Status of Open Access in Taiwan 2017

(Extended version of my lightening talk at #FORCE2017, Berlin)

I am Chen-Yi Tu, PhD candidate from Institute of Oceanography, National Taiwan University. As an fisheries oceanographer, I study the climate impact to fish distribution. My research would not be possible if the climate and stock assessment dataset were not available. One of my published articles is about fisheries in Sea of Japan. The institutional repositories in Japan provided access to several crucial articles that none of the library in Taiwan subscribes those journals. I always feel indebted to these services. So the experiences lead me to the open movement, particularly on open data, open access and open science.

Before start talking about the open access, perhaps we should take a look of this map. There are more people living inside the circle than outside of it- that’s why it is necessary to discuss open access from Asia perspectives. Also, the high population density and increasing level of educations imply that open access in Asia can potentially reach out to more people. But before that, we need to get to know the status quo.

In Taiwan, the statistics show we have around 180000 researchers in 2013. From 2009 to 2013, these researchers published about 131300 papers on scientific journals. That is, most of the researcher published at least one paper during this interval. But this governmental report does not provide information on how many of these papers are open access.

Lack of information may actually implies a lack of policy and strategy. This is not just found in Taiwan. This year I contributed to Asia Open Access Regional Survey by Asia OA, which is a special forum hosted by Coalition of Open Access Repositories (COAR). This survey is aiming at providing account of open access in 16 regions of Asia. The report can be found at COAR website. Generally speaking, the regions that responded to survey are active in terms of open access. But many of them do not yet have a cohesive strategy. Also, lack of funding hinders the development of infrastructure to support open access. Hence, the open access activities in these regions are often very distributed and uncoordinated.

In Taiwan, the main funding agency (Ministry of Science and Technology) has no open access policy at all. But we do have open-access institutional repositories- 127 out of 159 universities (including public and private) have institutional repository. All the information can be found at “Taiwan Academic Institutional Repository” portal.

For local open access journals, Directory of Open Access Journal (DOAJ)provides an overview. There are 31 open access journals in Taiwan. Most of these open access journals adopt CC BY-NC-ND licenses (22), with few exceptions for CC BY (4).


The future looks dim, but there is still hope. I would explain in the following two stories.

  • Collective negotiation with Elsevier over ScienceDirect

Last year, Nature broke a news with title “Scientists in Germany, Peru and Taiwan to lose access to Elsevier Journals.” There are many discussion on how Germany managed to negotiate a deal with Dutch publishing giant Elsevier and promoted open access at many levels, but what happens in details and afterward receives less attention. Basically, Taiwan’s universities collectively started negotiation of the subscription deal with Elsevier over ScienceDirect at April last year. Because of the raising subscription fee almost consumed the whole budget for database subscription for many universities, the negotiation unsurprisingly broke in December.

Elsevier started to negotiate with each university individually. But National Taiwan University library said no, other universities also followed. I remembered receiving an email from the university library to all the students and faculties, explaining this situation and providing alternative- free article delivery among libraries before they can make a deal with Elsevier. Fortunately, the negotiation resumed this January and finally reached an agreement and the primary target. The subscription resumed in June.

Most of the students and faculties I know are supportive to the library’s action. Although they may not immediately shift to open access, it shows that people are aware of the issue of paywall and high subscription fee at least in NTU.

  • Open access journal “Zoological Studies” by Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica

Zoological Studies” is an open access international journal that publishes peer-reviewed articles. It is supported by Biodiversity Research Center of Academia Sinica. It seems to be a stand-alone journal without collaborating with large publisher, but it actually was published by Springer from 2013 to 2015.

Back then, I was worried about the issue of “mixed” open access journals and felt that “Zoological Studies” would one day becomes victim of it. Surprisingly, “Zoological Studies” ceased to publish with SpringerOpen at the end of 2015. I asked one of the editors about how the decision was made, he said: “It is actually much more cheaper to publish all by ourselves! Besides, the amount of work for the editors was almost the same after publish with Springer- even increases because of the communication cost.”

It is also worth-noting that the impact factor for “Zoological Studies” jumps back to 1.008 this year, higher than the end of 2015 (0.885). It suggests that big publisher does not guarantee an increase of impact factor- just contrary to a common belief.

To sum up, I would describe the status of open access in Taiwan as a “bottom up process.” Though no official policy for open access, there are many individual/ organizational efforts to keep the academic work open to the public: providing the dataset and scripts along with articles, offering preprints of one’s own papers and maintaining an open access journal. These accumulating efforts may, one day, cause a “paradigm shift” to the scholarly communication in Taiwan.

Inverted polygon

接續昨天的SOSI,在公眾領域的地理圖資裡面,很常被提到的應該就屬Natural Earth。這是一項由北美製圖資訊學會支持的計畫,有向量圖也有點陣圖,應有盡有,非常好用

不過,在Quickstart的範例裡面,海洋和陸地是分成兩個圖層,如果另外把海洋圖層單獨拉進一個新的地圖專案,自動填滿會是陸地,而不是海洋,這時需要在樣式 (style) 部分選 Inverted polygon,就可以填滿陸地以外的區域。

另外參考: https://gis.stackexchange.com/questions/255259/inverted-filling-of-polygon

SOSI: Samordnet Opplegg for Stedfestet Informasjon

(從今天開始,我會將工作上碰到的一些眉角寫下來,留個紀錄,以便往後搜尋。)

ESRI在全世界攻城掠地,shapefile幾乎已經成為某種業界標準的今日,挪威還是發展出自己的一套地理圖資格式,叫做SOSI,這個格式是開放標準 (open standard),由挪威地圖局負責維護。文件相當齊全,對於檔案格式以及各版本異同有非常詳盡的說明—只要你看得懂挪威語。

在地圖局資料庫的網站上 https://kartkatalog.geonorge.no/ ,有各式各樣的圖資檔案,但幾乎都是SOSI格式。若要輸入GIS軟體如ArcGIS和QGIS作進一步製圖,有兩種作法:

  1. GDAL
  2. SOSICON http://sosicon.espenandersen.no/

GDAL是一個以python寫成的地理圖資資料格式函式庫,目前支援SOSI的讀取,而SOSICON則是將SOSI檔案轉換為shapefile或PostGIS可以讀取的格式。GDAL和QGIS Palma似乎有衝突,先轉換為shapefile則可以避免。

至於QGIS讀取SOSI的其他問題,可以參考 https://helgethomasgis.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/how-to-enable-sosi-support-in-qgis/

 

《開放的時代:領導、風險與未來的機會》後記

上週三開放知識基金會創辦人Rufus Pollock來台的公開活動,感謝Rocket.cafe的邀請,以及科技部、電信所提供的協助。演講以及簡報週一也都放上網了

我的部份,是談去年台北魚客松的經驗,雖然去年八月寫過這篇,但一直沒有機會分享整個來龍去脈,剛好趁這次全部講完。還記得當時第一次開會,AIT負責的同仁就問我:滔滔會不會組隊參賽呢?

這點滔滔夥伴在會前就討論過了,我們的答案是:不會。除了現實上的考量外,也是因為由擁有領域知識 (domain knowlege) 優勢的我們參賽,雖然可能會增加得名的機會,但讓對漁業陌生的參賽者有機會接觸這些議題,才能夠使魚客松這個活動發揮最大的價值。如果最終目標是永續發展,光是我們懂不夠,我們希望大家都懂。

以我自己來說,只要任何人能夠從約30分鐘的演講,和30多張的簡報中得到一點靈感,或者對於如何創新有其他想法,那滔滔去年的努力和我的分享,就有價值。

戰後從無到有的日本海上自衛隊潛艦

1952年 日本海上保安廳成立,民間船廠開始承造海保船艦,設計由船舶設計協會負責(常務理事為原海軍艦政本部第四部設計主任牧野茂)。川崎、三菱兩船廠中有建造潛艦經驗的民間技術人員組成「潛水艦懇談會」,討論國造潛艦的可能性。

1954年 海上自衛隊成立,正式討論可行的潛艦計畫,船舶設計協會提出250噸、500噸與1000噸三種設計方案,最後確定採用1000噸型。同年組成調查團赴美考察,欲取得美軍首艘採用淚滴型艦身設計的試驗潛艦USS Albacore*相關資料,未果。

1956年 海上自衛隊年度預算編列潛艦建造費用(當時為二十七億兩千萬日圓)

–不斷的嘗試錯誤、修正–

1959年 初代親潮號下水,並於隔年成軍

1960年 防衛省研究技術本部(相當於美國的DARPA)持續對淚滴型艦身進行研究與水槽試驗

1967年 由於淚滴型艦身試驗已取得初步成果,第三次防衛力整備計畫中,將建造五艘單軸推進淚滴型艦身的潛艦列為其中一項目標

1969年 渦潮級初艦渦潮、次艦湧潮下水,隸屬位於吳基地的第一潛水隊群


四年從無到有要確定設計…嗯…

* Albacore中文叫做「長鰭鮪」,通常拿來做罐頭,也就是俗稱的「海底雞」,大概就是因為這樣被誤譯成青花魚 (mackerel) 的,不過真正的青花魚級 (Mackerel class) 是二戰前的試驗潛艦!

賽洛馬與中鋼「搶爐」

高雄港文章刊出後,有讀者反應文中對中鋼受賽洛瑪颱風影響的敘述有誤,他記得當年在老中鋼人的努力下,高爐才免於「廢爐」。不過,就如博瑪奮進號一事,細節只在一部分人的回憶中一樣,網路上幾乎找不到關於這段事件載明原出處的記載。我後來從聯合知識庫找到1977年7月30日聯合報三版的報導,確認應是「停爐」,「關閉」高爐的描述不夠精確,而容易產生「廢爐」的誤會。

高爐點火後,就不能回頭。由於賽洛瑪颱風後的停電造成鼓風中斷,使爐內鐵水溫度開始下降,有凝固之虞;另外,煉鋼也需要水冷卻,停電使抽水馬達無法抽水,長期停水便會讓爐體燒壞,等於是前功盡棄。

當年的中鋼董事長是馬紀壯,總經理則是有「趙鐵頭」之稱的趙耀東。熟悉早期海軍人事的朋友,可能會想起馬紀壯是青島系的代表,桂永清極力栽培,由軍轉文職也備受重用。搶救高爐,是董事長與總經理親自出馬:馬紀壯向台電借來發電機,惜在運輸途中爆胎,而趙耀東親自率兩組工程師開三台吊車到現場起吊。

高爐救回來了,中鋼也走過停爐歲修與各種轉型嘗試。但我實在很難想像,究竟是怎樣的派系傾軋,讓國營事業龍頭的中鋼,竟有董座難產的一天

從空軍個人定位發報機 (PLB) 採購談起

上週六補班,監察院公開一份調查報告,針對去年9/22空軍AT-3教練機失事,而為何個人定位發報機 (PLB) 遲遲未從PRC-90換裝至SARBE6-406G一事進行調查。由於其中披露原先預備替換PRC-90的AN/URT-44,因失誤率過高而向美方求償,所以也被寫成一則新聞。

昨天另外有記者拿著這則新聞,去立法院堵訪兩名外交國防委員會所屬,但不同黨籍的立委,竟異口同聲的表示採購驗收過程有瑕疵,國軍需要檢討等等……實在看的我一頭霧水,堵訪的記者和兩名立委,應該都沒有看過還不到十頁的調查報告吧?

這項採購並非監察委員在報告中點出的疏失。 Continue reading 從空軍個人定位發報機 (PLB) 採購談起

大船進港,然後呢?

The "Benjamin Franklin"

CMA CGM “Benjamin Franklin” dock at the Port of Los Angeles (Photo by Eric Garcetti via Flickr, CC-BY-2.0)

上週末,CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin順利進港,新聞都有報,但看著這第一艘投入美西線的巨型貨櫃輪,腦袋裡一直想著的是噸數略大、二月在易北河擱淺的CSCL Indian Ocean。

Continue reading 大船進港,然後呢?

刻板印象的陷阱

 

聽說荷蘭恩荷芬 (Eindhoven) 市長 Rob van Gijzel 這幾天在台灣。

他近年多次訪台,也是柯文哲2015就任後,一月就來訪的外賓。記得當時柯市長是這麼說的

During the meeting, the two mayors exchanged views on development – especially those regarding the projects with Shezi Island (社子島) and Guandu Plains(關渡平原).

Ko recalled the famous saying: “God created the sea, but the Dutch created the Land.” Noting how the city is able to learn from the experience of the European nation, he promised to contact them if Taipei needs assistance with technical knowledge in the future.

這些描述對低地國荷蘭的沿海地區,比如阿姆斯特丹、鹿特丹、甚至葛羅寧根,可能都還算貼切。偏偏靠近內陸,鄰近比利時邊境的恩荷芬,是荷蘭少數在海平面上的都市。沒聽過市場花園作戰就算了,但恩荷芬不僅是飛利浦的發源地,也以創新、工業設計見長。

刻板印象實在害人不淺,慎之。

寫在科幻科學報十六週年

科幻科學報十六週年就這麼過了,也從上個月開始悄悄的從每週二發刊變成不定期發報。

這份我大學社團接手發行的電子報,原本以社團成員為編輯小組輪流負責,但我入社後,主要編輯工作幾乎都是當時讀新聞所碩班的n6在做。等學長畢業、甚至都從u報到a報以後,每週二固定發刊的工作還是沒有交接出去,這幾年報業生態轉變極大,每週發刊就算只有幾百字,終於也到了不堪負荷的地步……

說來慚愧,我只做過一件跟科幻科學報有關的事。我在大三時接了社長,某一天突然接到國防部青年日報楊中校的電話,說是希望能在該報轉載科幻科學報的《科學小視窗》專欄,我和n6原本對這些有時已是轉載的內容,再登到其他報紙上有點疑慮,也對中校說明,但最後凹不過中校,就答應了。後來似乎真的在青年日報轉載了一陣子,至於何時開始與結束,已不可考。

偶爾想起這件事,還是會笑一笑,希望那時在青年日報上看到這些科學新知的朋友覺得有收穫啊!