[open-science] JennyMolloy and PeterMR representing OKF at Open Science Summit

Iryna Kuchma iryna.kuchma at eifl.net
Thu Oct 27 20:44:54 UTC 2011

I have another quote from my colleague in Malawi - Kondwani Wella, College
Librarian, Kamuzu College of Nursing, University of Malawi: "Malawi has a
stock of research output in a variety of forms, including technical reports
and journal articles that could have influenced policy decisions and
stimulated further research. However, these documents are locked up in the
offices, libraries and resource centres of the country’s higher education
institutions. Consequently, important policy decisions have been made
without considering the available evidence. For example, Malawi has been
successful in combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Although reports of the
success stories are available, these have not been widely disseminated
within and outside the country. Lives may possibly be involved; for example,
the research on prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in
Blantyre clinics could be equally valid in Lilongwe or Chiradzulu – if it
were accessible." I think his statement is relevant and is presented in the
context of what is going on in his country.

2011/10/27 Peter Murray-Rust <pm286 at cam.ac.uk>

> 2011/10/27 Paweł Szczęsny <ps at pawelszczesny.org>
> I am quite prepared to continue to work out our positions in public - it is
> useful for all of us.
>> Let me explain again - I'm pointing out that it's very important to
>> pay attention to the messages this community is spreading.
>> OA (understood as open access to primary literature) is very
>> important, especially in developing countries, but if there's no
>> healthcare infrastructure to apply the cutting-edge knowledge, OA
>> becomes almost irrelevant in the healthcare (while being crucial in
>> research). Peter's claim is false (or at least unsupported by any data
>> in case of developed countries).
> If you haven't sat through the whole video , please do: Prof. Mary
> Abukutsa-Onyango discusses the importance of open access for research from
> Kenya and other African countries <http://www.vimeo.com/10169351> (
> http://vimeo.com/10169351)
> In this, SHE, not I,  begs for Open Access in Kenya. Note more generally
> that "healthcare" covers a great deal more than expensive machinery and
> drugs and that information is a key component in every country in the world.
> If countries are asking for OA then we must support them totally.
>> Additionally, some of us, like me, rely on the leverage of this
>> community because we don't have enough leverage on our own in our
>> local communities to push things forward. A bit of responsibility for
>> OKFN global image would a nice addition to keeping the messages
>> correct and clear.
>> I'm sorry, I cannot explain it any simpler than that.
>> If you still disagree with me, just discard the message and let's
>> forget the whole discussion.
> I differentiate between scientific statements and political ones. When I
> said and continue to assert
> "closed access means people die"
> that is a political statement.  I hope that we can quantify it in some
> cases - certainly the patient advocates such as Graham Steel and Gilles
> Frydman can give us serious anecdotal evidence of the frequency of this
> problem. You do not need a null hypothesis and a clinical or sociological
> investigation to assert the truth of this statement. I do not intend to
> publish it in a scientific paper. I am prepared to clarify it to
> "closed access means a significant number of people die"
>  - indeed I understood from your earlier mail that you also believe it to
> be true.
> Your second concern is whether the (political) action I have taken is
> responsible. That is a political judgment, and part of the value of this and
> other lists is that we can refine our ideas. The two main questions are:
> "what do we want to achieve"
> and
> "how do we want to achieve it".
> The OA movement suffers in that it has failed to formulate the first and is
> split on the second. I believe that the only useful form of Open Access is
> CC-BY (either by Gold publishing or other means) whereas Stevan Harnad
> believes that Green OA is a necessary and achievable first objective. We
> disagree profoundly and I suspect that we shall always disagree - again this
> is a political statement.
> The OKF has a wide range of members and adherents and has spent
> considerable time discussing what it is. (In OKCon Berlin 2011 we had a
> whole day on our "organizational DNA"). The OKF is very much about action,
> both in formulating goals (such as the Open Knowledge Definition and the
> Panton Principles) and building practical steps to achieve them (Open
> software to support the creation and spread of open Knowledge content). To
> that end I help to develop, say, Open Bibliography and the associated
> protocols and software.
> Open Research Reports is another such activity. We have prototyped tools
> for collecting Open knowledge in science, initially about disease, and
> creating events and communities to fill them. The presentation at Mountain
> View was primarily to present and promote ORR and the upcoming hackathon in
> December/London. We'd be delighted for you and anyone else to attend - and
> the idea is intended to be trivially clonable and expansible so that people
> can replicate it eslewhere and elsewhen.
> I see no reason why the idea should not be adopted anywhere. For example I
> am familiar with Open Source Drug Discovery in India, where I know there are
> participants carrying out computational chemistry (my own field) who do this
> on mobiles even though they have no road to their front door. This is why
> all my code is Open Source; I am flattered that they are interested in
> adopting it and other modules of the Open Source chemistry community.
> This group will almost certainly be starved of the closed access scientific
> literature.  I would also expect that they will rapidly produce stuff that
> we find of value and we should be very careful of making judgments.
> P
> --
> Peter Murray-Rust
> Reader in Molecular Informatics
> Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
> University of Cambridge
> CB2 1EW, UK
> +44-1223-763069
> _______________________________________________
> open-science mailing list
> open-science at lists.okfn.org
> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/open-science
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