[Cosmo-torun] Nature's News Feature: Science in the Web age

Boud Roukema boud w astro.uni.torun.pl
Czw, 1 Gru 2005, 13:54:18 CET

Hi Andrzej, everyone on cosmo-torun,

Thanks for those links. :)

Nice to see that Nature has discovered wikis and blogs, but it's rather
hypocritical for them to say that wikis and blogs are a great thing while
failing to make their own archives available for no-cost ("free as in beer")
access on the web.

Moreover, wikis are usually politically free - free as in speech.
They are also "money" free - free as in beer, but that's
secondary. The important thing is that people can edit and improve
their content.

Certainly, the wikipedia is *free* under the GFDL - GNU Free Documentation
Licence. This means that you can reuse and modify and redistribute the material
(provided you accept the licence conditions, whose main goal is to make sure
that you give the same freedoms to other people).  And of course, it's also
accessible at zero cost.

There is an argument that scientific research articles should be
non-free - i.e. once published, they cannot be modified. IMHO there is
some justification for this. However, i don't see why review articles
need to be non-free.

And certainly, both types should be available at zero-cost access.

Nature continues to refuse "free as in beer" access to virtually all of
its articles.

On Thu, 1 Dec 2005, Andrzej Marecki wrote:

> ----- Forwarded message from NatureAlert <NatureAlert w info.nature.com> -----
> [...]
> ----------------------
> ----------------------
> Science in the web age: The expanding electronic universe
> Sarah Tomlin
> http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eV4x0BfWLH0Ch0qVj0ES
> Science in the web age: Joint efforts
> At its best, academia is a marketplace of ideas. But many

Ideas are like coca-cola and soap powder? To be sold on the market?

> scientists are reluctant to embrace the latest web tools that
> would allow them to communicate their ideas in new ways, says
> Declan Butler.
> http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eV4x0BfWLH0Ch0qVV0E7

Well, this author contradicts himself anyway, and most of the sense of
the article is to violate the politically correct, pro-market ideology :)

: Such fears are dated, argues Jason Kelly, an MIT graduate student
: involved in OpenWetWare. The upcoming generation, he says, believes
: that excessive competition can harm science; they see the benefits of
: brainstorming their research ideas on blogs as far outweighing the
: risks.

Reading between the lines: the upcoming generation believes in
cooperation, not competition. Two of our two biggest socio-political
risks are global warming and the increasing risk of nuclear war,
thanks to war criminals like Ossama bin Laden and George W. Bush and their
supporters, and it's clear that the planet is too small for competition.

Cooperation is our only practical choice.

> Science in the web age: The real death of print
> Despite clashes with publishers over copyright, Google's plan
> to make millions of books available online is turning the tide
> for efforts to digitize the world's literature. Andreas von
> Bubnoff tracks the demise of the printed page.
> http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eV4x0BfWLH0Ch0qVk0ET
> Science in the web age: Start your engines
> Google has launched another challenge to commercial search
> services - this time aimed at scientists. But is the new
> engine running as smoothly as its fans hope? Jim Giles investigates.
> http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eV4x0BfWLH0Ch0qVW0E8
> [...]
> ----- End forwarded message -----
> P.S. The access to these articles is free.

Free as in "zero cost". Yes.

But they are neither wiki articles (modifiable by internetizens),
nor are they blogs (comments allowed).

"Nature" still has some way to go, or to simply be ignored....

Anyway, Nature recommends wikis, and here's Nature on the wikipedia ;)



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