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Peter Suber
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I just declined to referee a paper because of the journal and publisher, not because the paper was outside my area or because I didn't have time. I do this routinely and always explain myself. My explanations used to be longer, but I made this one short:

[Journal] is a hybrid (not full) open-access journal, and I don't referee for hybrid journals. Nor do I referee for publishers who lobby against open-access policies by governments or funding agencies.

#oa #openaccess 

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The first article of impeachment against Richard Nixon focused on obstruction of justice.

Two excerpts:

1. "In his conduct of the office of President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, in violation of his constitutional oath faithfully to execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, has prevented, obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice, in that...[list of nine examples]."

2. "The means used to implement this course of conduct or plan included one or more of the following: ...interfering or endeavouring to interfere with the conduct of investigations by the Department of Justice of the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the office of Watergate Special Prosecution Force, and Congressional Committees....; making or causing to be made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States into believing that a thorough and complete investigation had been conducted with respect to allegations of misconduct on the part of personnel of the executive branch of the United States..., and that there was no involvement of such personnel in such misconduct...."

There were three articles of impeachment. The second focused on violating the rights of US citizens, and the third on disobeying subpoenas.

#impeachment #obstruction_of_justice #fbi 

My comment to the FCC on #NetNeutrality.

The FCC is collecting public comments on its plan to eviscerate net neutrality. Please add your comment before May 11.

BTW, the the FCC calls its planned evisceration Restoring Internet Freedom. Does that make you want to post a comment?

I just posted this:

Please keep net neutrality rules strong under Title II. There are documented examples of ISPs blocking or slowing apps and services they have an economic interest in opposing. The harms of non-neutrality are real, even if previously rare, and the incentives for ISPs to take advantage of them are real. We need the internet to be a level playing field, and we need this levelness or neutrality to be enforceable. We need it partly for freedom of expression, and partly for freedom of innovation. Without net neutrality, ISPs would offer regular service and fast-lane service, even if they didn't deliberately slow anyone down. Small start-ups could least afford fast-lane service, adding one more obstacle to their attempt to grow and compete against entrenched players who could easily afford fast-lane service. (PS: And shame on you, FCC, for making it so difficult to find this page on which to register our comments. It looks like a deliberate attempt to suppress public comments.)

You can post your own comment here:

Or thanks to +Lastweek JohnOliver, you can use the memorable shortcut:

Feel free to use anything useful from my comment. But for maximum impact, reword to suit yourself.

When you're done writing your comment, and confirm that it says what you want, don't be alarmed if the "submit" button does not work. This is not sinister. The site is just overloaded, which is probably a good sign. I copied my comment to an offline page for security, kept my browser tab open, and tried again every few minutes. After half an hour the comment finally went through.

#fcc #netneutrality 

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David Lipman has stepped down from the US National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) after 30 years of path-breaking work.

If you work on open access to research, you should know Lipman as one the first-generation pioneers who had the right vision, the right skills, the right position, and the right timing to make a huge difference. We're all in his debt.

#oa #openaccess #publicaccess #ncbi #pmc #nih #nlm

Evaluating an OA journal you haven't heard of.

A colleague was just invited to join the editorial board of an OA journal he hadn't heard of, and asked my advice on how to evaluate it. Here's an anonymized version of my reply.


I don't know [Journal or Publisher]. But I'd start by checking to see whether [Journal] is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)<>, which tries to include all honest, peer-reviewed OA journals and exclude the dishonest ones.

I'd also check to see whether [Publisher] belongs to the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) <>, which excludes publishers who do not live up to its code of ethics.

Some honest, high-quality OA journals are not yet listed in the DOAJ, and some honest, high-quality OA publishers do not yet belong to OASPA. But we should encourage them to apply. If your investigation of [Journal and Publisher] doesn't turn up evidence you trust one way or another, then follow the rule to avoid journals that aren't listed in the DOAJ and avoid publishers who aren't members of OASPA. Don't hesitate to tell them that this is your criterion. (For example, "I'll join your board once [Journal] is listed in the DOAJ and [Publisher] joins OASPA.") That will give them an incentive to join, and live up to DOAJ-OASPA standards.

I'd also consult the criteria at Think-Check-Submit <>, and the reviews at Cabell's <>, JournalReviewer <>, Journalysis <>, and Quality Open Access Market <>.

Since this is a journal in your field, look at the names of people on the editorial board. Do you recognize and respect them? Above all, read some of the journal's articles, and network with trusted colleagues to do the same. Are the articles good, by your standards? Would you be proud or embarrassed to be associated with them?


I say a bit more in my online handout, How to make your own work open access.

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Worth watching: Purdue buys Kaplan, and a major private, for-profit online university becomes a major public, non-profit online university. 

Temperatures in Boston fell 30 degrees from yesterday to today, reminding me to reprint this short piece I wrote for the April 2010 issue of my open-access newsletter.


The winter coat factor: A small spring thought

Look at how people decide to put away their winter coat as spring arrives. It's a small decision, but it shows how people differ in their readiness to change. Some put on their winter coat every morning until the weather has been warm for a week or even a month. Some eagerly put it away on the first warm day, even if they have to spend the next week or month shivering in their shirt sleeves. The late changers put up with some sweat and the early changers put up with some chill. The two types differ, but not in their intelligence or understanding.

In any given neighborhood, the weather changes for everyone at the same rate, even if the rate itself is jerky and uneven. So why do we see the variation in response, even within the same neighborhood? Part of the answer is that we're comfortable at different temperatures. Granted. We also differ in our predictions of what will happen tomorrow, next week, and next month. The rest is complicated, but for convenience we can call it temperamental. We differ in our readiness to accept change, when change might be costly, and in our readiness to resist change, when resistance might be costly. Eventually everyone behaves as if winter is over and spring is here. But we're not all ready at the same time.

People respond differently to the case for OA in part because they understand it differently, including some clear cases of misunderstanding. Here I don't even want to try to estimate the size of that fraction. But whether we consider it to be large or small, we should make room for another large fraction that we could call temperamental. Call it the winter coat factor.


Update. This was an attempt to be generous with OA activists who differed from me (or other colleagues and allies) on the rate of OA progress, and on our levels of patience or impatience with the rate of OA progress. I'm not sure it was widely read that way, so forgive my flat-footedness in spelling it out.

My mid-April wish: Let's accelerate progress and increase generosity at the same time.

#oa #openaccess

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I like the fact that these researchers are harnessing open data to save lives. I also like the fact that they emphasized that they were using open data, when they could merely have said (as they said in another place) that they were using data from an "online psychological assessment function."

#opendata  #oa #openaccess  #suicide  

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Brian Bergstein in the MIT Technology Review draws a good analogy between television in the 1960's and Facebook today, quoting Newton Minow's famous speech in 1961: Television is "a vaste wasteland....When television is bad, nothing is worse."

#facebook #tv

Does anyone know an RSS-to-Google+ service other than Hootsuite?

I use +Hootsuite to forward an RSS feed to +Google+, and I'm frustrated with it for two reasons. First, Hootsuite abridges the feed, and will not post more than five RSS items per hour. Second, it occasionally stops posting altogether. When it stops, it never lets me know, for example, by email. And when it stops, it never starts again automatically, for example, when a flaky connection to the RSS source is restored. I have to discover the failure on my own and restart the feed manually. That means I have to monitor the RSS-to-G+ mashup in real time, and often, which defeats half the purpose of the mashup.

Related: Can anyone from +Hootsuite explain why it must abridge the feed at all, and why it can't add a notification feature when one of its feed-forwarding mashups breaks down?

Related: Why doesn't +IFTTT support posting to G+? If Hootsuite can figure out how to do it, then IFTTT should have figured it out. It would open up a powerful new family of IFTTT applets.

Background: I want to pipe the unabridged RSS feed from the Open Access Tracking Project to the project's G+ account, +OATP. I'm asking today because Hootsuite stopped posting to +OATP two weeks ago and naturally didn't tell me. I just discovered the failure, turned the posting back on, and I'm still frustrated by Hootsuite's unreliability.

#rss #googleplus #google+ #hootsuite #ifttt #mashups #oatp
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