are far too few mandates, just as there are far too few deposits. Nevertheless, there were enough to detect the statistically significant trends; and if they are put into practice, there will be more effective mandates and more deposits. (The HEFCE/Liege immediate-deposit condition for eligibility for research evaluation turned out to be one of the statistically significant conditions.)
6. I heartily agree that academics are excessively micromanaged and that evaluative metrics can and do become empty numerology as well. But I completely disagree that requiring scholars and scientists to do a few extra keystrokes per published article (5 articles per year? 5 minutes per article?) counts as excessive micro-management, any more than "publish or perish" itself does. Both are in fact close to the very core of a scholar's mission and mandate (sic) qua scholar: To conduct research and report their findings -- now updated to making it OA in the online era. Justifiable animus against excessive and intrusive micromanagement is no excuse for shooting oneself in the foot by resisting something that is simple, takes no time, and is highly beneficial to the entire scholarly community.
7. Cultures don't change on a wish or a whim (or a "subversive proposal"!); they change when the pay-off contingencies (not necessarily financial!) change. That's how publish-or-perish worked (publication- and citation-bean-counting for employment, promotion, tenure, funding) and the online era now requires a tiny, natural extension of publish-or-perish to publish-and-deposit for eligibility for bean-counting.
8. And if we remind ourselves, just for a moment, as to why it is that scholars scull in the first place -- which is not for the sake of publication- and citation-bean-counting for employment, promotion, tenure, funding), is it not so that their findings can be accessed, used and built upon by all their would-be users?
Wednesday, December 2. 2015
"I have a feeling that when Posterity looks back at the last decade of the 2nd A.D. millennium of scholarly and scientific research on our planet, it may chuckle at us... I don't think there is any doubt in anyone's mind as to what the optimal and inevitable outcome of all this will be: The [peer-reviewed journal| literature will be free at last online, in one global, interlinked virtual library... and its [peer review] expenses will be paid for up-front, out of the [subscription-cancelation] savings. The only question is: When? This piece is written in the hope of wiping the potential smirk off Posterity's face by persuading the academic cavalry, now that they have been led to the waters of self-archiving, that they should just go ahead and drink!" -- Harnad (1999)I must admit I've lost interest in following the Open Access Derby. All the evidence, all the means and all the stakes are by now on the table, and have been for some time. Nothing new to be learned there. It's just a matter of time till it gets sorted and acted upon; the only lingering uncertainty is about how long that will take, and that is no longer an interesting enough question to keep chewing on, now that all's been said, if not done.
Comments on: Richard Poynder (2015) Open Access, Almost-OA, OA Policies, and Institutional Repositories. Open And Shut. December 01, 2015A few little corrections and suggestions on Richard's paper:
(1) The right measure of repository and policy success is the percentage of an institution's total yearly peer-reviewed research article output that is deposited as full text immediately upon acceptance for publication. (Whether the deposit is immediately made OA is much less important, as long as the copy-request Button is (properly!) implemented. Much less important too are late deposits, author Button-request compliance rates, or other kinds of deposited content. Once all refereed articles are being deposited immediately, all the rest will take care of itself, sooner or later.)
(2) CRIS/Cerif research-asset-management tools are complements to Institutional Repositories, not competitors.
(3) The Australian ERA policy was a (needless) flop for OA. The UK's HEFCE/Ref2020 policy, in contrast, looks like it can become a success. (None of this has anything to do with the pro's or con's of either research evaluation, citations, or metrics in general.)
(4) No, "IDOA/PEM" (Deposit mandates requiring immediate deposits for research evaluation or funding, with the Button) will not increase "dark deposit," they will increase deposit -- and mandate adoption, mandate compliance, OA, Button-Use, Almost-OA, access and citations. They will also hasten the day when universal IDOA/PEM will make subscriptions cancellable and unsustainable, inducing conversion to fair-Gold OA (instead of today's over-priced, double-paid and unnecessary Fool's-Gold OA. But don't ask me "how long?" I don't know, and I no longer care!)
(5) The few anecdotes about unrefereed working papers are completely irrelevant. OA is about peer-reviewed journal articles. Unrefereed papers come and go. And eprints and dspace repositories clearly tag papers as refereed/unrefereed and published/unpublished. (The rest is just about scholarly practice and sloppiness, both from authors and from users.)
(6) At some point in the discussion, Richard, you too fall into the usual canard about impact-factor and brand, which concerns only Gold OA, not OA.
RP: "Is the sleight of hand involved in using the Button to promote the IDOA/PEM mandate justified by the end goal — which is to see a proliferation of such mandates? Or to put it another way, how successful are IDOA/PEM mandates likely to prove?"No sleight of hand -- just sluggishness of hand, on the part of (some) authors (both for Button compliance and mandate compliance) and on the part of (most) institutions and funders (for the design and adoption of successful IDOA/PEM mandates (with Button). And the evidence is all extremely thin, one way or the other. Of course successful IDOA/PEM mandates (with Button) are (by definition!) better than relying on email links at publisher sites. "Successful" means near 100% compliance rate for immediate full-text deposit. And universal adoption of successful IDOA/PEM mandates (with Button) means universal adoption of successful IDOA/PEM mandates (with Button). (Give me that and worries about author Button-compliance will become a joke.)
The rest just depends on the speed of the horses -- and I am not a betting man (when it comes to predicting how long it will take to reach the optimal and inevitable). (Not to mention that I am profoundly against horse-racing and the like -- for humanitarian reasons that are infinitely more important than OA ever was or will be.)
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