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

Mark MacGillivray mark at cottagelabs.com
Tue Jan 28 17:34:55 UTC 2014

I don't know if this counts as inadvisable continuation, but I have a
particular interest in responding to Jan:

On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 5:24 PM, Jan Velterop <velterop at gmail.com> wrote:

> We have to understand that putting research results in the public domain
> is the most effective way of ensuring the free flow of information. CC-BY
> is a way to secure acknowledgement for researchers, without which the
> 'system' won't recognise their contributions and they won't be able to make
> a career out of science. The CC-BY licence does not exist for the sake of
> the openness of the information it covers, but for the sake of researchers'
> need for attribution.

Actually, I disagree with this point. I am not saying I can prove it, but
having thought about this for a few years I do not think that the author
needs CC-BY nor any form of insurance that attribution will occur - at
least not intrinsically for the sake of the proper functioning of scholarly

The reason why I think this is that the onus falls not on the author but on
the user of the work to provide attribution.

For example, if I use your work as part of the basis of my work and I do
not attribute you, then there should be an obvious gaping hole in my own
publication - and any other good researcher should ask me why I have an
unsupported assumption in my work. Similarly if I use your work and it is
so well known that others can see I have copied it, then I am being very
impolite and possibly deceptive, and so other good researchers should point
this out. If my unattributed use of your work is down to the fact that your
work has become a de facto part of the foundation of our field of study,
then - well done you, you have already succeeded in making a huge
contribution to the scholarly practice.

So, the purpose of attribution is not in fact acknowledgement but

It just so happens that an upside to this (if you can consider it an
upside) is that authors get recognition for the work they did - but
pleasing the authors ego (or requirement to prove use of their work due to
the arbitrary method of fund allocation we employ at this particular time)
should not be the driving force for attribution.

I would be interested in what other people think about this.


> Jan Velterop
> On 28 Jan 2014, at 17:03, Heather Morrison <Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca>
> wrote:
> > On 2014-01-28, at 10:46 AM, Peter Murray-Rust <pm286 at cam.ac.uk>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> I calculate that the opportunity cost of closed access publication runs
> into many billions and that the failure to allow - say - unrestricted
> text-mining is a considerable part of these costs. I think it's really
> important that we try to estimate this and we need to be able to counter
> the argument of "everything is OK now and we don't need to change it".
> >>
> >> We do need to change it, and massively.
> >
> > Wouldn't open posting of research data with no technical restrictions on
> re-use be a much more effective way of moving forward in this area? The
> Human Genome Project happened because of a decision to collaborate and
> share data - I would argue that this is the best example of what we can
> accomplish in this area. However, this was substantially complete between
> the beginning of the Creative Commons project.
> >
> > best,
> >
> > Heather Morrison
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