Recently on Scholarly Open Access dr Jeffrey Beall published a post on authors’ misconduct in OA stating that in his view “open-access publishing enables, facilitates, and increases the rate and occurrence of author misconduct.” I could not disagree more with this statement.
For several months the British government has been steadily issuing OA policy guidelines for universities, research institutions; and more generally for British science. The new policy follows the Finch report, which has, in turn, been widely discussed and rejected by the academic community with an intensity that can be described as a wave of brutal criticism. Nevertheless, the government, or to be more specific, the universities minister, David Willetts, is planning to promote and push Open Access even further.
A few days ago, The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article by Peter Suber and Darius Cuplinskas, daringly entitled “Open Access to Scientific Research Can Save Lives”. It relates the case of 15 year-old Jack Andraka, who recently announced he had invented a diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer.
One of the biggest problems facing science is that it’s done by us mere humans. We’re highly fallible and, as a result, science is vulnerable to our numerous list of biases. To some extent the scientific method, as a collective activity, has gradually evolved to shield itself against these individual-level biases. For instance, the notion of generating and testing hypotheses through a standardised set of methodological procedures, allows us to bypass the reliance on folk wisdom and human intuition. This is most evident in scientific achievements that are subversive to common beliefs and generate completely counter-intuitive explanations. Still, the scientific […]