Pushing the Frontier of Access for Text Mining: A Conversation with Heather Piwowar on One Researcher’s Attempt to Break New Ground
As the academic community struggles to ensure that research articles become more accessible than ever before, a new front in the battle is brewing – a battle to ensure that the information in those articles can also be fully used in the digital research environment. In particular, researchers increasingly expect that once they have legitimate access to an article (either through an Open Access model or a subscription model), they should be able to process – or “text mine” – the contents of that article to help further their research. However, this is far from easy to accomplish, as University of British Columbia (UBC) postdoctoral student Heather Piwowar recently discovered when she attempted to do just that. It all began with a simple comment on Twitter. In the face of boycotts and bad publicity, are publishers realizing they must loosen their tight grip on usage restrictions as well?
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