Stephen E. Arnold: Open Review Breaks the Back of Citation Cabals and Incestuous Science

Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold

Open Review Brings Peer Review to the Scientific Masses

This seems like a step in the right direction for the world of academic publishing. ResearchGate News announces, “Peer Review Isn’t Working—Introducing Open Review.” We know that increasingly, papers based on shoddy research have been making it into journals supposedly policed by rigorous peer-review policies. Now, ResearchGate has launched a countermeasure—Open Review brings the review process to the public. The write up happily tells us:

“We’re excited to announce the launch of Open Review today. It’s designed to help you openly voice feedback and evaluate research that you have read and worked with, bringing more transparency to science and speeding up progress.

“With Open Review you can:

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Apr 7

Stephen E. Arnold: New York Public Library Posts Open Maps

Categories: Access,Data,Geospatial
Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold

New York Public Library Posts Maps

The New York Public Library has a massive collection of beautiful maps, but instead of keeping them locked in an archive Motherboard reports, “The New York Public Library Releases 20,000 Beautiful High Resolution Maps.”

All of the 20,000 maps are available via open access. What is even more amazing is that the NYPL decided to release the maps under the Creative Commons CCO 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. If you are unfamiliar with a Creative Commons license, it means that users are free to download content and do whatever they want with it.

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Apr 6

Yoda: Mobile Learning (M-Learning) the Future + InfoGraphic

Categories: Access,Education
Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Why Care About M-Learning?

Justic Ferriman+

LearnDash, 27 March 2014

Mobile learning is becoming increasingly popular in the workplace. There are a variety of reasons for this, but many have to do with the accessibility of mobile devices, the savings associated with a mobile enabled learning program, and the convenience mobile learning affords the learner.

In fact, today if there is a learning management system (or courses) that do not perform on mobile devices, it is borderline in-excusable. In five years time, it will be flat-out archaic.

The infographic below (originally created by Upside Learning) presents some very compelling facts about the shift to mobile learning in the workplace, and the opportunity that is there for organizations that take action.

The section of the infographic that rang true for me were the points around the way work is changing – particularly in reference to no office, device freedom, and the desire for greater flexibility on the job.

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Apr 5

Berto Jongman: Aaron Moritz on Rethinking Access to Research

Categories: Access
Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

We Need to Rethink Access to Scientific Research

Aaron Moritz

One of humanity’s greatest technological triumphs is today’s potential for widespread and unrestricted access to all of our collected knowledge. As we march towards this noble goal, there is something crucial we need to talk about. That is, some of the most vital information we have is our scientific research, and much of it is still widely unavailable to the public. At least, without paying prohibitively high costs.

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Mar 31

Stephen E. Arnold: Free eBooks, Open Culture, & You

Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold

Free eBooks At Open Culture

There are legal ways to download books on the Internet without having to resort to Pirate Bay or other P2P networks. If you visit Open Culture, you will discover that there are over “550 Free eBooks: Download Books For Free.” Before you get on your soapbox and explain that most books available for free on are usually in the public domain, thus old and less than exciting to read. While that is true for these books, there are also more contemporary authors listed, such as Ray Bradbury, Agatha Christie, Neil Gaiman, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

If you are also interested in studying up on the Harvard Classics, because of this idea:

“During his days as Harvard’s influential president, Charles W. Eliot made a frequent assertion: If you were to spend just 15 minutes a day reading the right books, a quantity that could fit on a five foot shelf, you could give yourself a proper liberal education. The publisher P. F. Collier and Son loved the idea and asked Eliot to assemble the right collection of works.”

You will find that all of these classics are available for easy reading and download on the Internet. That Internet has made it easier to educate yourself with the amount of free classes, books, movies, and other content that can be obtained legally.

Whitney Grace, March 31, 2014
Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Augmentext

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Mar 31

Jean Lievens: LOOMIO – building public infrastructure tool for decision-making, held in the commons

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

BRING LOOMIO TO THE WORLD

LOOMIO is free and open-source software for anyone, anywhere, to participate in decisions that affect them.

“The world needs a better way to make decisions together. #Loomio is building it. You can help: http://thndr.it/1kaQhmy

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

We’re a small team of open-source developers, facilitators and activists in New Zealand. On Tuesday March 11, we’re crowdfunding to build a totally inclusive platform so anyone anywhere can participate in decisions that affect them. It’s called Loomio 1.0.

Learn more, support options.

LOOMIO Home Page

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Mar 11

Robin Good: Academic Torrents = Big Data + Open Access

Robin Good

Robin Good

Big Data: Large Dataset Curation & Sharing with AcademicTorrents

AcademicTorrents is a new web service which allows any organization owning large datasets (no size limits) to easily distribute them without needing a dedicated infrastructure. The brainchild of Joseph Cohen and Henry Lo, two PhD students working at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, Academic Torrents facilitates the job of researchers, journalists and information analysts in finding, accessing, curating and downloading large-size datasets. Technically-speaking AcademicTorrents is a bittorrent-type redundant high-speed network and a full distributed system for sharing enormous datasets. As a P2P system it doesn’t require intermediate servers, is also fully scalable, secure, fault-tolerant and can act as a reliable repository for data allowing fast downloads. Users can also search the full index, and can create curated datasets collections containing any kind of files and which can be downloaded as a full bundle. This type of system could prove to be an excellent resource for libraries storing digital papers as they would store books, and for simplifying the distribution requirements of any organization needing to publish, curate and share large datasets. “A robust distributed replication design allows libraries to utilize this system as their backbone. Providing fault tolerant hosting of curated data for a university, research lab, or home library. …Also, this system can be used as the foundation of a new open-access publishing system where libraries manage data instead of licenses for external data sources.”

Find out more: http://academictorrents.com/

More info: http://academictorrents.com/about.php

Browse Datasets: http://academictorrents.com/browse.php?cat=6

Browse Papers: http://academictorrents.com/browse.php?cat=5

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Feb 4

Robin Good: Curators as Filter Feeders and Ecosystem Engineers – You Are What You Link To…

Robin Good

Robin Good

Back in 2003 visionary artist Anne-Marie Schleiner wrote an inspiring paper entitled “Fluidities and Oppositions among Curators, Filter Feeders and Future Artists” describing the future role of online curators as nature’s own filter feeders. Anne-Marie is clearly referring to curators to and filter feeder in art world, but her rightful intuitions are equivalently applicable to the larger world of information, data, digital and content curation as well.

But let me explain better.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

First. The term “filter feeders” is used in nature to describe a group of animals which thrives on its ability to filter organic matter floating around them. From Wikipedia: “Filter feeders are animals that feed by straining suspended matter and food particles from water, typically by passing the water over a specialized filtering structure. Some animals that use this method of feeding are clams, krill, sponges, baleen whales, and many fish (including some sharks). Some birds, such as flamingos, are also filter feeders. Filter feeders can play an important role in clarifying water, and are therefore considered ecosystem engineers.” From Wikipedia: “In marine environments, filter feeders and plankton are ecosystem engineers because they alter turbidity and light penetration, controlling the depth at which photosynthesis can occur.[4]”

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

Second. If you re-read this last sentence slowly and look at what it could mean if applied to the field of content curation, it would read to me something like this: “In large information ecosystems like the web, filter feeders/content curators and content itself are ecosystem engineers because they: a) directly influence our ability to inform ourselves effectively and to discern truth from false and useless info (turbidity) b) shed light and clarity on different subjects which would otherwise remain obscure (light penetration) c) determine our ability to make sense of our own generated information streams (photosynthesis).” A very inspiring parallel indeed, giving a way to visualize the true importance and role that curation, disenfranchised from the confines of museums and art galleries, could have on the planetary information ecosystem. Anne-Marie writes: “Most web sites contain hyperlinks to other sites, distributed throughout the site or in a “favorites” section. Each of these favorite links sections serves as a kind of gallery, remapping other web sites as its own contents. Every web site owner is thus a curator and a cultural critic, creating chains of meaning through association, comparison and juxtaposition, parts or whole of which can in turn serve as fodder for another web site’s “gallery.” Site maintainers become operational filter feeders, feeding of other filter feeders sites and filtering others’ sites. Links are contextualized, interpreted and “filtered” through criticism and comments about them, and also by placement in the topology of a site. The deeper a link is buried, the harder it may be to find, the closer to the surface and the frontpage, the more prominent it becomes, as any web designer can attest to. I am what I link to and what I am shifts over time as I link to different sites… … In the process, I invest my identity in my collection – I become how I filter.” Anne-Marie vision (2003), pure and uninfluenced by what we have seen emerge in the last few years, paints a very inspiring picture of the true role of content curators and of the key responsibility they do hold for humanity’s future. Inspiring. Visionary. Right on the mark. 10/10

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Jul 14

Berto Jongman: From the English — High Idiocy on Open Access

Categories: Access
Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Comments are more intelligent than the article.

Why open access makes no sense

There can be no such thing as free access to academic research, says Robin Osborne in Debating Open Access essays – research is a process that universities teach and charge for

Read article and comments.

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Jul 14

Jean Lievens: Rachel Botsman – How We Treat People Will Craft Our World – Collaborative Consumption and the Sharing Economy

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Rachel Botsman: How We Treat People Will Ultimately Drive Our World

Rachel Botsman advocated the advantage of reputation capital at Wired Money in London yesterday. She noted that an economy based on reputation is incredibly empowering, and will take us away from a financial world “based largely on faceless transactions and moving us to an age built on humanness that we [have] lost.” The reputation economy has already begun to take effect—Airbnb user Kate Kendall used Airbnb reviews to secure an apartment lease.

Rachel Botsman

Rachel Botsman

A reputation-based system will take time to establish, but has the potential to revolutionize the financial sector. This type of credibility adds “context, cause and character” to currently anonymous transactions. “How we treat people and how we behave will ultimately drive our world,” Botsman says.

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Jul 3