New Year's resolutions

Cameron Neylon has made Some New Year’s resolutions

I don’t usually do New Year’s resolutions. But in the spirit of the several posts from people looking back and looking forwards I thought I would offer a few. This being an open process there will be people to hold me to these so there will be a bit of encouragement there. This promises to be a year in which Open issues move much further up the agenda. These things are little ways that we can take this forward and help to build the momentum.

  1. I will adopt the NIH Open Access Mandate as a minimum standard for papers submitted in 2008. Where possible we will submit to fully Open Access journals but where there is not an appropriate journal in terms of subject area or status we will only submit to journals that allow us to submit a complete version of the paper to PubMed Central within 12 months.
  2. I will get more of our existing (non-ONS) data online and freely available.
  3. Going forward all members of my group will be committed to an Open Notebook Science approach unless this is prohibited or made impractical by the research funders. Where this is the case these projects will be publically flagged as non-ONS and I will apply the principle of the NIH OA Mandate (12 months maximum embargo) wherever possible.
  4. I will do more to publicise Open Notebook Science. Specifically I will give ONS a mention in every scientific talk and presentation I give.
  5. Regardless of the outcome of the funding application I will attempt to get funding to support an international meeting focussed on developing Open Approaches in Research.

PMR: This is highly commendable, especially from someone early in their career. Some comments:

  • In some subjects it’s hard to find Open Access journals whose scope covers the work. That’s very true of chemistry, and there is some sacrifice required. However, there is a high-risk investment here – publish in an OA journal and you are likely to get higher publicity than from a non-OA journal of similar standing. Senior faculty (like me) must promote the idea that it’s what you publish rather than where you publish that matters. All journals start small, but many grow, including OA ones.
  • ONS. This is technically hard in many areas. At this stage the effort is as important as the achievement – get as much online as you can afford. But complex internal workflows do not lend themselves to ONS easily and we certainly need a new generation of tools
  • I don’t know of any funders who explicitly forbid ONS (other than for confidentiality, etc.) Funders should not be concerned about where the work is published, only that it is reviewed and reasonably visible.  Funders certainly shouldn’t dictate the proposed journal and that’s the only obvious mechanism for forbidding ONS
  • Obviously I hope the application succeeds and we shall be there

Best of fortune

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