Tag Archives: University of Lincoln

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WikiLeaking Leaks into Science

I have an on-going interest (as well as a stake) in how academia will advance in the digital world, where new capabilities afforded by technology force us to question the way we currently produce and distribute research works. Particular problems that have already been highlighted involve journals. One of these is the idea of the “impact factor”, an idea particularly maligned by active researchers; another is the availability of articles to the public. These problems are not short of proposed solutions. (David Colquhoun is a prodigious and no-nonsense writer in this respect who I recommend; over here, I have already written about article-level metrics as a remedy against the first problem).

A stopgap solution to the second problem of the availability of research papers is to be found at the newly-launched ScienceLeaks (leaking seems to the all the rage right now). Put simply, the problem is that access is unfair, because papers are usually only available in journals that block access to them based on ability to pay. Realistically, this means you have to be affiliated with some kind of research institute that will pay the access fees (even an  individual paper can cost upwards of £10 – £20, and when writing an article of your own 10 – 20 references minimum is typical).  And this doesn’t always solve the problem; I studied at the University of Lincoln, a fine institute, but it could not at the time afford access to every publisher we needed in the computer science department. This is to say nothing of the immorality when you consider that much research is paid for by public money, only to be then made practically unavailable to the public. ScienceLeaks’s mission is to provide a place where researchers can request papers they cannot access and people can post copies for them.

Time will tell if the project manages to fulfil that need.

Ah, I’ve Been Expecting You…

Welcome to the new location for my blog. Until recently this blog was hosted by the University of Lincoln whilst I obtained my PhD. Now that it’s completed and I’ve moved on, I’ve moved it here.

Coincidentally, we in the Software Engineering Working Group at the Free University of Berlin are in the process of setting up a blog for our work on FU’s very own blog servers. It’s all in progress, so I’ll be speaking of it very soon.

A Life Update

I seem to have fallen off the blogosphere in the past few weeks. There is good reason for this I assure you.

Firstly, I had been busy preparing for my viva voce, the oral defence of my PhD thesis and the last hurdle to completion. I am happy to say that I was passed, I have my doctorate and I am now a free man!

Secondly, my time has also been taken up preparing for the impending move to my new position as a researcher at Freie Universität Berlin in Germany. All being well I should begin there next week. My work will continue to involve FLOSS, but will be focused on agile methods also.

The University of Lincoln has very kindly permitted me to continue this blog. I will continue to write here on the topic of FLOSS, and hopefully I will be able to share my new work also.

Brayford Pool, University of Lincoln
Brayford Pool, University of Lincoln

I will miss Lincoln it is a wonderful place; it is a very pretty city and the University has been good to me. I leave behind some great friends and associates, but I take many cherished memories with me.