Today I’m posting a piece I wrote for the latest NZ Entomological Society Newsletter on my collaboration with Science Learning Hub.
At it’s most simple, ‘open access’ is the idea that anyone should be able to read and reuse scholarly works free of charge.
The open access debate is sometimes framed as an all-or-nothing, take it or leave it kind of deal. But those in favour of OA are not necessarily in favour of forking out huge APC’s to OA or Hybrid publishers. Likewise, those with concerns about OA are not necessarily happy with big publishers making massive profit margins by paywalling taxpayer-funded research.
But rather than arguing for one business model or another (a task I’m vastly under-qualified to do), I simply want to remind researchers that in the mean time, we can make all of our work openly accessible entirely for free (for both authors and readers), with minimal effort, all while publishing in whatever journal we want.
Yes, we have native wasps in New Zealand!
Unfortunately we also have a handful of introduced social wasps. The introduced wasps prey on native invertebrates and create a nuisance (especially for people who are allergic to their stings). But our native wasps do not live together in colonies and they do not sting. They are parasitoid wasps: a very diverse and important group, and we are just beginning to unravel the complex relationships they have with other species here in New Zealand.
During my masters research I caught 61 species of parasitoid wasps from the group I was interested in (the Ichneumonidae). Fifty-six of these species are represented here. You’ll notice most are given a ‘first name’ and then ‘sp.#’ – This means we know the first name (the genus), and we know it is a species, but it is not yet described as a species. Most of our invertebrates are like this because there are so many species and so few people to describe and name them.
To wrap up this series I spoke to Dr Jon Tennant. Jon is a palaeontologist, independent researcher, and passionate advocate for open scholarship. Jon completed his PhD thesis in January 2017 at Imperial College London (and made it available under a CC-BY license on figshare). Jon has contributed research on peer review and open access; founded a palaeontology pre-print server; founded a MOOC on open science; communicated huge amounts of science as a freelance writer; and much more.
I’m a scientist-in-training who enjoys learning about the intersection of science and society, so this is a very important question for me. In attempting to answer this question for myself, I’ve become more and more interested in the concept of Open Science (OS):
Open science is the movement to make scientific research, data and dissemination accessible to all levels of an inquiring society, amateur or professional.
I wanted to learn more about the philosophies behind OS, and the practical steps that scientists can take to make their work more open. I wanted to understand the benefits and drawbacks of open science. This post explores what I have learnt so far.
See update below
In my opinion, Zotero is the best reference manager out there.
I thought I would put together a quick guide for how to set up Zotero with Google Drive (or other similar cloud backup options). This way, you can sync as many documents as you want and access them on multiple devices easily. Just set up each of your devices as shown below. But just a heads up, with this method you won’t be able to sync files from group libraries, so if file syncing with groups is important to you I would suggest paying the small fee for a Zotero storage plan.