This week: Open access and open science journalism

I had a couple of guest posts come out today, and surprisingly both happen to be about open access.

The first was for Canadian Science Publishing, on open access publishing and gold versus green standards (thanks to John Dupuis for commenting on an early draft of this post):

“Open Access (OA) is a popular buzzword in academic publishing these days. Maybe you’ve published in OA journals, or have colleagues who are ardent defenders and promoters of OA. But beyond the OA activist sphere, what’s happening on the ground? How are Canadian researchers utilizing OA, and what does it mean for your everyday research life?

The main goal of OA is to increase the accessibility of academic research. Science librarian John Dupuis has an excellent primer on Open Access, which he also extends into altmetrics, social media, blogging and more. Ensconced within our academic networks, we forget that there are many people who can’t access paywalled articles: journalists, freelancers, scientists in less wealthy countries…the list is longer than you might expect.

If only to get more people reading our research, academics should be keen on OA publishing. But OA is ultimately about moving the scientific endeavour forward: the more people taking part in the scientific conversation, the more ideas will be generated across the community to push science in new directions. This is what drives the most passionate promoters of OA publishing: that it’s a paradigm shift in how we do science and is about the betterment of the discipline as a whole, not just individual researchers’ careers.”

My second post was for the Canadian Science Writers’ Association, on the new #OpenSciLogs open science journalism initiative.

“Do you comment on science-related blog posts or online articles? Do you share via Twitter or LinkedIn? Maybe you send an email about it to a few friends and you end up talking about it over coffee or lunch.

Ultimately a science article – and the discussion around it – tend to occur in parallel rather than in tandem. The author is likely unaware those conversations are happening, so misses out on feedback that provides alternate perspectives and generates new story ideas.

Scilogs.com is a science blogging network run by Nature publishing group, and includes Canadian bloggers like Malcolm Campbell (University of Toronto) and Chris Buddle (McGill University). One of its core mandates is to “combine the strengths of science culture and the blog medium”, largely by promoting interdisciplinary discussions about science and its related fields. To bring together science writers with their audience and increase public engagement in science, they’ve launched a new project called OpenSciLogs. This project was initiated by Paige Brown (@FromTheLabBench), a mass media communication PhD student at Louisiana State University, who shared her brainstorming and idea generating sessions via Twitter.”

As always, comment and discussion welcomed – here, on the original posts, or on Twitter!

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