Tell The White House And Congress: Unlock Science Research

This a tricky problem. No one but the editors like the old (current) publishing system, where we (authors) are submitting our work for free. Sometimes we even have to pay for it. And then we (researchers) have to pay the journals insane amount of money to get access to the papers. Hence the rise of open-access (OA) journals. Nevertheless, we need a strong incentive to move to a dominant OA system. As long as the high-profile journals are not open-access, there is little incentive but goodwill to publish in OA journals.

A couple of years ago, the NIH made a bold move: every paper coming from NIH-funded money should be free to read to anyone, which makes senses since this is taxpayer money, after all. This turned out to be tremendously successful.

Now people are asking to go further, and want the same for all source of public funding (i.e., NSF, mostly).

That’s why we’re teaming up with libraries, universities, and patient advocacy groups to demand every publicly-funded publication be made open access.  If we’re going to be spending billions of dollars on research, the least they can do is let us read it.

I can only hope the same thing to happen in France (with the ANR) and Europe. Then open-access system will become mainstream overnight.

[Source: Boingboing]

The 10 rules for excellent writing

Only 6 actually. But I enjoyed the read.

That’s why my first rule for writers is that, as an aspiring writer, you should write every day

Also applies of course to science papers. You will find yourself writing much more papers if you take the habit of writing 20 min or 1h a day. Every day. Every. Day. Really.

[…] you should never send stuff straight to air while it’s still hot. Good writing is a dish best served cold

So true, again. I usually write a quick draft, and then let it rest a few days or weeks, and eventually iterate, correct, improve, iterate and iterate again.

[Source: Maniraptora]

Elsevier launches “Apps for Science” challenge

That sounds a lot like Mendeley’ s initiative. From their press release:

Elsevier is challenging developers in Australia, Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States to create fully operational applications for the SciVerse platform. In combination with third party APIs and open data, applications can be created utilizing content APIs which enable integration with Elsevier’s full text article database SciVerse ScienceDirect and abstract and citation database SciVerse Scopus.

Always good to see publishers and alike fighting to improve their products. Looks like the opening of API to the public is all over internet, these days. Whether they will truly open their database remains to be seen. I’m curious to see what they will come up with.