Beethoven’s Open Repository of Research

According to Beethoven “There should be only one repository of art in the world, to which the artist would donate his works in order to take what he would need”. Scientist and open access advocate Daniel Mietchen has teamed up with University of Auckland’s Fabiana Kubke to plan for a living research repository in the spirit of Beethoven’s vision.

What if the public scientific record would be updated directly as research proceeds?

This initiative aims to convert existing CC licensed scholarly articles and present them in linked and editable formats. Objects in the repository could be updated and reviewed as new research emerges, and the public version history of the platform stands as a transparent record of changes over time.

Rationale for ‘open science’ is the rapid and efficient communication of research, which in turn enables more targeted collaboration and a better understanding of where the frontiers of knowledge actually are.

The ability to legally build on existing ideas here is made feasible by the Creative Commons Attribution licence attached to works, as is the case with most scholarly articles published in Open Access journals. Anyone will be free to adapt the copyright materials in the repository as long as Attribution is given. This goes a step further than many open access projects which simply allow access to research but do not license for reuse.

“Within the Open Access movement, the focus so far was on getting access to the research literature, with little thought going into potential reuses of OA materials beyond access for reading.” says Mietchen. “With this project, we are trying to make it easier to stay on top of the research literature by updating, enriching and expanding published articles that are available under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence.”

Beethoven’s open repository of research is being transparently developed on Wikiversity and GitHub – both collaboratively editable platforms. The concept is now being put to public review by way of RocketHub – a launchpad space for independent creators to showcase work, crowdsource ideas and garner financial support from interested communities – as part of the SciFund Challenge aimed at testing the potential of crowdfunding for research. Check out the project page where you can contribute suggestions, questions and even monetary support. Or take a look at the 48 other projects participating in the challenge, some of which also have open components beyond the public proposal.

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