Newswise: Scientists Want to Study Your Tweets; Is It Ethical?. “Did you know researchers are reading and analyzing your tweets and Facebook posts in the name of science? If so, how do you feel about it? If you feel unsettled, what would make you feel better? What’s legal and what’s not in the age of big-data research? And even if it is legal, is it ethical?”
Retraction Watch: Looking to avoid a bad lab? A new site wants to help. “We’ve all heard horror stories of lab disputes that can quickly spin out of control. (Such as a graduate student obtaining a restraining order against his supervisor, which we covered earlier this year for Science.) Naturally, prospective students want to do their homework before committing to a particular laboratory or supervisor. A new website, QCist, is trying to make that process easier, by letting students rate labs. It’s still new – only several dozen lab heads have been rated so far, mostly from the U.S. – but founder and Executive Director Qian-Chen Yong has plans for it to grow much bigger. We spoke with Yong, currently a research fellow at the Cancer Research Institute, Baylor Scott & White Health in Texas — who completed a postdoc at Texas A&M Health Science Center and a PhD at the National University of Singapore — about the plan to keep the site from becoming a place to smear a tough boss’s reputation.” Interesting comments. No, really.
Science Magazine: Sci-Hub’s cache of pirated papers is so big, subscription journals are doomed, data analyst suggests. “There is no doubt that Sci-Hub, the infamous—and, according to a U.S. court, illegal—online repository of pirated research papers, is enormously popular. (See Science’s investigation last year of who is downloading papers from Sci-Hub.) But just how enormous is its repository? That is the question biodata scientist Daniel Himmelstein at the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues recently set out to answer, after an assist from Sci-Hub.”
South China Morning Post: VPN crackdown an ‘unthinkable’ trial by firewall for China’s research world. “Like most academics, biology researcher Dr Jose Pastor-Pareja relies heavily on Google’s search engine, using it ‘every 10 minutes’, he says. But access to this resource is not guaranteed as he works at Tsinghua University in China – where the government has been tightening what are already among the strictest controls over the internet in the world.”
Chronicle of Higher Education: After Professors’ Criticism, Group Updates List of Google-Funded Scholars. “A group that created a list of scholars who’d received money from Google has updated the database in response to critics, including professors who said they didn’t belong on the list. In some cases the Campaign for Accountability, the creator of the dataset, defended putting professors on its list; in others, it clarified why scholars had been included; and in others, it removed academics from the list altogether.”
Nature: US court grants Elsevier millions in damages from Sci-Hub. “One of the world’s largest science publishers, Elsevier, won a default legal judgement on 21 June against websites that provide illicit access to tens of millions of research papers and books. A New York district court awarded Elsevier US$15 million in damages for copyright infringement by Sci-Hub, the Library of Genesis (LibGen) project and related sites.”
Shanghai Daily (China): Database boosts city’s technology aim. “THE city is to set up a database of government subsided research. The idea is to allow agencies to help to pitch scientific projects and bring more resources to support projects from an early stage. The database initiative is part of an action plan to boost Shanghai’s capacity to transform scientific and technological research results into commercial initiatives, the city’s science and technology commission said yesterday.”