West Virginia Inmates Will Be Charged by the Minute to Read E-Books on Tablets – Reason.com

“Inmates at several West Virginia prisons are getting free electronic tablets to read books, send emails, and communicate with their families—but there’s a catch.

Any inmates looking to read Moby Dick may find that it will cost them far more than it would have if they’d simply gotten a mass market paperback, because the tablets charge readers by the minute.

Under a 2019 contract between the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (WVDCR) and Global Tel Link (GTL), the company that is providing electronic multimedia tablets to 10 West Virginia prisons, inmates will be charged 3 cents a minute to read books, even though the books all come from Project Gutenberg, a free online library of more than 60,000 texts in the public domain.

The WVDCR says the tablets provide access to educational materials, incentives for good behavior, and an easy way to stay in touch with loved ones. But the Appalachian Prison Book Project, a nonprofit that offers free books and education to inmates, says the fee structure is exploitative….”

Official announcement from the Open Science MOOC Steering Committee – Open Science MOOC

“The Steering Committee (SC) of the Open Science MOOC (OS MOOC) convened in the week of 11-15th November 2019 to address the removal of Jon Tennant by the OpenCon Code of Conduct Committee from their community, as well as his own subsequent statement in response. At the time of these announcements, Jon Tennant was a member of the SC and the main contributor to the OS MOOC.

As a community, we respect the decision made by OpenCon, and the actions implemented based on their Code of Conduct (CoC). We are dedicated to offering a safe and welcoming space for everyone in our community and we are therefore committed to upholding high standards of conduct, especially with regard to our leadership responsibilities as the SC. Leadership positions bring inherent power dynamics with them that impact the community. The OS MOOC SC realizes this and therefore is taking steps to affirm the community’s spaces for unimpeded collaboration….”

North American professors slow to embrace sharing research data | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Senior North American faculty appear to be slow in adopting online tools for research collaboration, suggesting academics rather than their journals are the chief obstacle to open access.

An analysis by the non-profit Center for Open Science found that its main scientist-to-scientist sharing tool was getting relatively weak adoption in the US and among the nation’s highest-ranking professors.

By country, the US and Canada were among the nations slowest to participate, while the UK and Australia were among the most receptive, according to the study of tenure-track faculty usage rates in psychology, the six-year-old centre’s initial target group….

Funding agencies were “starting to do more” to encourage data-sharing practices, while “the farthest behind are the universities”, which were generally too decentralised to impose data-sharing practices on their faculty, [Brian Nosek] said….”

The New England Journal of Medicine, open access, Plan S, and undeclared conflicts of interest   | Richard Smith’s non-medical blogs

The New England Journal of Medicine disapproves of open access publishing and Plan S. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMms1900864  There’s nothing surprising in that. (The opposite would have been surprising.) What is surprising is that the journal does not declare its substantial conflicts of interest, when the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, of which it is a founding and prominent member, has made clear for 30 years that all conflicts of interest should be declared.

The New England Journal of Medicine is immensely profitable (although we don’t know exactly how profitable), and those profits—and the compensation and livelihood of its employees—are potentially disrupted by open access and particularly Plan S, the European plan to extend open access publishing….”

Defending the Promise of Open Resources

Open Up Resources was born out of a demand from educators to make a quality education accessible to each student, in every classroom, by providing high-quality, standards-aligned curriculum for free.

We released Open Up Resources 6–8 Math under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (CC-BY License), which enables anyone to “copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format” as well as “remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially,” so long as attribution to Open Up Resources is provided and a few other simple license terms are followed.

 Our grant of the CC-BY License is conditioned upon the simple requirement that every copy shared with the public by a licensee includes on each physical page of any printed material, and every format page view of digital material, the attribution statement “Download for free at openupresources.org.”

While we encourage widespread distribution of our curriculum, we also believe that the attribution requirement of the CC-BY License must be followed by anyone sharing our curriculum or derivatives of our curriculum.

Major for-profit publishers are taking our free curriculum, paying for a “certification” from a non-profit in the OER community, and selling the result without providing attribution that would make it clear no payment is necessary.

This destroys the promise of open by making open materials private and limiting access….”

Not Reporting Results of a Clinical Trial Is Academic Misconduct | Annals of Internal Medicine | American College of Physicians

Failure to report the results of clinical trials threatens the public’s trust in research and the integrity of the medical literature, and should be considered academic misconduct at the individual and institutional levels. According to the ethical principles for research outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki, researchers “have a duty to make publicly available the results of their research on human subjects and are accountable for the completeness and accuracy of their reports” (1). When participants volunteer to take part in clinical trials, and expose themselves to interventions with unknown safety and efficacy profiles, they have a tacit assumption, based on trust, that the evidence generated will inform clinical science (2). Health care providers and medical societies, who are responsible for evaluating and synthesizing evidence and filling the gap between research and practice, need for investigators to fully report their results in a timely manner. The utility of the diligent search for truth in the medical literature depends on its completeness. However, when research findings are not consistently disseminated, the literature provides a skewed view of the science, which may bias reviews of the evidence….

The conduct of research in humans comes with inviolable responsibilities, including the commitment to share what has been learned. No reason exists for the topline results of a clinical trial not to be made public. Failure to report is detrimental to the scientific process. When trial results are not publicly available for years after study completion, patients, institutional review boards, clinicians, researchers, and the public must rely on incomplete evidence, which may lead to misconceptions about the efficacy and safety of interventions. The time has arrived to address this threat to trust and science.”

‘Predatory’ Scientific Publisher Is Hit With a $50 Million Judgment – The New York Times

In the world of scientific research, they are pernicious impostors. So-called predatory journals, online publications with official-sounding names, publish virtually anything, even gibberish, that an academic researcher submits — for a fee.

Critics have long maintained that these journals are eroding scientific credibility and wasting grant money. But academics must publish research to further their careers, and the number of questionable outlets has exploded.

Now the Federal Trade Commission has stepped in, announcing on Wednesday that it has won a $50 million court judgment against Omics International of Hyderabad, India, and its owner, Srinubabu Gedela.

Omics publishes hundreds of journals in such areas as medicine, chemistry and engineering. It also organizes conferences. The F.T.C. claimed that Omics violated the agency’s prohibition on deceptive business practices….”

FTC hits predatory scientific publisher with a $50 million fine

“It used to be that publishing a scientific journal was a significant undertaking, requiring infrastructure for peer review, printing, and distribution, and the costs were often defrayed by charging authors for the honor of publishing. Now, it’s possible to simply convert submissions to PDFs and throw them online. With those barriers gone, science quickly became plagued by predatory publishers who decided to eliminate peer review as well. Instead, they simply published anything from people who have the money to cover the publication fees.

The profits of these “predatory publishers” come from a mixture of genuine scientists who are unwary, people who want to pad their publication records, and fringe scientists who just want to see their ideas in the literature regardless of their lack of merit. All of them can end up putting misinformation into the scientific record and confusing a public that generally doesn’t even know about the existence of predatory publishers.

Now, the Federal Trade Commission has won a summary judgement that just might cause some predatory publishers to step back from their business model. An India-based predatory publisher has been hit with a $50 million dollar judgement for deceptive business practices, along with permanent injunctions against most of the activities that made it money….”

[Judgment in Federal Trade Commission v. OMICS Group]

“The Court finds that a permanent injunction against Defendants is appropriate under the circumstances to enjoin them from engaging in similar misleading and deceptive activities. Here, Defendants did not participate in an isolated, discrete incident of deceptive publishing, but rather sustained and continuous conduct over the course of years. An injunction is therefore necessary to prevent future misconduct and protect the public interest….

Where, as here, consumers suffer broad economic injury resulting from a defendant’s violations of the FTC Act, equity requires monetary relief in the full amount lost by consumers….Accordingly, the Court finds Defendants jointly and severally liable for restitution in the amount of $50,130,811.00….”

Court orders publisher OMICS to pay U.S. gov’t $50 million in suit alleging “unfair and deceptive practices” – Retraction Watch

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has won a judgment against a publisher and conference organizer that has been widely viewed as predatory.

As reported in brief by Courthouse News Service, U.S. District of Nevada Judge Gloria M. Navarro ordered OMICS International to pay the U.S. government $50,130,810. …

Following the suit’s filing in August 2016, The FTC won an initial ruling in September 2017, prohibiting OMICS from engaging in “deceptive practices” but not banning them from publishing or organizing conferences….”

Carl Malamud open letter to Georgia General Assembly and RELX

“I am writing in the matter of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA). Despite a crystal-clear unanimous decision from United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on October 19, 2018, holding that people have the absolute right to speak and read Georgia’s official laws, I have been been unable to purchase a current copy of the OCGA….”

Despite Losing Its Copyright Case, The State Of Georgia Still Trying To Stop Carl Malamud From Posting Its Laws | Techdirt

When we last checked in with Carl Malamud and his Public.Resource.Org, they were celebrating a huge victory in Georgia, where the 11th Circuit had ruled that of course Malamud was not infringing on anyone’s copyrights in posting the “Official Code of Georgia Annotated” (OCGA) because there could be no copyright in the law. As we explained at length in previous posts, Georgia has a somewhat bizarre system in which the only official version of their law is the “officially” annotated version, in which the annotations (with citations to caselaw and further explanations) are written by a private company, LexisNexis, which then transfers the copyright (should one exist) on those annotations to the state.

Malamud, of course, has spent years, trying to make it easier for people to access the law — and that means all of the law, not just some of it. So when he posted a much more accessible version of the OCGA, the state sued him for copyright infringement. While the lower court ruled that the OCGA could have copyright, that the State of Georgia could hold it and that Malamud’s work was not fair use, the 11th Circuit tossed that out entirely, saying that since the OCGA was clearly the only official version of the law, there could be no valid copyright in it.

It was a pretty thorough and complete win. And, if the state of Georgia were mature and reasonable, you’d think that they’d (perhaps grudgingly) admit that anyone should have access to its laws and move on. But, this is the state of Georgia we’re talking about. And, it appears that the state has decided that rather than taking the high road, it’s going to act like a petty asshole.

Last week Malamud sent a letter describing how the state is now trying to block him from purchasing a copy of the OCGA. He’s not looking for a discount or any special deal. He wants to buy the OCGA just like anyone else can. And the state is refusing to sell it to him, knowing that he’s going to digitize it, put it online and (gasp) make it easier for the residents of Georgia to read their own damn laws….”

Open science and codes of conduct on research integrity | Informaatiotutkimus

Abstract:  The purpose of this article is to examine the conceptual alignment between the ethical principles of research integrity and open science. Research integrity is represented in this study by four general codes of conduct on responsible conduct of research (RCR), three of them international in scope, and one national. A representative list of ethical principles associated with open science is compiled in order to create categories for assessing the content of the codes. According to the analysis, the current understanding of RCR is too focused on traditional publications and the so called FFP definition of research misconduct to fully support open science. The main gaps include recognising citizen science and societal outreach and supporting open collaboration both among the research community and beyond its traditional borders. Updates for both the content of CoCs as well as the processes of creating such guidelines are suggested.

HHS Plans to Delete 20 Years of Critical Medical Guidelines Next Week | US Department of Health and Human Services

“Experts say the database of carefully curated medical guidelines is one of a kind, used constantly by medical professionals, and on July 16 will ‘go dark’ due to budget cuts.

The Trump Administration is planning to eliminate a vast trove of medical guidelines that for nearly 20 years has been a critical resource for doctors, researchers and others in the medical community. Maintained by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ], part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the database is known as the National Guideline Clearinghouse [NGC], and it’s scheduled to “go dark,” in the words of an official there, on July 16. Medical guidelines like those compiled by AHRQ aren’t something laypeople spend much time thinking about, but experts like Valerie King, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Director of Research at the Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health & Science University, said the NGC is perhaps the most important repository of evidence-based research available. “Guideline.gov was our go-to source, and there is nothing else like it in the world,” King said, referring to the URL at which the database is hosted, which the agency says receives about 200,000 visitors per month. “It is a singular resource,” King added. Medical guidelines are best thought of as cheatsheets for the medical field, compiling the latest research in an easy-to use format. When doctors want to know when they should start insulin treatments, or how best to manage an HIV patient in unstable housing — even something as mundane as when to start an older patient on a vitamin D supplement — they look for the relevant guidelines. The documents are published by a myriad of professional and other organizations, and NGC has long been considered among the most comprehensive and reliable repositories in the world. AHRQ said it’s looking for a partner that can carry on the work of NGC, but that effort hasn’t panned out yet. “AHRQ agrees that guidelines play an important role in clinical decision making, but hard decisions had to be made about how to use the resources at our disposal,” said AHRQ spokesperson Alison Hunt in an email. The operating budget for the NGC last year was $1.2 million, Hunt said, and reductions in funding forced the agency’s hand.”