September 2004 Archives

Do Open Access Articles Have a Greater Research Impact?

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This paper (Do Open Access Articles Have a Greater Research Impact?) reports its findings that "freely available articles do have a greater research impact. Shedding light on this category of open access reveals that scholars in diverse disciplines are both adopting open access practices and being rewarded for it."

The findings of this paper have just confirmed what seems to be an obvious argument: the more open the accessibility to articles is, the more they will be used, and thus they ought to have greater impact in research and practice.

An additional question that needs to be addressed in this context is the overall impact of articles published in open access journals. It is quiet possible that articles published in open access journals might be able to shift the focus of a discipline or a field of study because of their wider availability and accessibility.

Political Agnosticism Open Source, Politics of Contrast

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Political Agnosticism Open Source, Politics of Contrast is a MUST read article on the socio-economical, political and legal issues regarding the concepts of openness when looked through the 'open source' prism, and its interrelatedness to innovation, creativity, and free speech.

Excerpts:
FOSS, of course, beholds a complex political life despite the lack of political intention; nonetheless, I argue that the political agnosticism of FOSS shapes the expressive life and force of its informal politics.

FOSS gives palpable voice to the growing fault lines between expressive and intellectual property rights, especially in the context of digital technologies. While free speech and property rights are often imagined as linked and essential parts of our American liberal heritage, the social life of FOSS complicates this connection while providing a window into how liberal values such as free speech take on specific forms through cultural-based technical practice: that of computer hacking.
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The technological potential for unlimited programmable capabilities melds with what is seen as the expansive ability for programmers to create. For programmers, computing in a dual sense, as a technology and as an activity, becomes a total realm for the freedom of creation and expression.

In essence, computing is understood and experienced (sometimes reflectively, other times implicitly) by FOSS hackers as the very micro-sphere for the unfettered circulation of thought, expression, and action that freedom within the macro-sphere FOSS seeks to achieve through licenses.

phd weblogs

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From apophenia: phd weblogs:

"I just revisited phd weblogs which is a collection of PhD students blogging. There are only 170 of us on there and i know that there are a whole lot more. So, if you're an academic blogger and you're reading this, add yourself there. And tell your friends. It's really fun to surf and find out what other folks are researching."

"Oh, and it's a great way of procrastinating when you've read PhD comics so many time that you have half of them memorized."

open source comming to hardware

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Open source comming to hardware:

"Can the open-source model be extended beyond software? It already has. In speaking today with Indian scholar Deepak Phatak, I learned about the "Simputer," introduced in 1998 and licensed under the Simputer General Public License, an open-source license developed for hardware."

Why The Open-Source Model Can Work In India

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The following article (Why The Open-Source Model Can Work In India) presents and interesting viewpoint about the coexistence between propriety and open source software. Note the "j-factor" and "g-factor".

In fact, Phatak thinks U.S. programmers' open-source approach has changed the world. "Americans may not realize this, but the [general public license] is one of their greatest contributions to the world," he says, explaining that the GPL allows open-source software to coexist with proprietary software.

He considers the coexistence crucial. "The whole world can't depend on open source," the scholar acknowledges. Moving forward, the software world will consist of both those who develop proprietary code and those who develop open-source code. The success of this model depends upon two things--what he calls the "g-factor" and the "j-factor."

"Proprietary vendors should avoid the g-factor and not become too greedy, otherwise people will choose open source," Phatak says. "And open-source developers should avoid the j-factor and not become jealous that someone else might be profiting from their work. They should be delighted that people are using it."

By Mentor Cana, PhD
more info at LinkedIn
email: mcana {[at]} kmentor {[dot]} com

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