Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Some of the best things in life are free

Last week I went to the Berlin 4 Open Access - From Promise to Practice conference in Golm Germany. For me it was an education. The really big thing that I now appreciate even more than before is the extend science is prevented from being science because of restrictive practices.

Typically something can be called scientific when the conclusions are arrived at in a methodical way and, the method is repeatable. This is exactly what the Open Access movement wants to bring back. In order to do this they have to wrest away the restrictions that copyright has put on scientific data far too long. A lot of bad science is the result of these restrictions a lot of wastage is the result of these restrictions.

What I learned is that many superb resources are becoming available to the world as a consequence of this movement. Open Access is a rich tapestry with many threats in many fabrics of many colours.

If there was one thing disappointing it was the lack of awareness of licenses. It is a CC license.. was the answer and people applauded. Well, Creative Commons has great licenses but it is a bit like Animal Farm; all CC licenses are Free but some are more Free than others ...

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