Débat : Peut-on faire de la science ouverte sur Zoom ?
openacrs's bookmarks 2020-10-25
For science to be open, one can reasonably think that it would have to use open software. However, being completely open is not that simple. As anthropologist Chris Kelty has shown, each of the links in the activity should be open, so as not to risk any form of enclosure (open research software, open operating system, standard hardware, open protocols, open file formats, neutral internet, etc.).
At the same time when the literature has been so generously made temporarily accessible, the pandemic has made videoconferencing crucial in scholarly circles and the available free solutions put in place by national structures (such as Rendez-vous Renater) have been shattered by the scale of demand (increased demand increases the need for bandwidth and therefore for infrastructure). This pushed French universities away from free solutions: many of them opted for Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
It would have been possible for the scholarly community to invest in a free solution ensured by a national infrastructure (at the national scale, the cost is low). This is precisely the role of Renater, the national network. In fact, Renater has for several years created services in this direction based on free software. For example, Rendez-vous Renater is based on Jitsi. To achieve this, the government has to provide resources for national infrastructures. At a time when French universities are turning to Gmail because Google is offering them for free what Renater is forced to offer at a fee, one can be pessimistic.
Open science in a proprietary format is as if the French proactive "national open science plan" were drafted in Microsoft Word or Google doc. Nevertheless, the brochure presenting it was designed in Adobe Indesign for Macintosh - that is what the PDF metadata tell us.