[Open-access] [open-science] Open Science Anthology published

Heather Morrison Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca
Mon Jan 27 16:27:45 UTC 2014


Of course people can misquote an author's work regardless of licensing! What the CC licenses granting blanket permission for derivatives does is to pre-authorize derivatives.

In the case of a wrongful death because of an incorrect derivative regarding a drug dose, in addition to the death there can be differences in legal liability for the research funder based on whether they did or did not require the use of derivatives.

Since you're obviously in favour of derivatives, allow me to flatter you by creating a derivative of your words.

Mike Taylor wrote:  "Heather, with all due respect this is complete nonsense".

The actually respectful derivative:  ""Heather, with all due respect I disagree". (attribution: Mike Taylor, good manners contributed by Heather Morrison).

You are welcome! Thanks to you as always for contributing to the discussion.

Dr. Heather Morrison
Assistant Professor
École des sciences de l'information / School of Information Studies
University of Ottawa
613-562-5800 ext. 7634
Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca<mailto:Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca>

On 2014-01-27, at 11:09 AM, Mike Taylor <mike at indexdata.com<mailto:mike at indexdata.com>>

Heather, with all due respect this is complete nonsense. Whether I
licence my work as CC By, CC By-NC or All Rights Reserved, people are
free to write papers that use my work incorrectly, misquote me, or
otherwise get it wrong. To avoid doing that is the stuff of academic
work. It's completely irrelevant to licencing.

-- Mike.

On 27 January 2014 16:06, Heather Morrison <Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca<mailto:Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca>> wrote:
hi Mark,

The point with respect to the potential for incorrect derivatives has to do
with derivatives per se rather than how the derivatives are licensed. Any
license that permits derivatives could just as easily permit incorrect
derivatives as correct ones. My point is that there are valid scholarly
reasons for hesitation about granting blanket permission to create


Heather Morrison

On 2014-01-27, at 10:44 AM, Mark MacGillivray <mark at cottagelabs.com<mailto:mark at cottagelabs.com>>

I can't let this particular piece of misinformation slip by. Just as well I
have access to this discussion so that I, and others, may correct you.

On 27 Jan 2014 14:49, "Heather Morrison" <Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca<mailto:Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca>>

Another reason why I think scholars and funding agencies alike should
hesitate before demanding CC-BY is the potential for derivatives to cause
harm through the spread of misinformation. My understanding of the study of
toxicology is that a common saying, for good reason, is that the difference
between a drug and a poison is a dose. Unleashing the creativity involved
with automated derivatives may have benefits, but if a doctor is relying on
a derivative that inserted a zero in the wrong place, the result could be
death. Note that I am not demanding that derivatives be forbidden, rather
suggesting that there are substantive reasons for hesitation about requiring
that all scholarly works permit derivatives on a blanket basis.

Your argument here has absolutely nothing to do with cc-by, and everything
to do with quality of research and the ability to assess and correct it and
to make it appropriate for consumption by particular user communities.

You can tell by the fact that your example postulates an incorrect cc-by
derivative and implies it is comparable to a non-cc-by but correct
derivative. Thus you implicitly assume, and obfuscate from your reader the
option to independently judge, that all non-cc-by works can somehow be taken
to be correct by virtue of their license condition.

However I could already take a piece of your work, regardless of license
condition (and I could pay to access it if necessary), and write my own work
with reference to and reliance upon yours. But my own work could be quality,
or terrible, or purposeful fraud. I could succeed in publishing my new work
under any form of copyright I desire, and in a highly reputable and
expensive journal.

My point being, you can spread misinformation as much as you like,
regardless of copy rights.

So the choice is, would you rather make it easier or harder for others to
access and independently verify your claims?

I would further argue that if particular forms of copy right are capable of
imbuing quality as your argument suggests, despite the fact that nowhere do
the definitions of any form of copy right make guarantees as to the quality
of works to which they are attached, then the very concept of copy right is
inappropriate for application to scholarly works.


Now to explain just how fortunate Bjoern and others in his situation are:

If your university and research are 100% publicly funded, then I would
suggest that this is a special case. I would argue that this should be the
norm - I favour fully publicly funded higher education. However, in much of
the world this is not the case.

Some reading:

Denhart, Chris. Forbes July 2013: how the $1.2 trillion college debt
crisis is crippling students, parents and the economy:


Freeman, Sunny, July 2013 Huffington Post Canada: Student Debt Canada:
Post-Grads Delay Adult Life, Struggle with Payments, TD says:


TD is Toronto Dominion, a very conservative Canadian bank. This is Forbes
and TD explaining that student debt is a huge issue.

In Canada and the US student debt is non-forgivable; it cannot be
discharged in bankruptcy, no matter what. I argue that we are in effect
asking the next generation to take on this burden to "invest" in their
education then sign off on trade deals that have the effect of eliminating a
large portion of the high-paying jobs for which they were investing. This is
why I suggest that students, at least in North America, are in effect
subsidizing both universities and taxpayers. For example, in the case of
research, there are many grad students taking on a huge debt load some will
never recover from in order to do research in the public interest.

North America is not unique, however. For example, see this article from
the Guardian on the desperate situation of universities in Greece:

Smith, Helena, September 25, 2013. Austerity measures push Greek
universities to point of collapse.


Meanwhile, in the UK:

Malik, Shiv. November 25, 2013. The Guardian. Poorest students face £350m
cut in grants.


The cuts to student funding in the UK are particularly troubling to me in
the context of UK's publisher-friendly open access policy. It strikes me
that the UK is more concerned with the health of publisher profits than the
prospects of the UK's own next generation.


Dr. Heather Morrison
Assistant Professor
École des sciences de l'information / School of Information Studies
University of Ottawa
613-562-5800 ext. 7634
Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca

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