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Michael Jensen
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Michael Jensen

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http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-06-18/why-climate-activists-are-laughing-about-global-warming-indiana My best friend, with whom I cofounded apocadocs.com in 2008, gets discovered by PRI's Jason Margolis on "The World." Just over 4 minutes of story, and Jim is great.
Climate change is no laughing matter…except in Indiana.
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Michael Jensen

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I've pretty much concluded that Ron Wyden is the smartest guy in the Senate on digital issues. Not much he does or says that I've disagreed with. Hope this gets traction -- and that we simultaneously work out how to get the federal research funds to support the costs of paying for professional peer-reviewing nonprofit publishing services. Perhaps as part of the overhead %, tallied under "dissemination expenses"?
 
Major new bill mandating open access introduced in Congress

A new bill mandating OA to federally-funded research was just introduced into both houses of Congress. It's called the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research, or FASTR. It was introduced in the Senate by John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), and in the House by Mike Doyle (D-PA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Kevin Yoder (R-KS). 

The quickest introduction is to say that FASTR is a strengthened version of FRPAA. 

FRPAA was introduced in three earlier sessions of Congress (May 2006, April 2009, and February 2012), with growing momentum each time. But it never came up for a vote. In the new session, Congressional supporters of OA decided to up the game and introduce a strengthened version of the bill rather than the same language. Both FRPAA and FASTR would essentially strengthen the OA mandate at the NIH, by shortening the maximum embargo to six months, and then extend the strengthened policy across the federal government. FASTR goes one step further by requiring libre OA, not merely gratis OA.

Because FRPAA is generally well-known among OA supporters, let me introduce FASTR by comparing it to FRPAA. 

Here's how FASTR and FRPAA are alike. (Section numbers in parentheses refer to FASTR, not FRPAA.)

* Both cover the same set of agencies, namely, all those spending at least $100 million/year to fund extramural research (Section 4.a).

* Both give agencies one year from the passage of the bill (4.a) to develop their policies in conformity with the guidelines laid down in the bill.

* Both mandate "public access" (4.a.1, 4.b, 4.f.2.A), "free online public access" (4.b.4), and "free public access" (4.b.7.B, 4.f.2.A) without defining these terms. I'll call this kind of access "open access" ("OA") here for convenience.

* Both mandate green OA (through repositories) (4.b.7.A), and are silent on gold OA (through journals). 

* Both require deposit of the final version of the author's peer-reviewed manuscript (4.b.1). Both allow consenting publishers to replace that version with the published version (4.b.3).

* Both give agencies freedom to designate a suitable repository for the mandatory deposits, when suitability includes "free public access, interoperability, and long-term preservation" (4.b.7). Agencies may host their own repositories, the way NIH hosts PubMed Central, or ask grantees to deposit in suitable institutional or disciplinary repositories.

* Both apply to research funded "in whole or in part" (4.b.1) by one of the covered federal agencies.

* Both ask for OA "as soon as practicable" after publication in a peer-reviewed journal, and both require it "no later than 6 months" after publication (4.b.4). Both require immediate OA (unembargoed OA) for works by government-employed researchers (4.c).

* Both avoid copyright problems by requiring agency policies to "make effective use of any law or guidance relating to the creation and reservation of a Government license that provides for the reproduction, publication, release, or other uses of a final manuscript for Federal purposes" (4.c.3). In writing about FRPAA, I've pointed out that this allows agencies to use the NIH method for avoiding copyright problems, or other methods not chosen by the NIH, including the use of certain, codified government-purpose licenses.

* Both exempt classified research, unpublished research, royalty-producing research such as books, and patentable discoveries (4.d.3).

* Both are explicit in not amending copyright law or patent law (4.e).

Here's how FASTR differs from FRPAA:

* FASTR contains a provision on coordinating agency policies (4.a 2): "To the extent practicable, Federal agencies required to develop a policy...shall follow common procedures for the collection and depositing of research papers." This will reduce the burden on universities that need to comply with procedures at all the covered agencies, and should have no detrimental effect on OA. Indeed, it should improve compliance with agency OA policies.

* FASTR contains three provisions calling for libre OA or open licensing:
--FASTR includes a new "finding" in its preamble (2.3): "the United States has a substantial interest in maximizing the impact and utility of the researchit funds by enabling a wide range of reuses of the peer-reviewed literature that reports the results of such research, including by enabling computationalanalysis by state-of-the-art technologies."
--FASTR includes a formatting and licensing provision (4.b.5): the versions deposited in repositories and made OA shall be distributed "in formats and under terms that enable productive reuse, including computational analysis by state-of-the-art technologies."
--FASTR requires that the annual report from each covered agency include a statement from the agency on "whether the terms of use applicable to such research papers are effective in enabling productive reuse and computational analysis by state-of-the-art technologies" (4.f.2.B.i) and the results of the agency's "examination of whether such research papers should include a royalty-free copyright license that is available to the public and that permits the reuse of those research papers, on the condition that attribution is given to the author or authors of the research and any others designated by the copyright owner" (4.f.2.B.ii).

The Senate and House versions of FASTR are identical.

FASTR would apply to the Department of Health and Human Services, among other agencies. Because HHS subsumes the NIH, FASTR would strengthen the NIH policy both by shortening the embargo to six months and by requiring open licenses. The NIH is already, by far, the world's largest funder of non-classified research, with a research budget larger than the GDP of 140 nations. Because FASTR applies to more than a dozen other federal agencies as well, I can reaffirm my assessment from August 2009: "FRPAA [and now FASTR] would mandate OA for more research literature than any other policy ever adopted or ever proposed. It would significantly increase both the corpus of OA literature and the worldwide momentum for funder OA mandates. It would come as close as any single step could to changing the default for the way we disseminate new scientific work, especially publicly-funded work."  
http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/newsletter/08-02-09.htm#frpaa

The NIH budget alone is more than six times larger than the budgets of all seven of the UK research councils put together. Hence, it's significant that FASTR disregards or repudiates the gold-oriented RCUK/Finch policy in the UK, and sticks to the FRPAA model of a pure green mandate. For some of the reasons why I think OA mandates should be green and not gold, or green first, see my critique of the RCUK/Finch policy from September 2012.
http://dash.harvard.edu/handle/1/9723075

Note that the bill was introduced not only on Valentine's Day, but on the 11th anniversary of the Budapest Open Access Initiative. It's fitting that FASTR recommends libre OA, essentially CC-BY, and the ten-year anniversary statement from the BOAI did the same in Recommendation 2.1: "We recommend CC-BY or an equivalent license as the optimal license for the publication, distribution, use, and reuse of scholarly work."
http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/openaccess/boai-10-recommendations

I wrote a "reference page" on FRPAA <http://bit.ly/hoap-frpaa> and have started a similar one on FASTR <http://bit.ly/hoap-fastr>. So far it's got little more than the summary of the bill I've written here. But I'll enlarge the page over time with the bill's co-sponsors, major statements of support and opposition, and ways to help. Take a look and share the URL. 

This is Part 1 in a series of blog posts on FASTR and other federal actions to support OA to federally-funded research. I'll pull the series of posts together for an article in the March issue of the SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

Happy Valentines-BOAI day!

#oa #openaccess #fastr
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Michael Jensen

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http://ftalphaville.ft.com/files/2013/01/Perfect-Storm-LR.pdf

"Perfect Storm," a longish, lushly illustrated report from Tim Morgan of Tullett Prebon (a financial intermediary firm), paints an even more doomy picture than most of what I read -- yet hardly mentions ecosystem catastrophes, climate change, species collapse, or ocean acidification.

Institutional and personal debt, close analysis of debt-to-GDP numbers, globalization, the realities of EROEI, and the continuing madness of crowds -- these alone are sufficient to bring our system to its knees, within a decade, virtually unstoppably. "Energy, finance and the
end of growth" is the subtitle.

Most of its bleak analysis is hard to refute, and nearly all of it is very readable, even if it will make you want to be movin' to Montana soon, to study permaculture.

Start meeting your neighbors, and working on a community plan for graceful decline. Start a garden. We should do this collapse right.
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Michael Jensen

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Thank goodness I'm not a pessimist, or I'd be depressed. As an optimist, I'm merely stunned.
 
Hello, El Niña!
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... don't want to over-state, but I think even this is ... well ... wrong headed.
For my money it's all about unpredictability. You know, dynamically balanced systems perturbed past their limits ... all bets are off.

Let's say we get 5 years of optimal growing conditions. Big wh00p ... one year of ass-kicking can devastate food reserves.

Brings us back to resilience, yaa?
BTW discovered Transition Network only yesterday.
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Michael Jensen

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an important issue, as new authority metrics and credentialing mechanisms begin to take hold. The risks are significant.
 
Alexandria Burning - is academia where journalism was years ago?
whither culture, science, research if higher ed lacks a new model?

Just a twinge over thirty years ago, I ran a tech support group for a company that provided computer systems for printers and lithographers -- an industry openly hostile to the incursion of computer technology, as a whole.  Our company, Stewart Systems, was grudgingly accepted even by the Luddite contingent because we provided accounting and job costing and estimating software, not layout and linotype services, or (perish the thought) word processing.  The Macintosh was several years into the future, and even the IBM PC was a glimmer.  The WANG word processor was state of the art.  Most people worked with IBM Selectric electric typewriters in their modern offices, and copy machines cost many thousands of dollars and weighed a good 350 to thousands of pounds.  A high speed printer was attached to a mainframe and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Dinosaurs roamed the machine rooms.

Relate this to the newspaper industry, and it sets the scene for why newspaper publishers -- who have always done their best to set their journalists firewalled from the advertising and business models that paid the bills of the publication -- were similarly resistant to acknowledging that the computer, the network, and everything it changed in the fabric of culture would take them and their protectorate of journalists down.

Thirty years of my career have been spent bouncing between industry and academia.  The firewall in academia is not so very different from that in publishing.  The "ivory tower" creates a preserve for the best minds in the culture -- scholars, teachers, researchers, rather than writers and hacks and investigators -- to do their work surrounded by a staff of administrators whose business is to insulate the brains from the harsh realities of the business model of the business they are in (regardless of the opinion of the brains at how un-insulated they may feel at times).

As we have seen in journalism, this has resulted in the mission of the fourth estate being largely distorted and abandoned by the business branch of publishing -- to the extreme that the mission has partly failed on a cultural level, and partly become crowdsourced.   At this point, I think we can safely say that many of the parts of the journalistic mission are simply not being met (but that's a discussion for a great many other blog articles on public education through journalism and other topics, perhaps?).  

Conversely, the public support of quality journalism -- in the form of energy going in, in the form of currency -- seems to have faltered.  Society's understanding of what good journalism is may have been eradicated, and the social ramifications may be permanent, if by permanent we mean "for this cultural cycle."  We require transformation; I anticipate discomfort.  It's likely past the point where evolutionary change is possible.

So, academia?

What is a degree for?  Is it a professional certification?  A continuation of the secondary school experience for those needing further education?  What does that mean if employers are requiring degrees for the most menial of service jobs?  What does it mean to have a college degree if you can get a college degree and still test out as reading on a middling high school level?

What if the university system -- this mandarin system we've created as a sheepskin rubber stamp for employment, this utilitarian chop on a resume, two or three letters and crushing decades of indenturement -- fails.  What if it fails at the cost of Alexandria burning?

The university is the center, for all it's falsity and warts, of culture, friendship, amenities, arts, creativity, cross ethnic and subcultural exposure, broadening interest, stretching of boundaries, discipline and loss of stricture (for those who need a bit of that), life lessons, rites of passage, research, collegium, charette -- there are more intense meetings of minds on the MIT campus than on the whole Internet, in any day, I suspect, for depth, no matter how many connections the net may create above and beyond that in sheer numbers.

I never got a degree from any university, but I have gotten the best of many of them because I know better than many students how to use one.  And we can not allow the universities to founder, as the newspapers have.  Virtual education is grand -- I wrote my first educational software thirty years ago, and worked on my first Internet-based state university distance education project twenty-one years ago.  I love the idea.  But it will never replace classroom education or the university environment.  

The crucible of a good school is irreplacable; the dilution of standards of requiring a degree of any sort on a resume is insane and represents a society that does not understand the value of education or learning or intelligence -- HR and management people without sense or senses of discretion seeking quantitative measures for qualitative goals, with no one to call foul for too many years, have ruined basic institutions in our society.

Now the universities' administrations have responded in the same ways that the newspapers' publishers responded over decades -- by creating an unsustainable product that serves no one.

What are the consequences if academia fails?

No one will pick up the humanities, including the creative arts that our creative culture industries and exporters (marketing, games, movies, entertainment, online,...) depend on.

No one will pick up basic science, technology, engineering and math research that our tech edge and entrepreneurs and heavy industries and military rely on as a foundation.

No one will provide the nonprofit hub of the same quality that the universities have for hundreds of years with a continuing culture and knowledge.

No one will provide the cradle of our "tweens" for their launch into intellectual adulthood through learning and mentorship in the company of their peers, in that safe environment for failure that has produced so many entrepreneurs and risk takers.

We are looking at Alexandria burning -- there is the spark.  If you could put it out, if you could save it, what would you do?
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Michael Jensen

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Super work by my friend and co-conspirator Jim, and the youth for whom he's working!
In September of 2013, I became executive director of Earth Charter Indiana, Inc. This happy concatenation of coincidences and, well, a bit of magic, has been catalogued elsewhere. Suffice to say I was hired to launch a youth ...
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Michael Jensen

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45 minutes of facts, inevitable conclusions, idealism, and inspiration. Free. Watch. Divest.
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http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2013/02/06/when-global-catastrophes-collide-the-climate-engineering-double-catastrophe/#comment-7176

Commented on what was presented and which, alas, was only a mild "converging emergency" -- but which apparently was under the impression that it was pushing the envelope. The envelope is (even more alas) much bigger and deeper than expected, I'm afraid....
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Bill McKibben uses facts as a bludgeon call to action. Wonderful stuff.
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Yep, we still need to assert the basics, because otherwise they'll just take it away. On the one hand, duh. On the other hand: ain't got no choice but to promote what we know to be true.
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Great overview of the problem of constant distractions of social media, handheld devices, being "always on" -- to creativity, to relationships, to fundamental thinking. Well worth the read -- via +Tim O'Reilly and others.

http://joekraus.com/were-creating-a-culture-of-distraction
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Grocery stores,movie lines,restaurants and movies and concerts are where I see this phenomenon regularly
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Have him in circles
160 people
Chris Palma's profile photo
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Work
Occupation
Freelance advisor, consultant, contractor, with 25+ years of experience.
Employment
  • National Academies
    Director of Strategic Web Commuications, 2007 - 2012
  • National Academies
    Director of Web Communications, 2002 - 2007
  • National Academies Press
    Director of Publishing Technologies, 1998 - 2007
  • Johns Hopkins University Press
    Electronic Publisher, 1995 - 1998
  • University of Nebraska Press
    Electronic Media Manager, 1989 - 1995
Story
Tagline
Liked CP/M on 8" disks. Loved Telnet. Facebook: Get off my lawn! Humans: Let's talk.
Introduction
Longtime digital scholarly publisher. National Academies science communicator. Led development of Project Muse (Johns Hopkins University Press) for 2.5 years, and led  online publishing program for the National Academies Press (http://www.nap.edu) for 10 years; developed online search and discovery tools for readers still in use, for 4,000+ reports of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Engineering, and National Research Council.

Currently Chief Technologist at Red Road Farm, and cofounder of ApocaDocs.com, as well as advisor to mission-driven publishers worldwide.
Bragging rights
I've been very lucky to have opportunities, from pre-Gopher to post-javascript.
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michael jensen, michaeljonjensen at gmail x com, Michael Jon Jensen, Michael Jensen