As the year comes to a close, I’d like to reflect briefly on what has been the inaugural year for the Journal of Open Engineering. The journal was launched to serve as an experimental platform for the advocacy and promotion of open publishing practices in engineering. It is hosted on an open source platform called PubPub which was launched out of the MIT Media Lab. The platform has gone through some growing pains but I think it has now reached a more stable and sustainable format for wider adoption. There is built-in support for web native content such as animated gifs, videos, iframes, and embedded community discussion. Many of these features will help us modernize academic publishing for the coming years.
This year has also seen the publication of our first fully open articles including:
“Against the Law: Countering Lawful Abuses of Digital Surveillance” by bunnie Huang (@bunniestudios) and Edward Snowden (@Snowden)
Highlighted here are the technological developments of two of the world’s leading experts on digital surveillance and hardware hacking. A case is made for the need for those working in sensitive fields to be able to ascertain if their personal digital devices have been compromised by a third party. Further, a hardware based solution is presented as a case-study for how to inspect and monitor a device for possible tampering that may result in the transmission of unintended information without the user’s knowledge.
“Scientific Literature Text Mining and the Case for Open Access” by Gopal Sarma
A component of the FAIR principles for scientific data is that the information we produce and disseminate be “machine-actionable” meaning that algorithmic methods can be employed to parse the information or data we produce. As the corpus of scientific knowledge continues to grow along with the rate at which we produce new knowledge, it is becoming increasingly important that we can use automated methods to consume and digest the information contained within a journal article.
“Motion analysis of a device including a disk and two slender bars with a design change for full disk revolution” by Luciano Fleischfresser (@l_fle)
This article examines a classical problem of study for the engineering student learning four-bar mechanism kinematics. The paper presents an understanding of the problem in such a way that demonstrates the application of rigid-body mechanics with support from simulation based numerical evaluation.
I hope that 2018 continues to be a successful time for the journal and for the development and adoption of open practices in engineering. While I do not expect the Journal of Open Engineering to become a high-volume journal, I hope that we can continue to use this platform to push innovation in engineering scholarship and serve as an outlet for those looking to push at the boundaries of the open-access publishing world. With the ability to embed modern multimedia directly within our publications and with further functionalities on the horizon, I hope that we cane redefine what an engineering publication looks like and how we can best make our work available for all to access.
Happy New Year!
Devin R. Berg