Science Commons: Open The Flow Of Scientific Information
Creative Commons has become a modern-day alternative to copyright which we inherited from pre-computer and pre-internet times. Ubiquitous copyright has become an obstacle to sharing and utilizing the immense amounts of information now at our fingertips. The idea is to form a "commons", that is, a freely accessible body of facts and ideas where barriers to the exchange and use of information have been removed or at least lowered from the rigid standards imposed by traditional copyright.
A new initiative of Creative Commons, directed towards sharing not only copyrighted material but also patents and scientific data is taking shape and is expected to take off some time in early 2005. Science Commons intends to help make scientific research more accessible and open a new era on interdisciplinary co-operation.The mission of Science Commons is to encourage scientific innovation by making it easier for scientists, universities, and industries to use literature, data, and other scientific intellectual property and to share their knowledge with others. Science Commons works within current copyright and patent law to promote legal and technical mechanisms that remove barriers to sharing.
This is an opening that should be given close attention by the communities of what are now called "alternatives" such as the use of natural remedies and nutrition in health the search for advanced physics concepts in a quest for energy independence.
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For example, the Journal of Orthomolecular Nutrition is not indexed in the National Library of Medicine's Medline database. It should be, lest medicine miss out on a wealth of research that may contribute to our understanding of illness and is quite certain - once widely applied - to lead to better prevention and more choice in available healthcare options.
There are few if any journals publishing "free energy" and "alternative physics" topics that find their way into the official databases accessed by university students and researchers. Not because they do not contain research that should be accessible, but because of an inherently closed attitude of the scientific establishment towards new ideas. Peer review tends to keep the paradigm threatening alternatives from being published and circulated for discussion. We are missing out on many opportunities for scientific progress, not to say about ending our current resource wars.
If we are serious about incorporating the best of what is now kept at the fringes into the mainstream of scientific knowledge and procedure, we need to think in terms of inclusion. Although Science Commons for now seems oriented to facilitating the sharing of what is considered mainstream scientific information, it could very well become a potent tool for widening the horizons of scientific inquiry in many fields.
The outline of ideas that form the basis of Science Commons can be found on their website but what's more, this is work in progress, meaning there are opportunities to suggest inclusion of certain data sets in the new pool that is being formed, of "liberated" scientific information.
Legislation Seeks Access to Tax-Funded Research
Thursday, 04 May 2006
Congress is finally addressing a rip-off by scientists who receive taxpayer money and don't show their findings to the public. Good news!!! Laypersons and independent researchers often cannot afford to access reports published in ‘peer reviewed’ journals --which is one reason that fraudulent reports have tainted the literature without true, independent peer review. Since the research was funded by taxpayers, it is not too much to require scientists who receive public funds to disclose their findings on the internet which is publicly accessible to all...
Introducing PLoS Clinical Trials
This new journal is devoted to providing an unbiased, peer-reviewed forum for trial results in all fields of medicine and public health. In the world of clinical trials, the current publishing system does not work in the best interests of patients, clinicians, or health policymakers. All these groups of people should be able to base their decisions on good-quality systematic overviews of all the available evidence. Thorough systematic review requires access to and careful evaluation of all the primary research studies that address the question of interest, and robust mechanisms are therefore needed for unbiased dissemination of the results of clinical research. However, bias is known to exert an effect at virtually every stage, from study concept and design to write-up and publication...
posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Monday February 21 2005
updated on Friday June 26 2009
URL of this article:
Peer Review - Politics of Science?
According to a recent article on BushGreenwatch.org, the White House is looking for ways to more closely control what scientists are allowed to say in studies that are to be used by the US government in forming policy in the areas of health and the environment. The peer review system, whereby a scientific article is scrutinized by a scientist's colleagues - actually often by an anonymous selection of "guardians of... [read more]
January 29, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger
Gene Mallove: Science Censorship is 'Invisible Evil'
When in February this year, the Union of Concerned Scientists came out with a warning that "the Bush administration had systematically distorted scientific fact in the service of policy goals on the environment, health, biomedical research and nuclear weaponry at home and abroad", a long festering wound was touched, but unfortunately no cleansing process seems to be underway as yet. Examples for the distortion of science for purposes of either... [read more]
April 30, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger
Schubert: 'Sound Science' Overrides Reality and Common Sense
Science in the service of politics? Yes, says the Union of Concerned Scientists, appalled over the hijacking of science by political expediency. According to an article in The Register, more than four thousand scientists signed the latest protest against the Bush administration's appalling bending of scientific fact to fit the political agenda. David Schubert, head of the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla,... [read more]
July 18, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger
Medline 'Oversight' - Orthomolecular Journal Not Indexed
The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine regularly publishes interesting articles, such as the one by Alan Gaby MD which discusses "safety limits" for vitamins and which I cited in a recent post titled "Risk Free Vitamins - How Safe is Safe Enough?". One would think that Medline, the major internet-based reference work for medical scientific literature should list the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine as part of its database of public information.... [read more]
June 22, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger