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[News] Openness and Sharing in Science Defended

  • Subject: [News] Openness and Sharing in Science Defended
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2010 10:21:53 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
Hash: SHA1

Where indeed?

,----[ Quote ]
| Having taken a job in biotech, I feel a bit 
| cut off from any such community -- industry 
| is notoriously protective of IP and fond of 
| secrecy besides. I feel a bit of a fraud, 
| for instance, taking part in discussions of 
| Open Science issues on FriendFeed (such as 
| the conversation kicked off by Alan's blog 
| post), knowing that I can't talk openly 
| about my own work. It doesn't keep me from 
| shooting off my yap, of course, but it's a 
| nagging icky feeling -- and I keep getting 
| the meta-feeling that it doesn't have to be 
| this way. Just as secrecy in academia only 
| makes sense within the existing reward 
| structure, secrecy in industry could be at 
| least partly offset by policy decisions that 
| recognize the gains in efficiency that 
| collaboration can bring. I've heard multiple 
| times from multiple sources that industry 
| may close itself off from the rest of the 
| world, but within a company, the teamwork 
| ethic is amazing. Clearly, the value of co-
| operation is recognized. Why shouldn't that 
| also work for (larger and larger) groups of 
| companies? What you lose by not being the 
| only company to know something from which 
| profit can be made (call it X) is offset by 
| the fact that you might never have learned X 
| without the collaboration -- and in the 
| meantime, the world gets X that much faster.
| It seems clear, though, that such top-down 
| decisions are more likely to be made in 
| academia, and perhaps the nonprofit sector, 
| than in profit-driven industry -- at least 
| until there are enough concrete examples of 
| success to tip the perceived balance of 
| risk. If I'm -- if we Open Foo types are -- 
| right, it's actually riskier to compete than 
| to cooperate in the long term. Better to own 
| a share of X sooner than to delay any return 
| on your investment in the hope of owning X 
| outright later. This is especially true when 
| the resources required to try to own X could 
| be used to get you shares in multiple other 
| projects at the same time.



Why Hasnât Scientific Publishing Been Disrupted Already?

,----[ Quote ]
| When Tim Berners-Lee created the Web in 1991,
| it was with the aim of better facilitating
| scientific communication and the dissemination
| of scientific research. Put another way, the
| Web was designed to disrupt scientific
| publishing. It was not designed to disrupt
| bookstores, telecommunications, matchmaking
| services, newspapers, pornography, stock
| trading, music distribution, or a great many
| other industries.

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