When Copyright Law and Science Collide: Empowering Digitally Integrated Research Methods on a Global Scale

Automated knowledge discovery tools have become central to the scientific enterprise in a growing number of fields and are widely employed in the humanities as well. New scientific methods, and the evolution of entirely new fields of scientific inquiry, have emerged from the integration of digital technologies into scientific research processes that ingest vast amounts of published data and literature. The Article demonstrates that intellectual property laws have not kept pace with these phenomena.

Copyright law and science co-existed for much of their respective histories, with a benign tradition of the former giving way to the needs of the latter. Today, however, the formidable array of legislative maneuvers to tighten the grip of copyright laws in defense of cultural industries whose business models were upended in the online environment have, deliberately or not, undermined the ability of the scientific community to access, use, and reuse vast amounts of basic knowledge inputs. Database protection laws, reinforced by electronic fences and contracts of adhesion, further subject copy-reliant technologies to the whims of publishers and hinder the pooling of publicly funded resources that empower collaborative research networks and the formation of science commons in general.

The authors analyze the different components of a complicated transnational legislative fabric that have changed world copyright law into a science-hostile environment. Given the global nature of digital scientific research, they focus attention on comparative laws that fragment research inputs into diversely accessible territorial compartments. This analysis shows that users of automated knowledge discovery tools will likely become collective infringers of both domestic and international property laws.

In response to this challenge, the authors discuss possible solutions to the problems that intellectual property laws have created for digitally integrated scientific research from two very different angles. First, the authors skeptically consider the kinds of legal reforms that would be needed if commercial publishers continued to act as intermediaries between producers and users of scientific information and data, as they do today, without regard to the likelihood that such reforms would ever be enacted.

The authors then reconsider the role of publishers and ask whether, from a cost-benefit perspective, it should be significantly modified or abandoned altogether. Finally, the authors examine alternative strategies that the scientific community itself could embrace in a concerted effort to manage its own upstream knowledge assets in ways that might avoid, or at least attenuate, the obstacles to digitally empowered scientific research currently flowing from a flawed intellectual property regime.

The Article concludes by stressing the need to bridge the current disconnect between private rights and public science, in the overall interest of both innovation and the advancement of knowledge.

URL : http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/faculty_scholarship/2675/

What should be the data sharing policy of cognitive science?

There is a growing chorus of voices in the scientific community calling for greater openness in the sharing of raw data that leads to a publication. In this commentary, we discuss the merits of sharing, common concerns that are raised, and practical issues that arise in developing a sharing policy. We suggest that the cognitive science community discuss the topic and establish a data sharing policy.

URL : http://lpl.psy.ohio-state.edu/documents/PT.pdf

Cost-effectiveness of open access publications

Open access publishing has been proposed as one possible solution to the serials crisis – the rapidly growing subscription prices in scholarly journal publishing.

However, open access publishing can present economic pitfalls as well, such as excessive publication charges.

We discuss the decision that an author faces when choosing to submit to an open access journal.

We develop an interactive tool to help authors compare among alternative open access venues and thereby get the most for their publication fees.

URL : http://www.eigenfactor.org/openaccess/CostEffectiveness.pdf

Science 3.0: Corrections to the “Science 2.0” paradigm

The concept of “Science 2.0” was introduced almost a decade ago to describe the new generation of online-based tools for researchers allowing easier data sharing, collaboration and publishing.

Although technically sound, the concept still does not work as expected. Here we provide a systematic line of arguments to modify the concept of Science 2.0, making it more consistent with the spirit and traditions of science and Internet.

Our first correction to the Science 2.0 paradigm concerns the open-access publication models charging fees to the authors. As discussed elsewhere, we reiterate that the monopoly of such publishing models increases biases and inequalities in the representation of scientific ideas based on the author’s income.

Our second correction concerns post-publication comments online, which are all essentially non-anonymous in the current Science 2.0 paradigm.

We conclude that scientific post-publication discussions require special anonymization systems.

We further analyze the reasons of the failure of the current post-publication peer-review models and suggest what needs to be changed in “Science 3.0” to convert Internet into a large “journal club”.”

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1301.2522

When press is not printed : the challenge of collecting digital newspapers at the Bibliothèque nationale de France

Since its birth in the early seventeenth century, the press has played a prominent role in the political and social life of France. Over the two last decades, the economic and even cultural pillars on which the press ecosystem is built has been challenged by the growing use of digital technologies, and by the increasing role of the Internet as a way to distribute and access information.

Heritage libraries need to address the accelerating shift from analogue to digital in order to maintain the continuity of their objectives and of their missions. Many aspects need to be taken into account: legal, scientific, technical, economic and organizational issues have to be identified and addressed.

This paper looks at the example of the National Library of France (Bibliothèque nationale de France or BnF), and at the way it has dealt with collecting newspapers in digital form. During the ten last years, the BnF has launched several experiments, testing different approaches, with varying degrees of success: – Direct deposit of electronic publications on physical media (CDs and DVDs) or through FTP. – Fully automated web harvesting.

Since December 2010, almost 100 news websites (national and daily newspapers, pure players, news portals…) are collected on a daily basis. -Web harvesting through agreements with producers.”

URL : http://hal-bnf.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00769084

Rising Publication Delays Inflate Journal Impact Factors

Journal impact factors have become an important criterion to judge the quality of scientific publications over the years, influencing the evaluation of institutions and individual researchers worldwide. However, they are also subject to a number of criticisms.

Here we point out that the calculation of a journal’s impact factor is mainly based on the date of publication of its articles in print form, despite the fact that most journals now make their articles available online before that date.

We analyze 61 neuroscience journals and show that delays between online and print publication of articles increased steadily over the last decade. Importantly, such a practice varies widely among journals, as some of them have no delays, while for others this period is longer than a year.

Using a modified impact factor based on online rather than print publication dates, we demonstrate that online-to-print delays can artificially raise a journal’s impact factor, and that this inflation is greater for longer publication lags.

We also show that correcting the effect of publication delay on impact factors changes journal rankings based on this metric.

We thus suggest that indexing of articles in citation databases and calculation of citation metrics should be based on the date of an article’s online appearance, rather than on that of its publication in print.

URL : http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0053374

A Study on the Open Source Digital Library Software’s: Special Reference to DSpace, EPrints and Greenston

The richness in knowledge has changed access methods for all stake holders in retrieving key knowledge and relevant information.

This paper presents a study of three open source digital library management software used to assimilate and disseminate information to world audience.

The methodology followed involves online survey and study of related software documentation and associated technical manuals.

URL : http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.4935