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October 2014
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Now With Extra Added Fellowship

Last week I was surprised to receive an email from Shane Coughlan inviting me to become a Fellow of the OpenForum Academy. The current Fellowship has some of my personal heroes in there and so it was exciting and humbling to receive such an offer.

From their website:

OpenForum Academy is a think tank with a broad aim to examine the paradigm shift towards openness in computing that is currently underway, and to explore how this trend is changing the role of computing in society.

and:

OpenForum Academy is an independent programme established by OpenForum Europe. It has created a link with academia in order to provide new input and insight into the key issues which impact the openness of the IT market. Central to the operation of OpenForum Academy are the Fellows, each selected as individual contributors to the work of OFA. A number of academic organisations have agreed to work with OFA, working both with the Fellows and within a network of contributors in support of developing research initiatives.

During Akademy last week I was very impressed by the keynote presentation given by Will Schroeder of Kitware. At the core of his talk was a concern that research should be open by default, but it isn’t: peer review is a black box and publishers charge a fortune for access to the final paper. Over dinner we spoke at length on this matter.

I am lucky in that my career is no-longer tied to my publication record. This allows me the freedom to do my research when and where I want. Typically this means I treat all my research as “work in progress”. As and when I make little steps forward, I publish what I have done in my blog and gather feedback.

I have now taken the decision that whenever I have a complete piece of work I will publish:

  • in an open-access journal;
  • my data and the method I used to gather it;
  • any tools I used to process that data.
I have always conducted my research as a benefit to the Free Software community. I’m extremely grateful to the OpenForum Academy for recognising this work and I take my new Fellowship as an opportunity to renew my commitment to making my research as open as I can.
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