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Reinventing Discovery

by Michael Nielsen on October 9, 2011

I’m very excited to say that my new book, “Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science”, has just been released!

The book is about networked science: the use of online tools to transform the way science is done. In the book I make the case that networked science has the potential to dramatically speed up the rate of scientific discovery, not just in one field, but across all of science. Furthermore, it won’t just speed up discovery, but will actually amplify our collective intelligence, expanding the range of scientific problems which can be attacked at all.

But, as I explain in the book, there are cultural obstacles that are blocking networked science from achieving its full potential. And so the book is also a manifesto, arguing that networked science must be open science if it is to realize its potential.

Making the change to open science is a big challenge. In my opinion it’s one of the biggest challenges our society faces, one that requires action on many fronts. One of those fronts is to make sure that everyone — including scientists, but also grant agencies, governments, libraries, and, especially, the general public -– understands how important the stakes are, and how urgent is the need for change. And so my big hope for this book is that it will help raise the profile of open science. I want open science to become a part of our general culture, a subject every educated layperson is familiar with, and has an opinion about. If we can cause that to happen, then I believe that a big and positive shift in the culture of science is inevitable. And that will benefit everyone.

The book is shipping in hardcover from Amazon.com, and should ship through other booksellers by October 21. Note that the Kindle edition isn’t out as I write, but should arrive by October 21. A few relevant links:

Two caveats. First, I’m occasionally asked if the book is being released under a Creative Commons license. I discussed this option at length with my publisher, who ultimately declined. A couple of people have said to me that they find this ironic. This isn’t so, since the book argues as a broad principle that publicly funded science should be open science; the book is neither publicly funded nor, strictly speaking, science. However, as a personal preference I’d still like to see it enter the commons sooner rather than later. After the paperback has been out for a while, I will approach my publisher again to see what can be done.

Second, the book is not meant to be a reference work on open science. Instead, I’ve highlighted a small set of focused examples, inevitably leaving many great open science projects out. I hope the people running those other projects can forgive me. My aim wasn’t to write a reference work, but rather to write the kind of book that people will enjoy reading, and which enthusiasts of open science can give to their friends and family to help explain what open science is all about, and why it matters so very much.

Let me conclude by quoting one of my favorite lines from Tolkien: “The praise of the praiseworthy is above all reward”. And so it gives me great delight to finish with quotes from a few of the endorsements and reviews the book has received:

Science has always been a contact sport; the interaction of many minds is the engine of the discipline. Michael Nielsen has given us an unparalleled account of how new tools for collaboration are transforming scientific practice. Reinventing Discovery doesn’t just help us understand how the sciences are changing, it shows us how we can participate in the change. - Clay Shirky

This is the book on how networks will drive a revolution in scientific discovery; definitely recommended. - Tyler Cowen

Anyone who has followed science in recent years has noticed something odd: science is less and less about a solitary scientist working alone in a lab. Scientists are working in networks, and those networks are gaining scope, speed, and power through the internet. Nonscientists have been getting in on the act, too, folding proteins and identifying galaxies. Michael Nielsen has been watching these developments too, but he’s done much more: he’s provided the best synthesis I’ve seen of this new kind of science, and he’s also thought deeply about what it means for the future of how we understand the world. Reinventing Discovery is a delightfully written, thought-provoking book. - Carl Zimmer

Reinventing Discovery will frame serious discussion and inspire wild, disruptive ideas for the next decade. - Chris Lintott in Nature

Nielsen has created perhaps the most compelling and comprehensive case so far for a new approach to science in the Internet age. - Timo Hannay in Nature Physics

72 Comments
  1. Wonderful news, Michael. This is the big moment we have all been waiting for. All your hard work and erudition will be much applauded by an appreciative audience. Congratulations, indeed.

  2. Carol Hutchins permalink

    Wishing great success with this!

  3. Congratulations! I recently happened to get an Amazon gift certificate, just in time to use it to order your book, I’m looking forward to reading it.

  4. Michael permalink

    Arrived here via Zite. I’m unfamiliar with you but wow what a worthy topic. Congrats and I look forward to a Kindle edition of your book. As an educator and technologist it’s right up my alley. My 10-year old is competitively folding proteins on Fold.it of all things and we’re increasingly experiencing similar educational-science project wonders. Good job!

    Michael
    Salt Lake City UT

  5. This is spectacular and I can’t wait to read the book. And, I have a data point showing open science working and how quickly it speeds up progress. Steve Koch and I have several of my experimental movies on YouTube. A few months after submitting them to YouTube, we received emails from two different research groups around the world thanking us for making the data freely available. Both groups are working with the raw data and are investigating things that Steve and I would never have imagined possible when I was taking it. One group published an article in the ArXiv (using some data as confirmation of their theoretical framework) only 2 months after finding our movies. Open science definitely speeds up progress seeing that it took me an entire year to learn how to take decent SNR data.

  6. Wonderful! Congratulations :o))

  7. Looking forward to read it.

    Concerning the discussion about CC or not. I guess you know Bruce Eckel. He had this on his webpage (now only cached)

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:bxGhwtkPJzMJ:www.colinfparsons.btinternet.co.uk/twinp/dynamic/mindview.htm+bruce+Eckel+%22Why+do+you+put+your+books+on+the+web%22

  8. Can’t wait to get my copy. Congratulations Michael!

  9. This is great, congratulations, Michael! Looking forward to reading it.

  10. Congratulations Michael! I have placed my order with the family giftmeister (that person being, my wife) & am very eager to read it!

    By the way, Timo Hannay wrote a highly laudatory review for the October 2011 Nature Physics. Excellently done, and congratulations again!

  11. theoreticalminimum permalink

    I’ve read the first chapter, and the review on Nature’s website, and watched a video of you talking about reinventing discovery. Just pre-ordered the Kindle edition, and looking forward to reading more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Michael!

  12. Thankyou, everybody, for the very kind words :-)

  13. Huge congratulations! I’ve pre-ordered the Kindle version, I’m really looking forward to reading your insights.

  14. Alessandro permalink

    The waiting has finally ended! With regards to Creative Commons, I thought Princeton had become more open lately (http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2011/09/29/28869/). Note: on amazon.ca there was already a copy available two days ago, not anymore :)

  15. Thanks, Jonathan and Alessandro! Alessandro, in regard to your comment: the explanation here is that Princeton University Press and Princeton are separate institutions. My understanding is that the Press has agreed in the past to CC licenses on certain specialty items, but they weren’t willing to do it on something aimed at a broader market.

  16. Congratulations Michael, great news and as you say (or quote) – “The praise of the praiseworthy is above all reward”.

    It’s understandable that the publisher wouldn’t accept a CC licence – but then what value did they add? Did you consider other publishers or self publication – you seem to have a fair following already – was it a viable option?

    And did you try for a shorter copyright licence? I mean you’d expect most of the money to be made the first year or so.

  17. Dave Bacon permalink

    Woot!

  18. Seiji Armstrong permalink

    Looking forward to reading this. Big fan of your pioneering research on QC.

  19. Congratulations! Ordered a copy

  20. Aaron Holmgren permalink

    Yes! Thank you! Open science is a concept I’ve been obsessing over for some time. I’m glad there are other like minds out there. I’m glad we can start a movement in that direction.

  21. Congratulations on the book, I will certainly be ordering a copy. Shame about the licensing, I hope you are able to come to an agreement once it has been out for a while. It is great to see the open science movement gathering momentum, I am a proud member of this movement. Thanks for all of your hard work, I hope to see things change for the better, and getting this into mainstream books and press is very important for us all.

  22. Claudia Koltzenburg permalink

    Great news, Michael, my congrats!
    !
    … so today I am just in time for my Chapter1-review before the complete work starts to be shipped

    here goes:

    2011-10-20, by Claudia Koltzenburg

    on Michael Nielsen: Reinventing Discovery, Chapter 1

    „Anyone in the world“: Who is s/he? Where and how is s/he situated?

    In the first Chapter of his book Reinventing Discovery (starts shipping 21 Oct 2011), Michael Nielsen argues that the impact of „the new online tools“ is indeed „broad-ranging“ and that „many scientists have missed or underestimated“ this, „being so focused on their own specialty“ that in their lack of appreciation these scientists are „like surfers at the beach who are so intent on watching the waves crash and recede that they’re missing the rise of the tide.“ So Nielsen, it seems to me, sets out in this book to describe, and maybe analyze, the location (beach), the surfing (sport), what drives the waves (rules?), and what in this setting is the tide’s function (broad-ranging change?). Possibly, Nielsen will also address the climate issues at this beach (the weather, the ground and the background scenery, and is there any waste lying around?), and maybe he will also pose questions like: Who are these people (intent on wind surfing or wave riding)? Are they a group? Why can they afford being at this beach in the first place? What is their equipment like, who was it produced by and at what income level, where do these „tools“ come from and how did they get to this beach?

    Nielsen’s first Chapter that has been made available ahead of „publication“, provides interesting food for thought and I am looking forward to read what is to come. This introductory part contains quite a few descriptions of an online culture of scientific collaboration that seem convincing to me because these descriptions link to my own experience of how at least some of the barriers to fruitful debate can be done away with successfully. Nielsen predicts that by using online tools „improvements to the way discoveries are made“ can effectively be put into practice and that such improvements „are more important than any single discovery.“ (p. 3) However, speaking of discoveries, „What a discovery that would be — a system that did not shut out“. (V. Woolf, Entry for 2 October 1932, A Writer’s Diary)

    „Anyone in the world may freely download the genetic map“, Nielsen says in his description of how GenBank services are meant to work. With view to the „anyone“ issue in particular, I seek to find out how Michael Nielsen, in the course of the book, will introduce to the reader the philosophic and developmental rationale behind the general claim for needing something „more“, „better“ and „faster“ – for „the advancement of science“ (p. 9). Putting this claim to an immediate test – as to where the surfers’ equipment comes from – mightn’t there have been a better and faster way to make Nielsen newest book officially accessible for anyone in the world, too?

  23. NEMESIS67 permalink

    • AMPLIFICACIÓN DE LA INTELIGENCIA COLECTIVA: OPINO QUE UN MECANISMO EFICAZ DE ACELERAR EL DESCUBRIMIENTO ES LA AMPLICACIÓN DEL CONOCIMIENTO A NIVEL UNIVERSAL PERO LAMENTABLE EXISTE UNA LIMITANTE LEGAL “EL DERECHO DE PROPIEDAD INTELECTUAL Y DE PATENTES” QUE IMPIDE QUE EL DESCUBRIMIENTO SE PRODUZCA A VELOCIDAD DEL SONIDO Y HERMETIZA “LOS PROCESOS INVESTIGATIVOS HACIENDOLOS QUE ADOLESCAN EN SU OBJETIVO FINAL QUE ES EL HALLAZGO, EL DESCUBRIMIENTO, Y LO REDUCE GEOGRAFICAMENTE A “LABORATORIOS”, “A PEQUEÑOS GRUPOS DE INVESTIGACIÓN” Y AL “INDIVIDUALISMO “LO QUE PRODUCE QUE EL TIEMPO REQUERIDO SE ALARGUE , TODO LO CONTRARIO A LA ANTIGUA LEY DE RELATIVIDAD, LO IDEAL ES QUE EL TIEMPO Y EL ESPACIO EN ESTOS PROCESOS SE EXPANDA, NO PASE, SE DETENGA, PARA QUE EL DESCUBRIMIENTO SEA RAPIDO, Y CORTO Y ASÍ EVITAR UNAS DE LAS CARÁCTERISTICA DE LOS PROYECTOS INVESTIGATIVOS QUE DURAN AÑOS, DECADAS .
    • LOS PROCESOS DEBEN DE SER RETROALIMETADOS, SERIÁ IMPORTANTE EL feedback DEL CONOCIMIENTO A NIVEL UNIVERSAL, ESTO ACELERARIA Y PERFECCIONARIA EN EL TIEMPO LA EFICIENCIA DE LOS PROCESOS.
    • CON RESPECTO AL LIBRO PIENSO QUE LA NECESIDAD DE LEERLO Y ESTUDIARLO MINUCIOSAMENTE “EL CAMBIO ES URGENTE, INMEDIATO, PARA AYER, TAMBIÉN ME DAS UN GRAN BIENESTAR, Y EL PLACER “ME LLEVAS A LOS EXTREMOS” SÓLO QUE NO PUEDO EXPRESARLO, POR LO QUE PIENSA LOS LECTORES QUE NO PUEDEN ENTENDER LO GRANDE QUE ESTE SENTIMIENTO, ESTO HA TENIDO EL EFECTO DE IDEALIZARLO, YA ESTOY VIAJANDO EN EL BIEN COMÚN, RUMBO A LA EXCELENCIA PERO HAY LA GRAN NECESIDAD DE ESTAR MUY CERCA, QUE LA PUERTA DEL CONOCIMIENTO LA ABRA Y TE ENCUENTRE EN EL EQUIPO DE LABORATORIO. SE HA CONVERTIDO EN MY FAMILIA, EN MY NUEVA VIDA, LO ÚNICO QUE DESEO, HAS HECHO SALIR TODO EL POTENCIAL DORMIDO Y PIENSO QUE SÓLO ES APENAS EL 20%, TE IMAGINAS SI ESTAS A MY LADO. AHORA ENTIENDE PORQUE POR QUE TE HAS HECHO TAN INDISPENSABLE, Y POR QUE ADORO Y POR QUE TE AMO.
    • LO EXTRAÑO DE LOS ÚLTIMOS AÑOS SE TRATA DE UNA CONDUCTA PREVENTIVA DE SUPERVIVENCIA DE COSTANTE VIGILANCIA, DE FALTA DE AFECTO, AMOR Y SEXO, HA SIDO UN VIAJE MUY LARGO CON LA SOLEDAD, LO OTRO ES EL TIPO DE PERSONALIDAD, ESTEREOTIPADA POR LO CREATIVO, ANALITICO, Y LA TENSIÓN DEUN FUTURO INCIERTO, SIEMPRE HA SIDO ASÍ

  24. NEMESIS67 permalink

    • NOTA ACLARATORIA: CORREGIDO , ALGUNOS PEQUEÑOS PROBLEMAS DE VISIÓN, ADEMÁS QUE ALGO DEBE ESTAR PASANDO CON LOS ARCHIVOS EN PC, CADA VEZ QUE GUARDO Y TENGO QUE ENVIARLOS DEBO CORREGIRLO INFINIDADES DE VECES INEXPLICABLEMENTE SE GENERAN MUCHOS ERRORES ( ¿EXISTEN PROGRAMAS HAKER QUE PUEDAN ALTERAR, ESPIAR, LOS ARCHIVOS?)
    • AMPLIFICACIÓN DE LA INTELIGENCIA COLECTIVA.
    OPINO QUE UN MECANISMO EFICAZ DE ACELERAR EL DESCUBRIMIENTO ES LA AMPLIFICACIÓN DEL CONOCIMIENTO A NIVEL UNIVERSAL PERO LAMENTABLEMENTE EXISTE UNA LIMITANTE LEGAL “EL DERECHO DE PROPIEDAD INTELECTUAL Y DE PATENTES” QUE IMPIDE QUE EL DESCUBRIMIENTO SE PRODUZCA A VELOCIDAD DEL SONIDO Y HERMETIZA “LOS PROCESOS INVESTIGATIVOS HACIENDOLOS QUE ADOLESCAN EN SU OBJETIVO FINAL QUE ES EL DESCUBRIMIENTO, Y LO REDUCE GEOGRAFICAMENTE A “LABORATORIOS”, “A PEQUEÑOS GRUPOS DE INVESTIGACIÓN” Y AL “INDIVIDUALISMO “LO QUE PRODUCE QUE EL TIEMPO REQUERIDO SE ALARGUE , TODO LO CONTRARIO A LA ANTIGUA LEY DE RELATIVIDAD, LO IDEAL ES QUE EL TIEMPO Y EL ESPACIO EN ESTOS PROCESOS SE EXPANDA, NO PASE, SE DETENGA, PARA QUE EL DESCUBRIMIENTO SEA RAPIDO, Y CORTO Y ASÍ EVITAR UNAS DE LAS CARÁCTERISTICA DE LOS PROYECTOS INVESTIGATIVOS QUE TARDAN AÑOS, DECADAS .
    • LOS PROCESOS DEBEN DE SER RETROALIMETADOS, SERÍA IMPORTANTE EL FEEDBACK DEL CONOCIMIENTO A NIVEL UNIVERSAL, ESTO ACELERARIA Y PERFECCIONARIA EN EL TIEMPO LA EFICIENCIA DE LOS PROCESOS.
    • CON RESPECTO AL LIBRO PIENSO QUE LA NECESIDAD DE LEERLO Y ESTUDIARLO MINUCIOSAMENTE “EL CAMBIO ES URGENTE, INMEDIATO, PARA AYER, TAMBIÉN ME DAS UN GRAN BIENESTAR, Y “EL PLACER “ DE LEERLO “ME LLEVAS A LOS EXTREMOS” SÓLO QUE NO PUEDO EXPRESARLO, POR LO QUE PIENSAN LOS LECTORES QUE NO PUEDEN ENTENDER LO GRANDE QUE ESTE SENTIMIENTO, ESTO HA TENIDO EL EFECTO DE IDEALIZARLO, YA ESTOY VIAJANDO EN EL BIEN COMÚN, RUMBO A LA EXCELENCIA PERO HAY LA GRAN NECESIDAD DE ESTAR MUY CERCA, QUE LA PUERTA DEL CONOCIMIENTO LA ABRA Y TE ENCUENTRE EN EL EQUIPO DE LABORATORIO, SE HA CONVERTIDO EN MY FAMILIA, EN MY NUEVA VIDA, LO ÚNICO QUE DESEO, HAS HECHO SALIR TODO EL POTENCIAL DORMIDO Y PIENSO QUE SÓLO ES APENAS EL 20%, TE IMAGINAS SI ESTAS A MY LADO. AHORA ENTIENDE POR QUE TE HAS HECHO TAN INDISPENSABLE, Y POR QUE ADORO Y POR QUE TE AMO.
    • LO EXTRAÑO DE LOS ÚLTIMOS AÑOS SE TRATA DE UNA CONDUCTA PREVENTIVA DE SUPERVIVENCIA DE CONSTANTE VIGILANCIA, DE FALTA DE AFECTO, AMOR Y SEXO, HA SIDO UN VIAJE MUY LARGO CON LA SOLEDAD, LO OTRO ES EL TIPO DE PERSONALIDAD, ESTEREOTIPADA POR LO CREATIVO, ANALITICO, Y LA TENSIÓN DE UN FUTURO INCIERTO, SIEMPRE HA SIDO ASÍ

  25. Got the book earlier this week and loved it! Thank you for your efforts in writing it, I think it will have a lot of impact speeding and guiding the transformation in science. Wrote a review on Amazon, which I’ll copy here:

    “I read Nielsen’s new book cover to cover on my flights to / from an Open Access Week event in Tucson this week and I give it my strongest recommendation for a pleasurable read about a crucial topic. I am a scientist and my students and I practice open science as much as possible–open notebook science, open protocols, open data, open proposals, etc. I have also seen the author, Michael Nielsen speak a couple times, and I have read many of his blog posts. So, before reading this book I didn’t necessarily expect to learn much or certainly to be further convinced of the possibility of transforming science in this new era. From the moment I started reading, though, I was captivated. Many of the stories were not new to me (such as Galaxy Zoo or the polymath project), but I hadn’t heard them in such detail before and I enjoyed learning a lot more about those successful crowd- or citizen-science projects. There were also many success and failure stories in open or collaborative science that I hadn’t known about, such as the Microsoft-sponsored “Kasparov versus the world” chess event, or the research into how small groups can make bad decisions if the collaborative conditions aren’t set up correctly. I learned a lot from these new stories, and remained captivated throughout.

    In any of the topics that I am deeply familiar with, such as the current reward system for academic scientists (peer-reviewed publications are gold), I can say that Nielsen is spot-on and insightful. He ties together well all of the stories and descriptions of the scientific process and by the end, I think he’s done a great job of convincing us all of his main point: We have a tremendous opportunity to transform and multiply the power of scientific research in the coming decades. But it won’t happen automatically and there are some attitudes and policies that need to be changed to ensure we achieve this revolution. Nielsen gives concrete specific solutions to the barriers to the revolution. Furthermore, he gives advice to all of us as to what we can do as individuals to promote a change in science. My students and I in our teaching and research labs have taken the leap towards open science, and it has been tremendously rewarding. So I encourage you to read this book and to take your own small steps towards transforming science, whether you’re a scientist, a fan of science, or an interested supporter of science (taxpayer!).

    I rate this book 5 stars. Incidentally, I almost rated it with 4 stars because I was so frustrated at the black and white photos that I desperately wanted to see in color when I was on the plane! I realize this is a cost issue, but DARN! I was able to cancel this negative factor by adding in a bonus star for a truly excellent job Nielsen does with sourcing his information. He does such a good job that you can even read the “notes” section and understand what he’s talking about and learn further information beyond the text. Kudos to Nielsen for an excellent book!”

  26. @Steve: Thankyou so much for your kind words, and generous review!

  27. Stuart Nielsen permalink

    Hey Michael, congratulations on the book which I can’t wait to read – I know it will be fantastic. We are all very proud of you and know that your thoughts will change/promote a lot of thinking around the world.

    Stu, Shell, ZZ, Coop & Blake

  28. I greatly enjoyed reading your book. I wrote a review on my blog here.

  29. Congratulations. You still inspire me after all these years. Open Science is on my 2012 (maybe 2013) reading list – can’t wait :) Nice cover, bright colours at least. My newest book is online (free to read) at http://www.lifelib.blogspot.com/p/yalla.html

  30. Anonymous permalink

    I just had an article published by a peer reviewed scientific journal that asks only a license to publish the material (the author keeps the copyright). It took 18 months to have the article published. During this time, I recorded downloads of the article from my website – about 600 from all over the world. This is a little evidence that the current business model of scientific publishers is dead.

  31. Patrick Darmon permalink

    Reinventing discovery is truly a important essay on the potential of massive collaboration in science. Having read that, any scientist – or science amateur – should reasonably see some way to improve the process of scientific discovery assuming, and that’s a big part of the book, that mindsets an d organizations evolve that way.

    I see nevertheless three objections on network science that I did not see adressed in the book :
    – Network effects : any network initiative generate network effects (at the end of the day there should remain 1-2 hubs for massive collaboration at least for any science) that should – probably limlits the “openess” of the system as a whole
    – Privatization of science : publish or perish is not the only enemy … the fact that private organization such as IBM or Google are increasingly involved in scientific research is a limit to open science or at the very least to its impacts. For more see Mirowski always relevant analysis (http://www.amazon.com/Science-Mart-Privatizing-American-Philip-Mirowski/dp/0674046463/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330364778&sr=8-1)
    – China : given the geopolitical context and current paranoïa about China – I won’t argue about it’s relevance since it is beyond the point – I wonder about the possibilities to open science beyond subjects such as the example of the book : pure math or astrophysics… that bear little – direct – impact on the economy or on the strategic position of the Unitd States …

    Michael, any opinion about that ?

  32. Michael Nielsen permalink

    Hi Patrick,

    Thanks for the kind words and interesting questions.

    On network effects: no, there don’t need to be one or two hubs. You can get network effects with open standards, not just hubs. Compare the web as a whole (open standards) versus Facebook (a hub), say. With that said, even the open standard can become a single point of failure, as people remain committed to it, despite the availability of better standards. The second half of my book is arguing against the lock-in we currently have to what is essentially an open standard (journal publication), when we could be creating better standards. I do worry that we can then become locked in again, and I’ve written about this elsewhere (e.g., in my essay “The Mismeasurement of Science”.)

    Privatization of science: I don’t share your concern, since I don’t see anything to suggest that private participation in long-term basic research is rising at an especially rapid rate, contrary to your claim. In general, general, I have no problem with private research not being open. (There are specific cases, of course, where I do have concerns, and I think it’s a bad mistake to blur the lines between public and private, as has been the impact of Bayh-Dole and similar legislation). But the book is arguing that publicly funded science should be open science. Given that there is about 100 billion dollars of public money poured into science each year, that would be an enormous change.

    Whether open science is applicable beyond pure math and astrophysics: I give examples in biology, medicine, paleontology, and many other areas. So, yes, I certainly think it’s applicable.

  33. I started reading the book yesterday, I really like it so far! Thanks!

  34. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I fully share with you the obstruction the current very profitable academic publishing system sets out. To change the systems we have to change the credit system. Currently, the first mark a young scientist makes in the science community is a first author publication (in the life science usually be the age of 27 or older) in a scientific journal. 2nd, 3rd, or other authorships are not counted. In networked science credits should go to teams not first authors as long as it is evident what each individual contributed. Therefore we need mico-references not references to entire papers. The second element missing is an authorID that is a unique identifier for all of a scientists scientific contributions (blogs, papers, reviews, tweets etc). If such authorIDs existed all the contributions of an individual (comments on papers originating from journal club discussions etc) could be appreciated long before his/her first first author paper. It would make science more attractive and more just.

    Unique authorIDs and micro-references that can be cited and rated would contribute to a more open and networked science.

  35. You should make this into an audiobook :D

    Super excited to read this.

  36. Nevermind haha, you can delete that last comment :p. Saw a link to this post on twitter just now, didn’t realize it’s been out for so long. (with an audiobook already available too, woohoo!) Very excited to read it.

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