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

Maloney, Christopher (NIH/NLM/NCBI) [C] maloneyc at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Fri Oct 28 15:59:02 UTC 2011

Hi all,

I had a reaction similar (though perhaps not as strong) to Pawel's when I saw this statement.

It seems to me that there are two somewhat (but not completely) independent issues:  1, is the statement correct and supported by evidence?, and 2, is it good PR?

My reaction, when I saw it, was that it is not really proveable, because it involves a counterfactual of huge proportions.  We can't know what the world would be like if all the literature right now were freely and openly available.  There are thousands, or even millions, of confounding factors.  The entire world would be a different place.  People would still be dying, but how to attribute the causes?  It's not enough to trot out anecdotal evidence of specific cases where closed access caused harm.  As Pawel mentioned, opponents could just as easily trot out evidence of open access causing harm.  That's a very strong argument, I think, and one that I hear all the time - about the need to control quality and reduce fraud.  I'm not saying I agree that it's right, but just that it's a powerful argument.

As for the PR point, I also agree with Pawel that it makes the open movement too easy to ridicule.  Take the climate change debate, for example.  Conservatives are so effective at destroying the message by ridiculing the messengers, that they have completely decimated any possibility for action.  Note that I'm emphatically not saying that it's the messengers' fault at all - but just that we should be very mindful of the effectiveness of these kinds of tactics.


Chris Maloney
NIH/NLM/NCBI (Contractor)
Building 45, 5AN.24D-22

From: Alma Swan [mailto:a.p.swan at talk21.com]
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2011 12:30 AM
To: open-science
Subject: Re: [open-science] JennyMolloy and PeterMR representing OKF at Open Science Summit

A substantiated example of how lack of access can have a profound effect is related here: http://www.hhrjournal.org/index.php/hhr/article/view/20/88


On 27/10/2011 18:42, "Peter Murray-Rust" <pm286 at cam.ac.uk> wrote:

On Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 5:55 PM, Heather Morrison <hgmorris at sfu.ca> wrote:
To help people make the connection between open access and saving lives in the developing, would it help:

-       to briefly mention Open Education? perhaps the UNESCO initiative? This related initiative addresses the question of facilitating basic education quite directly.

-       to speak to south to south and south to north knowledge dissemination? Leslie Chan is one of the experts here, perhaps he can provide some specifics. In brief, as long as the focus is on the knowledge production of the developed world, the needs of the developing world are likely to be short-changed. Lots of research on obesity, little on malnutrition or how to manage food security with little or no $ to work with.
This is great Heather,

There is actually an immediate urgency (which has suddenly arisen) _ Jenny and I and other have to make a video within 24 hours. (Of course that's not the end of the story). We want to bolt together clips from OSS video with bits of Graham Steel presenting patientsLikeMe and Leslie's clip that Iryna posted. The video will be 5 mins long and present particularly what I and OKF can do NOW so there is a concentration on the December Hackathon. I'll explain the context later.

my two bits,

Heather Morrison
Doctoral Candidate, Simon Fraser University School of Communication
hgmorris at sfu.ca

On 2011-10-27, at 9:37 AM, Peter Murray-Rust wrote:

> 2011/10/27 Iryna Kuchma <iryna.kuchma at eifl.net>
> If we are talking about open access to scholarly publications please believe me that people in universities and research institutions in developing countries do have computers and internet. this is one of the examples of a Kenyan researcher speaking about open access: Prof. Mary Abukutsa-Onyango discusses the importance of open access for research from Kenya and other African countries (http://vimeo.com/10169351) and I can share more evidences like this.
> Many thanks for this. The video is exactly what Jenny and I need for a clip. It's no coincidence that it was created by Leslie Chan who is one of the group of us who dreamt up Open Research Reports.
> Yes, OA is absolutely critical.
> Best wishes,
> Iryna Kuchma
> EIFL Open Access programme manager
> www.eifl.net<http://www.eifl.net> <http://www.eifl.net>
> --
> Peter Murray-Rust
> Reader in Molecular Informatics
> Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
> University of Cambridge
> CB2 1EW, UK
> +44-1223-763069 <tel:%2B44-1223-763069>
> _______________________________________________
> open-science mailing list
> open-science at lists.okfn.org
> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/open-science

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