Mendeley Brainstorm: Open Data – The Wave of the Future?

Is the future of data more open?
Is the future of data more open?

“Pirate Politics” are on the march. The Pirate Party of Iceland tripled their representation in the October election. Many organisations, including the Mozilla Foundation, are clamouring for copyright reform to allow more data sharing. Is Open Data the wave of the future? What are the downsides? We are looking for the most well thought out answer to this question in up to 150 words: use the comment feature below the blog and please feel free to promote your research! The winner will receive an Amazon gift certificate worth £50 and a bag full of Mendeley items; competition closes January 11, 2017.

Pirates on the March

The Pirate Party of Iceland tripled their representation on October 29. Part of their appeal in a country as technology literate as Iceland may be their emphasis on open data and reform of copyright laws to allow the free sharing of information.

A Rebellion?

The Pirates’ success may be part of a wider reaction to the increasing restrictions afforded by copyright. For example, the tractor manufacturer John Deere recently argued in court that its ownership of the software in its vehicles extended beyond the point of their products’ sale. The Mozilla Foundation has also set up a campaign whose aim is to make copyright less stringent.

What Next?

As cultural guru Stewart Brand said, “On the one hand…information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable…on the other hand, information wants to be free because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time.” Is the future of data open? What are the positives and negatives of a more open paradigm? Tell us!

About Mendeley Brainstorms

Our Brainstorms are challenges so we can engage with you, our users, on the hottest topics in the world of research.  We look for the most in-depth and well thought through responses; the best response as judged by the Mendeley team will earn a prize.

References

COYLE, D. (2016). How the digital age cuts through notions of material ownership. The Financial Times. [online] Available at: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d24bd5dc-83c8-11e6-a29c-6e7d9515ad15.html?siteedition=uk#axzz4M10uYtFG [Accessed 3 Oct. 2016].

DE FREYTAS-TAMURA, K. (2016). Iceland’s Prime Minister Resigns, After Pirate Party Makes Strong Gains. New York Times. [online] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/31/world/europe/icelands-prime-minister-resigns-after-pirate-party-makes-strong-gains.html?_r=0 [Accessed 2 Nov. 2016].

TURNER, Fred (2006). From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Updated (and hopefully easier-to-understand) Terms of Use


http://www.morguefile.com/archive/#/?q=terms&photo_lib=morgueFile

We wanted to let you know that we’ve made a few changes to the Mendeley Terms of Use. A researcher’s life involves enough complicated papers, so we thought it’d be nice to make these ToU a bit shorter and easier to read.

We had lots of user feedback saying that our old Terms of Use weren’t clear enough about what was “acceptable use” – particularly when it comes to posting your own papers on the site – so we tried to explain it more clearly and provide helpful pointers. Nothing has actually changed about the way you use Mendeley. As before, you are allowed to post your academic papers on when you have the right to do so as per your publisher agreement. There are now a few additional notices around that point you towards useful resources (like the copyright policy page of the relevant journal or the SHERPA/RoMEO database) where you can check whether that’s the case.  Sometimes it might be best to check the terms and conditions of your particular author-publisher agreement or subscription access agreement as these can also vary.

Your feedback, as usual, is much appreciated!

Papers aren't just for people




Image via klausonline

There should be copyright exemptions for text mining in research.

There is a fundamental shift happening now in how research is conducted and it is affecting all fields of academic endeavor. Some fields have already shifted and some are just beginning to, but the shift has a common cause, and that cause is the growing amount of research output. At a certain point, the amount of research output exceeds the ability for researchers to consume it all as it is published. In biological sciences, the shift has already begun, but the difficulties reach all the way to the (digital) humanities.

At Mendeley, we’re building tools to address this problem. Mendeley Suggest is designed to suggest relevant research to you, in effect showing you the results of searches you haven’t run yet. Searching the Mendeley catalog allows you to find papers in smarter ways than just keywords, by ranking the results according to how widely read the paper is and by showing you groups and other concepts related to the paper. At the end, though, there has to be a researcher reading the paper and using the knowledge to inform their research, and this just doesn’t scale. We need to be smarter about this. However useful these tools are, they only stem the flood, when what we should be doing is building boats. Read More »