Subscribe: Right to Research Coalition - Blog
http://www.righttoresearch.org/blog/bm~feed.xml
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language:
Tags:
academic  access open  access  community  data  open access  open data  open  opencon  research  science  students  university 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Right to Research Coalition - Blog

Right to Research Coalition - Blog





Last Build Date: Wed, 24 May 2017 22:09:59 UT

 



Young Researcher Cleared by Colombian Court for Sharing an Academic Paper Online

Wed, 24 May 2017 22:04:19 UT

Unprecedented Case Points to Need to Make Open the Default for Communicating Research

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ranit Schmelzer, 202.538.1065, media@sparcopen.org 
 
Washington, DC (May 24, 2017) – In 2014, Diego Gomez, then a biology master’s student at the University of Quindio in Colombia, learned he was under investigation for posting an academic paper to Scribd, a service that hosts millions of documents on its online platform. The author of the paper started criminal proceedings against Gomez under Colombia’s strict copyright laws for the “violation of [his] economic and related rights.” He faced up to eight years in prison and significant monetary fines.
 
Today, after more than three years of hearings and delay, a Colombian court acquitted Gomez of all charges. However, those leading Diego’s defense expect that today’s ruling will be appealed to the Tribunal de Bogota.
 
“Today’s innocent verdict comes as a relief to thousands of Open Access supporters who have been following Diego Gomez’s case for over three years,” said Nick Shockey, Director, The Right to Research Coalition. “But it in no way diminishes the need to make open the default for communicating research. The closed system of academic publishing continues to put researchers in a perilous position by forcing them to use workarounds to read paywalled research. Diego is the only known student to face criminal charges for posting an academic paper online, which he did to share the work with those in his field who may have also been interested in its findings. His case echoes that of Aaron Swartz, and should serve as a clarion call for the support of Open Access, which must become the global default in academic publishing.”
 
Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access is the needed modern update for the communication of research that fully utilizes the Internet for what it was originally built to do—accelerate research.
 
Even the best ideas remain just that until they are shared and can be utilized by others. The more people that can access and build upon the latest research, the more valuable that research becomes and the more likely we are to benefit as a society.
 
Even with today’s action, the drawn-out situation for Gomez is not over. With the expected appeal, Diego will have to return to his research fieldwork facing the possibility of imprisonment for sharing an academic research article online. Diego’s defense team plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign to support the cost of defending the appeal. Those who wish to help Diego can sign the following petition and will be notified when the crowdfunding campaign launches: http://www.sharingisnotacrime.org
 
Learn more about Diego Gomez’s case here and about open access here.
 
###
 
The Right to Research Coalition is an international alliance of graduate and undergraduate student organizations, which collectively represent millions of students in over 100 countries around the world, that advocate for and educate students about open research practices.  The Right to Research Coalition is a project of SPARC.
 



The State of Open Access: An Interview with Peter Suber of Harvard University

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 22:49:52 UT

The State of Open Access: An Interview with Peter Suber of Harvard University This is an edited transcript of a webcast featuring Dr. Peter Suber, Director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication and Senior Researcher at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. The webcast occurred live on October 18, 2016, and would not have been possible without generous sponsorship from the Public Library of Science. SPARC and the Right to Research Coalition are grateful to Dr. Suber for his time, energy, and expertise. Interviewer: Joe McArthur (Right to Research Coalition). Transcriber and Editor: Scott St. Louis (Grand Valley State University)   Next February, the Budapest Open Access Initiative (BOAI) will turn fifteen. What do you see as the greatest obstacles to Open Access that the movement has overcome, and the greatest obstacles that it has yet to overcome? Thanks, Joe; I’ll be happy to dive into that. First, let me just say how happy I am to be here, with one qualification: I wish I were not doing it remotely! I wish I were live in front of the audiences that are tuning in. OpenCon is the biggest of the conferences I’ve never been able to attend in person, so I wish I could be there. But you’re asking a good question: not just what are the obstacles today, but what are the obstacles we’ve overcome in the past fifteen years? You have to remember that in 2002, when we issued the first statement from the BOAI, Open Access was at least a fringe movement. It was not mainstream, and so one of the first obstacles we overcame – gradually, not quickly – was to make it mainstream. Open Access is clearly now mainstream. Roughly thirty percent of peer-reviewed journals are Open Access. Roughly half of all new research articles become Open Access one way or another within the first two years of their publication. Major universities and major funding agencies require it; major bills requiring Open Access have been introduced in the U.S. Congress and have been adopted in other countries. It’s moved from the periphery to the mainstream. That was big. If you want to go back to how it moved from the periphery to the mainstream, that’s interesting. We can get into that, but it helped that major institutions, and not just fringe activists, endorsed the idea. At the time, the people brought into Budapest to draft the Initiative were all working on what we now call Open Access, but the question for us was, are we all working on the same thing? Are our efforts convergent? Could we all cooperate? Could we amplify each other’s efforts? Could we unify? Could we make some kind of movement out of this? At the time, the answer was unclear, which is why we had to raise the question. Now, I think the answer is clear. It [became] clear at the meeting: the answer is yes … By the way, Open Access didn’t have a name at that time! I was writing about it, but I called it free online scholarship. We agreed to call it Open Access, so we introduced the term. We introduced what I still think are the two primary strategies for Open Access, namely Green and Gold, or Open Access through repositories and Open Access through journals; those remain the primary channels for Open Access to journal articles, and we got the first significant funding for Open Access from the Open Society Institute, now called Open Society Foundations. We overcame these obstacles in part because our ideas were good. It was an important moment in the middle of the period between the launch of BOAI and today when publishers hired a very aggressive lobbyist to counter our efforts in Congress, and he was notorious for his aggression, even for his deceptive tactics. But he had to tell his clients – which we know from leaked papers – that the problem of fighting against the Open Access movement is that our arguments are better than the publisher arguments! So, part of what enabled us to become mainstream was that we had good arguments, and even though we were just individuals who didn’t represent importan[...]



Application process to attend OpenCon 2016 in Washington, DC now open!

Thu, 09 Jun 2016 08:22:32 UT

This blog was originally posted on the OpenCon Website here

The application period for OpenCon 2016 on November 12-14 in Washington, DC is now open! The application is available at http://www.opencon2016.org/apply and includes the opportunity to apply for a travel scholarship. Applications will close on July 11th at 11:59pm U.S. Pacific Time.

OpenCon seeks to bring together effective, engaged students and early career academic professionals from around the world to advance Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data—regardless of their ability to pay for travel costs. In OpenCon’s first two years, most attendees received full or partial scholarships to attend the conference. For this reason, attendance at OpenCon is by application only.

The benefits of applying for OpenCon 2016 extend far beyond attending the Washington, DC meeting. It’s an opportunity to find new collaborators, get connected with scholarships to attend related conferences, and be recognized by the community for the work you do to promote openness in research and education! Applications are reviewed by alumni from the OpenCon community, and those applicants whom community members identify as doing key work to advance Open Access, Open Education, or Open Data will receive public recognition.

Students and early career academic professionals of all experience levels are encouraged to apply. We want to support those who have ideas for new projects and initiatives in addition to those who are already leading them. The most important criteria is an interest in advancing Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data and a commitment to taking action.

Speakers at the first two OpenCon conferences have included Jimmy Wales (Co-founder of Wikipedia), Amy Rosenbaum (Director of Legislative Affairs to the President of the United States), Mike Eisen and Pat Brown (Co-founders of PLOS), Julia Reda (Member of the European Parliament), and Phil Bourne (Associate Director for Data Science of the U.S. National Institutes of Health), and more than 15 students and early career academic professionals leading successful initiatives.

While attendance at the main conference in Washington, DC is by application only, everyone is invited to participate freely in the interactive webcast, OpenCon Live. OpenCon is also looking for partners to host local satellite events that combine some of the programming from the main conference with local presentations to advance the conversation around opening up research and education in your community. To express your interest in hosting a satellite event and get more information, visit http://www.opencon2016.org/satellite.

The meeting in Washington, DC serves as the centerpiece of a much larger network to foster initiatives and collaboration among the next generation across OpenCon’s issue areas. Become an active part of the community by joining our discussion list, tuning in for our monthly community calls and webcasts, or hosting an OpenCon satellite event in your community.

Apply now, and join the OpenCon community today!




What is Europe planning for Open Science?

Fri, 18 Sep 2015 13:29:41 UT

On Monday, June 23rd the European Commissioner of Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas hosted a conference titled “Opening up to a new ERA of Innovation” in Brussels. The first day focused on Open Science; needless to say, we carefully listened to what the EU has on its mind.  Commissioner Moedas Copyrights Michael Chia/European Commission CC BY-ND 2.2 To open the conference, Commissioner Moedas revealed his aims for the European Commission’s Agenda. The three major agendas are Open Science, Open Innovation and Open to the World. The European Commission looks to support Open Science with the introduction of an “EU-Open-Science-Cloud” for researchers to store their data using a central infrastructure. The precise definition of such a cloud remained elusive during the discussions. It was made clear that it should be service-oriented, discipline-specific and respect patients’ rights. Surprisingly, the whole discussion about institutional repositories’ potential and how the Horizon 2020 program could incentivize their establishment was completely set aside. There were also many calls for the need for different metrics in science and about a lack of incentives to conduct Open Science. Open Innovation is mostly about involving many actors in the innovation process and creating the right ecosystem. Bringing researchers, entrepreneurs, users, governments and civil society together leads “further and faster towards open innovation” Moedas said.   New metrics must be transparent, interoperable, diverse & variable, and used responsibly, Prof. James Wilsdon, Un. Sussex, #ERAofInnovation— Foster Open Science (@fosterscience) June 22, 2015   A European Innovation Council has been suggested as a big plan for the Horizon 2020 midterm review, similar to the already existing European Research Council.  “Open to the World”: The European commission plans to engage more in Science diplomacy partnerships.  'Europe punches below its weight in science diplomacy', argues @Moedas #ERAofInnovation (cc: @SciDip)— James Wilsdon (@jameswilsdon) June 22, 2015 Author: Peter Grabitz, Joe McArthur Bio: Peter is a medical student from Berlin tackling the last years of his degree. When he doesn’t spend his days in the hospital he tries to address issues revolving the current research system. Peter served as  project coordinator of the 25. European Students’ Conference in 2014 in Berlin featuring the topic “Rethinking Medical Research”.  “This article reflects the views of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Right to Research Coalition or SPARC.” [...]



OpenCon 2015 Applications are Open!

Mon, 08 Jun 2015 20:32:41 UT

This was originally posted at: http://opencon2015.org/blog/opencon-2015-applications-are-open Applications to attend OpenCon 2015 on November 14-16 in Brussels, Belgium are now open! The application is available on the OpenCon website at opencon2015.org/attend and includes the opportunity to apply for a travel scholarship to cover the cost of travel and accommodations. Applications will close on June 22nd at 11:59pm PDT. OpenCon seeks to bring together the most capable, motivated students and early career academic professionals from around the world to advance Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data—regardless of their ability to cover travel costs.  In 2014, more than 80% of attendees received support.  Due to this, attendance at OpenCon is by application only. Students and early career academic professionals of all experience levels are encouraged to apply.  We want to support those who have ideas for new projects and initiatives in addition to those who are already leading them.  The most important thing is an interest in advancing Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data and a commitment to taking action. We also hope to use applications to connect applicants with opportunities for collaboration, local events in your area, and scholarship opportunities to attend other relevant conferences. OpenCon is equal parts conference and community.  The meeting in Brussels serves as the centerpiece of a much larger network to foster initiatives and collaboration among the next generation across OpenCon’s issue areas.  Become an active part of the community by joining our discussion list, tuning in for our monthly community calls and webcasts, or hosting an OpenCon satellite event in your community. Apply now, and join the OpenCon community today! About OpenCon: Hosted by the Right to Research Coalition and SPARC, OpenCon 2015 will bring together students and early career academic professionals from across the world to learn about the issues, develop critical skills, and return home ready to catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information — from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital data.  OpenCon 2015 will be held on November 14-16 in Brussels, Belgium. OpenCon 2015’s three day program will begin with two days of conference-style keynotes, panels, and interactive workshops, drawing both on the expertise of leaders in the Open Access, Open Education and Open Data movements and the experience of participants who have already led successful projects. The third day will take advantage of the location in Brussels by providing a half-day of advocacy training followed by the opportunity for in-person meetings with relevant policy makers, ranging from the European Parliament, European Commission, embassies, and key NGOs. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the conference’s three issue areas, stronger skills in organizing local and national projects, and connections with policymakers and prominent leaders across the three issue areas. OpenCon 2015 builds on the success of the first-ever OpenCon meeting last year which convened 115 students and early career academic professionals from 39 countries in Washington, DC.   Speakers at OpenCon 2014 included the Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States for Legislative Affairs, the Chief Commons Officer of Sage Bionetworks, the Associate Director for Data Science for the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and more than 15 students and early career academic professionals leading successful initiatives. OpenCon 2015 will again feature leading experts, and the program will be announced in the coming months. Tags: Conference, Early Career Researchers, Open Access, Open Data, Open Education, OpenCon, Students [...]



RECODE 2015

Sun, 10 May 2015 11:30:01 UT

 Find yourself wanting more after the workshop? Here you can the slides, resources and more! 

src="https://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/key/5NXndK8fvzcvV0" width="476" height="400" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no">

How you can help

 

More Information and Contact details

If you'd like to get in touch and discuss anything please feel free. Just email me at Joe [AT] RightToResearch [DOT] org

Want to stay up to date? 

Do it quickly and simply by signing up the the Student Statement on the Right to Research! This lets us know you believe in Open Access, and we'll keep you up to date with big news and important actions. 

Also, follow us on twitterlike us on Facebook, check us out on LinkedinYoutube and yes, even Google+

Give us some feedback!

src="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1jAXsTWsOqxrJ5i5Gi0tNLx4Dl2AiFRXxvWSfiLrvLKk/viewform?embedded=true" width="660" height="850" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0">

Tags: Career, Open Access, Open Science, Year, Young European Associated Researchers




Year Conference 2015

Sat, 09 May 2015 18:16:25 UT

 Find yourself wanting more after the workshop? Here you can the slides, resources and more! 

src="https://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/key/5NXndK8fvzcvV0" width="476" height="400" frameborder="0" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" scrolling="no">

How you can help

 

More Information and Contact details

If you'd like to get in touch and discuss anything please feel free. Just email me at Joe [AT] RightToResearch [DOT] org

Want to stay up to date? 

Do it quickly and simply by signing up the the Student Statement on the Right to Research! This lets us know you believe in Open Access, and we'll keep you up to date with big news and important actions. 

Also, follow us on twitterlike us on Facebook, check us out on LinkedinYoutube and yes, even Google+

Give us some feedback!

src="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1jAXsTWsOqxrJ5i5Gi0tNLx4Dl2AiFRXxvWSfiLrvLKk/viewform?embedded=true" width="660" height="850" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0">

Tags: Career, Open Access, Open Science, Year, Young European Associated Researchers




May OpenCon Webcast: The facts behind OER

Wed, 22 Apr 2015 11:59:24 UT

Open Educational Resources have always held the promise of saving students millions – if not billions – of dollars each year. But is cost savings the only advantage of OER?  A growing body of evidence suggests that OER produce learning outcomes that are as good or, in many cases, better than those of proprietary learning materials.

Our next OpenCon Community Webcast will delve into current research on the efficacy of Open Educational Resources and how they compare with traditional textbooks. John Hilton III, an Assistant Professor at Brigham Young University and leading expert on OER efficacy, will be joining us to address this issue. In his presentation, John will answer critical questions including if students using OER get better grades, how students and teachers perceive Open Educational Resources and what it takes for a professor to adopt an Open Textbook.

The webcast will be held on Tuesday, May 5th, at 1pm EDT / 6pm BST / 7pm CEST and last approximately 45 minutes. You can view the webcast at opencon2015.org/community/webcasts or by bookmarking the embedded YouTube link below. You can join the discussion and ask questions on Twitter with the hashtag #opencon. A recording of the presentation will be available online immediately following the webcast at the same URL.

frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4E2Cc2bLRyE" width="560">

This was originally posted at http://opencon2015.org/blog/may-opencon-webcast-facts-behind-oer# 





OpenCon 2015 Details Announced

Tue, 07 Apr 2015 12:50:56 UT

For immediate release: April 7, 2015 Press Contact: Ranit Schmelzer: +1 202 538 1065, sparcmedia@arl.orgBroad Coalition Announces 2nd Conference for Students & Early Career Academic Professionals on Open Access, Open Education and Open Data  OpenCon 2015 to Take Place November 14-16 in Brussels, Belgium WASHINGTON, DC — Today 11 organizations representing the next generation of scholars, researchers, and academic professionals announced OpenCon 2015: Empowering the Next Generation to Advance Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. Slated for November 14-16 in Brussels, Belgium, the event will bring together students and early career academic professionals from across the world to learn about the issues, develop critical skills, and return home ready to catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information — from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital data. Hosted by the Right to Research Coalition and SPARC, OpenCon 2015 builds on the success of the first-ever OpenCon meeting last year which convened 115 students and early career academic professionals from 39 countries in Washington, DC.  More than 80% of these participants received full travel scholarships, provided by sponsorships from leading organizations, including the Max Planck Society, eLife, PLOS, and more than 20 universities. “OpenCon 2015 will expand on a proven formula of bringing together the brightest young leaders across the Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data movements and connecting them with established leaders in each community,” said Nick Shockey, founding Director of the Right to Research Coalition. “OpenCon is equal parts conference and community.  The meeting in Brussels will serve as the centerpiece of a much larger network to foster initiatives and collaboration among the next generation across OpenCon’s three issue areas.” OpenCon 2015’s three day program will begin with two days of conference-style keynotes, panels, and interactive workshops, drawing both on the expertise of leaders in the Open Access, Open Education and Open Data movements and the experience of participants who have already led successful projects.   The third day will take advantage of the location in Brussels by providing a half-day of advocacy training followed by the opportunity for in-person meetings with relevant policy makers, ranging from the European Parliament, European Commission, embassies, and key NGOs. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the conference’s three issue areas, stronger skills in organizing local and national projects, and connections with policymakers and prominent leaders across the three issue areas. Speakers at OpenCon 2014 included the Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States for Legislative Affairs, the Chief Commons Officer of Sage Bionetworks, the Associate Director for Data Science for the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and more than 15 students and early career academic professionals leading successful initiatives. OpenCon 2015 will again feature leading experts.  Patrick Brown and Michael Eisen, two of the co-founders of PLOS, are confirmed for a joint keynote at the 2015 meeting. “For the ‘open’ movements to succeed, we must invest in capacity building for the next generation of librarians, researchers, scholars, and educators,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). “OpenCon is dedicated to creating and empowering a global network of young leaders across these issues, and we are eager to partner with others in the community to support and catalyze these efforts.” OpenCon seeks to convene the most effective student and early career academic professional advocates—regardless o[...]



Call to Action: Support the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR)

Wed, 18 Mar 2015 21:20:00 UT

On March 18, 2015, Senators Cornyn (R-TX) and Wyden (D-OR) and Representatives Doyle (D-PA), Yoder (R-KS), and Lofgren (D-CA) introduced S. 779/H.R. 1477, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act, a bill that will accelerate scientific discovery and fuel innovation by making articles reporting on publicly funded scientific research freely accessible online for anyone to read and build upon. FASTR will improve the education of students at all levels of American higher education, from community colleges to graduate programs, by providing resources necessary for a complete, up-to-date understanding of their chosen field.   Even at the wealthiest institutions, students and the instructors who teach them are too often locked out of the scientific literature, because their institutions can’t afford access.  Some journals cost more than $5,000 or even $25,000 to rent access for a single year, even though much of the research they contain is publicly funded. FASTR breaks down these paywalls by requiring that all articles resulting from publicly funded research be made freely available to the public who paid for them within six months of publication.  The US government’s annual investment of $60 billion represents a large portion of all research published in the US each year. FASTR will maximize the return on this investment by making articles reporting on cutting-edge research available for students – and anyone else – to read and build upon. Last but not least, FASTR address reuse rights necessary to ensure that researchers have the ability to use powerful new computational text and data analysis tools that have the potential to revolutionize the research process. Act Now | Background | Talking Points | Resources Act now! Let Congress know you support FASTR Write your legislators, via the Right to Research Action Center Call your representatives and express your support for FASTR. You can reach them by calling the US Capitol's switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking for your Senators or Representative. You can use the talking points below, and you should plan for the call to last approximately 30 seconds.  Thank FASTR's introducing co-sponsors on social media Even if you're not in their districts, it's important to thank FASTR's introducing sponsors to let them know there is a large community of support behind the bill. Visit your legislators' local offices Taking the time for an in-person visit to the office of one of your legislators is an especially effective was to demonstrate your support, particularly if you can organize a group of students from your campus or your student organization to join you. Raise awareness of and build support for FASTR Tweet about FASTR using the hashtag #FASTR, and post a link to our call to action on Facebook! Tell your friends and professors about FASTR, encourage them to contact their legislators as well. Write a letter to the editor or op-ed for your campus or local newspaper, or blog about FASTR. Add a "Support FASTR" banner to your or your organization's website.  You can find the banner in a variety of formats here. Background Now before both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) would require those agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from such funding no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal and enable productive their reuse. This bill would revolutionize students' access to the tools necessary for a complete, up-to-date education. Even at well funded universities, students - and those who teach them - often cannot get access to significant por[...]



Open Access and the Humanities: An Interview with Dr. Martin Paul Eve

Tue, 17 Mar 2015 14:50:58 UT

Interviewer: Scott Richard St. Louis Interviewer’s Note: Dr. Eve’s responses represent his own opinion; he is not speaking on behalf of his employer. Visitors to this page are encouraged to consult Dr. Eve’s newest book, Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future (Cambridge University Press, 2014), which may be read freely online. 1. Tell us about yourself. Where, when, and how did you first learn about open-access publishing and the Open Access movement? How did your talents, passions, educational experience, and professional interests lead you to a lasting interest in Open Access? What do you consider to be the most important experiences of yours with regard to open-access scholarship and Open Access advocacy? I am a Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Lincoln in the UK. Within my own discipline, I specialize in contemporary American fiction, with a particular emphasis on the legacies of postmodern literature. As you note, though, I also have an enduring interest in scholarly communication and, within that field, in open access. Finally, before and during my undergraduate and postgraduate studies I worked as a computer programmer, so I also have a degree of technical competence. When I learned that academics gave their work to publishers for free but then it was locked away behind paywalls, with the consequence that we can't afford all the work we need to effectively teach and research, I was perplexed. I first became aware of open access during my Ph.D. research. A group of colleagues wanted to establish an interdisciplinary postgraduate journal and, as I had previously worked as a programmer and wanted to be involved, I ended up sorting out the technology. In the course of my research into journal software, I encountered PKP's Open Journal Systems software. I was already familiar with the free and open software paradigms but it didn't take me long to realize that the “open” here referred to openness in more than one way. It wasn't just the computer code but also the content that was designed to be “open.” This was an eye-opener in some respects. Although I knew it at a fundamental level, the fact that research work was paid for by libraries was not something that had ever troubled me. When I learned that academics gave their work to publishers for free but then it was locked away behind paywalls, with the consequence that we can't afford all the work we need to effectively teach and research, I was perplexed. A combination of technological and economic thinking led me to the conclusion that something was radically wrong with the way in which we disseminate work that I felt should be for the public good. Indeed, I think it's important to stress that OA isn't applicable everywhere – cultural producers who need to sell their outputs are not so well placed to give work away – but academics employed at universities are usually different; they are paid a salary and can afford to give their work away and the incentive is to be read, not to sell. In terms of my most important OA experience, I think that I most enjoyed being called to give evidence to the UK government's Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Inquiry into Open Access in 2013. While, if I was asked again, I would have now a different and better answer to the question about alternative business models for open access, I was particularly pleased to bring the issue of non-disclosure agreements as a potentially anti-competitive practice to the committee's attention. As a closing remark for this first question, though, I'll just add a little on my orientation. I am vigorously in favor of open access, but I remain pessimistic. Changing elements of academic social practice can take decades to achieve and although we[...]



New OpenCon webcast series and March OpenCon Community Call

Tue, 10 Mar 2015 18:09:43 UT

This month, due to downtime on the OpenCon website we’re posting this announcement here. Normally you can find details at OpenCon2014.org/community/webcasts and OpenCon2014.org/community/calls Announcing OpenCon Community Webcasts! We’re excited to announce our new OpenCon Community Webcast series, which aims to inform and engage the growing OpenCon community by showcasing an individual, project, or success story each month. Ranging between 30 minutes and an hour, these webcasts will provide a regular opportunity for the OpenCon community to hear from those leading the charge for Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data. To kick the series off, we’ve invited Titus Brown (website, blog, twitter) to join us and share his story of gaining tenure as an open researcher! Titus is a an Associate Professor at the University of California Davis Genome Center and recently wrote a blog post that will be of interest to many in the OpenCon community entitled “On gaining tenure as an open scientist”. In October 2014, Titus was one of 14 researchers selected for the new Moore Investigators in Data-Driven Discovery award . The webcast will be held on Friday, April 3rd, at 12pm EDT / 5pm BST / 6pm CEST, and last approximately 45 minutes. A recording of the presentation will be available online immediately after the webcast. You can view the webcast at this URL or by bookmarking the embedded YouTube link below. width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Xyq5N6HAlKo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> March OpenCon Community Call Beginning in February, we’ve begun hosting OpenCon community calls each month for those in the OpenCon network to hear the latest updates on open policy, share updates on one another’s projects, and have an open discussion of important topics. Approximately 20 people joined our first call, and we’re hoping to see many more join future discussions. Those surveyed said the first call was extremely useful and plan to join again in the future. Join our next community call on Wednesday, March 25th, at 12pm EDT / 4pm GMT / 5pm CET. If you’re planning to join this month’s community call, you can sign up to give an update and see last month’s minutes at http://bit.ly/communitycallmarch Don’t miss out on the discussion! Join the OpenCon community email list.   Finally, make sure you’re not missing out on the lively discussion on our OpenCon community email list, which is also where you can get the latest updates on OpenCon. You can subscribe through the form below. Join the OpenCon Discussion List View group [...]



European Student Access to Literature Study

Sun, 15 Feb 2015 15:44:34 UT

If we are to set the default to open when it comes to research, one of the main stakeholder groups that will have to make it's voice heard is the students. Already students around the world are doing just that – talking to librarians, policy-makers, researchers, university staff, publishers etc. – in order to push for Open Access to research. To ensure their success they should be equipped with the best tools. One particularly effective tool that they are sorely lacking right now is hard data. This is something which will be particularly useful in conversations with policy-makers. As things stand, students at various universities have different levels of access to research - some universities provide more access, some less, and no university provides access to all. However, no research has been done to ascertain what the actual differences might be and what contributes to these differences. This is where our study comes in.

To our knowledge, this study will be the first to investigate the level of access students at different universities across Europe have to scientific articles.

It involves a short questionnaire which asks for some demographic data and whether you are able to access a set of 11 journal articles representative of the sort of articles students search for day in, day out. This is a strong objective measure of literature access already validated by our pilot data. This data also shows both a general lack of access and a huge difference between countries. However, we need more data in order to make our analyses reliable and generalisable. With this data, we will be able to show the nature of the differences in access both within and between countries and what may be causing these differences. It is very important to reach students from as many different universities as possible, so we ask you to both participate and forward this call.

We intend to publish the results of this study as an article in an Open Access journal and make the data and methodology publicly available so that Open Access advocates around the world can make use of them. The bigger the sample we get, the stronger an argument we can make so we hope you will support us by promoting our study as much as you can! We really appreciate your help with this promotion. Without your help this study is just an idea, but with your help it’s a significant contribution to the debate on access to literature and one that is completely student-driven from design to promotion to participation.

At this point in the project, the focus is solely on Europe and articles produced in the field of psychology. However, if we can complete this study successfully it is possible for us to expand both in disciplinary and geographical focus with the aim of providing even better tools for advocacy. Its success will depend on the kindness of those willing to participate.

Participate in the study, it only takes ten minutes at http://tinyurl.com/litaccess

Authors: Ivan Flis (PhD Candidate at Utrecht University), Jonas Haslbeck (MSc student at Utrecht University), Chris Noone (PhD Candidate at NUI Galway)

 

This article reflects the views of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Right to Research Coalition or SPARC.




Student bottom-up mobilisation for open science in Poland

Sun, 15 Feb 2015 15:44:34 UT

Open Access brings benefits for academic community and society at large, but it is often introduced through official top-down policies with pressure from scientists. What can students do to accelerate the process of opening science?                                       [CC BY 4.0 - Inicjatywa Otwieracz] Poland is often being cited as ‘the green island’ unaffected by the world financial crisis, role model for countries in transition, a ‘European tiger’. Nonetheless, economic growth does not seem to trickle down sufficiently enough to reform and strengthen our academic sector. Renowned Polish universities are positioned fourth hundred in world university rankings while a conservative approach to research and teaching still prevails in academic circles. Older generations of scientists dominate the young, digital technology is not widely used either in research or teaching practices and most scholars tend to have a rigid idea of the copyright law. A group of final year students at the University of Warsaw did not want to give up without an impact and decided to conduct a revolution at their faculty. Mission impossible Starting at the Institute of Applied Social Sciences, we founded the first student association to be devoted solely to the promotion of Open Access initiatives and research of academic practices at the University of Warsaw – we were pioneering in the country. Under the name ‘Inicjatywa Otwieracz’ (‘Opener Initiative’), we aimed at creating positive turmoil and demonstrating what benefits Open Access can bring to each individual scholar, to the Institute as a distinct research entity as well as to students, who can enrich their own learning and researching processes and increase their scientific impact even if they are not professional academics per se. Our objectives were challenging from the very start – bridging the gap between science and digital technology. Raising awareness of new methods of spreading research results is easier said than done, especially in a community which is not particularly used to considering the student voice as purveyor of valuable expertise. Open Access as a concept is hardly a recognisable brand, especially amongst students, so we ventured to challenge the existing ideas of conducting research and publishing results without much bottom-up support. Yet we quickly managed to produce a database of Polish Open Access journals dedicated to social sciences and a list of online scientific repositories, which we made available to the public. We received positive feedback from many scholars, associated not only with our Institute.                                       [CC BY 4.0 - Inicjatywa Otwieracz] Internal evaluation Our opus magnum turned out to be a major research project focused on new technologies and copyright law in the academic context. In order to be more persuasive and effectively overcome inevitable opposition to Open Access in our Institute, we looked for diagnosis of the most popular myths and anxieties related to technology and copyright law. We asked about beliefs and knowledge related to open publishing and digital technology, as well as about the practices of using new technological means in scientific and teaching processes. To gather all the information, we designed a survey combined of three parts, related to: research and teaching practices in relation to digital technology (e.g. data and literature search, compilin[...]



Assessing the commitment of UK universities to Open Access

Mon, 02 Feb 2015 16:36:34 UT

Just over a week ago, student groups and Right to Research Coalition Members Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) and Medsin-UK launched the first UK University Global Health Research League Table at the Houses of Parliament. The league table ranks the UK’s 25 top-funded universities according to their commitment to global health research, neglected disease research, and to making their research outputs accessible to all. The league table assessed research accessibility by examining the adoption and use of socially responsible policies when patenting and licensing medical technologies (for more on this important issue, check out this), as well as university commitment to Open Access publishing by researchers.     This commitment to Open Access was assessed using two different metrics. First, two student researchers working independently systematically examined university webpages devoted to Open Access, and awarded points to those webpages that took the strongest actions to encourage faculty to make their research freely available online. Universities that received maximum points for this metric have both a fund for paying article processing fees, as well as an institutional Open Access policy (see the table below). It is worth noting that any official University policy which encourages (and does not necessarily mandate) Open Access publishing received points for this metric. A closer examination of the exact text of these policies and assessment of their strength will be an important additional metric for future iterations of the League Table.  Does the university make an effort to promote and facilitate public-access publication by researchers? Strength of evidence Criteria Points awarded Strong The University has both an access fund for paying article processing fees and an institutional Open Access policy 5 ... The university has EITHER an Open Access fund for paying article processing fees OR an institutional Open Access policy, but NOT both 4 ... The website provides BOTH Open Access publishing guidelines for common research funding sources AND a description of Green and Gold Open Access 3 ... The website provides Open Access publishing guidelines for common research funding sources OR offers explanations of Green and Gold Open Access 2 Weak The university website provides brief and limited statements regarding Open Access publishing. 1   All of the universities we assessed had a webpage devoted to Open Access that encouraged Open Access publishing. All websites also provided additional resources to researchers, such as pathways to Open Access publication for common research funding sources. Most also highlighted funds that were available to researchers to pay article processing fees. The availability of these funds is largely a result of the block grant funds provided to universities by the Research Councils UK starting in April of 2013. Fewer universities have a policy mandating Open Access publication, suggesting this is an important area for continued advocacy and implementation efforts.   For the second metric, we calculated the percentage of biomedical and health-related research published by researchers at each university that was made freely available online within one year of publication. We did this by comparing the journal article citations affiliated with each university in PubMed (which may or may not to link to free, full-text articles) to the same number in PubMed Central (which have free, full-text articles linked to each citation). We divided the number of PubMed Central papers by the number of PubMed-indexed citations t[...]