Friday, 25 November 2011

Copyright, data and academia

The latest ‘things’ relate to copyright and data.

Unfortunately publishers have found that they can make easy profits from academia by taking over journals. Journals are a crucial issue for academia because it is where peer reviewed work gets published. Academics are judged on their research, which means that they need to get their work in the best journals. Academics and students need access to these journals, and academics receive credit and so on for editing and refereeing journals. For publishers this means the cost is cheap because they get the labour for free – academics want/need to publish and contribute. Furthermore, libraries have to subscribe to the journals, meaning that publishers can charge obscene amounts and libraries have to pay.

George Monbiot had aLink good article about this in the summer.

This means it is a good idea for academic writers to make their work available online where possible, in order to make academic work available to a wider audience. Unfortunately, this might mean people could abuse or make money out of your work, and the “creative commons” idea seems to be a good way to get around this problem. This is where authors waive certain of their rights, but not all of them, in order to allow “fair use” for non-profit purposes.

However, I’ll have a difficult choice as to whether to make my thesis openly available when the time comes. I’ve subscribed to the RSS feed for my department on the Warwick Open Access Portal (WRAP), and could make my thesis available on there. The 14th bloggy thing was about raw data availability, which doesn't affect me as my work is philosophical and normative.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Twitter and Lanyrd

I already had a twitter account - predictably it is @dougbamford.

Unfortunately, I don't have many followers, so I'm not sure how its helping me. However, I do follow some people in my field, and I'm sure I have found some interesting and helpful information from them.

I've just signed up to Lanyrd, which is a forum for conference information sharing. You sign in using your twitter account, but unfortunately none of my twitter friends are on there so I'm not sure how useful it will be in the short term.