Article: No green thumb required: Open-source robots can now grow a small farm for you

Food, Open Provisioning

No green thumb required: Open-source robots can now grow a small farm for you

If you’ve always wanted to grow your own fruits and veggies but could never quite make the time for it — technology is here to rescue you. At first glance, technology and farming don’t go hand in hand, but that’s old school thinking. In this day and age, technology and farming are a perfect match. With cheap sensors, simple phone apps, and available equipment, you can build your very own farming robot.

Give it power, water, and WiFi, and it will take care of the rest. FarmBot can plant, water, weed, and monitor the soil and plants with an array of sensors. All you need to do is harvest the produce once it’s done.

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Article: Researchers want free, open-access science — science publishers, not so much

Access, Document, Open Decision-Support, Research

Researchers want free, open-access science — science publishers, not so much

To most people, the world of scientific publishing is pretty opaque — and even if you try to explain it, it doesn’t seem to make much sense. Here’s the gist of it: the writers don’t get paid, the people checking and editing the text don’t get paid, and yet downloading a single paper (which is usually around 10-20 pages) costs around $40.

To make matters even worse, it often takes months and months to get a paper through, a process which can be very stressful and time-consuming for all researchers involved. In a new article, three researchers propose a new solution for that. They call it Plan U, for “Universal”.

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Article: Zika articles made open-source to accelerate research

Access, Document, Open Decision-Support, Research

Zika articles made open-source to accelerate research

Nature, the Lancet and many other medical publishers and researchers have announced that all Zika-related scientific articles will be published freely in the wake of the recent outbreak.

“We announce that Nature journals will make all papers relating to Zika virus free to access until further notice,” a statement reads. “Nature journals will also now encourage authors who haven’t already deposited their relevant sequence information in public archives to do so on submission to help drive the shift towards fast data sharing during public-health emergencies.”

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Article: AI institute develops new, free, science source engine

Innovation, Open Decision-Support, Open Space, Research

AI institute develops new, free, science source engine

Backed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, an Artificial Intelligence institute has launched a new, innovative and perhaps most importantly – free, science search engine. If you’re looking for published papers, there are quite a lot of search engines out there.

Google scholar is the most well known one, but engines like PubMed and arXiv can be incredibly useful. But even so, if you ask most people, they’ll tell you that things can still be greatly improved. With that in mind, the non-profit Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2) in Seattle, Washington set out to develop a new approach.

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Article: New, great open-access deal for particle physics

Access, Document, Open Decision-Support, Research

New, great open-access deal for particle physics

Fantastic news for physics lovers: pretty much all particle physics articles will now be open-source, thanks to a deal between a consortium and 12 journals. In the most remarkable attempt to make hard, peer-reviewed science available to readers, the Sponsoring Consortium for Open Access Publishing in Particle Physics (SCOAP3) is close to securing all particle-physics articles — about 7,000 publications last year — free on journal’s websites.

Particle physics is already a paragon of open source, with most studies being published on he preprint server arXiv, but most peer-reviewed studies were still published in subscription journals – a quite contested method, due to the practices of publishing companies, most notably, Elsevier. Basically, in order to receive access to the articles and journals they are most interested in, entities such as universities and institutes are forced to strike deals in which they buy more than they are interested in; but that will, hopefully change in the nearby future.

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