💬 Friday thread: open science
Carl Malamud has launched a giant index of more than 107,000,000 scientific articles. The repository contains more than 355 billion words and phrases alongside the details of the article to which they refer.
Scientific publishing is one of the most locked-down, closed-garden repositories of knowledge in the world. Publicly funded researchers must publish - and publish in the most prestigious journals - to advance their careers. These journals are run by an oligopoly of scientific publishers, which charge massive fees to the public institutions that employ the researchers. The result is an enclosing of knowledge and some highly profitable publishing firms. (See the Reed-Elsevier share price below.)
Malamud’s efforts will allow scientists to text mine research and provide guidance of hot areas of research, as well as the under-explored. It may broaden access to this knowledge - something increasingly important in the Global South. Greater access may also allow deeper scrutiny of scientific research, which has had several crises of replication and authenticity in recent years.
I would love today’s discussion to focus on the question of open science. How available should scientific research be? What are the benefits of open research? What are the limits of open access? How much is “enclosure” needed to create the right economic incentives? What interesting tools or products have you come across? Are their novel approaches, perhaps using technologies like DAOs, that could be part of the portfolio?
Enjoy the discussion!
P.S. Open science, enclosure of the publics, and how we respond are discussed in chapters 2, 8 & 9 of my book.