CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Biological Research with Open-Access Publications

J.W. Bizzaro jeff at bioinformatics.org
Sat May 26 14:14:03 EST 2001


                           CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

           Biological Research with Open-Access Publications (OAP)

                      Part of the joint conference on

      Text in Biology: Biological Research with Information Extraction
               & Open-Access Publications (BRIE & OAP) 2001

                A satellite event at the ISMB'01 conference

                             Copenhagen, Denmark 
                               Tivoli Gardens 
                               July 26, 2001 
                               9 AM to 5 PM 

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BACKGROUND

   * Copyright on scientific communications (published articles and so
     forth) belongs to publishing companies and not to authors, for most
     publications.  Scientists wishing to share relevant communications,
     even their own in some cases, face legal challenges from publishers.
   * Publishing companies charge expensive subscriptions to access
     scientific communications. Scientists in developing countries and
     poorly-endowed institutions, although intellectually on par with their
     peers, are severely hindered by this.
   * These two problems have prevented scientists from gaining any access,
     even for simple searches, to the full text of these communications.
   * Scientific communications are published in journals according to topic.
     This has resulted in confusion as to the best place to publish,
     retrieve or extract information (e.g., mathematical biology
     communications could be published in either a mathematical journal or a
     biological one).
   * Communications are also published in journals differing by publisher.
     This has caused the segregation of communications by the prestige of
     the journal (e.g., how difficult it is to be published in the journal
     and the composition of the readership). This has also allowed room for
     personal politics in scientific communication.
   * These two problems are compounded by the first two: with a limited
     budget, to which journals should one subscribe? What we are left with
     is an artificial selection, by publishers, of which communications are
     best suited to a scientist's field of study.
   * This may be the result of a competitive marketplace for readership, but
     is there an alternative to profit-based publications? Should there be?
     Can an alternative publication model be profitable for a publisher?
   * Additionally, even with the advent of computers, databases, and the
     World Wide Web, scientific communications are published as they were
     100 years ago: as linear, printable text. And they are archived this
     way. While this makes good reading, it is not the best format for
     information retrieval or extraction.
   * All of these problems restrict information retrieval, extraction, and
     scientific inquiry. How do we resolve them? As the ultimate solution,
     should future communications be published in an "open-access, global
     knowledge-base"? Before or after information extraction techniques are
     applied?

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AIMS

   * We identify several obstacles to information retrieval and extraction:
     copyright restrictions, costly subscriptions, artificial segregation of
     communications, and archival of information in a manner not suited for
     information retrieval and extraction. And we seek to discuss the
     concept of "open-access publications" and if it is a viable solution to
     these problems.
   * OAP also serves as a "Birds of a Feather" (BoF) meeting for
     Bioinformatics.org, an organization committed to freedom and openness
     in the field of bioinformatics.

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SCOPE

   * We are seeking several speakers who can address how the above problems
     might be solved. Topics may include author-owned copyrights, free or
     inexpensive subscriptions, uniform and multiple categories for
     communications, and archival of information in a manner suited for
     information retrieval and extraction, for example, knowledge bases.

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SUBMISSION

   * Platform presentations only
   * Submit abstracts by: June 15, 2001
   * Decisions by: June 30, 2001
   * Submissions to: brie-oap-01 at bioinformatics.org
   * Acceptable formats: PDF, postscript, RTF, MS Word
   * Length: one page maximum
   * PLEASE: include name, contact details, affiliation

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WEBSITE

   * http://bioinformatics.org/bof/brie-oap-01/

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