Erik Kansa on “It’s the Neoliberalism, Stupid: Why Open Access / Data / Science is not Enough”

Erik Kansa has an interesting post directly related to this ICIS project: Digging Digitally » It’s the Neoliberalism, Stupid: Why Open Access / Data / Science is not Enough.  In his post Erik discusses some concerns he has with the “Openness” movement.  Not that he is against openness – he is one of the biggest supporters of openness out there.  But he has concerns with the need to go beyond just making material open.  For example he writes

The problem is that the need for reform goes far deeper than simply making papers and data available under CC-By or CC-Zero. Exploitative publishing regimes are symptomatic of larger problems in the distribution of wealth and power. The concentration of wealth that warps so much of our political and economic life will inevitably warp the Open Movement toward unintended and unwanted outcomes.

Furthermore, he argues that we need more non-profit entities dedicated to the public good and leveraging openness.  For example he writes.

For every PeerJ or Figshare (and these are ultimately just as dependent on continued public financing of research as any grant-driven project), we also need more innovative organizations like the Internet Archive, wholly dedicated to the public good and not the relentless pressure to commoditize everything (especially their patrons’ privacy).

This is definitely worth a look.  And, if you want to hear more from Erik, come to the meeting we are organizing in February where he will be talking and will be on a discussion panel.  Meeting registration information is here.

Author: Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. (see my lab site here). My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis

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