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Dutch Academics Declare Research Free-For-All

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the free-knowledge dept.

The Internet 347

houghi writes "The register reports how the Dutch open up their research to the rest of the world. It goes on to tell that commercial scientific publishers such as Elsevier Science are not happy with it. Will other countries and universities follow, or will they stick to the idea that knowledge is a commodity?"

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First EEEEVIL Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507504)

Yes indeed, I've never tried before, but I figured post number 666 is an appropriate one to have my first first post with.

Even worse, I normally turn off my karma bonus, but just to be annoying, I'm turning it back on, just for this one post.

Re:First EEEEVIL Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507535)

mods this isnt a troll. is he trying to get someone to say something in return? no. its offtopic. its overrated. but its not a troll.

Re:First EEEEVIL Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507539)

I'm sorry, I don't understand what "post number 666" means. Can you please explain it?
Thanks.

You're PATHETIC. My Introductory Strapon post... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507560)


...my FIRST Lesbian strapon porn post, here [slashdot.org] was modded +Informative. Beat that, Satan! If Satan don't got a pussy with a strapon in it, it ain't worth worshipping. [slashdot.org]

knowledge is power (5, Insightful)

UlfGabe (846629) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507508)

like i said, giving up all of these smarts is the best thing for the world. screw those journals.

Re:knowledge is power (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507587)

Im sure you all know this but, just look up the titles in a journal index and get the full text here,
Physics, Maths, CS, Bio papers [arxiv.org]

Re:knowledge is power (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507605)

Established scientific journals are actually of great value, because what is published in these is supposed to be rigorously reviewed by other experts in the field. The legitimacy this provides is precisely the reason why scientists often pay a journal large amounts to have something published (clearly, scientists recognize their value, even though the Slashdot crowd does not).

The fact that many journals are struggling economically these days is not a good thing. And the fact that the information is not "free" does not mean that the information is closed off to the public. It just means that you (or your university, company etc.) need to contribute a small amount to part of the scientific process in order to access it.

Anyone who has ever written a scientific article knows that citing something you've pulled of some internet site does not carry much weigth. I'm not saying this Dutch solution is just "some internet site" (the article does no give much detail); I'm just making a general statement about the important role played by scientific journals.

Re:knowledge is power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507694)

Knowledge is power...Power Corrupts...Study hard..Be Evil

Shows what I know... (4, Insightful)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507510)

... I always thought that medical and scientific research is free to the world. Perhaps I was thinking of the good ol' days.

I'm all up for the Dutch research talked of, and I hope that this trend does continue. There is only one thing worse than capitalism - capitalism of knowledge.

Re:Shows what I know... (1)

PiMuNu (865592) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507530)

No they try to get us to patent it all now so that they can make money out of it.

Re:Shows what I know... (1, Funny)

lazy_arabica (750133) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507543)

There is only one thing worse than capitalism
Yes: Commies. :P

Re:Shows what I know... (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507553)

>There is only one thing worse than capitalism

Yes: Commies. :P

... let's not forget religious zelots. :-D

Re:Shows what I know... (1)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507640)

>There is only one thing worse than capitalism
>>Yes: Commies. :P
>>>... let's not forget religious zelots. :-D ...or tree hugging hippies.

Actually, capitalism isn't that bad :)

U Both R Liars! 1 thing worse: Lesbian porn chubby (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507714)

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Holy shit, you made my week! (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507784)

That is the most disturbing and hilarious site I have ever seen. Awe the links now go to registration.

Butcharoni... who specifically grows her facial hair...lives with parents....Catholic...that can't b e real. I deny it. It's a setup.

Re:Shows what I know... (3, Insightful)

manojar (875389) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507747)

Capitalism isn't bad, capitalists are.

Re:Shows what I know... (1, Funny)

Pantero Blanco (792776) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507763)

And grammar Nazis, and hypocrites!

Speaking of which, you misspelled "zealots".

Re:Shows what I know... (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507727)

There is only one thing worse than capitalism

Yes: Commies. :P
..I'll be leaving then :( *Que sad walking away music*

There's 2 things I can't stand in this world: (1, Funny)

StormyWeather (543593) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507731)

People who are intollerant of other peoples' cultures, and the Dutch.
A.Powers

Re:Shows what I know... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507561)

But research is free to the world (or at least to the UK) - its called a library.

Re:Shows what I know... (1)

Compgirl (121889) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507678)

Libraries are not by definition free. At least not when checking out materials. In the Netherlands you pay an annual fee for a library pass.

Re:Shows what I know... (2, Interesting)

DeityAvatar (804062) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507736)

In Australia public library passes are free. Or at least they were when I got mine, which was probably eight or ten years ago. No expiry date on it, so I haven't had to get a new one for a very long time.
Great sources of information, although I admit I spend more time in the Fiction section than the Non-Fiction and Reference areas. ;)

Research? More research? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507515)

As if they haven't probed foxes enough. Search for "fox" on this URL. [animalwritings.com] Wicked people! Stope anal-mal research!

Unfortunately (0, Flamebait)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507516)

500 of clog development research and technology is no use to anyone but Dr Scholl

Make the world a better place (5, Insightful)

CVD1979 (718352) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507519)

I personally belief that freeing knowledge will be a first step to a much better world. "Beware for he who wishes to keep knowledge from you, because in his heart, he wants to control you." - Brother Lal, Peacekeepers (from the game Alpha Centauri, not the most credible quotes but there you are)

When knowledge is a commodity, you'll see a vast upsurge in new knowledge. Well, at least when Google starts to index all the available knowledge, of course.

Re:Make the world a better place (2, Informative)

Xner (96363) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507566)

The quote is "he wishes himself your master".

I'll crawl back into my hole now.

Re:Make the world a better place (0)

CVD1979 (718352) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507579)

Ach, I stand corrected :)

Re:Make the world a better place (2, Interesting)

zokrath (593920) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507705)

From the teachings of Buddha:

"Those who keep knowledge from you are setting a trap"

This attributation courtesy of google.

Re:Make the world a better place (1)

TobascoKid (82629) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507761)

When knowledge is a commodity, you'll see a vast upsurge in new knowledge. Well, at least when Google starts to index all the available knowledge, of course.

You mean Google Scholar?
http://scholar.google.com/ [google.com]

Herrschaftswissen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507789)

In Germany we have a term for it: "Herrschaftswissen", i don't even know how to translate it, but it describes knowledge that is guarded as secret because it gives you an advantage over others and allows you to push your weight around. There are some philosophy (Bonn IIRC) and social science (Bielefeld IIRC) departments researching it.

In most philosophical oriented sciences Herrschaftswissen has been recognized as a problem and i guess the dutch move will turn some heads there.

That's why I love the Dutch (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507520)

They have been the first to adopt new and good ideas so many times, it's just amazing.

Let's just hope that this idea will also find followers in other countries, that normally take longer to adopt new ideas.

Way to go Netherlands!

Re:That's why I love the Dutch (-1, Offtopic)

Dasch (832632) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507686)

They have been the first to adopt new and good ideas so many times, it's just amazing.

Most notably they de-criminalized cannabis! Wohoo!

DAREnet (2, Funny)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507522)

Seems like they [darenet.nl] should've thought twice taking the dare with /. (already down)

Re:DAREnet (1, Funny)

Kinky Bass Junk (880011) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507604)

Still up my end...

Woah, that sounds wrong.

Re:DAREnet (1)

Compgirl (121889) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507707)

They where already experiencing slowness due to othe r media attention, as is stated (in Dutch) on their website. On my end it's just very slow BTW...

the new "industrial" revolution... (1, Interesting)

teksno (838560) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507523)

just part of the digital revolution that is now happening. paradigms are shifting away from what we have known and "early adopters", like this group of universites, will in the end be our (read: net junkies like me and you...) best friends.... this is a great step....we already have the music thing down....were trying to tackle video, but this here is a great stride for the demand of digital libraries

Taxpayers' money (4, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507524)

The corporations have no rights to have the sole access to research that was funded by the taxpayers.
Of course, this raises the question whether anyone from countries other than Netherlands should be able to get it for free (gratis) -- but, the free (as in unhindered) exchange of ideas is pretty much what the ideals of science are about.

If a corporation wants a monopoly for knowledge, no one forbids it from paying for the research.

Re:Taxpayers' money (5, Informative)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507636)

The information was already freely available only the print was done by Elsevier ea which charge for the distribution cost (like GPL: Information is free, but someone is allowed to charge you for the distribution cost).
The real bad part about the magazine prints is that the distribution cost is very high, the selection of articles is done by a editor who has to keep a certain format, resulting in a medium interesting magazine which is mainly sold to companies and schools.
The real advantage of a system like darenet (at moment when it is not being /.ed) is the ability to find all the articles which did not make it into the magazines, and it is better seachrable. The last point is way interesting for everybody in the scientific world who had to go through magazine indices to find the information relevant to his or her project. It will hopefully prevent more double work and give more scientific progress.

Re:Taxpayers' money (-1, Flamebait)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507657)

Before you call me a "communist" (hell, I'm the opposite), don't forget that having the public giving anyone favours for free is wrong. The idea of having the state encourage people to have ten kids and no job because they can get 90% of the minimal wage for nothing is just repulsive to me -- and living off welfare is a popular model of life.

Having the taxpayers fund anything that's of no benefit to the public is embezzlement. Be that Mr. Sixpack's new TV, the freebie research for a commercial pharmaceutic company, or, the worst of all, the favours friends of politicians get. No parasites, please.

Re:Taxpayers' money (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507754)

" The corporations have no rights to have the sole access to research that was funded by the taxpayers."

You really have no clue who funds research do you? Do you think academics sit around and think Hmmmm...I'll have the gubermunt pay for my research? We do, but it doesn't work that way.

Here in the states we are all about No Chil' Left Buhind, but when we want to make sure this is happening, we need to go to an outside corporation and beg for money. Why? Because this administration hadn't given us anything to actually pay for it (and the last one wasn't much better).

That is something that was a direct commandment of the gov't that we make sure this happened (I was on a team that went into rural schools to evaluate how the were faring with this and if any of their programs, such as experimental cross curriculum alignment of education was actually working better than others...its not my area of expertise, but it got me away from the office for 6 weeks to help out). And guess who paid for it...not the tax payers.

And then for other research projects? Generally you get a grant to do this. The last grant I was on, paid for my position, part of my bosses position, a fraction of his bosses, and a few ancellary positions that had nothing to do with the research other than we needed their ok to go on with it, and my team and fair market rent on my office. Oh yeah, it paid for our day to day activities for about 2 years. You know, the stuff that the gubermunt and da taxpayers 'were paying'.

All in all, we worked extended hours, got a good name for the department and the school, and didn't waste a single dollar of the tax payers money because we did what we were 'being paid to do' by the state and far more. We brought in 10x what the gov't was paying us, and subsudized the department in doing so -- and since our budget was so top heavy those two years, the state budget controllers decided that my department didn't need any raises (even though even if we bring in outside money, we have to fund our raises though base funds -- I could bring in new people and pay them 2x what I get from the grant, but I had to *BEG* for a 2% raise...to do so from the grant would be a 'conflict of interest'), our standard budget was slashed -- meaning that after our grant was over, we needed to immediately get another grant or our office was sunk and it was a game of politics, gotta get a much smaller grant this time so we can build up our base budget again so that we can use the tax payer money again to do our jobs -- smaller grant means we can ask for a little more next year, they can slash out budget by 70%, but we can only ask for 15% increase. The last 5 years, my budget for what is considered an invaluable department, has been paid for by someone other than the taxpayers...

Ok, I'm just rambling at this point, but my point is taxpayers RARELY pay for research. Taxpayers rarely pay for research that directly effects them. Taxpayers NEVER pay for research that is outside of the direct tasks infront of them (teaching you and your kids). Research, however, makes it possible for the departments that you cherish in your universities to actually exist and so that top researchers can sit in your classroom for 4 hours a week even though they could be making much more in the private sector and so that you can get real world hands on knowledge of working with technologies that don't formally exist yet and maybe contribute to society that way.

I think about saying fuck this every day and joining the corporate world. Everytime I work on a grant, I'm offered a job (my grants or others). Generally paying 4x what the university is paying (and thats without negotiation...probably much higher if I just went for it), but some of us feel we are making a difference where we are at where as we wouldn't make any difference elsewhere. I know any research I work on gets 49% of the royalties going back to XYZ University and 51% Big Corp, Inc, so its helping out (and thats another reason we can't just give out the research -- controlling interest is always the guys that funded it).

So next time you think you are actually paying for this fucking research, think again and thank all the corporations you hate...they are the ones paying for your education because like it or not, its not like the politicians want to make the people that directly benefit from this pay for it...

Anonymous because I likes my job...

Re:Taxpayers' money (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507773)

Don't forget to give credir where credit is due. I remember a Reagan administration push to privatize rhe research of public universities.

Wasn't this to be expected? (4, Insightful)

Hank the Lion (47086) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507528)

This was bound to happen one day.
In the 'old days', the only way to spread your work to all your peers was through the estabjournals.
The publishers of those journals could ask a premium price for this service.
With the advent of the Internet, this barrier has fallen.
Publishers should find new ways of keeping their subscribers.

Today the Netherlands. Tommorow, the world! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507531)

This sounds great! It may be as revolutionary as the arXiv.org e-Print archive. I wonder how long before the rest of the EU follows suit. Any guesses?
(I bet the rest of European scientists aren't hugely fond of seeing publishers gouge libraries for access to articles that they, the scientists, wrote and want to share with colleagues.)

We still need journals, if only for peer-review.
They don't need to be for-profit, mind you.

It IS a commodity (1)

hopethisnickisnottak (882127) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507533)

Knowledge is a commodity. It is used in return for money. Money buys other commodities. Also, you can use money to buy knowledge. If it can be bought and sold for / by money, it is a commodity. And those who wish to profit from their knowledge must be free to do so.

No, it isn't (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507565)

At least not in the sense that bread and bricks are.

Knowledge is a public good. If I consume (that is aquire) knowledge, I don't take anything away from anyone else wanting to use the same knowledge. Now try that with bread. :-D

Also, especially know in the digital age, spreading knowledge and therefor acquireing knowledge has zero or near zero marginal costs. If knowledge is out in the open it is free to be consumed by anyone without any additional costs.
Again, try that with bread.

So knowledge is not something that is comparable to other products like bread or bricks, it's fundamentaly different. Now what follows off that difference is of course up for debate, but at least try to understand the issue at hand.

Re:No, it isn't (2, Insightful)

hopethisnickisnottak (882127) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507744)

Never said it is a commodity JUST AS bread is. However, developing knowledge (research) costs money and time. And hence it is a commodity. Which can be traded for profit. Which is expected since money and time are required to develop it in the first place. The issue is pretty simple. If anything costs money to develop, it is only fair to expect to make a profit on its trade.

Re:It IS a commodity (2, Insightful)

Maljin Jolt (746064) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507788)

You are mumbling nonsenses. One cannot stockpile knowledge. By sharing knowledge, you do not loose it. You cannot look at particular knowledge you are interested in on the knowledge market, excercise it completely and reject to buy for the reason of poor quality as with commodity goods.

Only peer review can assure quality of some specific knowledge, that's the academic principle for longer more than two millenia. With knowledge, sharing with others is a fundamental condition for top quality.

Needs peer review (2, Insightful)

frankthechicken (607647) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507534)

As long as the research released has gone through the same peer review as typical academic papers/journals, I can only see great benefits coming from this.

If not, and the open source nature of research spreads, it could be that the info can only ever be treated like the current internet's information, and, as such, be treated be extreme caution. With the potential effect of almost diluting the information to be unusable.

Re:Needs peer review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507564)

As long as the research released has gone through the same peer review as typical academic papers/journals, I can only see great benefits coming from this.
I don't see why it can't be peer-reviewed. It's not as if, in the current system, reviewers were being paid to do reviews. At least, not in my personal experience.

Re:Needs peer review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507577)

How is that any different than the blogs of today masquerading as journalistic outlets? Nothing evil has come out of blogging. Just like with newspapers, the consumers of such information know that some outlets are more reputable than others and treat the information they see accordingly.

I don't exactly see the danger of open information - what possibly bad could happen? Some PhD candidate is going to see a poorly written article and mix some dangerous chemicals together? Seems a bit far fetched to me.

If the information is truly groundbreaking or insightful, it will filter its way to the top of academic and scientific circles.

Re:Needs peer review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507709)

This IS opening the research to the ultimate peer review. Anyone can read it. Anyone can think about it. Anyone can improve on it, or correct it.

Anywhere in the world.

A commodity? (1)

nmoog (701216) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507536)

I thought if something is a commodity then it is widely and easily available to all. Like electricity is a "commodity".

Re:A commodity? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507742)

Is electricity free?

Salute the Dutch (5, Insightful)

tacocat (527354) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507544)

Enough of the fucking Doctor Evil posts...

The Dutch should be singled out as a great example of the scientific and engineering devolopment entity that made the Renaissance possible. Without the open participation and sharing of knowledge social and cultural progress would be at a standstill.

If you don't believe me, think where we would be without the Guttenburg printing press or how much information was flowing on the internet when it first came out and was an open community of academians and researchers.

When commercial jet airlines first developed, the BOAC had a plane called the Comet. It was the first plane to experience problems with metal fatigue and stress cracks. The industry at that time was very involved in finding solutions to problems and making better planes. As the direct result of this, the companies involved would share any and all information available in terms of problems and solutions in order to develop the entire industry rather than attempt to promote their own agendas.

This is a significant, albeit old, example of the synergy that can exist when information is shared freely rather than traded as a commodity. Unfortunately US industry, judicial, and legislation seem to have forgotten some of these lessons.

These Dutch aren't so "Freaky Deaky" but truely a credit and an example. Knowing the US, we'll probably bomb them because of some bullshit Patriot Act IP terrorist clause. The contrast makes me ill.

Re:Salute the Dutch (-1, Flamebait)

SilentSage (656382) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507570)

You fucking idiot if you had read the article you would have a clue WTF you are talking about. This article was about the high cost of PUBLISHING in scientific journals. Not one word was said about Intellectual Property dumbass. So before we get another bout of Marxist slashdrone mentality at least know what you are talking about.

Re:Salute the Dutch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507583)

Where did he mention anything about intellectual property? He was talking about the free flow of information, ala the Gutenberg press, just like the article did.

Who's the idiot now?

Re:Salute the Dutch (1)

SilentSage (656382) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507602)

"Knowing the US, we'll probably bomb them because of some bullshit Patriot Act IP terrorist clause. The contrast makes me ill." This statement sums up the whole intent of his post and about 3/4 of the posts on this topic. Most idiots are confusing free flow of information and IP issues with the cost of publishing in a journal. While you may associate a monetary cost associated with "being heard" as a form of censorship not one poster especially this asshat has made the association. So unless you can make a leap in logic to connect the Patriot Act and the price of a magazine STFU.

Re:Salute the Dutch (1)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507600)

Gutenberg [wikipedia.org] was German !

Re:Salute the Dutch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507619)

And the internet was not invented by the Dutch either! Al Gore did that ;-)

I don't think the author of the post meant to say he was Dutch, he just gave an example.

Re:Salute the Dutch (1)

Jacco de Leeuw (4646) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507648)

Laurens Janszoon Coster was the first! :-)

Re:Salute the Dutch (5, Informative)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507651)

Knowing the US, we'll probably bomb them because of some bullshit Patriot Act IP terrorist clause.
Bombing, perhaps. The USA army has planned [amicc.org] to invade the Netherlands in case a US soldier is tried in the internation court in the Hague.

Re:Salute the Dutch (3, Funny)

sosume (680416) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507663)

and I'll be ready waiting for them at the beach to defend my country! Too bad guns are outlawed.

Re:Salute the Dutch (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507745)

As far as I'm concerned, if warcrimes committed by US soldiers cannot be tried in the international court, then warcrimes committed against US shouldn't be tried there either. The US is entirely in or out of this whole international court thing. So if, for instance, Osama would be caught and tried in the international court, he could be held accountable only for crimes against non-US people; not any US soldiers that died in Afghanistan or Iraq nor the twin towers (except for any non-US citizens that might have died in that tragic incident).

Re:Salute the Dutch (1)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507772)

Nah, mr Bush was here only last week doing his usual thing, so we're still all buddy buddy. We too got a moron in charge blabbering about morals and values and families being the cornerstone of society and all that.

Re:Salute the Dutch (1)

Hungus (585181) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507798)

Right, because none of that is important... You don't read much history do you? Because when those decline, so does the nation.

Re:Salute the Dutch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507787)

Google search: "The Mouse That Roared"

free market at work (4, Interesting)

cahiha (873942) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507545)

The currency of science is citations: the more you are cited, the more you are worth. Academics therefore have a natural incentive to have their work be more accessible.

That is partly balanced by the fact that papers published in well-marketed journals with recognizable brand names will be cited more frequently. But they still have to be well-known, which is why even expensive journals tolerate "illegal" copies of scientific papers (this is similar to software companies tolerating some piracy and low-cost versions in order to keep low-cost competitors from entering the market).

On balance, I think academic publishers are going to lose this one for the most part. In the end, they don't offer any value, since all the hard work is already volunteer work. All the academic publishers do is marketing, printing, type setting, and mailing to libraries, and none of those are essential for academic journals anymore. Some journals will probably continue to be proprietary and expensive, but most will probably not be.

Re:free market at work (1)

users.pl (689022) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507690)

the more you are cited, the more you are worth.
GNAA is cited all the time. Especially on Slashdot. Why aren't they worth anything? :(

Re:free market at work (1)

Pierre (6251) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507765)

I wonder if there is an interesting question to be answered here then.

Are the current citations due to the review process and marketing of the well marketed journals or simple due to the accessibility of these journals.

If the quality of the cite is high and accessibility is high I suspect there will be a lot of use of the work.

I've been frustrated time and again with accessibility of the mainstream publishers (i.e. I don't want to pay for a subscription)...

headline incorrect (5, Informative)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507549)

This is not all research papers, but only research papers already available for free to everyone. I quote:
DAREnet harvests all digital available material from the local repositories, making it searchable. But it limits the harvest to those objects that are full content available to everyone. Tollgated objects (e.g. publications at publishers who only allow access through expensive licenses) can only be found in the local repository.
Let's not forget that most scientific papers are not available for free.

Re:headline incorrect (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507696)

This is not all research papers, but only research papers already available for free to everyone. [..] Let's not forget that most scientific papers are not available for free.

I am working at one of the involved universities, and since a few years ago we do have an official policy of never signing over any copyrights to publishers in preparation of this move.

In reality things don't work that way: since the university still judges our productivity by tracking publications, we do sign any form we have to to get our stuff into the important journals. Both the university and the big publishers have been ignoring this inconsistency for some years. As you may have noted, I am posting AC because I am terrified of publisher's copyright lawyers.

This way of measuring productivity is simply wrong: I never directly use the library anymore. I depend completely on Google Scholar. On my computer Google Scholar includes the university subscriptions to publishers, of course, but publications of the last 5 years are usually also available for free.

Most of my publications are freely available online, and they are representative of the things I have been doing over the last decade. They are also the things that get referenced most often. One usually writes two or three versions of essentially the same story in a period of 2-4 years, and the best one ends up in an article (and will never be read, and rarely referenced).

Before the communists whip themselves into a froth (3, Informative)

SilentSage (656382) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507550)

If 3\4 of the posters had RTFA they would have seen that it is about the cost of PUBLISHING research not disclosing Intellectual Property free of charge. Most Universities around the world and a lot of corporations do this for "free" anyway. The article said nothing about patents or copyright or anything remotely on that topic. This article should be used as an idiot filter for future postings on IP.

Ouch, bad troll attempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507588)

1. Calling others communists is so 50s..

2. So it's not about disclosing Intellectual Property (whatever that may be) and not about patents and copyright? Hm, might this be the reason why the headline of the article reads:
"Dutch Academics Declare Research Free-For-All"
Man, you really must be desparate for a flamewar.

3. "Most Universities around the world and a lot of corporations do this for "free" anyway."
Wow, what exactly did you consume and can I get some of it? Seriously, did you ever take a look at the prices of scientific journals? Why do you think that so many articles you might need are not available at your University? Because it doesn't cost a thing?

Re:Ouch, bad troll attempt (1)

SilentSage (656382) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507625)

1.) STFU and read the posts ahead of mine. 2.) RTFA not the badly written headline. 3.) The rule in Academia is publish or perish. You have to publish scientific work to get credit for it. Most corporations will patent their work first but the still publish it dumbass. Know what you are talking about before you post.

Re:Ouch, bad troll attempt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507666)

"1.) STFU and read the posts ahead of mine."
I did. That's what makes your post so dumb, everybody knows what this story is about.

"2.) RTFA not the badly written headline."
I did. And your point was?

"3.) The rule in Academia is publish or perish. You have to publish scientific work to get credit for it."
Now really, who would have thought so...

"Most corporations will patent their work first but the still publish it dumbass."
Thanks for calling me dumbass, I love your style. And did it ever occur to you that corporations have to publish their works in order to get it patented. After all, this is one ideas behind the patent system. (If it really works the way it was intended is of course up for debate)

"Know what you are talking about before you post."
Yep, see above.

Re:Before the communists whip themselves into a fr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507590)

Anyone who wants to get free access to publically funded information is a communist? Well, count me in as a commie I guess.

I'm reading the posts here.. I do not see how they have mischaractierized the article. It seems that you have some sort of axe to grind at people who want to take corporate journals out of the loop. Do you have an agenda here that made you stoop to petty name calling?

Re:Before the communists whip themselves into a fr (1)

SilentSage (656382) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507610)

"I'm reading the posts here.. I do not see how they have mischaractierized the article." Do a "find in page" search for intelectual property, free or IP. If you want to see how stupid that statement is. No I not just petty name calling. Instead think of it as a worldview summary of the content of these kinds of post.

It's not about publishing costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507743)

I don't know what you read, but from TFA:

"The initiative is clearly not welcomed by commercial scientific publishers such as Elsevier Science. Increasingly, universities complain about the high cost of scientific journals and many argue that the research results should be distributed freely or at significantly less cost to library subscribers."

Journals have only themselves to blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507559)

Academic research is part of the public domain, much of it is funded through Tax.
The journals have shot themselves in the foot, there have been grumblings about this for years and the journals have done nothing to improve access.
Do they give copies to public libraries? Do they provide online access after a set period of time, no you have to pay exhorbitant fees to get access to research tax money paid for.

folding@home 4 is 4 idiots. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507581)


It's always puzzled me why someone would want to run these programs on their home PC's.It's like a free supercomputer to those that would charge you a King's ransom for the health benefits derived from it.Of course, when folding@home first started begging for free help, they only had a windows version of the software, which I am honestly surprised that it was a free download.
On another note, they would like to have you believe that those extra cpu cycles on your desktop are just going to waste, but, in all reality, they are not.Idle cpu's don't use as much electricity as those that are being used,plus the wear and tear on your system shortens it's life, due to more heat, and harddisk usage,not to mention the extra bandwidth it sucks up.
What I'm trying to say is that they are making money off of your dime,yet,you will never benefit from it nor reap any type of reward, not even recognition.
Idiots.
Do something useful, like donating food or volunteering for good causes, and not to crooks like the Salivating Army, or GoodTill. Industries.

Mod me as a TROLL if you like, I've lived under bridges most of my life, and have discovered that those who live the easy life have no character. :-)

The Dutch sure are funny (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507603)

Research wants to be free, but Mp3 players want to be levied.

Re:The Dutch sure are funny (3, Interesting)

dajak (662256) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507729)

Research wants to be free, but Mp3 players want to be levied.

Nothing funny about it. Listening to music is ungood. Reading scientific papers is doubleplusgood. This is the 'knowledge economy' policy our government talks about in action.

Look at the double digit economic growth rates in China: access to science and information good, access to porn, political rambling, etc ungood. QED

Other open knowledge (-1, Offtopic)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507609)

I think that the Dutch initiative is nice, but the real gain for people who want to learn is I thnik in systems like the opencourseware system from MIT.

I'll go grab them a tissue. (1)

The Jabberwock (882129) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507618)

"The initiative is clearly not welcomed by commercial scientific publishers such as Elsevier Science."

My personal amazement never diminishes when companies or institutions complain over a competitor offering a good/service at lesser or no cost to the consumer. The price of academic materials climbs higher and higher each year without justification. If finding out that one plus one equals two and that Earth's gravitational field is measured at nine point eight meters per second squared costs X number of dollars this year, there is no reason it should cost X plus Y dollars next year. Sooner or later, you lose your target market -- especially when someone comes along fed up with the situation enough to do something meaningful about it.

JIT publishing (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507630)

The journal publishing companies are quickly reaching obsolescence. Given the state of just-in-time publishing and the Internet, there's really no reason that academic institutions have to continue to be held hostage by the journal publishers anymore. Peer review can be completely separated from the publishing process and be managed by already-respected researchers in each field who volunteer their time to assist with the process, perhaps a month at a time (much like the review process is for many smaller conferences).

Each research/academic institution would maintain a repository of the papers produced by its researchers. The peer review organizations, after judging a particular paper as being top-rated, would add it to a digest of recent top-rated papers. When somebody decides they want a copy of the digest issue (or just the particular paper of interest), they can refer to the peer review organization to get a link to the paper(s), download them from the authoring institutions, and print them out if needed (such as to put a hardcopy in the library).

The entire process, from submission to peer review to publishing to distribution is accounted for without the involvement of a publishing company.

Re:JIT publishing (1)

doyen2000 (879584) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507803)

The publishing companies do have a place
but it needs a shake up or its strategy changed.

It is hard enough to get established scientists that
are willing to review papers thoroughly as it is,
let alone asked them to organise a peer review
system.

Although it does happen, each big experiment
usually has its own editorial board that is
made up of senior scientists working on the
project. To be part of this board
is a good thing for your career. To have your
work 'blessed' by this committee is cause for
a big celebration. It means it can be shown at
conferences and submitted to journals.

One of the problems is that journals themselves
are expensive even though some of them ask
for a fee when submitting your work.

The hike in the price (whether it is real or
just plain greedy) of journals means that a lot of
universities cannot afford to have the
same diversity on journals that they once
possesed. Thus negating their aim which is to
make knowledge available to everyone.

Cheers,
A

As a Scientist; (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507659)

I totally welcome this occurrence, and hope to see more like it in the future.

The model of Open Source, where knowledge is considered free to all, is beautiful and is the only way to have scientific research treated. We are moving away from closed proprietary systems from a time when the costs of spreading knowledge meant intermediate parties were necessary, to a free for all system that can only benefit humanity.

It's not a directly analogous situation, but there are a lot of similarities between the Scientific publication game and the Open source movement, hopefully licenses such as the GPL can be altered to suit the future of Scientific publications.

Free for all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507660)

Free for all is nice and all, but I'd go for a game type with objectives. How about Capture the Research Flag? (ducks)

Alfabetical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507674)

is that dutch for Alfabetisch?

knowledge is a commodity (1)

Exter-C (310390) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507685)

knowledge is a commodity, However one of the key issues that this raises is that researchers will potentially not have to research the same thing twice as the information may already be available to them through other "reliable" sources. This could potentially open up and increase the speed of research and in turn make discoveries that could potentially be as ground breaking as cures for cancer or something similar.

every once in a while... (1)

MarsDude (74832) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507692)

We've got a PM thats basically... eh hilarious.
The sad thing really is that there were enough people to vote for him and his party.
The government here tends to swallow everything America does.. BUT

Every once in a while... I'm proud to be Dutch.

New collaborator on every paper (1)

leehwtsohg (618675) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507704)

From now on, all my papers will have a dutch collaborator.

OT: Dutch grocery's mentality (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507726)

I'm not kidding you with what's to come. Honestly!

I bet you don't believe me when I tell you that in the Netherlands the TV schedules of public channels may not be published more than a couple of days ahead by bodies other than the broadcasting associations.

In the Netherlands, public broadcasting associations -representing various groups in society- are allowed to broadcast over the public TV networks. These associations -which are largely payed by tax money- collectively own the rights to the broadcasting schedules. They go to war with anyone trying to publicize these silly schedules. And they win each time.

On the one side sharing the considerable wealth of scientific research and on the other hand being tightfisted about profanities like TV schedules is what the dutch themselves call a "grocery's mentality."

I'm not dutch but I know the country pretty well.

Re:OT: Dutch grocery's mentality (1)

Flyboy Connor (741764) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507756)

I bet you don't believe me when I tell you that in the Netherlands the TV schedules of public channels may not be published more than a couple of days ahead by bodies other than the broadcasting associations.

I am Dutch, and I can tell you you are right: I indeed don't believe you. AFAIK, your statement on TV schedules was true until a couple of years ago, but no longer.

Not that I am really interested in TV schedules anyway. Dutch TV is just like US TV: hundreds of channels and everything sucks.

Tanenbaum too (1)

Njovich (553857) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507730)

I checked it out yesterday, and Tanenbaum's work is there too. This is a pretty sweet collection :-). I would give you a link if the site was up.

Any other IT Gods in there?

Knowledge was always free... (1)

whovian (107062) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507758)

houghi writes "The register reports how the Dutch open up their research to the rest of the world. It goes on to tell that commercial scientific publishers such as Elsevier Science are not happy with it. Will other countries and universities follow, or will they stick to the idea that knowledge is a commodity?"

It's not about limiting knowledge per se. The copyright you sign over to journals has to do with that particular presentation of text (think: plagiarism) or arrangement of data (think: lifting images), not the information contained therein.

IIRC there is an analogy to music: you can't copyright Mozart's symphonies, but a composer can copyright her particular arrangement of notes.

The way to do collaborative research is changing (5, Interesting)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507776)

Disclaimer, I'm a researcher.

In the old days if you wanted to read a particular paper in a journal your library didn't carry you had to contact one of the authors and ask for a reprint of the article, which you would receive by snail-mail a few weeks later.

Now you just look it up on Google, most of the time it's there, or the author will send you a PDF a few hours later.

The main contribution of journals to research is no longer diffusion, now people usually don't go to the library to read a journal. They receive a summary of the month's issue by email and then go and consult it online. Clearly this could be replaced by informal web publication just as easily.

However the editorial board work is still essential. They make sure the peer-review process runs smoothly and that each paper looks nice in the end. This is not so easily replaced, even though the editors do a volunteer job.

What is definitely not clear is why journal should be allowed to charge scientist huge premiums for the privilege of having those same scientist work for them for free.

Over the next few years we should see the reactive journal boards realize this, and propose a very cheap online-only service. The IEEE is already thinking about this very hard. When others realize this works fine, the era of expensive printed journal will simply come to an end.

Next will be the issue of books. Scientists are already realizing that it is now extremely cheap to self-publish. Even a top-quality, 500 pages book costs less than $40 to print in small quantities. Yet publishing houses typically sell them $200 a piece or more. Then they go out of print but since the publisher has the copyright everybody is screwed.

For conferences, self-publishing is now more cost effective, and authors get to keep their copyright. Soon the era of expensive conference proceedings will also come to an end.

The last remaining bastion will be reference books or textbooks. These will remain in print for the next few years, because people appreciate having a nice book in hand rather than reading hundreds of pages online, but as the cost, speed and quality of desktop printers improve, we should see a new era of freely available, high-quality online textbooks. There are lots of them online already, ready for printing.

All of this will be good for science. No one will be able to claim in a paper they didn't know about so and so's work and don't have access to it. It will be increasingly easy to do dilettante science without the backing of a huge academic institution.

People will be able to follow a field of science extremely easily. Cross-fertilization will become the obvious way to make progress.

I can't wait, and I want to make that happen.

goldmember secrets to be revealed? (1)

already_gone (848753) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507779)

those darned dutchmen? what are their motives?

at least with US the motives are easy to determine based on the greed/fear/ego formula/requirements.

no need to fret (unless you're associated/joined at the hype with, unprecedented evile), it's all just a part of the creators' wwwildly popular, newclear powered, planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

or is it ground hog day, again? many of US are obviously not interested in how we appear (which is whoreabull) from the other side of the 'lens', or even from across the oceans.

vote with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi life0cidal glowbull warmongering execrable.

we still haven't read (here) about the 2/3'rds of you kids who are investigating/pursuing a spiritual/conscience/concious re-awakening, in amongst the 'stuff that matters'? another big surprise?

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis.

concern about the course of events that will occur should the corepirate nazi life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

for each of the creators' innocents harmed, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

journal price resistance (4, Informative)

call -151 (230520) | more than 9 years ago | (#12507790)

Many researchers have complained about the high price of academic research journals and some of us are doing something about it. The fundamental problem is that there are some prestigious, very expensive journals that libraries feel like they must subscribe to and authors feel compelled to submit there because they are prestigious. But things are changing at least in some disciplines. The cost of a journal is not so much for distribution- there are other costs, but those are largely actually borne by universities. A typical life story of a research article:
  1. Brilliant researcher at Oxbridge University (who pays his salary) comes up with great idea, writes it up, submits it electronically by emailing it to an editor at the Snooty Journal,
  2. The editor, a professor at Enormus State University (who pays his salary and has him teach a little less because of his prestigous editorship) thinks of an appropriate anonymous referee and sends off the article to be refereed. Snooty Journal may give ESU some money to cover part of the cost of a secretary, but does not pay his salary.
  3. Professor at IviedHalls University (who pays his salary) receives the article to refereee, reads it, sends it back with comments after letting it molder on his desk/inbox for a bit.
  4. Editor accepts or rejects the paper, possibly asking for modifications based upon the referee's recommendation, possibly some iteration at this step
  5. Original author prepares the article in electronic format using LaTeX with Snooty Journal's style files and uploads it to their web site.
  6. Snooty Journal staff typeset the paper, messing a few things up because they are not experts in the appropriate field, and send the "galley proofs" to the author to review.
  7. Original author points out typos introduced in their typsetting process, sends back corrected galleys.
  8. Snooty Jounal releases the article on their paid-subscription webpage and prints it as a dead-tree volume to send to libraries around the world that can afford it.

    As you can see, the hard part of the labor (writing, reviewing, refereeing) is not done by anyone at the publisher-- various universities pay the salaries of those folks and they pay again for the journal in dead-tree form.


    So you can see that there may be some objection to the arrangement. In the old days, the journal staff actually typset things and dead-trees were the only game in town, but most of the typesetting is done by the author.


    The choice is hard for some people that really need to publish in the expensive journals to get tenure, recognition, grants, etc. But for people who already have tenure, some are resistant to the journal extortion. Some may have a policy like mine- I do not submit to expensive journals or agree to referee for expensive journals, now that I have the advantage of tenure.


    There have been some successes of editorial boards that resigned wholesale, then started a free/inexpensive journal. Hopefully this becomes more common.

History will laugh at IP (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12507795)

It is a self evident truth that sharing knowledge improves human development. In a few hundred years historians will judge those who once believed in intellectual property as we look upon alchemists and witch burners today. I personally find it hard to believe, at the start of the 21st century, that there are so many foolish people around who still
accept intellectual property as a concept.
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