[open-science] more fox researches hen research - this time in hen's clothing

Heather Morrison hgmorris at sfu.ca
Sat Apr 6 22:42:46 UTC 2013


Thanks, this is a good point. However, this indicates a contradiction  
in the information provided on the survey form.

The preamble says: "Thank you very much for taking part in this study  
on European trends in Open Access Publishing by the Oxbridge Biotech  
Roundtable, a UK-based student-led organisation. It should take ~7  
minutes to complete. Your answers will help us to gain valuable  
insight into the Open Access use among academics in your field".

This presents the survey as one conducted by a student-led organization.

The fine print at the bottom of the page says: "Our sponsors pay a fee  
to OBR for gathering, aggregating and collecting the data as well as  
for preparation of a Summary Report of the data compiled. In  
participating in this survey, the participant recognizes that the  
information provided in this survey will be used in an industry  
aggregate report and therefore grants OBR unrestricted use of this  

Both Daniel Perez and Mehmet Fidanboylu in comments here and on my  
blog are emphasizing their status as students and listing their  
academic affiliations. This is deceptive.

Mehmet says: in a comment on my blog:

May be worth taking a look at these faceless execs shamelessly posing  
as students?

Daniel Perez, CEO - "dual-doctorate at Lincoln College, Oxford and The  
Scripps Research Institute in California (DPhil, PhD)"...

Mehmet Fidanboylu, CMO - "completing a PhD in neuropharmacology at  
King's College London"

It is not appropriate to conduct a survey posing as students at these  
institutions when you are actually undertaking commercially sponsored  

While we are on the broad topic of transparency, could you explain who  
you are and what your interest is, Tom? It's hard to tell from a gmail  

I am a professional librarian and scholar, having recently completed a  
doctoral dissertation on the topic of scholarly communication and open  
access. My interest in this is finding out who is really behind this  
survey and what their motivations are.

I've updated my blogpost on this topic and am encouraging Daniel and  
Mehmet to actively engage in this discussion as I think it gets at the  
heart of the very important topic of the societal need for academic  
freedom and independence.

The post can be found here:

I'll update with this information.


Heather Morrison
The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics

On 6-Apr-13, at 2:39 PM, Tom Morris wrote:

> Heather - It says right on the survey page that it's paid for by  
> sponsors, so I don't think there's much mystery as to whether it's a  
> commercial or academic survey.  You can find their corporate  
> registrations here: http://opencorporates.com/companies?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=oxbridge++roundtable&commit=Go
> Daniel - Congratulations on building your company to this scale at  
> such a young age.  Since the focus of this thread is open access,  
> can you tell who's paying for the survey?  That should help provide  
> insight into it's construction and administration.
> I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious about your funding in  
> overall, so if you'd like to share a more general revenue picture,  
> that'd be awesome.
> Tom
> On Sat, Apr 6, 2013 at 6:18 AM, Daniel Perez  
> <dan at oxbridgebiotech.com> wrote:
> Dear Heather – I just read your paranoid notes below (and blog)  
> about the Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable (OBR), a student led  
> organization - instigated by our act of conducting a survey into  
> Open Access Publishing (how dare we?) and not living up to Paul  
> Zuma’s standards of scholarship?
> Heather: you asked: “Who are you really, OBR?”  (In what appeared to  
> be a McCarthy-esqe tone.)
> Look, if you were capable of even the bare minimum of research into  
> OBR and looked at our executive committee you would see we’re led  
> entirely of PhD students and post-docs: http://www.oxbridgebiotech.com/about-obr/executive-committee/
> As the founder and President of OBR (and PhD student at Oxford) I do  
> not take exception towards Zuma for finding our survey methodology  
> imperfect (when it comes to OA he’s beyond biased, but obviously  
> raised good points).
> I do, however, take exception that you then pursue some whisper  
> campaign maligning our character and even claiming we’re not really  
> student led.
> We were founded in Oxford in June 2011, then opened a chapter in  
> Cambridge, then London and since we’ve grown to nearly 8,000 members  
> with additional chapters in Manchester, Glasgow (Scotland), and San  
> Diego, Los Angeles and SF-Bay.  Our goal is to foster a conversation  
> between academics (from across disciplines) and industry experts.   
> Look Heather, we actually don’t think “industry” is an ugly word. We  
> welcome commerce, the commercialization of science, and the jobs and  
> innovative products that comes from it.  For you to suggest we’re  
> just “smoke and mirrors” is border-line slanderous and I highly  
> encourage you to avoid these Holier Than Thou witch-hunt campaigns.
> But as OBR's mission is to educate, here are two simple steps to  
> avoid repeat episodes like this:
> 1) Research your facts
> 2) Remove the tin-foil from around your head
> ps. Ok I’ll admit it: we have some post-docs on our exec committee.  
> We really are out to get to you.
> best, Dan
> -- 
> Daniel A. Perez
> CEO & Founder, Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable
> +4407583873540  |  @danperez610
> DPhil Student, Biochemistry, University of Oxford
> Register HERE to join OBR for FREE and receive the Roundup, OBR's  
> weekly e-mail newsletter.
> Follow us on: Twitter (@OxbridgeBiotech)     -     LinkedIn      
> -     Facebook
>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>> From: Heather Morrison <hgmorris at sfu.ca>
>> Date: Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 2:41 PM
>> Subject: [open-science] more fox researches hen research - this  
>> time in hen's clothing
>> To: open-science <open-science at lists.okfn.org>
>> A curious case of open access "research" from "Oxford Biotech  
>> Roundtable":
>> Thanks to Peter Suber for the tip about yet another misleading open  
>> access survey. Following are my comments. In brief, this appears to  
>> be a curious case of two layers of smoke and mirrors about who is  
>> behind the survey that could make for an interesting question for a  
>> research methods class. The survey preamble says that this is a  
>> student-led organization. The about page claims that this is the  
>> health care and life sciences industry. The description of gold and  
>> green OA reflect the biases of the toll access scholarly publishing  
>> industry, which are at odds with those of the health care and life  
>> sciences industry. Who are you really, OBR?
>> Details:
>> http://poeticeconomics.blogspot.ca/2013/04/industry-pretends-to-be-student-led-or.html
>> Heather G. Morrison
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