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Author Topic: NASA puts first Curiosity Rover scientific papers behind a paywall?  (Read 1352 times)

40hz

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This is an interesting one. NASA has published the first 5 papers on it's Curiosity Mars Rover. But they did it through Science Magazine - which promptly locked them behind their paywall - and demanded $20 for a one-day pass to read them.

Fortunately, biologist Michael Eisen of UC Berkeley is a little more up on copyright rules and relevant laws for US Government projects than either NASA or Science Magazine apparently are. Michael 'liberated' and put all 5 article PDFs up on his blog site for download along with a rather pointed essay discussing why NASA should know better (from both a legal and a public relations perspective) than to try something like that.

Quote
NASA paywalls first papers arising from Curiosity rover, I am setting them free
By Michael Eisen | Published: September 26, 2013


The Mars Curiosity rover has been a huge boon for NASA – tapping into the public’s fascination with space exploration and the search for life on other planets. Its landing was watched live by millions of people, and interest in the photos and videos it is collecting is so great, that NASA has had to relocate its servers to deal with the capacity.

So what does NASA do to reward this outpouring of public interest (not to mention to $2.5 billion taxpayer dollars that made it possible)? They publish the first papers to arise from the project behind a Science magazine’s paywall...<more>


Apparently NASA got the message. Because the JPL has since re-published the same articles and made them freely available from their own website - where they should have been released to begin with.

Mike's blog post is really interesting and informative. There's several points he made that may be handy to remember if you're ever in a position where some government agency is attempting to freeze you out of reports and information you already paid them to produce with your tax dollars.

Read it here.

(With thanks to Boing Boing for spotting this!) :Thmbsup:


TaoPhoenix

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Re: NASA puts first Curiosity Rover scientific papers behind a paywall?
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 05:56:00 PM »
I have the page loaded to read in more detail in a min, but it's nice to see someone slowly passing along the news that the copyright games are NOT okay. And this might be a useful top level strategy - first push back on the clear slam dunks, to get people to notice that abuses are happening, then later you can fight for the murkier cases that are getting stonewalled for some reason.


Renegade

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Re: NASA puts first Curiosity Rover scientific papers behind a paywall?
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 06:04:27 PM »
Quote
The only ambiguity in the case of these Curiosity papers is that not all of the authors are US Government employees, and thus the work is, I am told “co-owned” by the authors. I’m not sure what effect this has on the ability of Science magazine to assert copyright in the work, since, at best, they are doing so at the behest of only a subset of the authors. The law makes it clear that its intent is to direct the US government authors to place the work in the public domain, and that any agreement they enter into to restrict access to the work is invalid. This is why I view the practice of taking works authored (and funded) by the US government and placing them behind paywalls to be illegitimate.

Perhaps the contracted authors claim copyright in the vowels?

D__ch_b_gg_ry. Would you like to buy a vowel? :P
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wraith808

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Re: NASA puts first Curiosity Rover scientific papers behind a paywall?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 06:21:51 PM »
D__ch_b_gg_ry. Would you like to buy a vowel?

You have a way with words, Ren. :P

Renegade

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Re: NASA puts first Curiosity Rover scientific papers behind a paywall?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 06:41:08 PM »
D__ch_b_gg_ry. Would you like to buy a vowel?

You have a way with words, Ren. :P

Wh_, th_nk y__! 8)
Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker

ewemoa

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Re: NASA puts first Curiosity Rover scientific papers behind a paywall?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 08:17:24 PM »
Long live arXiv?

IainB

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Re: NASA puts first Curiosity Rover scientific papers behind a paywall?
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2013, 06:46:54 PM »
I think this kind of pay-walling stinks. It shows a complete lack of ethics and professional scientific integrity and it goes hand-in-hand with the equally odious practice of deliberate restriction of access - by blocking FOI access, or locking-up and in some cases deletion - of/to data/information used in dubious scientific/academic research which has been partly/wholly funded by the public purse. This seems to be invariably attributable to a desperate need to avoid critical and open review leading to the very real risk that the research can be falsifiable - e.g., (QED) Climategate, S-E Anglia CRU research FOIA and the now apparently discredited hockey-stick chart from Mann (Penn.U.).

These all seem to be reflections of the same thing: a complete lack of ethics and professional scientific integrity.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 07:40:21 PM by IainB, Reason: corrected FOIA. »