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Peter Suber

Oops. Years ago I thought I'd finished putting my scholarly writings in DASH, my institution's open-access repository. But just this week I found one that I'd overlooked. I'm glad to say it's now in DASH.

"The Paradox of Liberation" (1992). I discuss variations on the theme that one is not free until one freely chooses to become free. I find traces of the theme in Kant, Mill, and Dennett, and show their strategies for preventing the claim from becoming a contradiction.

A bit earlier I found another that I'd overlooked; it too is now in DASH.

"Saving Machines From Themselves: The Ethics of Deep Self-Modification" (2001). I discuss the ethics of paternalizing creatures capable of deep and precise self-modification. I expect that intelligent machines will achieve this capability, through reprogramming, sooner than human beings, through drugs and surgery.

Both pieces were OA from birth. All that's new here is that they're now in my IR.

#freedom, #liberation, #kant, #mill, #dennett, #ai, #paternalism, #self-modification, #selfmod
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Half a dozen reasons why I support the Jussieu Call for Open Science and Bibliodiversity.

1. I support its call to move beyond PDFs. This is necessary to bypass publisher locks and facilitate reuse, text mining, access by the visually impaired, and access in bandwidth-poor parts of the world.

2. I applaud its recognition of no-fee or no-APC open-access journals, their existence, their value, and the fact that a significant number of authors will always depend on them.

3. I join its call for redirecting funds now spent on subscription journals to support OA alternatives.

4. I endorse its call to reform methods of research evaluation. If we want to assess quality, we must stop assuming that impact and prestige are good proxies for quality. If we want to assess impact, we must stop using metrics that measure it badly and create perverse incentives to put prestige ahead of both quality and access.

5. I support its call for infrastructures that are proof against privatization. No matter how good proprietary and closed-source platforms may initially be, they are subject to acquisition and harmful mutation beyond the control of the non-profit academic world. Even without acquisition, their commitment to OA is contingent on the market, and they carry a permanent risk of trapping rather than liberating knowledge. The research community cannot afford to entrust its research to platforms carrying that risk.

6. Finally I support what it terms bibliodiversity. While we must steer clear of closed-source infrastructure, subject to privatization and enclosure, we must also steer clear of platform monocultures, subject to rigidity, stagnation, and breakage. Again, no matter how good a monoculture platform may initially be, in the long run it cannot be better than an ecosystem of free and open-source, interoperable components, compliant with open standards, offering robustness, modularity, flexibility, freedom to create better modules without rewriting the whole system, freedom to pick modules that best meet local needs, and freedom to scale up to meet global needs without first overcoming centralized constraints or unresponsive decision-makers.

#oa #openaccess
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Most of the no-fee OA journals listed in the DOAJ are published in languages other than English.

+Leo Waaijers has dug some interest facts out of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), and allowed me to post the results.

From Leo: The 7240 journals in the no-fee category in DOAJ has 1911 journals with Spanish full text, 1366 with Portuguese, 753 with French, and 692 with Indonesian. In percentages: 26, 19, 10, and 10. In the 2998 journal of the fee-based category these figures were respectively: 81, 76, 23, and 212; and in percentages: 3, 3, 1, and 7.

#oa #openaccess #doaj
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The Bagaduce River this morning in Brooksville, #Maine, before and after the sunrise fog.
2 Photos - View album
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Still true: 70% of peer-reviewed OA journals charge no APCs.

Every study since the first in 2005 has shown that a significant majority of peer-reviewed journals charge no APCs. Most have put that majority at about 70%.

I just looked up today's numbers at the Directory of Open Access Journals, and the number is still 70%.

Total number of journals listed in DOAJ = 10,279
No-fee = 7,193 = 69.97%
Fee-based = 2,980 = 28.99%
No info = 106 = 1.03%

To check the numbers yourself, go to the DOAJ <>. Click on Search (in the top navigation bar). Then click on the facet + Journals vs. Articles. Then click on Journals. Then click on the facet + Article processing charges (APCs). You'll then see "No" (i.e. no APCs) followed by a number, "Yes" followed by a number, and "No information" followed by a number.


Needless to say, many people turn this truth on its head and say that most or even all OA journals charge fees. That error is still one of the most widespread, well-entrenched, and harmful myths about OA, despite more than a decade of correction from a large number of people like me and +Walt Crawford. When you hear someone repeat the error, please correct them.


Related: Gold OA is OA delivered by journals, regardless of their business model. Hence gold OA includes both fee-based and no-fee OA journals. When you hear someone repeat the error that all gold OA is fee-based OA, please correct them.

Related: When we imagine flipping subscription journals to OA, too often we only imagine flipping them to fee-based OA. That's needlessly limiting.

Related: When we investigate ways to bring financial support and sustainability to more OA journals, too often we only investigate ways to pay APCs. That's needlessly limiting.

Related: When we study what universities would pay for journal articles in a hypothetical future world in which all journals flip to OA, too often we assume that all journals flip to fee-based OA. That's needlessly limiting, not to mention a bad extrapolation from current trends.

Related: When we want to interview or survey authors about their attitudes toward OA journals, too often we start by misdefining OA journals (as if all or most charge APCs), then we misinform the interview or survey subjects, and then we ask about their attitudes. We publish the results as attitudes toward OA journals as such, not attitudes toward fee-based OA journals. That's bad research.


For more background, see my 2006 article, "No-fee open-access journals."


While most peer-reviewed OA journals are no-fee, it doesn't follow that most articles published in peer-reviewed OA journals are published in the no-fee variety. It's closer to 50/50, depending on the year and measurement method.

See William Walters and Anne Linvill, "Characteristics of Open Access Journals in Six Subject Areas," College and Research Libraries, August 2010. "While just 29 percent of OA journals charge publication fees, those journals represent 50 percent of the articles in our study."

See Mikael Laakso and Bo-Christer Björk, "Anatomy of open access publishing: a study of longitudinal development and internal structure," BMC Medicine, October 22, 2012: "OA journals requiring article-processing charges have become increasingly common, publishing 166,700 articles in 2011 (49% of all OA articles)."

See Walt Crawford, "The Gold OA Landscape, 2011-2014," Cites & Insights, October 2015, p. 20: "[T]he 26% of journals that do charge APCs...published 57% of the OA articles (in reputable journals) in 2014, and assuming level APCs, pay journals have published a majority of OA articles since 2013."

#oa #openaccess #doaj #no-fee
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A few minutes ago in Brooksville, #Maine. With my back to the setting sun, facing the eastern shore of the Bagaduce River.
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Are you an #openaccess project in need of programming help? Are you a programmer or programming team willing to donate time to an OA project?

Either way, please list yourselves on the new page at the Open Access Directory set up to match OA projects with programmers.

The new OAD page is inspired by a collaboration between and some student programmers at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

#oa #openaccess #code4oa
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Compare the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, and Donald Trump

Compare them in number, span of years, and seriousness. These allegations caused deep trouble for Weinstein and Cosby, even before any criminal convictions. Why haven't they yet caused deep trouble for Trump?

All three men enjoyed decades of immunity from trouble in which the press discounted allegations and averted its eyes. But for Weinstein and Cosby, those periods came to crashing halts. Trump still dwells in his spell of immunity (at least from these allegations, not his other crimes and misdemeanors), despite the greater scrutiny he receives as POTUS. Why?

In looking for causes, we should distinguish media failures from popular excuse-making and extenuation.

(I like extenuation here better than forgiveness. People who waved away Trump's pussy-grabbing remarks as locker-room talk were not forgiving, just extenuating. The attitude was rarely charitable and usually cynical.)

But even if media silence and public silence are very different, all three men benefited from both for a long time. Today Trump still does but Weinstein and Cosby do not. Why?

Media silence and popular silence support one another. But are they equal partners in that reciprocal relationship, or does one play a larger role? Are major news bureaus waiting for clues that there is public appetite for stronger coverage? If so, what are they waiting for that they don't already see? Do they mistake the public's scandal-fatigue, weariness, and resignation for some kind of extenuation and acceptance? If so, that's a mistake. But will this media mistake last a long time, because the public's scandal-fatigue is likely to last a long time? Or will journalists soon correct their mistake, and recognize that public depression is not even close to public acceptance? If so, is Trump just around the corner from the kind of sudden, intense scrutiny that overtook Weinstein and Cosby?

#sexual_assault, #weinstein, #cosby, #trump
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Readings for Open Access Week 2017

Next week (Oct 23-29) is Open Access Week. I hope you'll find good moments to talk with colleagues about OA. To me, this is the main purpose of OA Week. If you can't talk every week with colleagues about OA, then use OA Week as an excuse.

Talk from a stage, your office, their office, a hallway, a sidewalk, or a café table. The setting doesn't matter as much as the effectiveness. Informal personal settings may be more effective than formal impersonal ones. Make the case in a way that your colleagues will understand, which you understand because you're their colleague.

If you inspire your colleagues to want to learn more or act, then follow up with suggested readings. Here's a handful of my own that I can recommend, from shortest to longest. (They're all OA, even the books.)

But lead with face-to-face conversation, not readings. Welcome the give and take. Show that you can answer the actual concerns your colleague may have, not to mention the frequently heard questions, objections, and misunderstandings. Help your colleague understand that there's a serious problem and a beautiful solution.

Very Brief Introduction to Open Access. (1 page; available in English and 27 other languages.)

How To Make Your Own Work Open Access. (4 pages; available in English, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, and Spanish; regularly updated.)

Opening Access to Research. (6 pages; from Berfrois, August 24, 2012.)

Open Access: Six Myth To Put To Rest. (7 pages; from The Guardian, October 21, 2013.)

Open Access Overview. (10 pages; available in English and 11 other languages.)

Good Practices For University Open-Access Policies. (87 pages; with +Stuart Shieber; regularly updated.)

Open Access. (242 pages; from MIT Press, 2012; in print or OA; available in English as well as Arabic, Chinese, French, Polish, Spanish, and partially in Greek, with 7 other translations in progress; the book home page is regularly updated with supplements.)

Knowledge Unbound. (436 pages; from MIT Press, 2016; in print or OA; available in English; a Japanese translation is in progress.)

My other writings on OA.


On another front, the Open Access Tracking Project (+OATP) is a comprehensive, real-time alert service for news and comment about OA. It's built by people like you who tag new developments for inclusion. Here are some links to use or share during OA Week and beyond.

Open Access Tracking Project home page

Getting started as an OATP tagger

Eight versions of the Primary OATP Feed. The Primary Feed covers all new developments on all subtopics.

The most popular unabridged version of the Primary Feed is the email version...

...and the most popular abridged version is the Twitter version.

Here are a dozen Secondary OATP Feeds. Secondary Feeds only cover certain subtopics.

* business models
* data
* early career researchers
* events
* incentives
* jobs
* journals
* obstacles
* OA Week
* open science
* policies
* repositories

OATP supports hundreds more secondary or tag-specific feeds, including feeds for academic fields, countries, regions, and languages. It also supports tools to braid them together to create customized "remix" feeds.


Happy OA Week!

#oa #openaccess #oaweek #oatp
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Trump's NOAA nominee could shut down open government weather data to benefit his family business.

From +Andrew Restuccia in +POLITICO: "As a top executive at AccuWeather, Barry Myers has pushed for limits on the kinds of products that the National Weather Service offers to the public, saying they offered unfair competition to his industry. Now, President Donald Trump's nomination of Myers to lead the weather service's parent agency could allow him to make those kinds of restrictions mandatory — to the benefit of his family-run forecasting company...."

AccuWeather has been trying to block open access to publicly-funded weather data for more than a decade. Its interest is to sell the same data to the public without "unfair competition" from the government. In the past it pursued this goal through Rick Santorum, the venal Senator from AccuWeather's home state of Pennsylvania. Now it's pursuing this goal through Donald Trump.

I've also been blogging about AccuWeather's quest to block open weather data for more than a decade. For some summary and links, see my blog post from January 2012.

#oa #openaccess #opendata #noaa #corruption
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