There’s a story I like to tell, which I vaguely remembered as originating at Bell Labs or Xerox PARC. A researcher had a rubber duck in his office. When he found himself stumped on a problem, he would pick up the duck, walk over to a colleague, and ask them to hold the duck. He would proceed to explain the problem, often realizing the solution himself in the middle of the explanation. Then he would say, “Thank you for holding my duck”, and leave.
The White House is asked for public comments on public access to federally funded research. Here are the relevant links, including the rather alarmingly title blog post by Aram Harrow where I found this:
Could Elsevier shut down arxiv.org?
Call to action from the alliance for taxpayer access
The deadline for comments is tomorrow, January 2. My comments follow. If you read this and have much better ideas for how to expand open access, please send your own!