Academic Spring and a declaration of independence

February 9, 2012

I only became aware of the term Academic Spring the other day but I instantly loved it. The OA wars have heated up significantly in the past few weeks, and Academic Spring crystallizes a lot of what is going on.

Although we always welcome new readers, and no-one who cares about science can afford to be ignorant about access to scholarly publications, we do sometimes feel that at SV-POW! we are mostly preaching to the converted. But access is not just a problem for scientists and academics, it’s a problem for everyone, including physicians, patient groups, engineers, small business owners, students, and, frankly, anydamnbody who wants to inspect the fruits of the research their taxes paid for. So it’s important to get the message out, broadly, to the most people possible, in as many venues as possible, until Joe and Jane Citizen get mad enough about the situation to demand better behavior by their elected representatives and better service from the corporations that allegedly have their interests at heart.

To that end, Mike has a new piece up at The Independent today. Because he couldn’t assume that his readers would be familiar with the OA wars or Academic Spring, he had to lay out the whole case in a limited number of words. I think he did a bang-up job. Because the piece is so self-contained (although it has some choice links that are worth following up), it serves as a front-line report for those of us familiar with the OA wars, and a solid overview for everyone else. Go check it out.

Finally, since you haven’t gotten a lot of sauropod action lately, here are some small Giraffatitan humeri in the basement of the  Museum für Naturkunde with Vanessa Graff for scale. You can tell these are small ones because they’re Vanessa-sized or smaller; the big ones are taller than I am…and they’re still from subadults. Must blog sometime about the awesomeness of the basement full o’ sauropods at the MfN, but not today. Excelsior!

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2 Responses to “Academic Spring and a declaration of independence”

  1. SciencePlug Says:

    Well done! #academicspring will be the next hottest hashtag! ;-)

    Can I ask you a tip? Soon in my department we will have Dr. Dumstrei’s (EMBO Journal’s Senior Editor) visit. It’s a great occasion to ask him directly what is the EMBO policy regards #RWA.
    Do you know if EMBO Journal support or is against the bill?

    Thank you! :-)


  2. I’d love to see more popular interest in this issue. As a student, I’m excited to see researchers pushing for real change in academic publishing. (Just posted a blog to that effect, but I think most of my friends’ eyes glaze over by paragraph 2. ;)


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