Public Knowledge Conference: John Willinsky speech and Scielo Brazil project

This episode is on Public Knowledge Project (PKP) international scholarly publishing conference, where we met different groups active in open access movement from all over the world. PKP is a non-profit project, started about 20 years ago with the main focus on open access publishing. They have several products related to publishing such as Open Journal Systems (OJS) which is an open source software for facilitating the publishing process of peer reviewed journals.

The conference was held at Montreal in August. John Willinsky, the founder of PKP, opened the conference with a very interesting speech about the open access movement and the history behind scholarly publishing from 1693 regarding copyright, licensing, monopolies and the impact of John Locke on the changing the situation. We covered some parts of his speech in this episode.

We have interviewed some of the conference attendees on their projects. In this episode we release our interview with Alex Mendoça who talked about Scielo Brazil and their activities such as gathering research open data and the challenges around it. Other interviews will be released in near future.

Open data sharing with Clara Landler from the

In this episode, Patrick Diehl interviewed Clara Landler, the program manager at the Open Data Portal Austria platform. The Open Data Portal is an initiative which provides a website for people to look for open data sets. The platform features data from companies mostly.

We first started this episode with an introduction to the Open Data for Experimental Mechanics project (ODEM). This episode is a cooperation between Colper Science and ODEM. ODEM aims at exploring the usage of open data in the field of Experimental Mechanics and Materials. During the last 4 months, the project investigated the issues and limitations related to open data sharing through interviews and meetings with individuals involved in open data. We are trying to determine which service or product could be developed to improve open data sharing in the experimental materials and mechanics field. The introduction of this project at the beginning of the episode helps to better grasp the issues related to open data sharing.

The interview with Clara then starts. Clara explains the challenges associated with the management of an open data platform, the challenges regarding open data itself, and open data for companies. The interview with Clara provided several insights regarding the usefulness of new open data sharing platform and the current issues related to already existing platform. The Open Data Portal AT has been around for more than 3 years now, which provides us with an interesting case to analyze. Clara explained that there already are open data sharing platform, but that the lack of knowledge around open data itself is usually a stop for several companies. There is, clearly, a need to explain more what open data is and how this method can be beneficial for the company sharing their data.
Clara showed us how it might actually be more relevant for anyone interested in open data to work on services around existing platforms which would improve their usability and make them more relevant.


Open access publishing platform using the blockchain technology with Kade Morton

In this episode, we interviewed Kade Morton, the founder of Aletheia, to learn more about the project. Aletheia is a decentralised open access publishing platform for scientific research, the project aims at fixing several issues with the current publishing system in research by introducing a new technology, decentralization through a blockchain network, to the publishing field.

After introducing himself, Kade explained what blockchain and decentralization are and how Aletheia platform aims to implement these technologies in their open source publishing platform.
Kade also explained how he came to work on such a project: after watching the famous documentary about Aaron Swartz online, Kade felt inspired to start developing the Aletheia project. So far, there are three people working on Aletheia as the core team: Kade Morton (co-founder), Roo (developer/co-founder), Lisa Matthias (social media manager). It is an open source project and the team is currently looking for volunteers in different fields such as developers, web designers, etc. If you'd like to contribute, please find their contact information are below.

Bonus: Praxis
Aletheia Contact Information:

Twitter: @aletheia_f

Highly recommended by Kade, Kambiz and Ilyass, please take some time to watch the Aaron Swartz Documentary Movie, FREE

Lab Scribbles: Real-time open access science

In this episode we interviewed Dr. Rachel Harding, a postdoctoral fellow at the Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Toronto. Rachel’s current work is focused on the structure of huntingtin, a mutated protein in individuals suffering from Huntington’s disease. During the episode we talked about Huntington’s disease, sharing your results on a regular basis on a blog, setting up a blog and the intellectual property issues related to sharing your data in such a way.

An interesting point in this area of research is that not all results are published: positive results only are actually published and reaching a positive result requires a lot of trials and errors. However those trials and errors are often neglected.
Rachel created a blog, called LabScribbles, where she records everything she does in the lab, all her positive results but also trials and errors. Rachel explains this workflow, how it helps her improve her method in the lab, how it helps other researchers, how it helps her exchange with them, and even create a community around her work.

We also explored the intellectual property issues related to the Labscribbles a blog. In Rachel’s case, her funding comes from the Cure for Huntington’s Disease Initiative Foundation, a non-profit biomedical organisation. Depending on your employer and organization, it might be forbidden to share your research in such a way, but Rachel was able to explain, in her opinion, how such intellectual property are not a real issue (in most cases).

Bonus: "Open Access Materials"