On July 12, 2016, OASPA hosted a Twitter chat with Cameron Neylon (Curtin University) Michael Carroll (American University), Ernesto Priego (City University London) and Catriona MacCallum (PLOS) on attribution. The open access community and members of the public were invited to ask the panel any questions they had on the topic, and what followed was a wide-ranging discussion on attribution and open access publishing.
Key takeaways from the discussion included: important distinctions being made between attribution and licensing; placating common anxieties around attribution and data sharing; steps to take to overcome barriers to providing proper attribution to open content; teasing out the reasons why the publishing industry has tended to focus on licensing discussions more than attribution; and the importance of education in understanding attribution in its everyday contexts. The CC-BY license was highlighted as a vital tool for enabling open knowledge sharing, good attribution practice, and progress. Useful guides from Creative Commons on attribution and data sharing were noted.
Attribution, it was agreed, often appears to be dense and complicated due to lack of standardisation. The Twitter Chat provided a much-needed opportunity for collaborative thinking around the nuances of the topic, and enabled the open access community to work with OASPA, each other, and the wider public in considering what is needed to move towards providing basic guidance and best practices on attribution — which we hope will pave the way for this becoming a routine part of the publication process.
OASPA’s second Twitter Chat greatly extended the attribution discussion we had in our webinar with the same panel in May – our blogpost reflecting on the webinar is here – and much as with our inaugural OASPA Twitter Chat back in March, the informal, public nature of the Twitter discussion again enabled a lively, honest, global conversation around attribution issues that we are already seeing the open access community continuing on over social media.
A full account of the discussion can be viewed on the Twitter hashtag #OASPAChat. For those looking for a summary, here’s our Storify of the discussion: