Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Back(ground) to the Liquid Future

So ... once upon a time there was a project called Liquid Publications, which brought together researchers from across Europe to think about the future of scientific publishing and knowledge transfer. Project partners included computer science groups from Trento and Barcelona, physicists from Fribourg, philosophers from Paris, the leading academic publisher Springer, and software engineers from Tartu.

Lots of fun was had, lots of good ideas, friendships and collaborations were formed, and on occasion large amounts of very nice wine and grappa were consumed (researchers take note: it is a very good idea to collaborate with a university based in one of the best wine regions in Italy). Every year the project received great reviews from its FP7/FET reviewers, and the final project review gave it an Excellent rating, the best available to EU-funded research.

The trouble with “final project reviews”, however, is that they’re ... final. So, having had a great 3 years, the Liquid Publications project finally came to an end on 13 May 2011.

This blog, and the Liquid Future project, is about what happens next.

So what will that be? First, most of the young researchers involved in the LiquidPub project are still in touch and still thinking about the future of scientific publishing. This is going to be the place where we talk about our ongoing work, our new projects and collaborations, and tie them all together to the goal we share of a Liquid Future for research communication.

Second, we’re going to be bringing you guest commentators — people who share our goals or have interesting alternative ideas of their own — as well as news and links on the work that is being done by others. Since we are in favour of open knowledge transfer, we’re also strong opponents of that terrible disease known as “Not Invented Here Syndrome” — anyone doing interesting work is up for inclusion.

Third, our goal is to build a community of collaborative knowledge sharing that crosses disciplinary boundaries — that links scientific research and open access with Free Software, the Creative Commons and all those other communities out there that have found that a sharing, liquid culture is the way of the future.

We’ll be following up soon with more posts about what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and what we think still needs to be done. For now, if you have interesting ideas about the future of scientific publishing, give us a call. The Liquid Future is on its way ...

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