News and Comments About the Suicide of Aaron Swartz

BlogHer Original Post

MIT Reacts

MIT To Launch Internal Investigation Following Death Of Aaron Swartz at ReadWriteWeb shared an announcement by MIT president L. Rafael Reif,

I have asked Professor Hal Abelson to lead a thorough analysis of MIT's involvement from the time that we first perceived unusual activity on our network in fall 2010 up to the present.

Suggestion for Change

In A Modest Proposal for Academic Publishing, Laura McKenna at Apt 11D talked about Aaron and his belief in free access to academic information. Her modest proposal,

By removing the two middlemen – the academic publishers and the database companies -- universities could save money, and academic research could be freely available to all.

Instead of sending the finished academic journals to the publishing companies, the journal editors should simply upload the articles to a university website. The hard work of producing the content and the peer review process has already been done. Few people actually read the hard copy of journal, so there is very little need to produce a dead tree version of the journal, collect subscriptions, and distribute it.

PDFTribute

A comment at Reddit suggested,

A fitting tribute to Aaron might be a mass protest uploading of copyright-protected research articles. Dump them on Gdocs, tweet the link. Think of the great blu-ray encoding protest but on a bigger scale for research articles.

The idea quickly took off and the hashtag #pdftribute was used by individuals who posted research articles in a tribute to Aaron Swartz.

The links to information posted with the hashtag were quickly organized into a page. Audrey Watters provided a link to it.

Other Ways to Honor Aaron

Swartz supported a charity called Give Well. You can give a gift in his honor there. There's a site called Remember Aaron Swartz where you can read many tributes and find additional information.

Virginia DeBolt, BlogHer Section Editor for Tech
virginia.debolt@blogher.com
Virginia blogs at Web Teacher and First 50 Words.

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