I can see your repository from up here . . .

Satellite Image

The UK is chairing the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters for six months, with responsibility for strategy and policy. The Charter coordinates the use of  satellite images that can be used during natural emergencies and the UK’s chairmanship has just made an interesting contribution to the wider open agenda. From the Press Release:

“The UK has gained agreement on providing universal access to satellite images during natural emergencies, at its first meeting after taking over as Chair of the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters. This will enable any country to draw upon the data provided by the Charter, an agreement that coordinates space agencies worldwide in gathering vital satellite images of disaster-stricken regions – providing them to civil protection authorities to inform their response efforts and save lives.”

This is a good example of the way that the open agenda is spreading across public access to different data sources. It is easy to get the impression from some critics in the publishing industry that open access to research outputs and research data is a movement which is simply upsetting to, and restricted to, academic publishing. As academics and external observers know, it is far broader than this. Academic research communication systems have to react to this broader movement, as much as see it as an internal development.

Having said all that, the image accompanying this posting had to be from the Flickr collection of  NASA Goddard, not Spacegovuk’s photostream on Flickr, where all of the images are copyright and all rights reserved! 🙂

Bill

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Royal Society to investigate open science

Open Science has been on my mind recently – so when I heard it mentioned on the radio as I was waking up this morning, at first I thought I might be dreaming! But no – it was indeed Prof Geoffrey Boulton talking about a working group set up by the Royal Society to look at “Science as a Public Enterprise”, which he’ll be chairing.

Prof Boulton said that scientists must find new ways of engaging with people and making science more open – so scientists’ data should be quickly and easily available both to other scientists and in the public domain. This is good news for those of us interested in opening access to the results of research. The Royal Society is here putting its weight behind “a presumption in favour of data sharing” .  Will this help change the hearts and minds of scientists who up to now have been sceptical about the open agenda?

The working group is calling for evidence from scientists, government bodies, business and industry and the general public. It will be interesting to see its recommendations.

The RCS is working with consultant Sarah Currier on our own study of open science and citizen science and we too should like to hear the views of anyone interested in this development in scientific communication.

Briefing Papers Online

We have recently released 4 briefing papers about Open Access that are now available on our website and also here on our blog.

The briefing papers cover the following topics:

  • Open Access: In Support of Research
  • Open Access: Beyond the Numbers
  • Open Access: Embedding Repositories
  • “Gold” Open Access Publishing

If you are interested in receiving paper copies please do contact me.