[open-science] Publishing and copyright licences: academics opt to keep control | News | Times Higher Education

Heather Morrison hgmorris at sfu.ca
Fri Apr 5 18:00:12 UTC 2013

Perhaps these examples will help non-academics to understand:

If we want good research done on the public's perception of the performance of banks with respect to the 2008 fiscal crisis, who should conduct the research? Academics or government staffers with a primary loyalty to uncovering truth and serving the public, or the banks most responsible for causing the crisis in the first place?

How about a survey on public perceptions of oil industry performance and the environment? Should British Petroleum, Exxon or Enbridge conduct the survey? 



On 2013-04-05, at 10:51 AM, Tom Morris wrote:

> Well, I'm not an "academic," but I'm going to weigh in anyway.
> On Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 2:19 PM, Heather Morrison <hgmorris at sfu.ca> wrote:
> First, the fact that this for-profit multinational conglomerate, informa.plc, working under its scholar-friendly-sounding 'brand" name Taylor & Francis, is conducting social science research which appears to be designed to inform public policy, and has control over distribution of surveys to 83,000 scholars.
> I suspect that they actually view it as market/customer research, not "social science" research and they certainly don't control distribution of anything other than their own materials.  I'm sure those 83,000 people are free to receive email and postal mail from whoever they like. 
> It is completely appropriate for publishers to conduct research to improve their services. However, social science research should be conducted by social scientists. It is telling that we scholars have given so much power to this commercial company that they can now conduct research on us scholars in a study of a scale that few social scientists would be able to complete with.
> Very strange to see an argument for less data on an open science list.  If you think a different kind of study should be done than DO IT, don't try to discourage others from doing their research (and graciously making the data available).
> Of course, there are many more insights to be gained from the raw data since they asked for organization names and email addresses and can look at how the responders compare to non-responders as well as differences across journals and disciplines, but I think it's great that they published as much as they did.
> Tom

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