Thursday, 24 May 2012

Text-mining for scientific research v publishers

Researchers are pushing for an end to publishers' default ban on computer scanning of thousands of papers to find links between genes and diseases. The scale of new information in modern science is huge; more than 1.5m scholarly articles are published every year and the volume of data doubles every three years. No individual can keep up with such a volume, and scientists need computers to help them digest and make sense of the information. The restrictions placed by publishers on text mining has led campaigners to view the issue as another front in the battle to make publicly funded research work available through "open access", free at the point of use. That would allow researchers to mine the content freely without needing to request any extra permissions. Read more on this controversy from the Guardian here.