Hacking academia better together

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This is an event to hack in London


We have two goals

  • Demonstrate the value of the CC-BY licence within academia. We are interested in supporting innovations around and on top of the literature.
  • Reach out to academics who are keen to learn or improve their programming skills to better their research. We’re especially interested in academics who have never coded before.

What do you mean by focussing on CC-BY licence within academia?

The CC-BY licence is the Creative Commons licence that allows for downstream remixing of the original work, so long as the original author is credited. It puts no other restrictions on what you can do with that work. The recent Research Councils UK Policy on Open Access prefers all new work that they fund to be published under this licence.

The hope is that by having access to remix and reinvent the scholarly literature we can create better tools on top of that literature. This hackday will explore ideas around what one can do with this kind of material.

OK, what should I build?

We are just starting to gather ideas now, but how about a tool to help unlock all of the great material in institutional repositories? How about a tool to re-imagine what a journal article looks like? What about a tool to help gather real time metrics on topics of interest? What about a tool to data mine all of the CC-BY literature for trends? What about a tool to help identify whether a paper is CC-BY in the first place? There are many many exciting ideas, and we want to hear yours!


6th of July 2013.


We will be hosting the event at Skills Matter, Address: 116-120 Goswell Rd, London, EC1V 7DP

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Jason (PeerJ) asked Ian (eLife), and he said yes.


You don't need to wait until the day of the event to get started, in fact you can start pitching your ideas now. We've created an ideas pitch page on the wiki for anyone to list their idea and what type of skills are needed to make it happen.

What happens on the day of the event?

On the actual day, anyone with an idea will have 90 seconds to pitch. If you don't have an idea then that is fine too! Just look for a team that you want to join.

What resources should I know about?

  1. Hack4ac wiki pages
  2. Hack4ac Twitter account
  3. Hack4ac Mailing list
  4. Code repository - yes we want you to hack this site!

What else is happening that weekend?

Like the number 12 bus, you wait for ages, and then a bunch of them turn up at the same time. It turns out that on the same weekend there is going to ba another awesome hacking event hosted by the BMJ.

We didn't know about each other's events until we started tweeting about them, and but it looks like there is going to be a good opportunity for both hackdays to work well together. We are going to focus hack4ac on the journal and content side, and the BMJ hack day is going to focus on medical data and hacks that could help with front line patient support.

We are going to coordinate on the weekend of the event, and in the run-up to see if we can cross-fertilise ideas. We will be announcing a pub event in the run-up to the weekend, stay posted!