[open-science] A new collaborative editor for open science

Puneet Kishor punk.kish at gmail.com
Sun Feb 12 07:15:02 UTC 2017

The assertion that "Open licensing is not necessary and does not accomplish as much as making works free to read does" makes no sense. You can have free to read without being openly licensed but you can't have openly licensed without being free to read. By that measure, open licensing *has* to accomplish at least as much as being free to read. In reality, open licensing can accomplish a lot more by allowing derivative works that depend upon more than just fair use.

Additionally, just as "new knowledge builds on previous knowledge," so does software, ostensibly *a* kind of knowledge. Version control helps distinguish and track the new from the old. One doesn't *have* to be a programmer to understand, appreciate, use and benefit from that. 

`git` is a popular version control software with certain characteristics (distributed, with complete local copies and history) that make it ideal to build a system of knowledge that is open. Some parts of this system may be more open than others but the underlying framework makes openness—provenance, attribution, validation and reproducibility—possible. Almost two years ago I (with a colleague of mine in Mumbai) envisioned a version controlled journal, much of the practical part of which seems to be realized by Authorea (see http://punkish.org/Version-Controlled-Journal). `git` is fabulous, but atrociously difficult to use. Tools like Authorea can help us benefit from `git` without learning `git`. 

To be clear, Authorea is not the only tool in this space. There are several others (I saw a number of such tools demoed at the Hypotesis conf in SF in 2014). Having a choice is always good for us, the users, and it is very important for these tools to make money and not just survive but thrive and become better. I wish Authorea well.

Puneet Kishor
Just Another Creative Commoner

> On Feb 11, 2017, at 10:17 PM, Heather Morrison <Heather.Morrison at uottawa.ca> wrote:
> Open source software is an analogy that may work for some types of knowledge (especially computer software), but not all types of knowledge.
> New knowledge builds on previous knowledge. This has always been the case, and still is the case even with All Rights Reserved copyright. Open licensing is not necessary and does not accomplish as much as making works free to read does.
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