Web 2.0, Science 2.0, OA, etc.

There is a new study out there - Open access publishing, article downloads, and citations: randomised controlled trial - that some people liked, but Peter Suber and Stephan Harnad describe why the study is flawed (read Harnad's entire post for more):

To show that the OA advantage is an artefact of self-selection bias (or any other factor), you first have to produce the OA advantage and then show that it is eliminated by eliminating self-selection bias (or any other artefact).

This is not what Davis et al did. They simply showed that they could detect no OA advantage one year after publication in their sample. This is not surprising, since most other studies don't detect an OA advantage one year after publication either. It is too early.

To draw any conclusions at all from such a 1-year study, the authors would have had to do a control condition, in which they managed to find a sufficient number of self-selected self-archived OA articles (from the same journals, for the same year) that do show the OA advantage, whereas their randomized OA articles do not. In the absence of that control condition, the finding that no OA advantage is detected in the first year for this particular sample of journals and articles is completely uninformative.

The authors did find a download advantage within the first year, as other studies have found. This early download advantage for OA articles has also been found to be correlated with a citation advantage 18 months or more later. The authors try to argue that this correlation would not hold in their case, but they give no evidence (because they hurried to publish their study, originally intended to run four years, three years too early.)

How to do research - special free sample:

Key to doing research is having a discovery network in place to do the grunt work of navigating through the data smog for you. But even more importantly, constructing a discovery network is central to your professional formation, because it makes you ask yourself who you are and what sort of things you want to discover.

In many ways, your discovery network already discovers material out there and then evaluates it for you automatically, filtering through only the material you need. But the machine doesn't know what you are working on at the moment, and of course is not as finally discriminating as your brain. So you need to filter the stuff your filters have been sending you. This is where the art comes in.

The confusion over data rights:

There was a time when I had the naive opinion that academics were all about the open dissemination of science, especially the sharing of basic scientific data. Alas, it turns out that for some the public domain is not exactly that. I suppose that this is a minority opinion, but it is clear that the confusion about scientific data and ownership needs to be resolved and fast. It should be obvious, but it isn't and even those of us who should know better get confused. In the above case, if there was a paper where the data source had not been cited properly is understandable, but downloading and using sequences; Yowza!!!

There is a distinction between data and content/information. Too many people have trouble making the distinction and as a result there is confusion the ownership rights around the two. Anyway, this issue isn't going anywhere soon it seems.

Virtual world interoperability:

As the number and variety of virtual worlds increases, so will the demand for interoperability. This will include not only teleporting between worlds, but also interworld communications, interworld asset portability, interworld currency exchange and many other issues. The technological aspects are an important part of this, and the public beta is an important step in the right direction. However, there are many social and business aspects that will also need to be addressed, and these may be even more difficult than the technological ones.

So open it hurts:

Web 2.0 visionaries Tara Hunt and Chris Messina blogged and twittered about their romance to all of geekdom as if it were one of their utopian open-source projects. Sharing their breakup has been a lot harder.

Five Life-Changing Mistakes and How I Moved On:

I'm out meeting with the press right now to promote SmartNow.com and I'm getting quite a reaction. Not to the business, but to me. You see, it's been awhile since I met with them, at least eight years. Many of the people in the press are same ones I met all those years ago. Many I don't know. No matter if they knew me before or not, they all ask the same question: "What mistakes have you made and what have you learned from them?" And this isn't a normal "check-the-box" reporter question. This is a loaded question with heavy reference to my past, some would say my infamous past.

First some background, I was the CEO of Pets.com. In case you haven't heard of it, Pets.com and its mascot, the Sock Puppet, became the symbol for the dotcom bubble and its subsequent bust. Some have even charged me personally with bringing down the U.S. economy. Pets' short period of success was fueled by positive press about the company and myself. Pets received even more press when it failed.

As the public CEO, I failed, and it was a very public failure. In fact, I was labeled one of the biggest failures ever. How bad was it? I had people laugh in my face when I introduced myself for years after the company closed. It happened as recently as a year ago. A couple of people asked me what it felt like to be one of the best-known failures in the U.S. Most just walked away from me. One woman told me to my face that I was a loser. I could go on and on, but you get the point: I became a symbol for something greater than myself, and we aren't talking puppet envy here.

What most people don't know is that the very same week that Pets.com failed, my marriage of seven years failed as well. Actually, it had been failing for a long time. It became officially over that week. My husband decided to call it quits the day before I announced to the employees and the public markets that I was shutting down Pets. It was a really bad week.......

A Whole Lotta Thoughts On Blog Network Success (bonus tips included):

First, though, I want to enumerate some reasons why running a blog network, blog ad network or a blog "alliance" is harder than folk realize. But hopefully some of this post can help solve some of the stumbling blocks, as well as highlight the issues so folks go into these projects with eyes wide open.

Cuil: Why I'm trying to get off of the PR bandwagon...:

Journalists thrive off of conflict. That's why we want a competitor to Google so badly and why we play up every startup that comes along that even attempts to compete with Google.

The problem is that competiting head on with Google is not something that a startup can do.

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