For your free information (FYFI): it’s Open Access Day!

October 14, 2008 is the world’s first Open Access Day and OA itself means free online access to peer-reviewed research articles. Although we have other, slower methods, like personal homepages, emails to authors, institutional repositories to get the same article we were unable to get via closed access journals, OA is the internet-savvy solution that fits our time and science.

Let me briefly answer question 4 of the synchroblogging initiative: What do you do to support Open Access, and what can others do?

I did a lot of beta testing for free for the upcoming Google Research Datasets in this summer which will host terabytes of scientific raw data that should be in the public domain or have to have a Creative Commons license. I really liked this work.

Here’s what others said on that:

Neil Saunders:

We live in a world where people expect instant, relevant information in the top 20 hits from a Google search and that expectation is transferring to science too. I don’t care how prestigious you think your journal is, or whether you see yourself as some kind of “guardian of knowledge”. I want information, I want it now and if you can’t deliver, I’m going somewhere else.

Neil’s commenter, Stevan Harnad helps clarifying some concepts:

Open access is not the same thing as open access publishing (”gold open access”). Open access publishing is an alternative to the conventional model of academic publishing. But open access itself means free online access to peer-reviewed research articles. The other way to provide open access is for authors to self-archive their conventional peer-reviewed journal in their open access institutional repositories (”green open access”). Open access day is open access day (both gold and green), not open access publishing day.

Deepak Singh:

Just like the availability of data sets has always been a big deal, the availability of published content and perhaps even more importantly the data contained within was critical for the practice and understanding of science. Anything other than that was not science. Everyone should have access to the same scientific information (what that information should be is the subject of another post). It’s not even about who pays for it. It is science, and as such belongs to everyone.

5 thoughts on “For your free information (FYFI): it’s Open Access Day!

  1. Soft-updates is an alternative to this scheme where the filesystem keeps a list of dependencies that must be satisfied before a change to the filesystem can be visible on disk. For example, you wouldn’t want to write a directory entry pointing at an inode until the inode was initialized on disk and marked allocated. Softdep handles this by rolling back changes to metadata that don’t yet have their dependencies satisfied when we try to write a block. In this way we can commit any completed ‘transactions’ while keeping the disk state consistent. Softdep also allows these dependencies to discover operations which cancel each other out and thus nothing makes it to disk. For example, let’s say you create a temporary file and then remove it after writing some blocks, which compilers often do, if it all happens within the interval of the syncer nothing will make it to disk.

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