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[BOAI] Tensions grow as data-mining discussions fall apart

From: Carolina Rossini <carolina.rossini AT gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2013 13:46:07 -0400


Threading:      • This Message
             [BOAI] Re: Tensions grow as data-mining discussions fall apart from holloway.julia AT tiscali.it

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http://www.nature.com/news/tensions-grow-as-data-mining-discussions-fall-ap=
art-1.13130
Tensions grow as data-mining discussions fall apart

Scientists want to exempt computer-based text crawling from Europe=92s
copyright law.

   - Richard Van
Noorden<http://www.nature.com/news/tensions-grow-as-data-mining-discussions=
-fall-apart-1.13130#auth-1>

04 June 2013
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Disagreement between scientists and publishers has grown on a thorny issue:
how to make it easier for computer programs to extract facts and data from
online research papers. On 22 May, researchers, librarians and others
pulled out of European Commission talks on how to encourage the techniques,
known as text mining and data mining. The withdrawal has effectively ended
the contentious discussions, although a formal abandonment can be decided
only after a commission review in July.

Scientists have chafed for years at limitations on computer-aided research.
They would like to use computer programs to crawl over thousands or
millions of articles and other online research content, extracting data to
build up databases or to pick out patterns such as associations between
genes and diseases.

But in many parts of the world, including Europe, this sort of use
currently requires permission from the content=92s copyright owner. Even if
an institution has paid to access a journal, its academics do not
necessarily have permission to mine the text. Publishers, worried that
their content might be redistributed for free, tend to block data-mining
programs, giving extra licence permissions only on a slow, case-by-case
basis (see *Nature* *483,*134=96135;
2012<http://www.nature.com/uidfinder/10.1038/483134a>).
And although authors can now choose to publish under licences that
explicitly allow text mining, that innovation doesn=92t help text-miners
wanting to run programs on decades of pre-existing content.
Related stories

   - Text-mining spat heats up<http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/4952=
95a>
   - Gold in the text? <http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/483124a>
   - Trouble at the text mine<http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/48313=
4a>

More related stories<http://www.nature.com/news/tensions-grow-as-data-minin=
g-discussions-fall-apart-1.13130#related-links>

Rather than struggle through a thicket of different permissions set by
publishers, some researchers want Europe to exempt text mining from
copyright law =97 allowing them to run programs on content that they have
paid for, and on free content, without fear of copyright breach. Last year,
the UK government said that it plans to introduce exemptions for
non-commercial purposes. Lenient =91fair use=92 rights in the United States=
 may
already allow text mining, depending on how the law is interpreted.

=93There is an intense debate on this within the scientific and research
community, with a large number of scientists pointing at the limits of the
current copyright regulatory regime,=94 says Ryan Heath, a spokesman for
European Commission vice-president Neelie Kroes. =93This is a very serious
issue, impacting on scientific excellence and innovation in Europe.=94

To tackle the issue, last December the commission set up a working group =
=97
one of a number under a framework called Licences for Europe =97 to open
discussions about new policies among publishers, researchers, librarians
and other interested parties, such as technology companies. In late
February, researchers complained in a letter to the commission that the
group was constrained to discuss only text-mining licences, and not changes
to copyright law (see *Nature* *495,* 295;
2013<http://www.nature.com/uidfinder/10.1038/495295a>)
=97 a restriction that would =93make computer-based research in many instan=
ces
impossible=94.

=93Every researcher I=92ve spoken to thinks licensing is a problem,=94 says=
 Susan
Reilly, projects manager at the Association of European Research Libraries
in the Hague, the Netherlands. She coordinated the letter that declared the
22 May withdrawal from talks. =93There was really no point in us continuing
to attend,=94 she says. Other signatories include the non-profit Open
Knowledge Foundation in Cambridge, UK, and the National Centre for Text
Mining at the University of Manchester, UK.

=93Continuing the group under current circumstances doesn=92t make sense,=
=94 says
Heath. =93This is regrettable, but at least the process brought to the fore
the major controversies in this area.=94 The European Commission, he adds,
=93will reflect on the implications and will address the matter at the time
of the review of the Licences for Europe process in July=94.

The European talks had always been conflicted because four different
European Union administrative departments were involved =97 not only the
department for research and innovation, but also those for education and
culture, for media and information issues, and for Europe=92s internal
market, economy and intellectual-property rights. (The May letter argues
that the research department is being squeezed out in favour of the others=
=92
interests.)

=93Since the Licences for Europe process has not managed to deliver in this
area, other ways forward must be explored,=94 says Heath. An analysis under
way by the commission=92s internal-market department on the need for
copyright reform may provide impetus for action, should it conclude that
changes are needed.

Many publishers say that there are practical, as well as legal, barriers to
text mining. Even if the practice were permitted through licences or
changes to copyright law, researchers would still need a way to access
websites without crippling publisher servers through excess traffic. And
publishers want to be able to identify the purpose of the programs crawling
their content, especially if mining is for commercial means, so as to
decide =93what they=92re willing to allow at what cost=94, says Sarah Fauld=
er,
chief executive of the Publishers Licensing Society in London, an industry
body that took part in the talks.

To lower some of these practical barriers, the non-profit publisher
collaboration CrossRef hopes to launch technology this year enabling
text-mining researchers to agree to terms by clicking a button on a
publisher=92s website.

Discussions may have faltered, but scientists and librarians hope to keep
talking to officials, says Reilly. =93There=92s lots of disagreement even a=
mong
publishers,=94 she says. =93Some are open to text and data mining, some are
completely frightened of it. They need an informed discussion.=94
Nature 498, 14=9615 (06 June 2013) doi:10.1038/498014a

--=20
*Carolina Rossini*
http://carolinarossini.net/
+ 1 6176979389
*carolina.rossini AT gmail.com*
skype: carolrossini
 AT carolinarossini

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round-repeat:no-repeat no-repeat">rights &amp; 
permissions</a></li>
<li style=3D"margin:0px;padding:0px;list-style:disc"><h3 
id=3D"toggle-share=
" style=3D"margin:0px;padding:0px 0px 
5px;font-size:12px;color:rgb(102,102,=
102)"><a 
style=3D"color:rgb(92,121,150);text-transform:lowercase;border:0px=
;display:block;padding:0px 0px 5px 29px;background-image:url(data:image/gif=
;base64,R0lGODlhGwASAPcAAPv///3+///+///++//9+vz9//r7/fz///r///n///f5+Nzh5fr=
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eutLfAx15nblJfZ11rdqy5v11rdP3//rS4u+bq7eXt8PX6/b7GyeTq6qyxtbTByba7vlZgaf/7/=
ebn6bfCyKuvsoKVo1ReZ5ObnqivtYiRmNTZ3Pn8//Dx9brFy2x0d+7y9a6zt42RkoyVmv/6/rS/=
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3V8gvz6+1hmb+Po6//9+KK0wHN8gf/9/q6ytaq0vrHAw+bu8evv8Kqxt8HJzFNgaIWSmpCYm1lm=
b+ru8YmSl9PX2lZja7LBxs/T1sTMz5+mrPv9/O3x8vv7+f39/f///f7+/v7//////wAAAAAAAAA=
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAC=
H5BAAAAAAALAAAAAAbABIAAAj/ANUJFGhO3SMD6VQwSKeg4MCHENWZQ6cOXbqLMkRZc5COoImIE=
R0idNBIVYgXBcydU9cR5MBzBdMVOPAjTh8+sQKcOyfT5Ut1HgIEOJDpVJ0K2bqca5AugE906Aic=
s0gBAIAmJW7NScJAXQcCAQr0bCogBtQH5xT0WsDWiSIRtLZAIKeS2YABBPAO+HMBqrlB29iI2/U=
hlZcMbWyEuPEKQDoEFNIBOJNuRwKoAZaksEVkEwgmVo4p8VPhSatpuvBUayHhFydg6aCmuxJGzS=
QXSGStyOGthKFraDSd+6COQAIAD0qZgmogkCsSWWbRAeFGCKMNI+yEgoBOAoNzo8Sc0zsiACoiF=
IKkffvUYxGvYSLMrCHlA9wBPcWC1AAEqdlUdBN000kliZBACBdfcGNELRuAcUkUA0Sjzh7YJDAF=
LAAIdAEZy6xizAyUaJFHMMq8MUIkyLCCABAIaABAi3JwINAQ6hzgSxW5FIIJKlBkoA0MzlgiWQT=
Q3EEMDSdEIIBAAgiQDgtwhCNMESd4MgYOVOhggDoWXJROlxctqY4jyaCjADVY8CBJGbhIgQIo6Z=
yTBkUeCIQBRc8IxMFK6JgwjjoTLCUQOuWc0wE65kw0EAaHBAQAOw=3D=3D);background-repe=
at:no-repeat no-repeat">share/bookmark</a></h3>
<div id=3D"share-links" 
style=3D"margin:0px;padding:0px"></div></li></ul></=
div><p style=3D"margin:0px 0px 
1.65em;padding:0px">Disagreement between sci=
entists and publishers has grown on a thorny issue: how to make it easier f=
or computer programs to extract facts and data from online research papers.=
 On 22 May, researchers, librarians and others pulled out of European Commi=
ssion talks on how to encourage the techniques, known as text mining and da=
ta mining. The withdrawal has effectively ended the contentious discussions=
, although a formal abandonment can be decided only after a commission revi=
ew in July.</p>
<p style=3D"margin:0px 0px 1.65em;padding:0px">Scientists have 
chafed for y=
ears at limitations on computer-aided research. They would like to use comp=
uter programs to crawl over thousands or millions of articles and other onl=
ine research content, extracting data to build up databases or to pick out =
patterns such as associations between genes and diseases.</p>
<p style=3D"margin:0px 0px 1.65em;padding:0px">But in many 
parts of the wor=
ld, including Europe, this sort of use currently requires permission from t=
he content=92s copyright owner. Even if an institution has paid to access a=
 journal, its academics do not necessarily have permission to mine the text=
. Publishers, worried that their content might be redistributed for free, t=
end to block data-mining programs, giving extra licence permissions only on=
 a slow, case-by-case basis (see=A0<a 
href=3D"http://www.nature.com/uidfind=
er/10.1038/483134a" 
style=3D"color:rgb(92,121,150);text-decoration:none"><i=
>Nature</i>=A0<b>483,</b>134=96135; 2012</a>). And 
although authors can now=
 choose to publish under licences that explicitly allow text mining, that i=
nnovation doesn=92t help text-miners wanting to run programs on decades of =
pre-existing content.</p>
<div class=3D"related-stories-box box" style=3D"margin:0px 
0px 10px 10px;pa=
dding:0px;border:1px solid 
rgb(200,199,207);float:right;width:200px"><h1 st=
yle=3D"margin:9px 9px 
5px;padding:0px;font-size:14.666666984558105px;color:=
rgb(68,68,68)">
Related stories</h1><ul style=3D"padding:0px 0px 
9px;overflow:hidden"><li s=
tyle=3D"margin:0px 9px 5px 36px;padding:0px;list-style:disc"><a 
href=3D"htt=
p://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/495295a" 
style=3D"color:rgb(92,121,150=
);text-decoration:none">Text-mining spat heats up</a></li>
<li style=3D"margin:0px 9px 5px 
36px;padding:0px;list-style:disc"><a href=
=3D"http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/483124a" 
style=3D"color:rgb(92,=
121,150);text-decoration:none">Gold in the 
text?</a></li><li style=3D"margi=
n:0px 9px 5px 36px;padding:0px;list-style:disc">
<a href=3D"http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/483134a" 
style=3D"color:=
rgb(92,121,150);text-decoration:none">Trouble at the text 
mine</a></li></ul=
><p class=3D"more right-arrow fade-out" 
style=3D"margin:0px;padding:2px 5px=
 2px 9px;background-color:rgb(241,241,241);background-image:-webkit-linear-=
gradient(top,rgb(241,241,241),rgb(255,255,255));border-top-width:1px;border=
-top-style:solid;border-top-color:rgb(200,199,207);text-align:right;font-si=
ze:13.333333015441895px">
<a 
href=3D"http://www.nature.com/news/tensions-grow-as-data-mining-discussi=
ons-fall-apart-1.13130#related-links" 
style=3D"color:rgb(92,121,150);text-d=
ecoration:none;font-weight:bold;padding-right:12px;background-image:url(dat=
a:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAAkAAAAJCAMAAADXT/YiAAAAGXRFWHRT=
b2Z0d2FyZQBBZG9iZSBJbWFnZVJlYWR5ccllPAAAADlQTFRFtbW1tLS01dXV1NTU5eXl8PDwuLi=
43d3dvLy80dHRxcXF6Ojo9fX1zc3N7u7u2NjY7Ozs6enp////FnOcrwAAABN0Uk5T//////////=
//////////////ALJ93AgAAAA7SURBVHjaNIxJDgAgDAKp2rpv/f9jTazOiUwA6GC9QL3ElxxQg=
jkQ0Nd1BErVnMxmvcy2CPu/fI4AAwCk2gPgkImwxgAAAABJRU5ErkJggg=3D=3D);border:0px=
;background-repeat:no-repeat no-repeat">More related 
stories</a></p>
</div><p style=3D"margin:0px 0px 
1.65em;padding:0px">Rather than struggle t=
hrough a thicket of different permissions set by publishers, some researche=
rs want Europe to exempt text mining from copyright law =97 allowing them t=
o run programs on content that they have paid for, and on free content, wit=
hout fear of copyright breach. Last year, the UK government said that it pl=
ans to introduce exemptions for non-commercial purposes. Lenient =91fair us=
e=92 rights in the United States may already allow text mining, depending o=
n how the law is interpreted.</p>
<p style=3D"margin:0px 0px 1.65em;padding:0px">=93There is an 
intense debat=
e on this within the scientific and research community, with a large number=
 of scientists pointing at the limits of the current copyright regulatory r=
egime,=94 says Ryan Heath, a spokesman for European Commission vice-preside=
nt Neelie Kroes. =93This is a very serious issue, impacting on scientific e=
xcellence and innovation in Europe.=94</p>
<p style=3D"margin:0px 0px 1.65em;padding:0px">To tackle the 
issue, last De=
cember the commission set up a working group =97 one of a number under a fr=
amework called Licences for Europe =97 to open discussions about new polici=
es among publishers, researchers, librarians and other interested parties, =
such as technology companies. In late February, researchers complained in a=
 letter to the commission that the group was constrained to discuss only te=
xt-mining licences, and not changes to copyright law (see=A0<a 
href=3D"http=
://www.nature.com/uidfinder/10.1038/495295a" 
style=3D"color:rgb(92,121,150)=
;text-decoration:none"><i>Nature</i>=A0<b>495,</b>=A0295; 2013</a>) =97 a r=
estriction that would =93make computer-based research in many instances imp=
ossible=94.</p>
<p style=3D"margin:0px 0px 1.65em;padding:0px">=93Every 
researcher I=92ve s=
poken to thinks licensing is a problem,=94 says Susan Reilly, projects mana=
ger at the Association of European Research Libraries in the Hague, the Net=
herlands. She coordinated the letter that declared the 22 May withdrawal fr=
om talks. =93There was really no point in us continuing to attend,=94 she s=
ays. Other signatories include the non-profit Open Knowledge Foundation in =
Cambridge, UK, and the National Centre for Text Mining at the University of=
 Manchester, UK.</p>
<p style=3D"margin:0px 0px 1.65em;padding:0px">=93Continuing 
the group unde=
r current circumstances doesn=92t make sense,=94 says Heath. =93This is reg=
rettable, but at least the process brought to the fore the major controvers=
ies in this area.=94 The European Commission, he adds, =93will reflect on t=
he implications and will address the matter at the time of the review of th=
e Licences for Europe process in July=94.</p>
<p style=3D"margin:0px 0px 1.65em;padding:0px">The European 
talks had alway=
s been conflicted because four different European Union administrative depa=
rtments were involved =97 not only the department for research and innovati=
on, but also those for education and culture, for media and information iss=
ues, and for Europe=92s internal market, economy and intellectual-property =
rights. (The May letter argues that the research department is being squeez=
ed out in favour of the others=92 interests.)</p>
<p style=3D"margin:0px 0px 1.65em;padding:0px">=93Since the 
Licences for Eu=
rope process has not managed to deliver in this area, other ways forward mu=
st be explored,=94 says Heath. An analysis under way by the commission=92s =
internal-market department on the need for copyright reform may provide imp=
etus for action, should it conclude that changes are needed.</p>
<p style=3D"margin:0px 0px 1.65em;padding:0px">Many publishers 
say that the=
re are practical, as well as legal, barriers to text mining. Even if the pr=
actice were permitted through licences or changes to copyright law, researc=
hers would still need a way to access websites without crippling publisher =
servers through excess traffic. And publishers want to be able to identify =
the purpose of the programs crawling their content, especially if mining is=
 for commercial means, so as to decide =93what they=92re willing to allow a=
t what cost=94, says Sarah Faulder, chief executive of the Publishers Licen=
sing Society in London, an industry body that took part in the talks.</p>
<p style=3D"margin:0px 0px 1.65em;padding:0px">To lower some of 
these pract=
ical barriers, the non-profit publisher collaboration CrossRef hopes to lau=
nch technology this year enabling text-mining researchers to agree to terms=
 by clicking a button on a publisher=92s website.</p>
<p style=3D"margin:0px 0px 1.65em;padding:0px">Discussions may 
have faltere=
d, but scientists and librarians hope to keep talking to officials, says Re=
illy. =93There=92s lots of disagreement even among publishers,=94 she says.=
 =93Some are open to text and data mining, some are completely frightened o=
f it. They need an informed discussion.=94</p>
</div><dl class=3D"citation" style=3D"margin:0px 0px 
10px;padding:0px"><dd =
class=3D"journal-title" style=3D"margin:0px;padding:0px 3px 0px 
0px;font-st=
yle:italic;display:inline">Nature</dd>=A0<dd 
class=3D"volume" style=3D"marg=
in:0px;padding:0px 3px 0px 0px;font-weight:bold;display:inline">
498,</dd>=A0<dd class=3D"page" 
style=3D"margin:0px;padding:0px 3px 0px 0px;=
display:inline">14=9615</dd>=A0<dd 
style=3D"margin:0px;padding:0px 3px 0px =
0px;display:inline">(06 June 2013)</dd>=A0<dd 
class=3D"doi" style=3D"margin=
:0px 0px 0px 4px;padding:0px 3px 0px 10px;display:inline;background-image:u=
rl(data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQAKAIAAAHl5eQAAACH5BAAAAAAALAAAAAABAAoAAA=
IDhI8FADs=3D);background-repeat:no-repeat no-repeat">
<abbr title=3D"Digital Object Identifier" 
style=3D"border:0px">doi</abbr>:1=
0.1038/498014a</dd></dl></div><div><br></div>-- <br><div><b>Carolina Rossin=
i</b>=A0<div><div><font 
color=3D"#3333ff"><a href=3D"http://carolinarossini=
.net/" 
target=3D"_blank">http://carolinarossini.net/</a></font></div>
<div><font color=3D"#666666">+ 1 
6176979389</font><br><font color=3D"#66666=
6">*</font><a href=3D"mailto:carolina.rossini AT 
gmail.com" style=3D"color:rgb=
(102,102,102)" target=3D"_blank">carolina.rossini AT 
gmail.com</a><font color=
=3D"#666666">*</font></div>
</div></div><div><font 
color=3D"#666666">skype: 
carolrossini</font></div><d=
iv><font color=3D"#666666"> AT 
carolinarossini</font></div><div><br></div>

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