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#btpdf2: #okfn Lets’ have OPEN hackathons to build new scholarship

I’m at “Beyond the PDF2″ http://www.force11.org/beyondthepdf2 – which is meant to redesign scholarly publication. I am getting increasingly restless. (I am a “retired” academic – working as hard as ever – but I have an increasingly unhappy view of academia). I compare these two days with #okfest last year and the contrast is immense. Then we had people from all sectors – cities, banks, health, makers, creative … and a real sense we could change the world. At #btdpf2 we have mainly heard minor tweaks to the current system.

The current academic system is broken.

It’s out of touch with the world and the C21. It promotes inequality and injustice.

Whenever an innovative venture occurs then it’s in great danger of being stifled. Or worse being bought and controlled by commercial interests. And used to control us further. The metric tools and repositories and authoring and reading tools will end up in non-transparent and non-accountable publishing houses.

We must have an OPEN alternative.

And Wikipedia and Open Streetmap have shown that it can be done outside academia. And it doesn’t take huge resources to start.

Last Saturday the OKF crowdcrafting hackfest was sparked by two young people from Paris. They didn’t know how to start. They didn’t have tools. But they had a great idea – to use flickr to investigate the role of women in science.

Within SIX hours we – as a community had the start of a vibrant, meaningful research project.

Almost zero funding. (The free lunch was VERY GOOD).

So if #BTPDF has any meaning for me in the future it must run OPEN HACKATHONS.

And build and Openly control scholarship for the WORLD, not “just academia”

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