[open-bibliography] Wikipedia project: bibliographic-archival data base

Roy Tennant tennantr at oclc.org
Tue Sep 13 17:03:02 UTC 2011

On 9/13/11 9/13/11 € 9:20 AM, "Jim Pitman" <pitman at stat.Berkeley.EDU> wrote:

> Either data is open, and it is possible to get hold of the entire
> dataset with a clear open license for what you can so with it. Or it is not
> open. 

Rather than sit back and allow David to be hoisted on his own petard, I feel
it necessary to point out a few things. This list does not own the term
"open" and neither does it get to declare when the use of it is appropriate.
You DO get to declare a set of terms around a specific use of it, such as
"open as defined by the Working Group on Open Bibliographic Data" but that's
about it.

This is also why the kind of discussion that might reveal the nuances of
"open" cannot happen here due to religious-style zealotry. If something
isn't "open" according to your strict standards it isn't open at all. This
completely misses the fact that "open" as in the Harvard API may be
completely fine and useful for nearly all real world purposes.

If I can accomplish useful work with Harvard's API (and I likely can,
although I haven't yet tested it out), then great. Whether I can download
the entire dataset may be completely immaterial (and usually is) to getting
that useful work accomplished. But then practicality isn't what this group
is about, it's about religion. Now I will go back to lurking, where I expect
to take my lumps like a man. Wake me up again when you're ready to have that
nuanced discussion.

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