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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Academic Copyright: The bad news and the good news

March 19, 2013, 9:38 AM
Growth-in-open-access-cc-by

There has been a lot of tragically depressing news regarding academic copyright recently. Aaron Swartz committed suicide after being hounded for downloading academic papers and now Indian students are being denied access to course material after the Delhi High Court implemented a ban on course packs as a result of a lawsuit from Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Taylor & Francis. The absurdity of the situation is well illustrated by a post published yesterday by NeuroDojo on the cognitive dissonance of an editorial championing scientific openness in a journal costing in excess of $30,000. The sky high prices of academic work are simply unaffordable to poorer institutions and with action being taken to block photocopying, the end result is paywalled work simply doesn't get seen by students.

The news isn't all bad however, following last year's Cost of Knowledge campaign centralised around the Elsevier Boycott, change has been in the wind. Academics are now moving towards open access in droves. The graph above illustrates the number of articles published per year in open access journals such as PLOS, BioMed Central and Frontiers using a CC-BY license. Let's hope the trend continues.

 

 

Academic Copyright: The bad...

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