[Air-L] Aaron's memorial - Air-L Digest, Vol 102, Issue 12

Burcu Bakioglu bbakiogl at gmail.com
Mon Jan 14 14:38:10 PST 2013

Hi all,
I have to say, this incident came as a big shock to me as it did for all of
us. And I appreciate and support the tribute, don't get me wrong. But
couple of concerns come to my mind as we're dumping all of our research
online. And I'd like to discuss this instead of sitting quietly in the

1) I know this is a very emotional time for all of us, but when you are
putting your published articles online, do you have the rights to it? I
mean, clearly, any publisher who goes after any of the researchers amidst
the heated debate led by Lawrence Lessig and other activists right now
would be insane. Media would attack them like vultures, but still, I wonder
if we are putting ourselves at risk. What happens when the dust settles?
Now, we may not care about this at all since apparently Aaron didn't. And
maybe that is the appropriate attitude. After all we are engaging in civil
disobedience, right? But this is worth discussing. If you are a known
researcher, surely you can weather the consequences, but the up-and-coming
ones are at a higher risk.

2) Secondly, are we doing this merely as a gesture or so that the academic
community at large and the entire world could benefit from this? From what
I gather, Aaron would have preferred the latter. If so, looking at the
pdftribute site, it is nearly impossible to retrieve the articles relevant
to one's own research unless you know the twitter handles. Internet was of
no use until it was organized and this repository would be no use to any of
us until it is indexed. Now maybe the site owner has plans to incorporate
this, I dunno. At the bottom of the site, it says that s/he is not
responsible for the quality of content and that s/he will look into it
later. I don't know what that might mean... Or maybe this is set up just as
a gesture/protest and we don't care about what happens afterwords. In which
case, it is rather short sighted of us, but that's OK... Point has been

I myself am planning on dedicating the current article that I am writing
(on piracy no less) to him... and signed a petition or two. And am
seriously considering taking Alex's suggestion and publishing in
open-access journals as much as I can. But would like to hear your thoughts
on these issues...


On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 4:09 PM, Jessica Richman
<jessica.richman at gmail.com>wrote:

> Thanks, Denice. Much appreciated, and hope it will do some good.
> On 14 January 2013 22:08, Denice Szafran <szafran at geneseo.edu> wrote:
> > I posted links to all my online material right after it went out on
> > Twitter. It seems to be a fitting tribute, and I encourage everyone to do
> > the same. #pdftribute
> >
> > Denice Szafran
> >
> >
> >
> > On 1/13/2013 6:01 PM, air-l-request at listserv.aoir.**org<
> air-l-request at listserv.aoir.org>wrote:
> >
> >> On Sun, Jan 13, 2013 at 3:58 AM, Jessica Richman
> >> <jessica.richman at gmail.com>**wrote:
> >>
> >>  >Please tweet #pdftribute and post your papers online in tribute to
> Aaron
> >>> >Swartz, who committed suicide yesterday, after being hounded by
> >>> prosecutors
> >>> >in the US.
> >>>
> >>
> > --
> > Denice Szafran, Ph.D.
> > Visiting Lecturer and Coordinator of the Linguistics Minor
> > Anthropology Department
> > 13F Sturges, 1 College Circle, Geneseo, NY 14454
> > 585-245-5174
> >
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Burcu S. Bakioglu, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow in New Media
Lawrence University


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