Monday, 11 December 2017

OA: Challenging the Status Quo

In some ways open access doesn’t do itself any favours. It should be a no-brainer: an idealistic movement to unshackle knowledge from the citadels that imprison it, making it free to all those who want to learn. A people’s movement to challenge power. It’s Robin Hood and the Peasants’ Revolt. It’s David and Goliath. It’s the Levellers and the Chartists. It’s the French, American and Russian Revolutions rolled into one. But without the oppression and the terror.

And yet. And yet it’s a hard movement to really love. Possibly it’s all those acronyms, arcane differentiation and complex licensing options.

‘What do we want?’

‘CC-BY! Or possibly CC-BY-SA. Okay, maybe CC-BY-NA at the very, very least.’

‘When do we want it?’

‘Wait! I haven’t finished. I really think we should push for Green OA, and use the CASRAI principles for the underlying data management. Oh, and using ORCIDs, of course. But that’s a given, right?’

‘Okay. Right. When do we want it?’

‘Now I’m assuming no embargo, yes? And are we going OA from date of publication or acceptance?’

Yes, it would be tough to spray paint that on a banner to wave at the barricades. At times it feels like a revolution for bureaucrats.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

A Self Cleaning University...with Timer

Self cleaning...with timer
A branch of Currys-PCWorld. A couple wearing matching cagoules wander in clutching a copy of Which? They're immediately accosted by a man in a tight fitting suit and lanyard. 

Lanyard Man: Good morning! Is there anything I can help you with today?
Cagoule Man: Ah...yes. Yes, actually. We've come for a university course.
Lanyard Man: A university course? I think you've come to the wrong place...
Cagoule Man: I don't think so. See, we subscribe to Which? We have done since 1947 when we weren't sure which coal scuttle to invest in. Anyway, we saw that as well as dishwashers and vacuum cleaners they are also reviewing university courses. And we'd like to buy one.