– Frictionless Open Data

“There’s too much friction working with data – friction getting data, friction processing data, friction sharing data.

This friction stops people: stops them creating, sharing, and collaborating with data.

It stops the cycle of find, improve, share that would make for a dynamic and productive data ecosystem.

We need to make an open data ecosystem that, like open-source for software, is useful and attractive to those without any principled interest, the vast majority who simply want the best tool for the job, the easiest route to their goal….”

Sales Manager job with FRONTIERS

“Frontiers is a leading community-driven open-access publisher. Established by scientists in 2007, Frontiers drives innovations in peer review, post-publication review, impact metrics for articles and authors, democratic evaluation of the best research papers, research networking and a growing ecosystem of open-science tools….We are looking for a sales professional with a scientific background and/or experience in academic publishing to lead our Research topic team….”

“Open MIND” open access collection of original research publications on the mind, brain, and consciousness freely available online

“The MIND Group, run by the Mainz-based philosophy professor Thomas Metzinger, has chosen an unusual and innovative way to celebrate a special anniversary. Instead of organizing a one-off event, such as a conference, Professor Thomas Metzinger and Dr. Jennifer Windt are editing a collection of articles that document state-of-the-art research on the mind and the brain, consciousness, and the self. The collection is available online [open access] at to anyone interested and will subsequently be published as a 2,000-page book. The project is supported by a local team of advanced undergraduate and graduate students at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU)….”


[From the Executive Summary]  “This!report,!prepared for SPARC!Europe, sketches!the!landscape!of!university+based!not+for+ profit! publishing! in! Europe! with! a! primary! focus! on! open! access! publishing! of! journals.! It! provides! a! view! of!the! different! types! of! initiatives! in! terms! of!their!size,! operational! and! business! models,! technologies! used,! stakeholder! involvement,! concentration! of! scientific! fields,! growth,! as! well! as! regional! characteristics and! recommendations! for! SPARC! Europe! and!DOAJ.! The! report! attests! to! a rich! and! continuously! evolving! ecology! of! open! access! publishing! initiatives! in! universities! in! Europe! and! elsewhere …”

Is Improving Access to Professors’ Research—or Is It Just Profiting From It? – The Atlantic

“Richard Price always had an entrepreneurial bent. He started a cake business in his mum’s kitchen during a summer break from his doctoral program at Oxford, eventually converting it into a sandwich-delivery service after realizing people only ate cake once a week. Then, when one of his philosophy papers took three years to get published, Price channeled his business interests into a new venture aimed at streamlining that academic process. After finishing his DPhil (the English equivalent of a Ph.D.), Price raised venture capital in London and moved to San Francisco to start in 2008 …”

Berlin Stonewalling — or Flip-Flop

1. Richard Poynder‘s take on Berlin 12 is basically valid (even though perhaps a touch too conspiratorially minded).

2. The much-too-long series of Berlin X meetings, huffing on year after year, has long been much-ado-about-next-to-nothing.

3. The solemn 2003 “Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities,” with its unending list of signatories, was never anything more than a parroting of the 2003 “Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing [sic],” which was, in turn, a verbose reiteration of half of the 2002 Budapest Open Access Initiative — skewed toward only BOAI-II (“gold” open access publishing), virtually ignoring BOAI-I (“green” open access self-archiving).

4. For what it’s worth, I attended Berlin 1 in Berlin in 2003 (out of curiosity, and in the hope it would lead to something) and we hosted Berlin 3 in Southampton in 2005 (at which it was officially recommended to require BOAI-I, green OA self-archiving, and to encourage BOAI-II, gold OA publishing — exactly as had been recommended in 2004 by the UK House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology).

5. After Berlin 3 in 2005 the Berlin X series went on and on, year after year (I never attended again), but the progress on implementing the Southampton/Berlin-3 recommendations was transpiring (though still much too slowly) elsewhere (with the ROARMAP mandates being adopted in the UK, Australia, EU, and US, starting from 2003 and continuing today).

6. As far as I can tell, the Berlin X series just continues fussing about gold OA, and although I am less suspicious than Richard, I too suspect that the “secrecy” was because the institutional reps attending Berlin 12 are trying to forge a common front for working out a gold-OA “flip” deal with publishers.

And my prediction, for reasons I’ve repeated, unheeded, many, many times, is that any such flip will be a flop.

Publishers Lunch Job Board: Journal Development Editor – 5281 (#13423)

“The successful candidate will be the primary publishing contact for a suite of open access journals in biomedicine and will take responsibility for growing and developing this portfolio. This involves setting and implementing journal plans, as well as supporting key stakeholders (Editors, authors, reviewers, and societies). It also involves working closely with other members of the Biological Sciences team to acquire new journals in this area. Strategic thinking, excellent communication skills and the ability to build strong relationships are key to the role. This is an exciting and varied position that allows an individual to remain close to the cutting edge of scientific advances and work closely with leading academics, while gaining exposure to all aspects of the industry in a successful and growing open access publishing environment….”

Public Services Librarian for Scholarly Communications Job at University of Nevada, Reno

“The University of Nevada, Reno Libraries seek an enterprising and public services oriented librarian to coordinate the development and implementation of a sustainable approach to scholarly communications. The successful candidate will collaborate with faculty and staff on a variety of scholarly communications issues including: open access, copyright, fair use, database and media licensing, and digital preservation. The selected candidate will have outstanding communication, collaboration, and interpersonal skills and the ability to cope with the ambiguities of fair use and other aspects of scholarly communication….”

Harvard University – Job details

“A joint project between the SBGrid Consortium at Harvard Medical School and the Dataverse Team at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University has an immediate opening for a lead developer to help us build a next generation data publication system for large biomedical datasets. We aim to make biomedical datasets publicly available through a federated data grid to facilitate access, citation, and data analysis by scientists. Our pilot collection includes datasets generated using X-ray crystallography, computer modeling, lattice light sheet microscopy, and microED diffraction. This collection is currently replicated to computing centers in the US, Europe, Asia, and South America. The project is supported by the Helmsley Charitable Trust and was recently selected as a pilot of the U.S. National Data Service. To learn more about the environment, please visit our current implementation at and our group websites at,, and The lead developer will be responsible for successfully migrating our in-house research data management system, written in Python, to Dataverse ( after first extending Dataverse (with the full support of the Dataverse development team) to include the features necessary for the migration. The candidate will develop a final set of requirements based on the feedback and experience of the end-user community using our current pilot system. Examples of features that must be added to Dataverse include better support for large (~100 GB) datasets, automatic data validation pipelines, and other functionalities relevant to specific biomedical data types. The lead developer will also help to evaluate data transfer and upload and management technologies, such as Globus, that can integrate with Dataverse to support larger datasets and provide direct computing on the data. The developer will work with our team to ensure that all new functionality developed under this project is merged into the Dataverse open source project and shared with the community….”

Open and Shut?: The open access movement slips into closed mode

“In October 2003, at a conference held by the Max Planck Society (MPG) and the European Cultural Heritage Online (ECHO) project, a document was drafted that came to be known as the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. More than 120 cultural and political organisations from around the world attended and the names of the signatories are openly available here. Today the Berlin Declaration is held to be one of the keystone events of the open access movement — offering as it did a definition of open access, and calling as it did on all researchers to publish their work in accordance with the open principles outlined in the Declaration … There have been annual follow-up conferences to monitor implementation of the Berlin Declaration since 2003, and these have been held in various parts of the world — in March 2005, for instance, I attended Berlin 3, which that year took place in Southampton (and for which I wrote a report). The majority of these conferences, however, have been held in Germany, with the last two seeing a return to Berlin. This year’s event (Berlin 12) was held on December 8th and 9th at the Seminaris CampusHotel Berlin.  Of course, open access conferences and gatherings are two a penny today. But given its historical importance, the annual Berlin conference is viewed as a significant event in the OA calendar. It was particularly striking, therefore, that this year (unlike most OA conferences, and so far as I am aware all previous Berlin conferences) Berlin 12 was ‘by invitation only‘. Also unlike other open access conferences, there was no live streaming of Berlin 12, and no press passes were available. And although a Twitter hashtag was available for the conference, this generated very little in the way of tweets, with most in any case coming from people who were not actually present at the conference,  including a tweet from a Max Planck librarian complaining that no MPG librarians had been invited to the conference.  Why it was decided to make Berlin 12 a closed event is not clear. We do however know who gave presentations as the agenda is online, and this indicates that there were 14 presentations, 6 of which were given by German presenters (and 4 of these by Max Planck people). This is a surprising ratio given that the subsequent press release described Berlin 12 as an international conference. There also appears to have been a shortage of women presenters (see herehere, and here).  But who were the 90 delegates who attended the conference? That we do not know …”

Pumas, Wolves, and Eagles, Oh My! Early Captive Carnivore Remains Found in Ancient Mexican Ruins

Fig 4From Roman gladiatorial combat to Egyptian animal mummies, capturing and manipulating wild carnivores has long been a way for humans to demonstrate state or individual power. Historians and scientists alike have attempted to determine when

Open Knowledge are hiring for a research assistant on the FutureTDM project who will work closely with ContentMine | ContentMine

“Open Knowledge are collaborating with ContentMine, a project led by Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow Dr Peter Murray-Rust, that aims to put text and data mining (TDM) technology in the hands of the researchers who need to perform large-scale analyses of important topics like clinical trials, endangered species and many more of scientific value. We are partners in the H2020-funded FutureTDM project, which identifies current barriers to TDM through policy analysis and consultation with researchers, developers, publishers, and SMEs. FutureTDM will then come up with solid European-wide recommendations that address and reduce the barriers on a legal, policy and organizational level.

We are tasked with engaging stakeholders around barriers, enablers and best practices in TDM within the EU, researching case studies through structured interviews and disseminating the outcomes of the project to raise awareness of TDM and provide supporting evidence for related legal and policy frameworks….”

Opening Up Education | The MIT Press (2008)

“Given the abundance of open education initiatives that aim to make educational assets freely available online, the time seems ripe to explore the potential of open education to transform the economics and ecology of education. Despite the diversity of tools and resources already available–from well-packaged course materials to simple games, for students, self-learners, faculty, and educational institutions–we have yet to take full advantage of shared knowledge about how these are being used, what local innovations are emerging, and how to learn from and build on the experiences of others. Opening Up Education argues that we must develop not only the technical capability but also the intellectual capacity for transforming tacit pedagogical knowledge into commonly usable and visible knowledge: by providing incentives for faculty to use (and contribute to) open education goods, and by looking beyond institutional boundaries to connect a variety of settings and open source entrepreneurs. These essays by leaders in open education describe successes, challenges, and opportunies they have found in a range of open education initiatives….”