[open-science] [SCHOLCOMM] Libre open access, copyright, patent law, and, other intellectual property matters

Peter Murray-Rust pm286 at cam.ac.uk
Thu Mar 22 08:06:32 GMT 2012

On Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 11:58 PM, john wilbanks <jtw at del-fi.org> wrote:

> I'm going by the BBB declarations.
Thanks John, [and Klaus] and so am I.

I'm happy to see robust discussion on this list - we should avoid flame

It's somewhat unfortunate that there seems an operational division between
science and humanities. It would be nice to have a one-size-fits all for
"Open Access" but the reality may evolve to be different. The
Harnad-Morrison-Thatcher approach could be summed up as:
* the primary goal is that humans can somehow find a Gratis copy of the
work to read with their eyes. It is of secondary importance whether the
community has any rights.

The science community on the other hand wishes to make complete use of the
complete scholarly literature using modern technology to discover, index,
extract, re-use, recompute, re-assemble in whatever way their imagination
and technology runs to. (I wish to build an artificially intelligent
chemical amanuensis by semantic analysis of the complete literature, for
* ANY licence other than BBB-compliant prevents this ABSOLUTELY. Any
publisher's contract prevents this absolutely.

It is profoundly unhelpful to this cause to have people pontificating about
absolute author's rights and quasi-religious approaches to solving the
problem. Harnad and Morrison know nothing about high-throughput textmining,
data extraction, eigenvector-based indexing, etc. If they wish to publish
their own work under NC I shan't fight it.

UK/PubMedcentral is crippled by the lack of explicit full-libre permission
to re-use it. 20 million scientific articles of which about 1% are legally
minable and those are extremely difficult to discover. I spent my
"research" effort trying to find these, rather than actually DOING the
science from them. Last week my tools read 500,000 chemical reactions from
the patent literature, better as well as infinitely faster than any human
on the planet. Those reactions can help to find new drugs, new ways of
making drugs, new insights into chemistry.

The reality is that science can operate extremely well with CC-BY. I am yet
again preparing a clutch of articles for Biomed Central (a special issue
with 17 APC-based articles). BMC have been running for 10 years. As far as
I know there have been no serious misuse of the literature so there is no
need to "protect" CC-BY.

On a related point, institutional repositories are almost completely
useless for modern literature analysis. They do not carry explicit
machine-readable libre licences so we cannot by right use any of their
content. They are fragmented - instead of the UK having ONE repository (say
in the BL) which would be the rational thing that any scientist would do
they are fragmented over 200 universities at great additional cost.

Al that leads up to me thanking the RCUK for insisting on CC-BY and - with
other scientific organizations such as Wellcome, and the Libre science
publishers - making BBB-OpenAccess a reality. There is a great deal more to
do, but at least we have a model that works and that politicians are
listening to.

Peter Murray-Rust
Reader in Molecular Informatics
Unilever Centre, Dep. Of Chemistry
University of Cambridge
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/open-science/attachments/20120322/f32ed0b7/attachment.htm>

More information about the open-science mailing list