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

danah boyd aoir.z3z at danah.org
Mon Jan 14 21:15:32 PST 2013


Forgive me for laughing, but there's a huge irony in all of this.  Aaron hated PDF.  It is a commercial proprietary format that cannot be easily parsed by bots. If your goal is to honor Aaron, don't just make your work human readable; make it machine readable by using a text-based markup language.  Think: HMTL.

To the broader issues, you'd be amazed at how often you can negotiate copyright with publishers if you try.  Not all.  Sage is particularly unpleasant.  But I've worked hard to keep copyright whenever possible and have succeeded more often than I expected. It's also possible to negotiate alternative licensing agreements with publishers or agreements that have expiration dates where they revert to you. You just need to be proactive about this.  But if you look in many of your contracts, you'll see that there's a three year expiration. Some even have an allowance for reposting on websites owned by your employer as the default.  Read the legal forms you sign when it comes to your work.

No matter what, if you're a scholar, make a darn website that lists all of your publications.  Make it easy for search engines to find you and your work, even if you can't put the article itself online. If you aren't just publishing for the social capital and status games of academia, you have a responsibility to try to make it easier for the public (including the machine public) to know about your work.  Getting the articles out there is important but we all know there are institutional bullies that prevent this from being easy.  But you can still do a lot to make your work broadly accessible by making it easily findable both for curious humans and machines.  This isn't perfect, but it's a better machine-readable organization scheme than just linking to articles on Twitter under an ephemeral hashtag.

danah



On Jan 14, 2013, at 5:38 PM, Burcu Bakioglu wrote:

> 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
> corner:
> 
> 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
> made.
> 
> 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...
> 
> BsB
> 
> 
> 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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>> 
>> 
>> --
>> Twitter @venturejessica http://bit.ly/OfIYHS
>> _______________________________________________
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> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Thanks,
> 
> Burcu S. Bakioglu, Ph.D.
> Postdoctoral Fellow in New Media
> Lawrence University
> 
> http://www.palefirer.com
> http://palefirer.com/blog/
> _______________________________________________
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------

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but we'll see what you're made of /
by what you make of me" -- ani

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