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It’s been a while since I wrote one of these posts, and a lot has been happening which is really great. But, as usual, exam marking took priority, or should I say, took over my life.

And the SPARC goes to….

First of all, I would love to congratulate the authors of the Panton Principles for receiving the SPARC innnovation award. Who is SPARC? According to their website

’SPARC has become a catalyst for change. Its pragmatic focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries.’

According to the press release of June 22nd, the authors of the Panton Principles (Peter Murray-Rust, Cameron Neylon, Rufus Pollock and John Willbanks) were given this award because:

’The authors advocate making data freely available on the Internet for anyone to download, copy, analyze, reprocess, pass to software or use for any purpose without financial, legal or technical barriers. Through the Principles, the group aimed to develop clear language that explicitly defines how a scientist’s rights to his own data could be structured so others can freely reuse or build on it.’

There is a great article on the award and the history of the Panton Principles here. It is definitely worth a read.

(HT Jonathan Gray)

Open Science Summit

The ’First Ever Open Science Summit’ will be taking place in Berkeley California on July 29-31. It promises to be a great event not only because I am sure it will bring a lot of energy from the people attending a ’First’ but also because the session schedule just made me drool. From a retrospective of the human genome, to Open Access publishing, to Citizen Science, this looks like it will be a couple of days to remember by those able to attend.

(HT @JasonHoyt on Twitter)

Licencing Open Data

The Panton Principles address some of the issues surrounding how data should be share. Last week Glynn Moody on twitter pointed to this site: the Open Data Commons, a project ran by the Open Knowledge Foundation. This site provides 3 types of licences for data. I found the FAQ section quite informative, especially the linked section that discusses why these licences are put into place as opposed to the Creative Commons licences. (HT @glynmoody on twitter)

Related to this, there is a really interesting article on the Open Knowledge Foundation site that discusses the differences in non-commercial (NC) and share-alike (SA) licences, which addresses why the licences offered by the Open Data Commons are the way they are.

’This interoperability is absolutely key to realizing the main practical benefits of ’openness’ which is the ease of use and reuse – which, in turn, mean more and better stuff getting created and used.

[...]The aim is to ensure that any license which complies with the definition will be interoperable with any other such license meaning that data or content under the one license can be combined with data or content under the other license.

[...]Non-commercial provisions are not permitted because they fundamentally break the commons, not only through being incompatible with other licenses but because they overtly discriminate against particular types of users.’

Already the Panton Principles had suggested that licences other than CCZero of the Creative Commons should be discouraged. The Open Data Commons provides licencing formats for data and databases that should facilitate the way that data can be shared.

And that is a good thing.