11 June 2009

Communicating swine flu research - Evidence for open access models?

Through Twitter, just came across fascinating blog post from leading science writer and blogger Carl Zimmer...

In his posting, he describes his positive experiences trying to obtain information on swine flu science.

Concluding that "the patient process of old-fashioned science publishing may have to be upgraded", he show how scientists working on the virus created an open wiki (thanks to them for the image on this posting) to share information - "So everyone who wanted to peruse their analysis could see how it developed as more data emerged and as they used different methods to analyze it."

After this open process, it seems the results were published (today 11 June) in Nature - with a Creative Commons license.

Of course, this openness may be due to the urgent nature of the problem. But it does show a different - and open - way to do science. This model combines open 'social' media like wikis and blogs with publishing in a traditional peer-reviewed journal, and the use of creative commons licenses to maximise access to the results.

It sounds like several of the promising pathways CIARD aims to pull together to make agricultural research outputs more accessible!

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