Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 17th Jul 2012 17:03 UTC
Legal A frontier where copyright reformists are actually scoring wins - not by reforming copyright, but by working around it. "The European Commission has announced its intention to make open access all research findings funded by Horizon 2020, its enormous, EUR 80 billion research-funding programme for 2014-20. And it is urging member states to follow its lead."
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RE: A few thoughts
by bouhko on Tue 17th Jul 2012 20:10 UTC in reply to "A few thoughts"
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First thing : even without mandatory open access, there are already a fair number of articles accessible online for free (arxiv comes to mind). A lot of research in computer science (I do wearable computing R&D) is available online. But maybe it's not as good in some other less "computerized" fields such as the humanities or medicine (anyone has experience in those ?).

2) What if the publicized results show that the money was largely spent on redundant/useless research? Like redoing same old crap but with a tiny quirk, say "New Economic models for home insurance based on Social Networks", or actually good sounding research like "Common ontology for Telecommunications" which ends up being a bunch of papers that no telecom would use. A reform of EU research spending perhaps?

The enormous majority of published papers is about doing something we already know but with a small improvement (or in a different situation). It's pretty rare to have a new ground breaking finding. So if you look at it that way, a lot of research money is "wasted". But that's how you move forward. Research is really incremental and it's about exploring unknown stuff, so failure and dead end are to be expected.

Now, there is quite a bit of bullshit published too. Mainly because most of the academics are evaluated based on the number publications per year. This is a f--king dumb metric and this lead people to publish unfinished experiments (or hide bad results) that are just good enough to get accepted. But this is a completely different problem than the open access problem.

Now I agree with you that they should extend this open access policy to area other than research. But this is a very good first step. Science is about disseminating knowledge and in that sense, it should be accessible to all.

Edited 2012-07-17 20:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: A few thoughts
by l3v1 on Wed 18th Jul 2012 06:18 in reply to "RE: A few thoughts"
l3v1 Member since:

First thing : even without mandatory open access, there are already a fair number of articles accessible online for free

Actually, I'll go beyond that. I work in research for 10 years now (if I count in my 3 years as a phd student), and it is the exception when I can't find something for free, not the rule. In such occasions I asked around and sometimes friends could get it for me, or the author sent it to me. And I have yet to witness a situation when an author won't give you the paper you are looking for, it certainly never happend to me or my colleagues.

Also, I'm sorry, but mandating open access is only good the publishing companies. Yes, I know they have high subscription fees, but I would bet that getting 2-3-4k Euros per paper would top that. And now you'll have to pre-calculate costs of publications when submitting the proposal, otherwise you won't be able to finance publications, since most research institutions and universities (I'm not talking money-rich US research labs here) don't realy have millions lying around for publication fees of their entire personnel.

Reply Parent Score: 3