Open Access to e-Research
In its soaring introduction, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Atkins Report hails the progress made in scientifi c research since the digital revolution and declares:
Advances in computational technology continue to transform scientifi c and engineering research, practice, and allied education. Recently, multiple accelerating trends are converging and crossing thresholds in ways that show extraordinary promise for an even more profound and rapid transformation-indeed a further revolution-in how we create, disseminate, and preserve scientifi c and engineering knowledge. (Atkins, 2003: 4)
The report has come to be seen as a seminal document of e-science and e-research (and, as it is called in the report and known in the U.S., cyberinfrastructure), but the ambition expressed in these sentences has thus far been realized only incompletely. e-Science has done much to advance techniques for knowledge creation, such as Grid computing and remote research collaboration, but its engagement with issues of dissemination has been more limited. Some admirable strides have been made in the area of data sharing, but less attention has been paid to distributing knowledge within the academy and less still to the public circulation of published research. We hold that the responsibilities of the researcher extend beyond the immediate design, conduct, and supervision of the research. Those additional responsibilities have both epistemological and ethical implications for what it means to do work that goes by the name of research, and those implications have to do with how the research is circulated and shared.