[open-science] Making science more accountable and efficient

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Sun Feb 13 16:06:21 UTC 2011

On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 1:33 PM, Sören Auer
<auer at informatik.uni-leipzig.de>wrote:

>  My suggestion would be that it is easier and probably more effective
>> to bite of small chunks of the problem.
>> This is what we tried to do with the Panton principles, and various
>> people are looking at generalising them beyond data (not without some
>> disagreement).
> I think this fragmentation actually is counter productive. Ideally this
> would be tackled with one set of principles and/or manifesto and I would be
> more than happy if my ideas, for example, could be integrated into the
> Panton principles (although I doubt this would be possible, since it would
> require quite some substantial changes).
> This is one of the fundamental problems which may only be resolved by
experimentation, campaigning, etc.

The Open Access movement effectively split (or at least bent) over whether
papers should be simply visible (self-archiving) or whether they should be
certified as Open (e.g. CC-BY) and points on the specturm. Stefan Harnad's
argument was that we should first campaign for "green" OA and when all
authors had self-archived, only then should we aim for "gold" or CC-BY (I'm
conflating the concepts slightly).

With Panton we felt that :
* there was an identified problem (data was published and not labelled)
* that there was an unawareness of the need to publish data
* that the initiative could be taken forward without assembling large
* that it would have a catalystic effect bot on data and also other types of
* that it had a good probability of success.

Most of these are sociopolitical, not ethical concerns, and based on
pragmatism. So we would argue that Panton has helped to take one section
forward, created high awareness and has not done harm to the wider cause
(i.e. people are not saying  "we've solved data, there's nothing left to
worry about").

We have the same spectrum as in politics. For example in campaigning for
human rights some people will address a specific area (e.g. prisoners) where
others will address the world political process, other address education,

So (for me at least) it's a matter of judgment not logic or conflicting
ultimate goals.


Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge
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