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New Open Access Book – ‘Knowledge Unbound: Selected Writings on Open Access, 2002–2011’ by Peter Suber

- April 6, 2016 in Open Access, PASTEUR4OA

Peter Suber is one of the leading figures in the open access movement and current director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication. Last week saw the publication of his most recent book Knowledge Unbound: Selected Writings on Open Access,

New Open Access Book – ‘Knowledge Unbound: Selected Writings on Open Access, 2002–2011’ by Peter Suber

- April 6, 2016 in Open Access, PASTEUR4OA

Peter Suber is one of the leading figures in the open access movement and current director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication. Last week saw the publication of his most recent book Knowledge Unbound: Selected Writings on Open Access, 2002–2011 published by MIT Press. The book is available to freely read and download in a range of formats from the publisher’s website with a foreword by Robert Darnton. Back in 2001, while still a professor of philosophy at Earlham College, Suber undertook a sabbatical from his teaching duties mainly with the intention of focusing on his academic research. During this time, he became increasingly interested in the web’s power for sharing scholarly writing, starting his own weekly newsletter on the subject. As the popularity of the newsletter rapidly grew, so too did Suber’s interest in open access, leading him to spend ‘every hour of my work day, plus many other hours’ working on the topic. The newsletter soon became a blog entitled ‘Open Access News’, from which most of the book’s contents are taken. Suber left Earlham in 2003 and has worked full-time on open access ever since.9780262029902 The book covers Suber’s writings from the early days of the newsletter through to 2011 – a time of huge change for open access to knowledge across the world. During this time, open access went from being an extremely niche activity to something that is near impossible for the average researcher to ignore. The book features sections on the case for OA, understandings of OA, disciplinary differences and what the future might hold, all written in an approachable and conversational style. For policymakers, there is a whole section on funder and university policies for open access that contextualises Suber’s excellent guide (co-authored with his colleague Stuart Shieber) on Good Practices for University Open-Access Policies. Harvard’s 2008 open-access policy was the first OA policy in an American university and the first faculty-led (rather than administrator-led) policy. Coupled with his concise introductory 2012 book Open Access (also MIT Press) the two works should offer an excellent introduction and a compelling case for open access publishing.

New Open Access Book – ‘Knowledge Unbound: Selected Writings on Open Access, 2002–2011’ by Peter Suber

- April 6, 2016 in Open Access, PASTEUR4OA

Peter Suber is one of the leading figures in the open access movement and current director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication. Last week saw the publication of his most recent book Knowledge Unbound: Selected Writings on Open Access, 2002–2011 published by MIT Press. The book is available to freely read and download in a range of formats from the publisher’s website with a foreword by Robert Darnton. Back in 2001, while still a professor of philosophy at Earlham College, Suber undertook a sabbatical from his teaching duties mainly with the intention of focusing on his academic research. During this time, he became increasingly interested in the web’s power for sharing scholarly writing, starting his own weekly newsletter on the subject. As the popularity of the newsletter rapidly grew, so too did Suber’s interest in open access, leading him to spend ‘every hour of my work day, plus many other hours’ working on the topic. The newsletter soon became a blog entitled ‘Open Access News’, from which most of the book’s contents are taken. Suber left Earlham in 2003 and has worked full-time on open access ever since.9780262029902 The book covers Suber’s writings from the early days of the newsletter through to 2011 – a time of huge change for open access to knowledge across the world. During this time, open access went from being an extremely niche activity to something that is near impossible for the average researcher to ignore. The book features sections on the case for OA, understandings of OA, disciplinary differences and what the future might hold, all written in an approachable and conversational style. For policymakers, there is a whole section on funder and university policies for open access that contextualises Suber’s excellent guide (co-authored with his colleague Stuart Shieber) on Good Practices for University Open-Access Policies. Harvard’s 2008 open-access policy was the first OA policy in an American university and the first faculty-led (rather than administrator-led) policy. Coupled with his concise introductory 2012 book Open Access (also MIT Press) the two works should offer an excellent introduction and a compelling case for open access publishing.

New Open Access Book – ‘Knowledge Unbound: Selected Writings on Open Access, 2002–2011’ by Peter Suber

- April 6, 2016 in Open Access, PASTEUR4OA

Peter Suber is one of the leading figures in the open access movement and current director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication. Last week saw the publication of his most recent book Knowledge Unbound: Selected Writings on Open Access, 2002–2011 published by MIT Press. The book is available to freely read and download in a range of formats from the publisher’s website with a foreword by Robert Darnton. Back in 2001, while still a professor of philosophy at Earlham College, Suber undertook a sabbatical from his teaching duties mainly with the intention of focusing on his academic research. During this time, he became increasingly interested in the web’s power for sharing scholarly writing, starting his own weekly newsletter on the subject. As the popularity of the newsletter rapidly grew, so too did Suber’s interest in open access, leading him to spend ‘every hour of my work day, plus many other hours’ working on the topic. The newsletter soon became a blog entitled ‘Open Access News’, from which most of the book’s contents are taken. Suber left Earlham in 2003 and has worked full-time on open access ever since.9780262029902 The book covers Suber’s writings from the early days of the newsletter through to 2011 – a time of huge change for open access to knowledge across the world. During this time, open access went from being an extremely niche activity to something that is near impossible for the average researcher to ignore. The book features sections on the case for OA, understandings of OA, disciplinary differences and what the future might hold, all written in an approachable and conversational style. For policymakers, there is a whole section on funder and university policies for open access that contextualises Suber’s excellent guide (co-authored with his colleague Stuart Shieber) on Good Practices for University Open-Access Policies. Harvard’s 2008 open-access policy was the first OA policy in an American university and the first faculty-led (rather than administrator-led) policy. Coupled with his concise introductory 2012 book Open Access (also MIT Press) the two works should offer an excellent introduction and a compelling case for open access publishing.

New Open Access Book – ‘Knowledge Unbound: Selected Writings on Open Access, 2002–2011’ by Peter Suber

- April 6, 2016 in Open Access, PASTEUR4OA

Peter Suber is one of the leading figures in the open access movement and current director of the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication. Last week saw the publication of his most recent book Knowledge Unbound: Selected Writings on Open Access, 2002–2011 published by MIT Press. The book is available to freely read and download in a range of formats from the publisher’s website with a foreword by Robert Darnton.

Back in 2001, while still a professor of philosophy at Earlham College, Suber undertook a sabbatical from his teaching duties mainly with the intention of focusing on his academic research. During this time, he became increasingly interested in the web’s power for sharing scholarly writing, starting his own weekly newsletter on the subject. As the popularity of the newsletter rapidly grew, so too did Suber’s interest in open access, leading him to spend ‘every hour of my work day, plus many other hours’ working on the topic. The newsletter soon became a blog entitled ‘Open Access News’, from which most of the book’s contents are taken. Suber left Earlham in 2003 and has worked full-time on open access ever since.9780262029902

The book covers Suber’s writings from the early days of the newsletter through to 2011 – a time of huge change for open access to knowledge across the world. During this time, open access went from being an extremely niche activity to something that is near impossible for the average researcher to ignore. The book features sections on the case for OA, understandings of OA, disciplinary differences and what the future might hold, all written in an approachable and conversational style.

For policymakers, there is a whole section on funder and university policies for open access that contextualises Suber’s excellent guide (co-authored with his colleague Stuart Shieber) on Good Practices for University Open-Access Policies. Harvard’s 2008 open-access policy was the first OA policy in an American university and the first faculty-led (rather than administrator-led) policy.

Coupled with his concise introductory 2012 book Open Access (also MIT Press) the two works should offer an excellent introduction and a compelling case for open access publishing.

Panton Fellowship: End-of-Year Round-up

- November 10, 2014 in Panton Fellowships

This is cross-posted from Samuel Moore’s blog, Scholarly Skywritings. My time as a Panton Fellow has been both busy and extremely rewarding. In the last year I’ve been involved in a number of projects, met some fantastic people and attended a number of events centered on data sharing within academia. Whilst data sharing in the humanities and social sciences is still in a very nascent stage, especially the average researcher’s awareness of open data, there is definitely a sense that it is firmly on the agenda as part of the broader move towards openness in scholarly research. The crucial thing now is to continue to reach out to the average researcher, highlighting the benefits that open data offers and ensuring that there is a stock of accessible resources offering practical advice to researchers on how to share their data.

Issues in Open Research Data

With this in mind, in tcover_3-page-001his final post I had originally wanted to be able to share the open-access book I’ve commissioned entitled Issues in Open Research Data, but alas it is still in production and will be published in November. Nevertheless, I am delighted to say that the book was successfully funded via the crowd-funding website Unglue.It and will be available in PDF, EPUB and low-cost print editions when it is published. The book features chapters by open data experts in a range of academic disciplines, covering practical information on licensing, ethics, and advice for data curators, alongside more theoretical issues surrounding the adoption of open data. As the book will be open access, each chapter will be able to standalone from the main volume so that communities can host, distribute, build upon and remix the content. The book is primarily a work of advocacy and aims to start a conversation with the academic community at large – I’ll be sending out copies to research libraries, repositories and others that might be interested. Do get in touch if you think your institution would like a printed copy and I’ll see what I can do.

Journal of Open Humanities Data

Another initiative I wanted to mention is the forthcoming Journal of Open Humanities Data, which will be launching very soon through Ubiquity Press. The journal will feature peer-reviewed publications describing humanities data or techniques with high potential for reuse, everything from cultural items to large text corpora. In doing this, the journal aims to incentivise data sharing through publication credit, which in turn makes data citable through usual academic paper citation practices. Ultimately the journal will help researchers share their data, recommending repositories and best practices in the field, and will also help them track the impact of their data through citations and altmetrics. The call for papers will be posted in the next few weeks but, again, please do get in touch if you’d like to hear more.

Thanks!

Last of all, many thanks to the Open Knowledge Foundation for all their advice and support: specifically, Peter Murray-Rust, Michelle Brook, Jenny Molloy and Jonathan Grey, and many others too. I have already signed up to be involved in a few Open Knowledge projects in the coming year and I look forward to helping further the cause of openness across academia (and maybe working on my PhD..!) Here is a roundup of some of the activities I’ve been involved in over the past year:

Blog posts

Books

Issues in Open Research Data

Project involvement

Panton Fellow Update: Introduction to Open Research Data

- May 5, 2014 in Panton Fellowships, Panton Principles

In my first three-month update report report I discussed the book I’m working on as the major output of my Panton Fellowship. Entitled Introduction to Open Research Data, the book explores both the practical and theoretical issues associated with Open Data from a range of general and disciplinary viewpoints. The book will be Open Access, available in various ebook formats and low-cost print editions, and remixing will be encouraged – particularly the subject-specific guidance, which disciplinary communities can build upon as a foundation for a collection of resources on Open Data. Whilst I am still awaiting a couple of contributions, I am happy to be able to share a provisional table of contents for the book. (Chapter topics on the left and authors on the right . Chapter titles still TBD):
  1. Foreword: Introduction to the Panton Fellowships
  2. Introduction to the book and the Panton Principles – Sam Moore (with input from the original Panton group)
  3. Open Content Mining – Peter Murray-Rust and Jenny Molloy
  4. Open Data and Neoliberalism – Eric Kansa
  5. Data Sharing in a Humanitarian Organization: The Experience of Médecins Sans Frontières – Unni Karunakara (previous published in PLOS Medicine)
  6. Open Data in Earth/Climate Sciences – Sarah Callaghan
  7. Open Data in Psychology – Wouter van den Bos, Mirjam Jenny and Dirk Wulff
  8. Digital Humanities and Linked Open Data  – Jodi Schneider
  9. Open Data in Palaeontology – Ross Mounce
  10. Open Data in the Health Sciences  – Tom Pollard
  11. Open Data in Economics – Velichka Dimitrova
  12. Why Open Drug Discovery Needs Four Simple Rules for Licensing Data and Models – Antony J. Williams, John Wilbanks and Sean Ekins (previously published in PLOS Computational Biology)
I won’t go into more detail about the content of each chapter, though authors were given free rein to approach the subject however they saw fit. Furthermore, I sought permission from the authors of the previously published pieces, though they were originally published under CC BY, and all were happy for their contributions to appear in the book. I’m super excited for how this is coming together and I hope to have the book published by August. I will of course be posting updates along the way. Get in touch if you have any questions!

Public Health Data: as Open as it can be?

- April 23, 2014 in Panton Fellowships

I recently sent out invitations for a forthcoming article collection entitled Exemplar Public Health Datasets, to be published in the recently launched journal Open Health Data. The collection will feature peer-reviewed articles describing public health datasets as part of the Enhancing discoverability of public health and epidemiology research data project. Funded by the Wellcome Trust, the project seeks to appraise the ways in which public health datasets could be made easier for potential users to discover, and this article collection is one way of exploring the issue. spcol_exemplar-public-health-datasets.jpg The collection will be composed of Data Papers, which are publications designed to make other researchers aware of data that is of potential use to them. Importantly, a data paper does not replace a research article, but rather complements it. As such, the data paper describes the methods used to create the dataset, its structure, its reuse potential, and a link to its location in a repository. However, one issue that immediately presented itself is that most public health research data is not collected in a way that allows open sharing. Public health research often takes the form of large-scale longitudinal studies involving numerous research groups, during which a great deal of patient data is collected. Whilst the data are anonymised, there are always concerns surrounding de-identification, especially given the sensitive nature of the material, and so data is shared only to those who meet the accessibility criteria. As Jones et al. write, regarding the Secure Anonymous Information Linkage (SAIL) Gateway:
‘Even though the data are anonymised, someone with legitimate access to the data, or a potential intruder, may attempt to re-identify individuals or clinicians. It is essential, therefore, that anonymisation is robust, that measures to further encrypt key variables are in place, and that data presented can be limited to the needs of a given project.’ [1]
Because of this, data sharing in public health is approached with extreme caution and there are many disincentives for doing so. The Exemplar Public Health Datasets collection aims to change this by formalising the process for data access. For example, if there are accessibility criteria associated with a particular dataset, a Data Paper would be a great place for outlining the criteria, the location of the dataset, and steps needed to access it. What’s more, whilst the data itself might not be shareable, there is still a great deal of value in openly sharing consent forms, metadata and related protocols. The Data Paper format encourages the sharing of all elements related to the research lifecycle, aiming to reach a position where ‘Open’ is the default for public health research whilst still negotiating the complex world of access to patient data. Get in touch if you have any questions! [1] Jones et al. ‘A case study of the Secure Anonymous Information Linkage (SAIL) Gateway: A privacy-protecting remote access system for health-related research and evaluation’ Journal of Biomedical Informatics (in press) http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbi.2014.01.003    

Event roundup: Open Literature Sprint

- February 17, 2014 in shakespeare, Technical, texts

Towards the end of January the Open Humanities Working Group hosted a one-day sprint to work on its Open Literature platform for sharing and annotating public domain works of literature. The event was hosted at the Centre for Creative Collaboration in King’s Cross, London, and was attended by coders and non-coders alike. The day began with Rufus Pollock giving a brief introduction to the project, its rationale, its history and a plan for the day. Here’s a video of the intro (recorded on a phone camera):   After that, the group divided into two teams: one of developers and the other of text-finders and editors. Throughout the day, the developers (pic below) worked on integrating part of the functionality into WordPress to display the marked up text. As an extension of this, they also began work on the annotation store so that we can show the existing annotations from the Open Shakespeare project. This is still an ongoing project and news will be posted to the Open Humanities group as more is done on it. coders In parallel, the other group (below) was busy finding texts, converting them to the correct format and uploading them to the WordPress site. Project Gutenberg was an invaluable source of public domain literature, although each text took roughly 10 minutes to prepare for the platform. Instructions for preparing texts will be added to the site in due course, alongside a general workflow for how the platform should operate. By the end of the day, the complete works of Shakespeare were uploaded to the database, in addition to texts from a few other authors. The next stage is to write summaries for each of the texts and to ensure that all display correctly in the viewer. Textfinders Overall it was a great way to re-start the Open Literature project and there has been an encouraging resurgence of activity since – so thanks to everyone who attended! For updates on the project you can sign up to the Open Humanities mailing list in the box at the top right of this page.

Panton Fellow Update: Samuel Moore

- January 8, 2014 in Panton Fellowships, Panton Principles, Publications

My first few months as a Panton Fellow have flown by and so I wanted to provide a quick update on the work I’ve been doing. Whilst it’s not possible to discuss everything, I thought it would be good to list some of the larger projects I’ve been working on. Early into the fellowship I made contact with two of the Open Economics Working Group coordinators, Velichka Dimitrova and Sander Van Der Waal, to discuss how best to encourage Open Data in economics. Whilst we thought that a data journal could be a good way of incentivising data sharing, we also thought it would be sensible to conduct a survey of economists and their data sharing habits to see if our assumptions were correct. This will give us some firm evidence of the best way to advocate for Open Data in economics. The results will be released when they are available. Staying within the OKFN framework, I also helped kick-start the Open Humanities Group back into action in a meeting with the organisers and a post to the discussion list (posing the question: What does Open Humanities research data mean to you?). As a humanities researcher myself I am very keen to see the humanities embrace a more open approach to scholarship and it’s great to see a resurgence of activity here. So far this has resulted in a forthcoming Open Literature Sprint on January 25th in London. This sprint will build upon some of the work already completed on the Open Literature and Textus projects for collaborating, analysing and sharing open access and public domain works of literature and philosophy. Whilst I cannot take any credit for organising the event, I will certainly be in attendance and I encourage all those interested in Open Humanities research/data to attend too. We are looking for coders, editors and textfinders for the event – absolutely no technical skills required! You can sign up to attend here. However, the majority of my time has been spent working on a book: An Introduction to Open Research Data. This edited volume will feature chapters by Open Data experts in a range of academic disciplines, covering practical information on licensing, ethics, and information for data curators, alongside more theoretical issues surrounding the adoption of Open Data. As the book will be Open Access, each chapter will be able to standalone from the main volume so communities can host, distribute and remix the content that is relevant to them (the book will also be available in print). The table of contents is near enough finalised and the contributions are currently being written. I’m hoping the volume will be ready by August but watch this space! Do get in touch if you’ve any questions at all. In addition, here is a round-up of the blogposts I’ve written so far: On the Harvard Dataverse Network Project – an open-source tool for data sharing What are the incentives for data sharing? Panton Fellow Introduction: Samuel Moore