Note: I worked briefly as a contractor at JPL in 2011 on a project related to Curiosity image-processing and distribution (among other things).
I argued at the time (fairly strenuously) that the raw data (the data that was used by the scientists in this paper) should be public.
The reason the data is not released immediately to the public is both understandable and frustrating: scientists around the world compete for control of Curiosity's precious mission time. The mission is refreshed every day, each move is voted on and the results uploaded to the rover. The data is not released to give the "winning" scientists first crack at interpreting the data. It's about prestige - if you released the data and get "scooped" by Joe Public it's embarrassing but it's also a lost opportunity for scientific prestige.
The same basic reasoning is why so many JPL-produced datasets (particularly astronomical but also terrestrial - JPL does a lot of weather research) are not public.
Personally, I'd like to see this change. I want all publicly-funded non-military research projects have an open data policy. Clearly this would not apply to research with straight-up defense applications. But Mars rover data? I suspect that scientists will be incentivized without being granted artificial monopolies on that data.
As for the prestige? That's important too. Not because people care about the prestige in and of itself, but because it enables further scientific research by helping to acquire funding. It's a very principled view to take that scientific research, in theory, should be separate from ego, but in the real world the fact is that reputation matters because not everyone has time to independently verify everything. Ask any practicing scientist and they'll tell you that they're far more willing to trust certain research groups than others, and that's ultimately what the "prestige" is all about.
All too often, when that is given as an excuse, the people analyzing the data turn out to have made mistakes and the general public does have qualified individuals who can, and will, point out the errors. Alongside this, frequently this raw data is not shared with the reviewers, who should be qualified and should need the data to do a proper review. Unfortunately, this often results in a rubber stamp culture of reviewing rather than thorough peer review to validate the results.
so what if most people isn't qualified? Data is data, and can be used - even for crackpots who wants to use it. If these crackpots publishes something wrong, i m sure they'd be pointed out and either ignored or shunned by the publisher(s) anyway.
But I think your post is in error because it implies that the raw data is not eventually made public. To my knowledge, this is not true -- especially for Earth missions, I think all that data is public. Perhaps the level 0 data [essentially, raw telemetry] is not, but everything from level 1 up will be public.
The data-release culture is very discipline specific. In planetary (e.g. Mars), there are embargo periods -- partly to ensure the systematics are understood. In cosmology, a four-year embargo period for Planck was ended just this summer. This kind of makes sense -- they didn't want half the astrophysicists in the world off chasing a phantom caused by their very sensitive noise-suppression tools. But I understand the community was getting pretty impatient. So, there is push-back.
For Earth missions, after an initial calibration period, I think all the data is made public as fast as it can be processed. Indeed, MODIS even broadcasts the raw data to whomever wants to pick it up (http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/data/directbrod/), like disaster responders.
Like I said, it's discipline-specific. For disciplines where time matters (Earth, space weather, seismicity/geodesy, time-domain astronomy) there is a real advantage in releasing data fast, and that's what has happened. I could give websites in each case where data is released in near-real time, say, less than 1 hour after taken.
space weather: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/SWN/
time-domain astronomy: http://voeventnet.caltech.edu/feeds/Catalina.shtml
The last one is pretty neat. It contains an XML event summary that can be used to target a telescope automatically, if you think that event is of interest to you. The events are automatically found by an image-processing front end which taps into a near-earth-objects survey. In other words, they did the hard work already to find unexplained brightness variations.
Now there's some difference between LROC and Curiosity. A Mars rover is much higher profile, of course. But it's also a snail's eye view. I imagine timeliness is a much bigger deal with rover data. Whereas with LROC (and the other LRO instruments) there's a massive data set that can fuel interesting research for years to come. So who comes to get the raw data? Very few people, as it turns out. Who but a planetary scientist getting paid to do Lunar stuff has the time, ability and inclination? Also, DLR (German space people) managed some really awesome original stuff with our data, and not having it as soon as it came down didn't seem to hamper them.
1. By "raw" I mean EDR (Electronic Data Record), which may be reorganized to facilitate access and conform to PDS format, but contain unaltered, unprocessed measurements.
Yes - and, in fact, the Administration released a memo on this topic earlier this year ("Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research" - http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ost...). However, each agency is responsible for developing their own individual plan on how to carry this out, and I don't believe NASA's has been published yet.
I say this as an Information Wants To Be Free t-shirt wearer.
No one hates someone who holds something if they know the holding of it is something everyone wants.
It would be ironic and painful if open data policies resulted in scientists leaving the public sector, and I'd really like to see more open data.
Sure, sometimes the right question will be starkly obvious, but no system is perfect.
I'd agree, but my knowledge of the academic community is that credit goes by published papers and, secondarily, how often you get cited. This seems like one of those things where we just don't have a great system for giving people credit, and the one we do have is problematic.
(Wealth is like that, too. Also, resumes.)
Disclaimer: I work for a partner company.
I think the standard release delay is six months. Though I'd say its less about exclusive access to data than it is about ensuring the consistency of that data. MANY things change in the early days of a mission.
I have a feeling there's more than a few Einstein's out
there delivering pizzas. Go ahead and laugh, but I feel
some big mysteries will be solved by dropouts, and the
The same applies for the giant telescopes (KECK, VLT, ALMA, etc). A scientist applies for some time doing observations with the telescope, and gets exclusive access to the data for 2 years before the data gets released to the public.
But I agree with you too, all scientific data that is acquired with taxpayer money should be released to the public at once.
Science is not about prestige. It's about science. If you want prestige, go become a jockey, or the world's best hooker. Too many "scientists" are in it for the holidays, money, and "prestige", rather than the, y'know, SCIENCE.
I'm afraid it's not "understandable", it's nasty, selfish, and contrary to scientific advancement.
By not releasing data, they're preventing the internet hivemind from doing its thing - and it has managed some pretty impressive things (NEAR target spotting, anyone?).
Put yourself in the shoes of a funding agency. If you have two grant proposals, one from somebody at an institution in the middle of the country you haven't heard of, or someone with a strong publication record in big-name journals --- who are you going to award the money to?
A scientist in academia needs funding and publications for tenure. To get publications, funding is needed for equipment, postocs, etc. To get funding, a list of publications is needed so that people recognize your track-record. It keeps on spiraling. To paraphrase from Pratchett in Carpe Jugulum: "Human families raise their successors, but a [s/vampire/professor] is raising competitors." There's a limited funding pool that the researchers are fighting for.
It doesn't seem much better in the industry side of things. For instance, Google [X] is an extremely prominent research lab. However, why? They work on ??? something that no one really knows about for years and don't publish anything. The scientists there may come out in 5 years with something really cool, but if it doesn't pan out, the Google machine will eat it up and the public won't see. Science there is more about the company's prestige than science.
Yeah no. Prestige within the profession yes, these two you probably get more of (and less politics and having to fight for grants) piloting garbage trucks.
And talking about grants, that's a big part of what "prestige" is about. There is also an ego-stroking component but the scrap-fighting of obtaining grants (and keeping them) requires publication and forces many into "prestige-seeking" not because they want to do it but because without it they get no grants and without grants they get to do no science.
> I'm afraid it's not "understandable", it's nasty, selfish, and contrary to scientific advancement.
Fix science funding and 90% of the "prestige" issues will be fixed.
The only carrot is prestige, and the only perks are holidays ...
I dunno why you suggested money because there is none (in wages).
I expect a big reason for not releasing the data is ... who is gonna do the necessary steps to release the data? You want to take a scientist off his role to build a website and database?? We have little administrative support (probably JPL has better, but still, yet another distraction that eats time from our main job that pays too little). The people that make websites for a living get paid better the scientists, so its a bit harsh to expect scientists to constantly be building website to share data whilst paying them under the industry norms.
No, no, no. The data are released. The mission pays people to properly calibrate, process, and format the data. NASA then pays to host the data indefinitely. The basic link for planetary data is http://pds.jpl.nasa.gov . There are other sites for Earth, solar, astrophysical, etc., data.
Source: I know the people who run PDS.
The kerfuffle in the thread is about derived papers, in some cases by non-US collaborators, not the data itself. To the extent it is about data, it's about the post-capture embargo period of a couple of months (in the case of initial Mars data).
At a cost of 2.5 billion, I don't think it's too harsh to expect a small budget for releasing the data publicly.
People do science for love or glory, not money. (Except people from 2nd or 3rd world countries studying or postdocing in industrial nations. For them it's a sweet deal.)
Reminded me of this article:http://wuphys.wustl.edu/~katz/scientist.html
And I don't think people are worried about the internet hive mind, they are worried about their competitors who did not get the grant to actually collect the data.
Scientists without "prestige" end up being poorly paid, teaching intro to chemistry at a community college to students who just want a piece of paper to help them find a job, and unable to get the funding to even buy a laptop, let alone a lab.
So prestige matters a lot to scientists, whether they like it or not.
The only way you have a chance at solving this system is by changing the reward metrics; find a way to make it more rewarding to release the data then to keep it for yourself. But if you just mandate the data be released, then the scientists will be actively discouraged from collecting data, and probably move away from the field.
But what I find really interesting from your post is the sense that scientists are supposed to be saints. You don't say this explicitly, but I get that sense from you implying that it is somehow bad for a scientist to be selfish or to want to be paid. (Or to want to be a scientist at all, since if you can't get funding then you can't work anywhere.) Are scientists all supposed to be volunteers?
Myself, I have no problem with professional scientists who selfishly want to get paid for their work. In most areas of science, the internet hivemind has had zero impact. Scientific advancement would stop dead if we stopped paying scientists.
nor do i, but if their only method of getting paid is to restrict others from using raw data till they've made their break through "discovery", then they are not worth what they are paid!
There are two big limitations on this. First, if the government work incorporates outside copyrighted work, only the parts authored by the government employee operating within the scope of his employment are public domain.
Second, this only applies to government employees. It does NOT apply to contractors. What happens with copyright of works produced by contractors under a government contract is determined by the terms of the contract.
The Curiosity project is largely run at JPL. JPL is managed for NASA by Caltech. Almost all JPL employees are neither government employees nor government contractors. They are Caltech employees.
To figure out the copyright status of works authored by JPL employees, we'd need to look at their employment contract with Caltech, and with Caltech's contract with NASA.
Somewhat tangential to your main point (because, as you correctly note, only works by government employees within the scope of employment are categorically not subject to copyright), the employees are employees of a firm contracting with the government and working on that contract; that's the usual meaning of "government contractors". So its a non-standard use of terminology to say that they aren't government contractors.
I can answer your last question. Publications that have a JPL main author go through an approval process in which copyright is retained by the Government.
Back in the old days, JPL's lawyers used to intercede directly when, say, IEEE said you needed to release copyright to IEEE in order to get your paper published. (You have to savor those moments when the lawyers work in your favor.)
That said, as pointed out elsewhere, most of the papers did not have JPL first authors, and their copyright status will be less clear. Even the project scientist, John Grotzinger, is not officially JPL (he's Caltech):
If copyright was "retained by the Government", it's OK to put the paper content up on a public web site. But I don't think anyone is actively doing so, e.g., for all such NASA work.
Grotzinger and any other scientists, postdocs, engineers, and other collaboration members are going to be working under their own grants; almost always funded by a gov't agency. Caltech, incidentally will be taking 40%-60% of those funds as rent (overhead).
Second is mens rea. A "reasonable compliance upon an official statement of law, afterward determined to be invalid or erroneous" does not constitute a criminal act.
Editorial contributions are also unlikely to rise to the measure of a separately copyrightable work. In the case of scientific articles, joint authorship between contributing scientists is common, but the editors of the journal are never (rarely?) cited as authors. Occasionally, a reviewer will make substantive contributions to the science and join as a co-author.
It seems pretty safe to say that if the editor is not listed as a co-author of the paper, neither the author(s) nor the editor(s) consider it a "joint work".
See also http://lottfischer.com/general.php?category=Resources&subhea... for a discussion of when the editing could arise (basically, if both the author and the editor intend for it to be a work of joint authorship.)
I do know that most author agreements for non-open access journals allow authors to publish the manuscript on their personal website and in repositories (sometimes pre-review, sometimes post-review), but most do not allow authors to publish the publisher's PDF, which suggests that the publishers believe they have some kind of ownership over the latter. (In practice many people post the publisher's PDF articles on their websites and no one complains, although repositories like PubMed Central contain only manuscripts from these journals.)
The AAAS author agreement actually explicitly allows authors to legally publish the peer reviewed manuscript on their websites as soon as it is published, which raises the question of why the authors of these studies didn't just do that.
Who are themselves gov't employees on salary at universities and national labs.
If it is the data, or those people had access to things that are not public yet, then all this discussion is moot and he is right. I'd even sue them for my 2.5 for each article.
Indeed, some of the work "freed" here was performed by European scientists, using NASA data -- which is available to the public in the US and out -- but without a penny of US government funding. These works are certainly not in the public domain.
Most scientists would be happy to share their research. Just ask.
I think most information-should-be-free advocates are under the assumption that work performed using public data should be public; i.e., that taxpayer-dollars transitively "infect" projects sponsored atop them with taxpayer-ownership, somewhat like the GPLv3 does.
NASA got the data and has made it available, yes? Further work using it is being done by third (fourth, fifth...) parties who feel their work would be most visible in a top-shelf journal like Science.
I'm all for liberation of data, and for scientific papers in particular having wide and free dissemination. We should really be working on alternative funding models for research and alternative business models for journals rather than calling out individual teams for putting their work where they think it will receive the most attention.
If you really wanted to work with the data, you'd want to get in touch with the instrument team. At this relatively early stage, there will be quirks that will not be corrected for/documented. Poking around with the data is fine, but you might spend a lot of time on something that is a known instrumental artifact.
One caveat with this "free" data -- usually there is an embargo period (there was with MSL, something like 90 days). During that first 90 days, a few hundred people came to be resident at JPL where the mission is controlled. They all worked in a few large rooms there, largely on Mars time. So the first batch of papers (some of which are already published) are done by the instrument teams. And this is clearly not a level playing field. (The thing is, those teams worked hard on a lot of un-fun calibration and infrastructure-building.)
Other missions have much longer embargo periods (years in some cases), and some have effectively no embargo at all. It's partly about the culture of the discipline.
These scientists don't work for NASA, most of them work for private institutes and some are based in Europe, the work is entitled to be copyrighted, and basically you're stealing it and giving it away for free.
I love science, I love space, I think Nasa's budget should be tripled (at the expense of a few less fighter jets). But these scientists didn't do anything wrong by publishing THEIR works (not Public Domain works) behind a pay wall.
Let's get the facts straight at least.
Yes. Also Canada.
> ... the work is entitled to be copyrighted, ...
You're heading in the right direction here, but copyright does not work quite that way in the modern world. No one copyrights (verb) things anymore. Rather, copyright exists in most works upon their creation. So, yes, these are copyrighted works. (And so is your HN comment, by the way.)
> ... and basically you're stealing it and giving it away for free.
The scientists already gave it away to the journal for free. Journals, which provide nothing in the modern world except prestige, now hold the copyright and charge for access. No one is stealing anything, since everyone who had a copy before still has a copy. Yes, the papers are now being given away free to the public, probably against the wishes of the copyright holder (the journal).
> But these scientists didn't do anything wrong by publishing THEIR works (not Public Domain works) behind a pay wall.
Close. The scientists assigned the copyright to the journal, for no payment (but for the prestige of it). The journal is the one publishing behind a paywall, and the journal is the one getting any money collected.
Now, to the real point: "wrong" is not the same as "illegal". Yes, the journal holds the copyright to the paper, and it is legally entitled to charge for access. But what about the moral issue? I funded this work. Me. My taxes paid for it. If you are a U.S. taxpayer, then you paid for it, too. And yet now I'm supposed to pay to see it? There's a problem there.
This would be illegal if these guys were medical researchers funded by the NIH, which has a policy that publications coming out of projects they fund must be freely accessible. It is not illegal here; I think it should be.
And one more thing that many people don't catch: the researchers would probably love to have their papers more accessible. They are not sending papers to pay-walled journals because they like limited access. They are doing it because these are the journals that give them prestigious publications. The journals can trade on their prestige to enforce conditions on the researchers, like limited access. No one likes this except the journals. If NASA made a policy that papers from their projects must be made freely available, then the journals would either have to allow it, or else stop publishing all NASA-based works. Experience strongly suggests that they would do the former.
[EDIT--One more quick note before the editing period closes: It appears the author of the post might not be clear on the distinction between researchers working on NASA projects and researchers doing projects using data that NASA has made available for anyone to use. I am primarily addressing the former situation here. However, what I said about the journals being the only ones with any interest in limited access, applies to academic researchers in general.]
 Or maybe not quite illegal, but rather against regulations. Almost but not quite the same thing.
The paywall is arguably just for business though, a lot of papers get put up on sites like arxiv pre-publication anyway.
I don't see much in the argument from the view of the taxpayer though. In the UK a lot of public funding goes in to research and the papers are largely behind paywalls - Graphene research for example. Now, if we had government subsidized peer review journals - I could definitely get behind that.
Considering the fact that peer review is done by volunteers, I think this a pretty weak argument. At best you could argue that the publishers are organizing the review process, but even that is suspect -- scientists organize themselves pretty well.
Peer review is orthogonal to copyright issues. Journal publishers serve almost no purpose in the modern world, and the copyrights they hold on scientific articles are doing more to prevent the dissemination of knowledge than to promote scientific research.
Now, once upon a time, journals served a secondary purpose, which was to distribute scientific results on a global scale. Back then, there was no Internet, and printing enough copies of a journal to satisfy the world's needs required industrial equipment. Fortunately those days are done and over with, but unfortunately we are still dealing with the relics of that bygone age in the form of academic publishing companies. Worse, in fact, since today's publishers are far greedier and for more profiteering than many of the publishers of the past.
Really, were it not for copyright, we could cut publishers out of the equation without any ill effects and have a net gain for society by removing all paywalls from scientific articles.
Open Access is a more subtle economic argument than I think many people here are admitting, and you have to recognise the value-added that journals provide. There are experiments out there (e.g. post-publication peer review, free-floating editorial boards) trying to challenge the journal model, but I'm not going to presuppose that they're going to be more successful than pay-for OA journals.
(a) your taxes went to Nasa, who used them to collect interesting data
(b) other scientists who are not funded by the American taxpayer took that data and turned it into an interesting research paper, which probably took them months of actual work to write, get peer reviewed, and revise
(c) those scientists published their work in a journal which charges for access, which you claim they did for free
(d) part of that process means the journal owns the copyrights now
and therefore, because (a) is true, then you must be morally entitled to that work for free.
If that's the standard, if you went to American public school, and that school taught you to play guitar, does it make it right that all your music can be copied for free?
I think you're missing the part where the scientists that did the months of real work are not paid or funded in any way by NASA.
Should NASA insist that all research done off of it's data be open to the public? That's a different debate.
(b) This is more complicated. Most of those scientists actually are funded by the American taxpayer, through grants, but that is not what I was arguing about. As I explained elsewhere, I was speaking of NASA-affiliated projects, and I noted that the original poster did not appear to distinguish between these and projects in which some researchers had simply used data NASA released publicly. Regardless, all the work the researchers did is irrelevant, because they do not get any of the money from the journal paywall; that all goes to the journal publisher. The work the peer-reviewers did is also irrelevant. Peer review is done by unpaid volunteers, at no expense to the journal publisher. A journal publisher doesn't even have to pay someone to contact peer reviewers, as that work is done by journal editors, who are also unpaid volunteers.
(c) Yes. "They" refers to the scientists. Authors receive no money for journal publication.
(d) Yes. The journal publisher holds the copyright because the scientists signed a document that says so; not because of some general principle. Most journals require copyright assignment before publication.
Nothing here is between me and the scientists. Again, if I have to pay to get that article, the scientists do not get the money; the journal publisher does. There is no question of whether scientists deserve any money because of all their hard work; they don't get any money regardless.
The journal publisher is able to force paid access because of an antiquated arrangement that dates back to the days when journals did bring something to the table: typesetting work and equipment, help in the costly task of dissemination of knowledge, and being an important part of the archiving process. Today they bring only prestige, which matters only because of internal promotion and tenure decisions in the scientists' organizations.
All that has to happen to fix this is for research organizations to insist on free public availability. This benefits everyone except for parasites on the knowledge-dissemination process (journal publishers), who are currently able to extract money due to an outdated system.
Now, whether a private university should require open access to its research publications is something that is up to that organization; I wish they would, but I cannot insist. OTOH, I have no problem demanding that tax-supported granting agencies and tax-supported research organizations make such requirements. The NIH already does. NASA and the NSF and others need to do it too.
I've mirrored the files here in case the original author decides to take them down:
By providing mirrors, it spreads the work further for the authors, lowering the chance that they would add their support to take it down.
I very openly tell my colleagues that change is necessary to make it clear that investment in missions like MSL, MESSENGER, JUICE etc. is for the mutual benefit of everyone. I think as a scientist, I have an OBLIGATION to communicate my results to those that make my work possible.
Open access journals are making some headway, but unfortunately, until the bigwigs in the field really make a clear statement of intent to shift from the traditional publishing houses to these new publishers, the status quo will be maintained.
I applaud the OP's efforts to make these results accessible to to everyone, and sincerely hope that there are no legal repercussions.
The main requirement journals have is that we don't distribute the journal's marked-up final version. So we make them available as "Lab Reports" with our own typesetting, front cover, and so on.
So it is a conference paper, freely available now too. Looking that over, it seems it's that typical short dense sort. Conferences tend to limit the length of papers. Science being more general interest, I would expect that paper to have more prose, background info, and images.
If you think that the rover funding and the independent non-NASA, non-American scientists who spent months analyzing that data and coming up with their interpretations should be connected, you are entitled to think that. But they currently aren't.
Which isn't to say that I disagree with making its findings available publicly. But the facts are worth noting.
Couldn't the membership just have a vote to make Science go open access already?
What would have been the alternative here, self-publishing? I suppose that would be possible for NASA, but it would be highly unprecedented. And besides, like the top comment says, some of these papers aren't actually done by NASA scientists, but others using NASA's data.
This is an important distinction, because while journals make money (ideally), editorial boards do not make money. They are pro bono.
The services a journal's publisher provides are largely (1) possible copy-editing (2) management and workflow tools (3) paper publication and electronic distribution and archiving and (4) access to an important brand name ("Science", or "PAMI"). Historically these have been important services, but whether they will continue to be is something that every research community has to decide soon. There are a variety of alternative journal business models, such as those found in JAIR, JMLR, PLOS, etc.
Quite a few journals have volunteer editors and volunteer reviewers; publishers are contributing almost nothing to the quality of papers or of research.
In my experience, all of them do. That is, all of the academic journals.
The usual counter-argument is "the journals won't take that, they want exclusive rights or nothing!", but given that a lot of research is funded directly or indirectly with public funds (i.e. a grant or just working at a public university), then that argument seems weak
Compared to the cost to license journal access from Elsevier and the other parasites 3k per published item is cheap. The problem being that it comes from your grant funds instead of the Uni's general fund, or the Dep't funds.
The U.S. Government retains for itself, and others acting on its behalf, a paid-up nonexclusive, irrevocable worldwide license in said article to reproduce, prepare
derivative works, distribute copies to the public, and perform publicly and display publicly, by or on behalf of the Government.
After a paper is accepted, the journals sends a copyright assignment form. The legal office at the lab will then neuter the assignment by crossing out sections and inserting permissions before signing it. The journals are not in a position to object. Universities should emulate this practice.
These authors could have done something similar, though there are some differences in practices between the different scientific sub-communities. In some subjects, virtually every paper is posted to arxiv.org. Earth sciences appears to be one of those subjects where they don't do that.
Amazingly, this is an almost exact re-hashing of the debates on IP that occurred between Lysander Spooner and Benjamin Tucker in the 19th century. Tucker presented Spooner with a thought experiment: If two people should co-invent, how should the property be allocated. Spooner, of course, said 50-50. Then Tucker rejoined - what if one of the co-inventors should choose to give the patent freely, does that impinge on the property rights of the one who does not so choose (if you choose to disallow the scenario, does the holding of the patent impinge on the property right of the one who would choose to give it away)?
These are published in a manner that is consistent with Science's publication rules.
I have no particular point here, but I just feel that any discussion of your comment should take place with an awareness of this fact.
We aren't talking about pirating lil'wayne's next album or someone who has too much money.
The one that publishes Science magazine is the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Their journal Science is actually a pretty good value -- I think the paper copy is about $140 per year, 52 issues of nerdy goodness.
The current president of AAAS (!= editor of Science) is Bill Press, of Numerical Recipes fame. Not a phony, by any stretch.
actually, that is exactly true. Scientists make $0 off of record sales. :D
Your karma is close to that point. When you get there, use it wisely.
Also, I can't even imagine the amount of contributions that are required to reach the amount of karma you have.
Why reward ugly hacks when it's much cheaper and better to solve the root problem?