Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Nature again: Access to scientific results

Once again, Nature did it. Whilst we (taxonomists) talk about LSIDs, guids, dois, Nature is offering an archive where dois and handles are given to any of your scientific work. The idea is to help to foster scientific exchange. So, you could for example add all your publications for which you didn't sign an exclusive licence to the publishers and thus it will become part of the growing digital world.

A comment is given at O'Reilly's radar

The question behind this, similar to flickr and youtube is, that these are at the end all private and commercial enterprises which lay outside our control (similar to EOL and BHL), and I wonder how wise it is from our funding fathers (science foundations etc.) to let this happen without having some sort of control mechanisms, or do it by themselves. This sort of accumulation of knowledge are certainly one of the pillars of research.

We all talk about community, democracy but with that we all work towards single institutions which are exactly the opposite of what we envision. Google is scanning an enormous amount of books at their cost, but do we really have access to its content, or can we build api to mine or use it the way we envision? No. Who can profit from our joint input into tagging things - certainly a novel feature in understanding our behavior?

Despite all this, we should make usage of this offer. Add your old publication on Nature precdings, add the bibliographic references to Connotea, but let's use this to demonstrate to our funders and our congress men and women, that these instiutions need be part of our science infrastructure, because we actually use it.


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