Science license

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"In 2006, after a year long period of research, Science Commons targeted three areas for focused work: scholarly publishing, licensing policies, and the realization of the “semantic web” for science. This segmentation comes from analyzing the overall research cycle of science, which includes the: survey of the existing canon of knowledge

  • development of hypotheses for testing
  • acquisition of research tools
  • experimentation
  • analysis of data
  • recontribution to the canon of knowledge through peer review publication" - [1]

"Science Commons has launched three corresponding “proof of concept” *projects with early-stage efforts in:

"...the forest of terms and conditions around data make integration difficult to legally perform in many cases. One approach might be to develop and recommend a single license: any data with this license can be integrated with any other data under this license." - [3]

Accordingly such a uniform science license is a potential candidate for a future Creative Commons license. It is not presently being pursued, as "there are too many databases under too many terms already, and it is unlikely that any one license or suite of licenses will have the correct mix of terms to gain critical mass and allow massive-scale machine integration of data." Accordingly what follows is a proposal, nothing more.

scope of a uniform science license

This would be a variant of the existing non-commercial share-alike licenses that would more closely specify the way that the work can be extended.

The following was originally contributed to the predecessor of this wiki in 2004 by anonymous trolls.

All who have followed the scientific method and provided documentation of that would be able to make derivative works under Share Alike terms. Others could cite (not just quote) and distribute the work as is but would be subject to a NoDerivs restriction, as their derivative works would not advance science, and any such derivatives would have the potential to distort the original.

The only additions that would be allowed would be standard scientific transactions such as:

  • adding a comment, question, or issue in peer review in the context of an anticipated journal or conference publication
  • linking experimental apparatus details or questions or descriptions - so that the apparatus used in reproducing an experiment could be compared
  • linking other work that should be cited whether to add evidence for the hypothesis or provide points to challenge
  • answering to such points raised in cited works or reproduced experiments or peer review, which need not always be done by the original author(s) but could be done by other peers, etc.

Questionable scientific practices would however be forbidden:

  • narrowing or (especially) broadening the hypothesis after the results have been analyzed - rather than doing new experiments - to make it appear that the results validated a pre-existing hypothesis rather than prompting a new one
  • removing citations to credible works with conflicting results
  • removing peer review comments that question the method or practices or evidence
  • removing evidence of prior publication attempts and review
  • removing evidence that casts a bad light on a sponsor or a commercial product of a sponsor, e.g. as in pharmaceuticals
  • adding authors who did not perform the actual lab work or propose the hypotheses
  • removing authors who did perform the actual lab work or propose the hypotheses