The World Wide Web is a global network of computers connected by means of specialised communications protocols which enhance the flow of information. The concept of the World Wide Web incorporates the people creating and accessing content as well as the software and hardware solutions that make the World Wide Web possible. The World Wide Web was reconceptualised in the definition of Web 2.0 presented at the O’Reilly Media Conference. For scientific communities, the application of the principles of the World Wide Web and Web 2.0 to science reflect a natural development of communication within scientific communities and beyond. In order to facilitate the development of science using these principles it is necessary to begin an open dialogue and to explore the basic definitions. However the starting point for discussion is a problem and one that arises from an unexpected angle – intellectual property rights.
The central premise of the World Wide Web conceived by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN was to facilitate universal authorship amongst other objectives. This profound conception of the World Wide Web has stood the test of time and transformed society. However when it came to Web 2.0, the term was trademarked and this led to a controversial encounter when the establishment of a Web 2.0 conference was attempted in Ireland. While the Web 2.0 concept has flourished, other applications including Science 2.0 have developed. However Science 2.0 as a term was trademarked by Hank Campbell who did some very useful work around science communication (e.g see the Science 2.0 website).
As a consequence I have renamed all of the previous articles in the series exploring the interaction between the World Wide Web and science. Even the renaming was slightly difficult as the obvious successor Science 3.0 relates to a successful site which brings people together to develop Open Science. Although there is some good work happening there, any discussion of Science 3.0 has the potential to be confused with this. The Science 3.0 site also features a Creative Commons License. Although this is a very useful license for sharing and developing material, it has the drawback that the author can revoke the license.
This leads me to the development of the Science 4.0 definition
1. Science 4.0 is a Public Domain concept
2. Science 4.0 necessitates the development and refinement of a definition of Science which is central to the Science 4.0 concept
3. Science 4.0 refers to the relationship of the World Wide Web to science in 4 domains
a. The use of hardware devices
b. The use of software solutions
c. The authoring of content on the World Wide Web
d. The access of content on the World Wide Web
4. Science 4.0 is characterised by several values
a. Science 4.0 facilitates the generation of Public Domain data sets, Public Domain software solutions and Public Domain scientific discourse in multiple media formats by a Science 4.0 community
b. Science 4.0 facilitates the use of Creative Commons licenses for data, software and discourse by a Science 4.0 community where necessary
c. Science 4.0 facilitates the use of commercial licenses by a Science 4.0 community where necessary
d. In the Science 4.0 community, Public Domain material takes precedence over Creative Commons Licensed material which takes precedence over the use of Commercially Licensed material
e. Science 4.0 maximises the accessibility of material while defining necessary limits on accessibility
f. Science 4.0 is independent of a specific web site or community although sites and communities can identify themselves through the Science 4.0 concept
The definition of Science 4.0 offers a starting point for exploring and refining this concept.
Appendix – Science 4.0 Articles on the TAWOP Site
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