KISS Goodbye to roadblocks in scholarly infrastructure #theta2015

KISS Goodbye to roadblocks in scholarly infrastructure (abstract)
Martin Fenner, Technical Lead, Public Library of Science (PLOS) @mfenner

“Advanced search” screen vs simple Google-style search vs Wikipedia article about Crick and Watson article which also discusses Franklin controversy. Article itself is on Nature (doi:10.1038/171737a0) and requires a login, payment, or rent. Nature eventually made it [this vital historic article!] freely available for 50th anniversary if you happen to know the right link…

Another model: can get it for free but have to sign up first and insists on knowing your affiliation, job title, etc etc. Cf logins that require only email address, nickname, password. [We really need a secure, universal, federated authentication system. I’m not sure whether or not this is an oxymoron, but we still need it.]

For reuse: often have to say what for, what format, who you’re distributing to, etc and then pay ridiculous amounts of money to the publisher to just show a figure at a conference. [Earlier discussed history of why we have so many plug/socket standards – because window of opportunity to develop standards was around the 1930s and countries weren’t really talking to each other…]

Persistent identifiers. Could argue you don’t need bibliographic info, just persistent id eg DOI, PMID, Bibcode ID. First problem is that there’s more than one. Second problem is that there’s also URLs associated with these. And then, CrossRef DOI display guidelines says always display as permanent URLs in online environment [cf the problem earlier this year when their DOI resolver went down whereas other resolvers kept working, and they said that we shouldn’t rely on a single server/permanent URL]. [Plus and also, many DOIs aren’t as permanent as they were meant to be.]

Different places refer to article with different identifiers – interoperability issues. [Does anyone map DOIs to PMIDs to Bibcodes to…?]

Rise of the stacks: Elsevier; ResearchGate; Digital Science; all trying to merge publishing and social sites for publishers [some coming from one angle some from another]

Cameron Neylon’s principles for open scholarly infrastructures: cover governance (stakeholder governed, transparent), sustainability (‘time-limited funds used only for time-limited activities’ [this is such a good principle!], revenue based on services not data), insurance (open data, open source). ORCID has tried to follow these principles.

Q: Given multiplicity of standards, how do we know ORCID is different.
A: ORCID is too young to say if it’s a success. Much thought went into it but of course always start out with best intentions.

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