Monthly Archives: November 2007

Open Data – preservation

An interchange with a correspondent…

You [PMR] said in your Blog:

It is critical to distinguish between “Free” and Open. “Free”, in this context, simply means that the provider has mounted the data (not necessarily the whole data) on a web page. There is often no licence, no copyright, no guarantee of availability, no commitment to archival, no explicit freedom of re-use. The materials database is in this category – and to be fair it didn’t call itself Open.

The Open Knowledge Initiative says:

1. Access The work shall be available as a whole and at no more than a reasonable reproduction cost, preferably downloading via the Internet without charge. The work must also be available in a convenient and modifiable form.

================================

[Correspondent] This does not seem to go far enough in that if I have all good intentions and post material on a web server and then drop dead tomorrow the info will disappear pretty soon after that. Possibly lost forever!

The distinction you make between “free” and “Open” suggests that Open means there is some permanency to the arrangement of having it available? Am I interpreting this correctly? How could this be monitored or managed?

PMR: You are absolutely right. I think the problem of preservation has not been addressed. Indeed until I starting thinking about it I hadn’t realised how relatively simple the preservation of text was and how difficult the preservation of data was.

First: Who can one trust?It’s currently easy to deposit material with anyone – Google, Amazon, whoever. And to trust to spinning media to be replicated. But it’s very risky for long term preservation. There are many bodies working on this and the simple message is that it’s difficult, depends on what we want to preserve and how long we want to do it. There are many levels – the bitstream, the semantic content, the ontological context, etc. Places like the UK’s Digital Curation Centre understand and work on exactly this.

[ Correspondent] is worried – like me – about the archival of chemical data iwithin the laboratory. What should be done? My personal answers are:

  1. If the data is valuable enough an international data centre will store it. Biology is strong here and bioinformatics centres have an effective commitment to archival and also work on preservation. Chemistry relies on commercial and quasi-commercial organisations which generally accomplish far less.
  2. My own inclination is towards global domain-specific repositories where the data are difficult and the volume merits it; national ones where the problem is understood but needs supporting (e.g. in mainstream chemistry) and where possible departmental ones (e.g. for crystallography, spectroscopy, computational chemistry.)
  3. I am not a strong supporter that terabytes of data should be generally dumped in institutional repositories without good metadata and analysis software. Maybe future generations will welcome these hidden treasures and will have super-intelligent software.

Open Data – 2

I posted receently about the problems of describing Open Data -how strict should we be about boundaries? Peter Suber has replied What counts as open data?, Klaus Graf has also given an important emphasis on archiving in a comment to my post. Also Peter has blogged another example of an “Open Access” database: Jan Christian Bryne and eight co-authors, JASPAR, the open access database of transcription factor-binding profiles: new content and tools in the 2008 update, Nucleic Acids Research, November 2007.

Abstract:   JASPAR is a popular open-access database for matrix models describing DNA-binding preferences for transcription factors and other DNA patterns. [...] JASPAR is available [here].

In the last 2 months I have been thinking fairly furiously about Open Data and realising it can be considerably more complex than Open Access scholarly publishing. I’m certainly clear that the borderlines may have to be fuzzy, but not infinitely. Peter writes:

  • Just a quick note on my offline talk with PMR about Material Properties, which I called “OA” in a blog post.  Neither of us could find its licensing terms, so we couldn’t tell just how open it was.  I needed (I still need, we all need) a generic term for such resources when we do know they are free of charge but don’t know any details about their licensing terms.  For better or worse “OA” has become that generic term, even while it has a narrower, earlier, more technical and more proper sense through the BBB definition.  I readily and often acknowledge that I use the term “OA” both ways –widely and narrowly, as a generic term and as the technical term for the BBB level of openness.  I also readily and often acknowledge that this ambiguity causes problems –see for example the Poynder interview at pp. 30-31.  I can add that I resisted this dual sense as long as I could and only acquiesced when it became an undeniable fact of actual usage.  For perspective, I’ve also argued that this kind of semantic spread is not a special calamity for our technical term, but affects most technical terms in wide use and needn’t prevent precise communication.
  • One tempting solution is to come up with a new generic term so that “OA” can be limited to its strict BBB sense.  That’s desirable but difficult, since coining terms is not the same thing as assuring their use, let alone their intended use.  BTW, “free” would not make a better generic term, at least not yet, since it suggests to many people that a work is merely free of charge and does not also remove permission barriers.  A good generic term would cover all kinds of free online content, including those that are BBB OA.
  • I share PMR’s hope that the term “open data” can stay fairly well tethered to its technical definition.  But the data world needs a generic term for the same reason that the publication world does.  If we had a good generic term for free online content, perhaps it could allow “open data” to remain univocal.

PMR: I agree with the sentiments here – but suspect we are both unclear of the way forward. I’m reluctant to use OA for databases since “OA” is already having to work pretty hard to manage the differences in practice and philosophy in scholarly publishing of articles (data is rarely included). “Open Source” has more or less got its act together, although there is both tension within the community of the Free/Open + viral schools; and also abuse of the term “Open Source”. I am keen to avoid the abuse of “Open Data” while it is still struggling to play a role.

I n some disciplines “free” implies “Open”. In biosciences there is an unwritten agreement that freely available data is Open. Sequences, strucures, genes are made available usually without formal copyright or formal licensing.  There are thousands of databases with the same attitude as JASPAR (above) – our own MACiE database is similar. In all these it’s commonplace to download the whole data – for example we state “Each MACiE entry in the database can be downloaded separately as a CML file. This option is available from the left side panel, underneath the reaction step lists.” The bioscience community has a tradition of sharing and re-use which doesn’t need to be spelt out. Admittedly there is potential for confusion, and some databases do restrict their usage, And some will effectively have a no-commercial use clause. But there is a strong tradition of meetings where the principles are reinforced, where collaboration is made and traded. Generally it is expected that data will be re-used.

In chemistry, in contrast, the tradition is  of gathering information and reselling it. There are no public Chemoinformatics Centres in the same way as Bioinformatics – in fact the Bioinfromatics Centres are steadily taking over the biological parts of chemistry. So by default it has to be assumed that any database on the web, however freely accessible at a point in time has no guaranteed permanency of access. There are often explicit barriers to re-use. So it’s important to have clear guidelines and clear labels – otherwise “Open Data” or “Open Access” is meaningless and acts only as a way of marketing warm feelings.

This is more difficult because data are undervalued in the peer-esteem economy. A “paper” – however poorly read, however bad – even to retraction, is part of the sacrosanct “scholarly record”. Libraries and curation centres have a duty to capture this. In contrast there is nothing like the same obligation on any organisation to capture public datasets. Admittedly its’ harder, but that’s not the real reason.

So I reiterate some guidelines. I’m still working these out and would welcome comment. (I don’t feel we should stray too far from the The Open Knowledge Foundation guidelines. ) As a start I would suggest the following:

  • There must be some mechanism whereby the community could, if it wished, capture the resource for public archival without permission. This could be as simple as spidering the site, or a relational dump, or a massive file, or an iterator.
  • There must be no permission barriers to re-use including commercial re-use.
  • The data must either be the whole work (at a given point in time) or be clearly bounded (i.e. there should be no hidden data that the world cannot get access to in the same way).
  • There should be no time limits on access and re-use.

Data is now acquiring the same power as software did two decades ago. It won’t be surprising if there are tensions – commercial, political, social. We need to identify and plan for them.

Liz Lyon on Open Science

We’ve worked closelyn with Liz Lyon for some time – an advisory role on SPECTRa and now we are partners in the eCrystals Program. She’s posted an impressive set of slides on hundreds of things happening in the data- and knowledge- revolution – eScience of cyberscholarship. There’s a lot on chemistry – Drexel, Soton – We’re pleased to get honourable mentions for some of our projects:  Open Science and the Research Library: Roles, Challenges and Opportunities?  The keynote address (slide presentation) at the Directors’ Meeting of the Association of Research Libraries in Cambridge, Massachusetts, November 2007.

One example is the archib=ving of the web = Liz gives this blog as an example – http://web.archive.org/ “The Wayback Machine”. It doesn’t get everything by a long way, but it’s a start

Open Data

There are several reasons why I’m currently thinking about Open Data (see Open Data at WP for some collected wisdom and links). We’re currently collecting more chemistry data that we intend to make Openly available (see CrystalEyeknowledge base as an example). I’ve been asked to write an article for Serials review (Elsevier) on the subject and am putting my ideas in order. Chemspider announced Something New and Exciting Coming Soon… which contained an image with “Open Data” (no details). And Peter Suber announced New OA database on material properties, originally from the Chemistry Central blog which announced “The database is yet another of the free, on-line chemical services to have emerged in recent years. ” The use of “OA” was, I think, Peter’s.

I didn’t agree with Peter in his description of Material Properties as an “Open Access” database, and I’m worried that we shall see the same imprecision in the use of “Open Data”. So I wrote to Peter and am amplifying the arguments here. As a baseline Peter and I are both on the advisory board of the The Open Knowledge Foundation (initiated by Rufus Pollock) which has developed the Open Knowledge Definition. I think it’s important to take this as a starting point for this analysis, thought there are aspects of databases which make the system much more complex.

It’s good that the principle is simple to summarise:

In the simplest form the definition can be summed up in the statement that “A piece of knowledge is open if you are free to use, reuse, and redistribute it”. For details read the latest version of the full definition (with explanatory annotations).

I’m going to look at the most important clauses for science/chemistry (emphases are mine) – I have omitted other clauses but I adhere to them as well:

1. Access The work shall be available as a whole and at no more than a reasonable reproduction cost, preferably downloading via the Internet without charge. The work must also be available in a convenient and modifiable form.

 

3. Reuse

The license must allow for modifications and derivative works and must allow them to be distributed under the terms of the original work. The license may impose some form of attribution and integrity requirements: see principle 5 (Attribution) and principle 6 (Integrity) below.

 

4. Absence of Technological Restriction

The work must be provided in such a form that there are no technological obstacles to the performance of the above activities. This can be achieved by the provision of the work in an open data format, i.e. one whose specification is publicly and freely available

 

5. Attribution

The license may require as a condition for redistribution and re-use the attribution of the contributors and creators to the work.

 

6. Integrity

The license may require as a condition for the work being distributed in modified form that the resulting work carry a different name or version number from the original work.

 

8. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor

The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the work in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the work from being used in a business, or from being used for military research.

 

PMR: There are significantly different types of Open Data in science. There is raw data produced by the scientific experiment and increasingly published alongside “fulltext” or publications or theses. There is a curated, critical snapshot of a given experiment, perhaps images from a telescope or satellite. In this post I discuss the problems of “databases” or “knowledgebases” which are both fragmented and dynamic (e.g. CrystalEye and the Materials database.)

It is critical to distinguish between “Free” and Open. “Free”, in this context, simply means that the provider has mounted the data (not necessarily the whole data) on a web page. There is often no licence, no copyright, no guarantee of availability, no commitment to archival, no explicit freedom of re-use. The materials database is in this category – and to be fair it didn’t call itself Open.

A major problem, which we have discussed in some detail on this blog over CrystalEye, is that many databases are both hypermedia and dynamic. They are spread over many components and they change with time. Both CrystalEye and Materials fall into that category. It is technically difficult to make them easily available and there is no agreed mechanism for doing this.

The work must be available as a whole. I agree this is critical, but it’s often difficult. Leaving aside the dynamic aspect there are a few possibilities.

  • Bundle the data into a single “file” or a set of files. This has worked historically for the Protein Databank. The difficulties are that there is not usually a single simple object to bundle, and that it requires considerable maintenance.
  • Provide an iterator over the data. This could either be a generic tool such as wget (which recurses over a hyperdocument) or a bespoke tool which is guaranteed to iterate over the data. This is the approach we have adopted (Jim Downing wrote it specifically to help the community download the data and has made it available under Open Source).
  • Collaborate with a data provider (e.g. a Bioinformatics institute). This is a good approach if your community supports the idea of Open Data, but chemistry has yet to see the light

 

 

A few other comments. “convenient and modifiable form” and “no technological obstacles” cannot be defined precisely but I would ague that if the Open Data provider had published their formats and if there was Open Source code that would read the data that was sufficient. Note that for many files ASCII is sufficient if the metadata is well provided. There is no requirement for the Open Data provider to provide installation help for downloaders if the instructions are minimally clear.

Open Access for scholarly publications implicitly guarantees certain aspects which are not guaranteed by default for Open Data:

  • The whole of the work is available. This is almost always trivial for articles (but as we have seen is a problem for some sorts of data).
  • There will be continued access to the work. This is based on (Gold) the permanence of Open Access publishers and the copying to inter/national repositories and (Green) the permanence of institutional repositories and in some cases inter/national repositories (self-archival on personal webpages does not guarantee permanent access). Repositories in general do not archive data.
  • The work can be re-used. This is clear if a licence is embedded in the work or provided by the repository. Note that many repositories do not make the licence position clear.
  • The work is in a convenient and modifiable form. Trivially readable for sighted humans. The rest is not always true.

Almost all these are major problems for Open Data.

So I very much hope that we can use Open Data in a strict form which adheres to the Open Knowledge Foundation guidelines. This is a good time to cement or challenge them. But it would be a serious problem if we allow “Freely accessible” to become synonymous with “Open Data”.

Blog upgraded to receive dogfood

In preparation for collaborating with Peter Sefton we’ve[*] upgraded to WordPress 2.3 and installed ICE and Open Office. Jim has a UNIX client and I have a Windows. So this gives PeterS a good chance of having lots of exciting bugs and features reported.

Because of the upgrade the quality of the posts will vary. Software upgrades generally mean machines have more problems so we’ll try to avoid this with the blog.

[*] Many thanks to Jim for doing the work

Get ready for the lawsuit

In case it hasn’t reached the chemistry blogosphere, here’s more from Peter Suber; More from ACS Insider2


“ACS Insider2″ (a.k.a. “Miss Phlogiston”) reports that the American Chemical Society (ACS) has a plan in case the NIH adopts an OA mandate:

I’ve been told by multiple colleagues that ACS executives are creating a bogus controversy that Open Access will impede scientists’ copyright privileges in regards to the studies they publish.  ACS has already begun to “educate” scientists about intellectual property rights, with hints that this “education” will help them protect the integrity of their studies….

ACS might force a court case against the federal government based on copyright law, but management and lawyers are not sure that this will work.  At best it might just delay the inevitable….

Comments

PMR: The argument here is that scientists need publishers to protect the scientists’ copyright. It seems there is a huge body of IP pirates who want to rip-off my articles  and do something awful with them. I am not clear what this awful thing is – it can be selling them for less than I do, since I give them away free anyway. Do they mutilate them and dishonour my moral rights? Portray me as a pervert? A drugs trader? It’s never happened to me. Is this because the scientific publishers are constantly guarding my rights round the clock – they never sleep?

Here’s the  argument from the Copyright Alliance

The Copyright Alliance today urged Congress to eliminate a provision that would dramatically reduce the copyright protection from scientific research papers.

“The unintended consequence of this measure [...any researcher receiving NIH funds to surrender a manuscript – after acceptance by a publisher and after a full peer review – to the government to be posted for free to the world, no more than one year after publication....] is the chilling effect it could have on the ability of would-be publishers to conduct peer review and publish and disseminate their works.

“Further, this change clearly would undermine the ability of the U.S. Trade Representative to argue with credibility for strong intellectual property rights in negotiations abroad. It is difficult to ask other nations to show more respect for the rights of creators when we are singling out a class of creators in our own country and all but eliminating its rights.

If this were true then any paper where the author had retained copyright would immediately be stolen and used for immoral and deceitful purposes. This has never happened to me – am I just lucky?

No. The answer is simple. Scientific papers have no monetary value UNLESS the author hands the rights to a publisher to resell on the publisher’s behalf. It may (or may not) be necessary to the business model of the publisher to protect the revenue through copyright enforcement, but in no way is this supporting AUTHORS’ moral rights.

The argument – if such it can be called – is obviously  based on non-existent premises. But its chilling effect is because a powerful body such as the CA puts such effect into promoting something it knows intellectually to be rubbish. I wonder whether the membership of the CA offers any clues:

Members of the Copyright Alliance include: American Federation of Television & Radio Artists; American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers; American Society of Media Photographers; Association of American Publishers; Association of Independent Music Publishers; Attributor; Broadcast Music, Inc.; Business Software Alliance; CBS Corporation; Directors Guild of America; Discovery Communications; Entertainment Software Association; Graphic Artists Guild; Imageline Inc.; Imagery Alliance; Langley Productions; Magazine Publishers of America; Major League Baseball; Microsoft; Motion Picture Association of America; National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR); National Association of Broadcasters; National Collegiate Athletic Association; National Football League; National Music Publishers’ Association; National Basketball Association Properties, Inc.; NBC Universal; Newspaper Association of America; News Corporation; PPL and VPL; Professional Photographers of America; Recording Artists’ Coalition; Recording Industry Association of America; Reed Elsevier; SESAC; Software & Information Industry Association; Sony Pictures Entertainment; Time Warner; Viacom; Vin Di Bona Productions; and The Walt Disney Company.

Where are the scientific publishers? I imagine in the “Association of American Publishers” from whose head PRISM sprang fully armed… I am sure their voice is widely heard in the CA.

Win 10 million USD (honest)

I haven’t seen this on the chemical blogosphere so if there are any chemists out there working with silver (Ag) here’s your chance:


you have until January 21, 2008 to register as a participant and submit your Phase 1 proposal

Barrick’s Unlock the Value program is a unique opportunity for scientific problem solvers. We invite proposals for an economically viable way to recover silver from silica-encapsulated ore. For proposals judged to have merit, Barrick will:

* Fund your research
* Pay you a consulting fee
* Provide resources and expertise
* Help you develop and test your idea

http://www.unlockthevalue.com/

PMR: THis was one of the emerging themes at scifoo where companies would advertise their problems instead of doing in-house development. Of course there is a balance between openness and business confidentiality but I think that many industries (especially pharmaceutical) would do better to advertise their problems and share their data rather than being so protective.

McGonagall’s markup

Sometimes we, or our robots, have to read raw HTML. HTML is a W3C Recommendation which approximates to the word “Standard”. Almost all of the HTML on the web isn’t. Originally it was authored by humans who couldn’t be relied on to get the end tags right so browsers had to be forgiving. And this forgiveness is both the success of the web and the horror of current non-semantic browsers.

Much HTML is now written by machines. Much of it is truly awful. But very occasionally you come across HTML which is so bad it is worthy of the famous William McGonagall, one of the worst poets in the Galaxy. For those unfamiliar, a snippet:

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember’d for a very long time.

If McGonagall had written in HTML he might have produced something like this:

mcgonagall.PNG
The remarkable thing is that this is written by a machine, not a human. I cannot fathom the thought processes of the person (or probably persons) who wrote the generator.

However machines can do a good job as well. Near the top of the list is WordPress. I tried to save the above snippet as real code and got:

< H2>Physical dataH2>
< UL> Appearance: colourless liquid
< br> Melting point: -31 C
< br> Boiling point: 156 C
< br> Vapour density: 5.4 (air = 1)
< br> Vapour pressure:
< br> Density (g cm< sup>-3sup>): 1.5
< BR> Flash point:  51 C
< br> Explosion limits:
< br> Autoignition temperature:
< BR> Water solubility: slight
< P>  UL>

This is bizarre - and the reason I haven't blogged any CML. But it ceases to be amusing in a few milliseconds. Whereas the true human has a delicious creativity in the grotesque.

[Added later:

This is what the WordPress HTML ACTUALLY looks like:

mcgonagall12.PNG

Enjoy the nested spans, the empty codes, the missing start tags. Now you can see why I need a new version ++ ICE]

Dog food is tasty!

I can’t escape… I have committed myself publicly. Here’s Peter Sefton:  Crossing curation mountain


I’m looking forward to seeing Peter Murray Rust eat my dog food. He’s lucky cos at our place the hounds eat relatively benign dry food. [...]

I’m going to follow up on using ICE for blogging to WordPress soon which is what that dog food stuff is about, but Peter has just pointed out some issues with getting papers into institutional repositories and I wanted to discuss some of his points here.

[...]

I liked the last bit, so I added some emphasis:

And if I were funding repositories I would certainly put resource into communal authoring environments. If you do that, then it really is a one-click reposition instead of the half-day mess of trying to find the lost documents.

I’ll be sure to mention this to our friends at DEST.

PMR: Thanks. I’ll need help. First we need to make sure the WordPress version is correct. I have 2.03. There are no immediate plans to upgrade but this might swing it. I would re-open the CMLBlog (which is sleeping till I can author better). I probably need some hand-holding.

I think we are gradually getting places. Some years ago we (Henry, Egon and me) hacked CMLRSS. It works, but only with a complicated bespoke client. Now we’ve got a better handle of the technology and with Atom+PNG we can direct intravenous feeds of CrystalEye. Every new structure with full structural diagram (well every organic one). Here’s Jim’s post…

That’s what real publishers should be thinking about. What’s inside the post as well as on the surface. Come to think of it we can probably put it on ICE.

Communal repositability wiki?

I continually find it difficult to know what the formal publisher rules are for self-archiving. In my naive days I used to think this area was governed by logic – e.g. that Open Access implied adherence to the BBB declarations implied CC-BY. How silly. The real answer is that there is a huge variation in publisher policies (some seemingly internally inconsistent and many drafted in the era of printing presses). Many of these deserve challenging but are so fuzzy that it’s like punching cotton wool. I used to think this was simple carelessness – now I think it’s deliberate obscurantism.

Here’s a simple question: If I have an article accepted for publication and the publisher has agreed that I retain copyright, can I:

  • self archive my pre-print?
  • self-archive my post-print?
  • self-archive both?
  • self-archive neither?

The answer (which I got wrong) is given later – don’t peek.

So how do we know what the actual policies are? A few months ago I suggested to some of my Blue Obelisk colleagues that we carry out a systematic survey of Open Access policies in Chemistry, and particularly whether the publisher allowed re-use of the data (e.g. was it Open Data?). There were (only) about 60 journals, some very small, so it didn’t seem difficult. However after struggling through about 10 publishers pages I was worn out with the difficulty of getting any sort of grip. So we have put this on hold (but not before we had alerted one published to the value of adopting a CC-BY licence).

Yesterday Elin Stangeland from our DSpace@Cambridge told us how to self-archive and I think it’s generating useful interest and commitment in my colleagues. Unfortunately chemistry is almost the worst subject for any sort of OA. Am I allowed to post my preprint of an article  in an ACS (American Chemical Society) journal? After all I wrote it – surely the ACS doesn’t own the copyright before I’ve submitted it? No, it doesn’t. but as Peter Suber reminds us:

Retention of copyright is neither necessary nor sufficient to allow authors to self-archive. It’s not necessary because authors don’t need the full bundle of rights in order to authorize self-archiving. It’s not sufficient in the sense that many journals (for example, Nature and Science) say that they let authors retain copyright but in the fine print insist on exceptions that deprive authors of the right to self-archive. However, retaining copyright simpliciter or without qualification is more than enough to allow authors to self-archive.

Did you get it right? The answer seems to be that copyright is irrelevant if the publisher requires you to sign that you will not self-archive. There are a zillion publishers, many with umpteen pages of fuzzy pseudo-legal waffle embedded in the promotional material on the mastheads of their journal. So you have to know it for each one.

Now SHERPA/RoMEO – Publisher copyright policies & self-archiving has more-or-less definitive statements about publishers’ policies. Of course the publisher has the correct version and it’s possible for the sites to be inconsistent. Not SHERPA’s fault. It’s a large job. In addition many publishers will actually waive copyright transfer if you ask nicely or are sufficiently feared/valuable. But, since many of us still find it difficult work out. So I suggested it would be useful to have an informal website/wiki where people could record their experiences of self-archiving – either as authors or as repository managers. Dorothea Salo replies…

Dorothea Salo Says:
November 13th, 2007 at 2:44 pm e

I thought about this a year or so ago. I even started experimenting with wiki software. I’d be willing to run it… but it’s not going to work without the investment you mention, and that is a hard problem.

Imprimis, many repository “managers” (scare quotes used advisedly) are part-timers who had the repository loaded on to an existing full-time job. These people are not clued into the zeitgeist. A lot of them don’t even know about SHERPA.

Secundus, a lot of us have “better safe than sorry” imprinted on our brains by management and by the general culture of risk aversion in librarianship, and so if SHERPA doesn’t have the answer, we don’t investigate any further.

Tertius, there aren’t obvious places to get out the word on something like this. We have no journal. The only conference dedicated to us, Open Repositories, travels more than we can afford to. We have no online gathering-place (and if we did, how many of us would know about it? see point the first). And nobody’s leading. I’ve tried. I failed.

Quartus, it’s been tried on a disciplinary basis in law. The results were not outstanding.

I really will do this if someone convinces me there’s a snowball’s chance in Hades of it actually accomplishing something. Thus far, not convinced.

PMR: This is very useful. The law site is actually nicely laid out and although not heavily populated is exactly what is required. I could see that 1-2 repositorians could reasonably populate the wiki and keep it up-to-date. I shan’t finger anyone but there are organizations dedicated to the Opening of publications and they could find it useful to help support an effort like this.

At least, Dorothea, this is helping to change the zeitgeist or spread its influence.

floreat lector