Thursday, 2 October 2008

Open Access and Research

Although this is not a word of the day entry, it does use two related expressions to bookend a very interesting conference, the Open Access and Research Conference, held in Brisbane on 24-25 September, and organised extremely effectively by Queensland University of Technology.

In one session, Professor Bernard Pailthorne of the University of Queensland asked a question about repositories of research data, along the lines of "do you really realise just how much storage space will be needed?" - an issue which he described as "deeply non-trivial." A very fair question, and quite an appropriate word of the day. A major focus of the conference was the management of research data.

Its antonym, from a a post by Professor Stevan Harnad on 1 October to the American Scientist Open Access Forum is "monumentally trivial", uttered in one of Stevan's regular sparring eposodes with Jean-Claude Gu├ędon. The discussion was about the meaning of the term postprint, and that was indeed a term which had come up at the conference. "Postprint" is a term in the harnadian vocabulary - although not in extensive use - to refer to a journal article which is identical to the published and refereed version, but not in the published format. Another major focus of the conference was open access repositories of research outputs, such as journal articles.

A good conference - the big picture from several angles, the Cutler Report (and Terry Cutler for good measure), repositories, research data, open access, eresearch infrastructure, legal issues, government policy, the ARC and NHMRC - even the large hadron collider made several appearances.

I will put out a post on harnadian as a word of the day, too, since I raised the topic.

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