|From:||David De Roure|
|Subject:||RE: [Myexperiment-discuss] Scientists sharing data|
|Date:||Fri, 26 Jun 2009 21:05:40 +0100|
Hi - Heather Piwowar’s work may be relevant to this discussion – she gave a really interesting talk at the open science workshop at PSB
On Jun 26, 2009, at 12:02 PM, Leslie Carr <address@hidden> wrote:
On 26 Jun 2009, at 11:57, Jun Zhao
Find it intriguing, if scientists cannot share their publications
This is even more ironically true for publications about open access/source/science that are under tight copyright restrictions. Most publishers permit personal self-archiving, which lets authors distribute papers from their own web sites, though the papers may have to be in a pre-print state. It gets very complicated and confusing, very quickly.
In some ways there is more freedom
for sharing data - for example few
Most intellectual property cases cost far more than they are worth in monetary terms, not to mention time. Corporate entities are typically the only ones who can afford that sort of battle, and it has to represent a lot of money to make it worthwhile. Publishing companies claiming copyright to scientific data can probably only do so if the data are published through them, or with a paper they published, which is not common practice in most fields.
To make things more difficult, the ownership of scientific data can be unclear, particularly if a data set is longitudinal and has changed ownership multiple times. Licensing for scientific data doesn't seem to have gotten the same attention as in other areas - yet - but it's probably coming, as foreseen by the folks at the Open Data Commons (http://www.opendatacommons.org).
It seems reasonable to expect that copyright claims to scientific data will remain limited for the time being, but the onus lies with scientists to deposit data in open access repositories that have suitable preservation plans, if they truly wish to share their data. The choice not to do so speaks volumes.
Ahem. I'm a librarian.
Perhaps your experience holds true in the UK, but it is emphatically not the case universally. The current practice of librarianship in the US is far more progressive than the stereotypes suggest, and it's an area in which the UK simply does not perform well, so I won't hold your vague accusations of an entire profession against you. :)
American library training is much, much broader than just handling books, and among the only sources of professional education in scientific data management. Most American librarians are staunchly in support of open access/data/everything. Librarians and archivists care more about freedom of information than most people can comprehend.
Data librarians are not new or rare. Numeric and spatial data librarians are common at (US) research universities, and have been helping researchers share and reuse data for a long, long time. Helping researchers with shared data is, in fact, the entire purpose of their employment, and they do it remarkably well.
The guild procedures that you may find distasteful are a mark of professionalism, and usually consist of mechanisms intended to improve access, preservation, interoperability, and sharing. Yes, metadata standards and cataloging can be a drag, and none of it is perfect, but these are critically important functions for sharing and preserving data. These aspects of data management are historically neglected by researchers themselves, and therefore trained librarians are a crucial part of maintaining access and managing data infrastructures. Social curation is simply not enough to maintain data in perpetuity.
I hope you will find reason to reconsider your position on the role of librarians in managing scientific data. Librarians are among the few people taking an active role in data preservation and access, because unlike most scientists, they value sharing information enough to devote their professional lives to it.
By the way, if you want access to that article, I'd suggest asking a librarian. My library only has that periodical in hard copy, but many interlibrary loan requests come through as scanned PDFs these days.
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