About the Author:  David Worlock, a co-founder and director of BIIA, has a wide experience of print and electronic publishing in educational, academic and professional information fields.

In his latest contribution he states bluntly:  


We live in fevered times . What happens at the top cascades . This must be the explanation for why  revered colleagues like Richard Poynder and Kent Anderson are conducting Mueller – style enquiries into OA ( Open Access ) And they do make a splendidly contrasting pair of prosecutors , like some Alice in Wonderland trial where off-with-his -head is a paragraph summary , not a judgement . Richard ( https://poynder.blogspot.com/2018/11/the-oa-interviews-frances-pinter.html ). wants to get for-profit out of OA , presumably not planning to be around when the foundation money dries up and new technology investment  is needed . Kent defends vigorously the right of academic authors to make money from their work for people other than themselves , and is busy , in the wonderful Geyser (thegeyser@substack.com ) journal sniffing the dustbins of Zurich to find “ collusion “ between the Swiss Frontiers and the EU . Take a dash of Brexit , add some Trumpian bitters , the zest of rumour , shake well and pour into a scholarly communications sized glass . Perfect  cocktail for the long winter nights . We should be grateful to them both .

But perhaps we should not be too distracted . For me , the month since i last blogged on Plan S and got a full postbag of polite dissension , has been one of penitent reflection on the state of our new data-driven information marketplace as a whole . In the midst of this . Wellcome  announced its Data Re-Use prize , which seems to me to exemplify much of the problem .

(https://wellcome.ac.uk/news/new-wellcome-data-re-use-prizes-help-unlock-value-research?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=o-wellcome&utm_campaign=). Our recognition of data has not properly moved on from our content years. The opportunities to merge , overlap , drill down through , mine together related data sets are huge . The ability to create new knowledge as a result has profound implications . But we are still on the nursery slopes when it comes to making real inroads into the issues , and while data and text mining techniques are evolving at speed , the licensing of access and the ownership of outcomes still pose real problems . We will not be a data driven society until sector data sources have agreed protocols on these issues . Too much data behind paywalls creates ongoing issues for owners as well as users . Unexploited data is valueless .

Its not as if we have collected all the data in the marketplace anyway . At this year’s NOAH conference in London at the beginning of the month i watched a trio of start-ups in the HR space present , and then realised that they were all using the same data collected differently . There has to be an easier way of pooling data in our society , ensuring privacy protection but also aligning clean resources for re-use using different analytics and market targets to create different service entities . Lets hope the Wellcome thinking is pervasive , but then my NOAH attention went elsewhere as i found myself in a fascinating conversation about a project which is re-utilising a line of content as data that has been gratuitously ignored . And in scholarly communication , one of the best ploughed fields on the data farm .

Morressier, cofounded  in Berlin by Sami Benchekroun , with whom I had the conversation , is a startling example of the cross-over utility of neglected data . With Justus Weweler, Sami has concerned himself with the indicative data you would need to give evaluated

Progress reporting on early stage science . Posters , conference agendas , seminar announcements , links to slide sets – Morressier is exploring the hinterland of emerging science , enabling researchers and funders to gauge how advanced work programmes are and how they can Map the emerging terrain in which they work . Just when we imagined that every centimetre of the scholarly communication workflow had been fully covered , here comes a further chapter , full of real promise , whose angels include four of the smartest minds in scholarly information .morressier.com  is clearly one to watch .

And one to give us heart . There really are no sectors where data has been so eked out that no further possibilities , especially of adding value through recombination with other data , in fact , in my daily rounds , I usually find that the opposite is true .Marketing feedback data is still often held aloof from service data , few can get an object based view of how data is being consumed . And if this is true at the micro level in terms of feedback , events companies have been particularly profligate with data collection , assessment and re- use And while this is changing it still does not have the priority it needs . Calling user data “ exhaust “ does not help : we need a catalytic converter to make it effective when used with other data in a different context .

When we have all the data and we are re-combining it effectively , we shall begin to see the real problems emerge . And they will not be the access and re-use issues of today , but the quality , disambiguation and  “ fake” data problems we are al) beginning to experience now and which will not go away , Industry co-operation will be even more needed, and some players will have to build a business model around quality control . The arrival of the data driven marketplace is not a press release , but a complex and difficult birth process .

Source: David Worlock