Journals & Publications: Who really owns the products of publicly funded research

Got to thinking. In the sciences the ‘products’ of publicly funded R&D have been co-opted by the Journals and databased in a way that the ownership is taken according to format and warehousing. For years this has been a real road block for the small people.

If you want to write and submit a publication [without tax payer money] you will need to read the literature on your subject; albeit to do it right these days you could be reading up to a 1000 papers. To get your hands on them you need to shell out $39.95 for each; reaching $40,000 dollars. Which it is assumed most researchers will pass the cost back on the long suffering public yet again.

The other aspect is so much data is produced yet after being turned into a few charts and tables the vast amount of raw data isn’t shared, verifiable or used in collaboration.

Could this culture ever experience a paradigm shift and the ownership returned to the people who pay for it? I would love to see a Journal’s panellists switch to being peer reviewing referees only to approve aggregation under their banner while the raw data and the pdfs etc remain in public shared pods for access and further collaborative analysis and be more useful in the future


I would love to be able to donate my data to specific research institutions or scientific fields!


The Open Data movement/initiative is trying to tackle that: Make sure that as much data as possible is available for further research or just even for new products to build on.

For research papers, there’s Open Access - similar idea, but more focused on science publications.

To take the roundtrip back to Solid: I think it would be great if it’d be possible for end users to mark data they are willing to share/donate in a way similar to the creative commons licence. So that we have common flags that say whether this data can be used

  • for science
  • commercially
  • non-commercially
  • anonymized
  • with the data owners identity attached

and so on. That way systems that scrape the net know which publicly accessible data can be used for which kind of purpose.


Working with a team called the Open science organization - they’re also trying to tackle this issue except using blockchain as a way of verifying ownership. @MitziLaszlo I connected with them back at Mozfest, I am planning on also doing some work with them - it may be useful to connect them with Solid as well