Keep Your Popular Name and Your Identity

I’m really glad I’m not one of the 46,155 John Smiths (in USA alone), or one of the tens of thousands of Liu Xiangs. In fact, I may be the only Kurtis Baute on the internet, at least for now.

But if I had such a common/popular name, then how could I possibly keep my publications straight? As it is, publications list authors by their names and university affiliations, but that is more than a little confusing if you have a common name, or if you change universities.


The idea behind ORCID is that everyone can get their own reference code, so that however common their name is, they can stay distinguished. It is like how species have common names (which get mixed up with one another all the time), but [hopefully] only one Latin name – without this organization, biology wouldn’t be able to operate.

It takes 30 seconds to get a reference code, and only a few minutes to fill out the rest of the profile. Even with my uncommon name, I think that this idea is so cool that I signed up in preparation for whenever I have an actual publication.

Lets Talk About Open Research!

At OpenCon 2014 I had the chance to talk to many brilliant researchers about issues surrounding access to articles, data, and educational resources. Here are some clips from some of those interviews. Thanks to the Canadian Association of Research Libraries for making this video possible, and thanks to everyone who took the time to talk with me, and sorry for the wait!

Interviewees (in order of appearance):
Emilie Champagne –
David Carroll –
Kurtis Baute –
Ross Mounce –
Lauren B. Collister –
Prateek Mahalwar –

Links Mentioned (in order of appearance):…


Best. Conference. Ever!

I’ve written more than once about the fact that most research isn’t accessible to the majority of people on Earth. It sucks. About 80% of research is funded by the public, and only about 20% is accessible.

Well, last weekend I was able to go and learn a whole lot more about this whole ‘Open’ business/approach/revolution/whatever-you-want-to-call-it. Thanks to support from CARL, I was able to attend OpenCon 2014 in Washington DC, a conference on Open Access, Open Data, and Open Educational Resources. I shot a lot of footage while I was there, so I intend to make those categories clear with a video link as soon as I’ve edited that.

In the meantime, you can take a look at my notes – which I’ve posted as a google doc – and get a bit of a sense of what people were talking about. You can also search twitter for #OpenCon2014, if you have the patience to go through some thousands of excited tweets.

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We were about 175 early career researchers from 40 countries, brought together to learn about and advocate for openness in academia. We had some incredible talks on the schedule, and we even spent a day meeting with staff members and elected officials of congress and advocating for change. Thanks again to everyone who made this conference happen!

Academia has a long way to go to be open, but this conference was more than a little encouraging. Things are changing fast, and the push for Open is gaining real momentum.

There were many things that set this conference apart from any other I have been to, and I think the general reason became clear to me right in the closing speeches. Mike Carroll of Creative Commons referred to the attendees as ‘OpenCon 2014 Alumni’, and at first I thought this sounded like an awkward and pretentious thing to say, but then it hit me: this conference was much more like a short-course than any other conference I’ve been to. This was certainly one of the differences that made it so particularly delectable.

When they post the videos from the conference, I’ll be sure to scoot back here and post the link, so that everyone will have access.