Mendeley part 2

It’s (entirely by coincidence) exactly a year since I first wrote about Mendeley and promoted it as a reference manager, something I continued to do when the subject came up. I was of course a bit disappointed to read now that Mendeley and Elsevier have joined together! Elsevier is an academic publisher with a less-than-stellar reputation. The only time I think I’ve mentioned it has been discussing the large boycott of it by various academics. It’s definitely left me feeling a little uncomfortable but they maintain it’s not going to change how they operate so I guess for now I’ll wait and see what happens.

A death in the open-access movement

I saw an article on Yahoo! today about the death of Aaron Swartz. Swartz was a computer programmer who co-authored RSS 1.0 (If you subscribe to the feeds for either new posts or new comments it is thanks to a later version of RSS), was co-owner of Reddit, a Wikipedia editor and activist. He committed suicide on 11 January, seemingly due to depression and stress relating to charges against him with regards to his activism relating to the open access movement. Continue reading

That headline is just misleading and dishonest

I understand to get people to read an article you need a good headline but they should at least reflect the content of the story and be honest. I was rather dismayed when I foundthis headline pop up on my News24 Sci-Tech feed, “Fraud ‘rife’ in science research.” That sounds like a major problem. However I had read the story before, both in Science and Nature, and those titles were not nearly as dramatic, being “Misconduct, Not Mistakes, Causes Most Retractions of Scientific Papers” and “Misconduct is the main cause of life-sciences retractions” respectively. Continue reading

Open-source and open-access news

I think as a global society we need to start working together to benefit everyone. Being in South Africa I’m constantly exposed both to sections of society that are incredibly poor and sections that are incredibly rich. One of the ways to move out of poverty and work towards a better world is through education and technology, but that costs money. Sometimes a lot of money, which is why I am supportive of various initiatives for free and open-source software. Previously I’ve expressed support for Mendeley and disapproved of attempts to prevent the public having access to research they funded. I’ve seen a few pieces on the topics recently and thought I’d share them in one convenient post. Continue reading