The government should create a public database to house academic theses and dissertations, lawmakers and academics said on Wednesday, after private database host Airiti was last month accused of changing papers to conform to Chinese censorship rules.
“Taiwan is already 20 years late; we cannot delay any longer,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Fan Yun (范雲) told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
Nearly all of the nation’s academic achievements are only possible through public funding distributed by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science and Technology, Fan said.
Producers of knowledge have gradually realized that sharing their findings not only benefits everyone involved, but also leads to more breakthroughs, she said.
However, only the National Central Library is tasked with indexing theses, dissertations, journals and citations, and most articles cannot be accessed online, she said, adding that to quickly read an article online, Airiti is the only option.
Knowledge should be public property, she said, citing international practice.
For more than two decades, the “open access” movement has been countering the corporatization of academia by encouraging the free distribution of research results online, she said.
The Airiti incident has given the nation an opportunity to make its academic achievements available to all, Fan said, calling on the ministries to follow the international trend and improve copyright protections by creating an open access database.
“No science should be locked behind paywalls,” DPP Legislator Chuang Ching-cheng (莊競程) said.
Knowledge formation and dissemination is no longer top-down, he said, adding that allowing everyone to access information could improve the review process and advance science.
Opening access would improve Taiwan’s international standing by showing its academic achievements to the world, he added.
The education ministry on Thursday last week found that Airiti had contravened copyright and cross-strait relations law by altering “sensitive” terms in papers available on its Chinese Web site, such as changing all instances of “my country” to “Taiwan,” and asked the company to provide an explanation.
Airiti in a news release on Wednesday denied having a monopoly, saying that most Taiwanese periodicals use non-exclusive licensing and allow free downloads from their Web sites.
The open access movement emerged to combat the monopoly held by periodicals, not by databases, which have no way of monopolizing the industry, it added.
Many top journals require submitting authors to transfer the copyright to them, but this does not happen in the local publishing industry, the firm said.
Airiti also said that it is not the nation’s only database, as there are at least two other companies that provide the same service.
Once a journal licensed by Airiti decides to provide open access, the articles can be read for free on the firm’s international site, it said, adding that 12 percent of the journals on Airiti are open access.
As for the education ministry’s request, Airiti assistant general manager Yang Chang-chun (楊長春) said that the firm would issue a response after it receives a formal notice from the ministry.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas,” the US military said yesterday, as tensions between China and Taiwan raise concerns in Washington. US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defense identification zone near the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). The US military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which
STRATEGIC MISTAKE: Beijing’s deployment of aircraft near Taiwan proves the ‘China threat theory’ that sees it attempting to destabilize the region, an analyst said China on Saturday and yesterday sent a record number of military aircraft into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in what analysts said was an attempt to flex its military might for US President Joe Biden. Thirteen Chinese warplanes flew into Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ on Saturday and 15 entered yesterday, the highest number observed in a single day this year, the Ministry of National Defense said. On Saturday, eight Xian H-6K bombers, four Shenyang J-16 fighters and a Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, entered the ADIZ, while yesterday there were two Y-8s, two Su-30s, four J-16s, six J-10 fighters and a Y-8 reconnaissance
DISPOSING MYTHS: A new constitution would better reflect reality, as the current one was drafted ‘in and for China,’ without the consent of Taiwanese, advocates said Independence advocates yesterday launched the Taiwan New Constitution Alliance to promote drafting a new, localized constitution. “This is a historic moment for Taiwan. Drafting a new constitution is the most important task Taiwanese face,” veteran independence advocate Koo Kwang-ming (辜寬敏) said at the inaugural event in Taipei. “Although the Democratic Progressive Party is in power, its authority is based on the Republic of China [ROC] Constitution, which has no connection to Taiwan,” said the 95-year-old Koo, a former presidential adviser. “The historic task of drafting a new constitution depends on efforts by all Taiwanese,” Koo said. “A constitution for a sovereign, independent Taiwan