Does the public deserve free access to climate system science?
Connotea Imports 2012-07-31
Abstract: Some time ago it was the lack of public access to medical research data that really stirred the issue and gave inertia for legislation and a new publishing model that puts tax payer-funded medical research in the hands of those who fund it. In today's age global climate change has become the biggest socio-economic challenge, and the same argument resonates: climate affects us all and the publicly-funded science quantifying it should be freely accessible to all stakeholders beyond academic research. Over the last few years the ‘Open Access' movement to remove as much as possible subscription, and other on-campus barriers to academic research has rapidly gathered pace, but despite significant progress, the climate system sciences are not among the leaders in providing full access to their publications and data. Beyond the ethical argument, there are proven and tangible benefits for the next generation of climate researchers to adapt the way their output is published. Through the means provided by ‘open access', both data and ideas can gain more visibility, use and citations for the authors, but also result in a more rapid exchange of knowledge and ideas, and ultimately progress towards a sought solution. The presentation will aim to stimulate discussion and seek progress on the following questions: Should free access to climate research (& data) be mandatory? What are the career benefits of using ‘open access' for young scientists? What means and methods should, or could, be incorporated into current European graduate training programmes in climate research, and possible ways forward?