This presentation (via) contains some interesting material, especially for Open Data from the section of the summary document entitled “Access to scientific data from publicly funded sources”. Cherry picking: –

… in deciding how or where to publish their most recent work, respondents cited the
dissemination of research results (e.g., through a journal with a high degree of circulation and
relevant readership) as the leading criterion; “prestige”—meaning their work would be placed on a
list of select, highly-relevant journals of which publication in any of them could lead to academic
promotion or greater prospects for research funding—ranked second …

This surprised me, although the actual behaviour may not be accurately reflected by the responses.

The majority of survey respondents … had
used or tried to use data (that they personally did not produce) from publicly funded sources …

Of those respondents … almost one-quarter (24 percent) experienced difficulties in obtaining such data.

… the two most highly-cited problems [in obtaining data from publicly funded research] were a substantial delay in the transfer of data, and that
access to data was denied…

Of those respondents who reported experiencing difficulties in obtaining data from publicly
funded sources, most (70 percent) reported that such difficulties had “some negative effect(s)”
upon their research; 10 percent experienced “serious negative effect(s).”

Twenty-nine percent of those respondents who had been denied access to data from a publicly funded source reported that they were not provided a reason for being denied access; 16 percent
reported that they were denied access to data from which results already had been published.

Note that this doesn’t cover data from publicly funded sources which isn’t made available at all, and so represents the tip of the iceberg.


Tickled by the news that BioMed Central is selling merchandise with various OA journal logos on. Before the imagination runs amok with the idea that this a potential business model for OA publishing (Stevan Harnad figurines? Peter Suber mobile phone facias?), note that BMC are giving away their commission to charity.

The Chem Central T looks quite smart but I’m not sure about the one with the slogan “biology direct” pointing at the armpit.

Charles W. Bailey Jr. has blogged some statistics on repository software adoption, based on the OpenDOAR directory.

1) Before drawing conclusions about the comparative uptake of softwares, it’s worth considering what’s being counted here – some repository softwares support / tend to be used for multiple collections, some tend not to be used in this way.

2) Some of the softwares seem to be regionally focussed (although again you need to be careful since the normalization is by country (e.g. 14% of NL != 14% of US). This indicates that community is a crucial factor in software adoption for digital repositories.

Compare and Contrast

January 25, 2007

There were two stories on the blogosphere that really caught my eye yesterday. Both at first glance are about large corporate entities trying to FUD the public. The first is the e-fracas (etc etc etc) caused by Microsoft paying Rick Jellife to correct any inaccuracies on the Wikipedia pages concerning ODP and OOXML.

The second was the story that the American Association of Publishers has paid a hefty sum to a PR agency for what amounts to a slur campaign against the free information movement (via).

I’m gobsmacked by the reaction in the first case – if we leave aside the techno-religious mudslinging the main criticism seems to be that MS were acting in an underhand fashion and their approach wasn’t transparent. This story didn’t make CNN because the wikipedians found out about it after the fact and reported it, it made CNN because Rick blogged it and several people at Microsoft confirmed it. How much more transparency is needed? The wikipedia version of NPOV is evidently not intrinsic to basic notion of building a trusted public commons.

I’m gobsmacked by the second story in itself. When I first read it on Peter Suber’s blog I assumed he was uncovering some misreporting and was going to conclude by commenting that making this kind of stuff up doesn’t help, but it seems to be the straight story. I felt defensive and a bit downcast at first, then I realised that this is great news. When your detractors resort to FUD you know you’re right, and you know you’re winning.