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Open Access Week 2019

- November 1, 2019 in Featured, Featured @en, News, Open Access Week, ανοικτότητα, Εκδηλώσεις, Νέα

Με μεγάλη επιτυχία πραγματοποιήθηκε η ημερίδα «Ανοικτή πρόσβαση για ποιον; Δικαιοσύνη στην ανοικτή πρόσβαση», την οποία συνδιοργάνωσαν η Βιβλιοθήκη & Κέντρο Πληροφόρησης ΑΠΘ και το Ίδρυμα Ανοικτής Γνώσης Ελλάδας, στο πλαίσιο της διεθνούς εβδομάδας ενημέρωσης για την ανοικτή πρόσβαση “Open Access Week”. Το «παρών» στην ημερίδα έδωσαν ακαδημαϊκοί, βιβλιοθηκονόμοι καθώς και φοιτητές. Αρχικά, απηύθυναν σύντομο […]

Hμερίδα «Σχεδιάζοντας δίκαιες υποστηρικτικές δομές για την Ανοικτή Γνώση», Τρίτη 30/10/2018

- October 29, 2018 in Featured, Featured @en, News, Open Access Week, ανοικτή γνώση, Εκδηλώσεις, Νέα

Η Βιβλιοθήκη & Κέντρο Πληροφόρησης (ΒΚΠ ΑΠΘ) και το Ίδρυμα Ανοικτής Γνώσης Ελλάδος (Open Knowledge Greece) συνδιοργανώνουν ημερίδα με τίτλο «Σχεδιάζοντας δίκαιες υποστηρικτικές δομές για την Ανοικτή Γνώση», την Τρίτη 30/10/2018, και ώρες 09.00-13.15, στο αμφιθέατρο της Κεντρικής Βιβλιοθήκης Α.Π.Θ. Η εκδήλωση λαμβάνει χώρα με αφορμή την Open Access Week 2018 και εστιάζει στις υποδομές […]

How Wikimedia helped authors make over 3000 articles green open access via Dissemin

- October 26, 2017 in Open Access, Open Access Week, wikimedia

In light of this year’s Open Access week, Michele Marchetto of Wikimedia Italia shares the story of how they helped authors to make their open access articles more widely available. This post has been cross-posted from Wikimedia Italia. Wikipedia is probably the most effective initiative in the world to increase the readership of academic literature: for instance, wikipedia.org is a top 10 source of clicks for doi.org. Wikipedia contributors are among the biggest consumers of scientific publications in the world, because Wikipedia articles are not allowed to be primary sources: the five pillars allow anyone to edit but require copyleft and a neutral point of view based on reliable sources. Readers are advised to trust what they read only insofar it’s confirmed by provided sources. So, does free culture need all sources to be accessible, affordable and freely licensed?

Open access

Scholarly sources, while generally high quality, are problematic for Wikipedia users in that they are often paywalled and ask for hefty payments from readers. Open access wants research output to be accessible online without restrictions, ideally under a free license, given it’s produced by authors, reviewers and editors “for free” (as part of their duties). This includes papers published in journals and conference proceedings, but also book chapters, books, experiment data. A cost-effective open science infrastructure is possible but requires political will and proprietary private platforms grow to fill unmet needs, but authors can make their works green open access autonomously and for free, thanks to open archives and publisher or employer policies. The problem is, how much effort does it take? We tried to find out.

The easy way out

In the past year we saw many developments in the open access landscape. On the reading side, DOAI and then oaDOI plus Unpaywall have made it possible to access some 40 % of the literature in just one click, collecting data from thousands of sources which were formerly rather hard to use. It was also proven that cancelling subscriptions produces little pain. On the authoring side, the SSRN fiasco paved the way to various thematic open archives and general-purpose repositories like Zenodo (offered by OpenAIRE and CERN), that make sure that an open access platform is available for all authors in the world, whatever their outputs. Publishers begin to understand the importance of metadata, although much work needs to be done, and the Open Access button staff helps connect with authors. Finally, the web platform Dissemin put ORCID and all the above initiatives together to identify 36 million works which could benefit from green open access. Authors can deposit them from Dissemin to an open archive in a couple clicks, without to need to enter metadata manually. With the possibility of a “legal Sci-Hub” within our reach, what does it take to get the authors to help?

Frontpage of the Dissem.in platform

Wikimedia Italia takes initiative

Wikimedia projects contributor Federico Leva, frustrated at the number of pay-walled articles linked from the Italian and English Wikipedia, decided to contact their authors directly. Using the available data, almost half a million depositable articles by a million authors were found. An email was sent to each of them where possible: the message thanked them for contributing sources to Wikipedia, presented them with the dilemma of a simple volunteer editor who wants to link an open access copy for all Wikipedia users to see, and asked to check the publication on Dissemin to read more about its legal status and to deposit it. The response has been overwhelmingly positive: over 15 % of the recipients clicked the links to find out more, thousands wrote encouraging replies, over 3000 papers were deposited via Dissemin in two months. Wikimedia Italia, active since 2008 in open access, covered the costs (few hundreds euro on phplist.com) and provided its OTRS instance to handle replies. With AISA’s counsel, hundreds of support requests have been handled (mostly about the usual pains of green OA, such as locating an appropriate manuscript).

Tell me a story

Our reasoning has been driven by examples such as the story of Jack Andraka, which showed how open access can change the world. Jack, as high school student, proposed a cheap method for an early diagnose of pancreatic cancer. Jack’s research, like every invention, is based on previous scientific results. Jack was not affiliated to any research entity and was not able to access paywalled research, but he was able to consult the extensive body of open access research provided by NIH’s PubMed Central, which is often in the public domain or under a free Creative Commons license. Jack’s story was a potent message in mass media on how open access can save lives.

Some reactions and what we learnt

The authors’ responses taught us what makes a difference:
  • make deposit easy and authors will love open archives;
  • focus on their own work and its readership;
  • show the concrete difference they can make, rather than talk abstractly about open access;
  • lead by example: list other colleagues who archived papers from the same journal;
  • some will adopt a free Creative Commons license to facilitate further reuse, if told about it.
More warmth came from Peter Suber’s supportJohn Dove’s proposal for OA journals to accelerate depositing of papers they reference and a lively discussion. Surprisingly many authors simply don’t know about green open access possibilities: they just need to hear about it in a way that rings true to their ears. If you work with a repository, an OA journal or other, you have a goldmine of authors to ask for deposits and stories relevant to them: why not start doing it systematically? If you are a researcher, you can just search your name on Dissemin and see what is left to make open access; when you are done, you can ask your colleagues to do the same. It’s simple and, as with Jack Andraka, you can really change the world around us.

How Wikimedia helped authors make over 3000 articles green open access via Dissemin

- October 26, 2017 in Open Access, Open Access Week, wikimedia

In light of this year’s Open Access week, Michele Marchetto of Wikimedia Italia shares the story of how they helped authors to make their open access articles more widely available. This post has been cross-posted from Wikimedia Italia. Wikipedia is probably the most effective initiative in the world to increase the readership of academic literature: for instance, wikipedia.org is a top 10 source of clicks for doi.org. Wikipedia contributors are among the biggest consumers of scientific publications in the world, because Wikipedia articles are not allowed to be primary sources: the five pillars allow anyone to edit but require copyleft and a neutral point of view based on reliable sources. Readers are advised to trust what they read only insofar it’s confirmed by provided sources. So, does free culture need all sources to be accessible, affordable and freely licensed?

Open access

Scholarly sources, while generally high quality, are problematic for Wikipedia users in that they are often paywalled and ask for hefty payments from readers. Open access wants research output to be accessible online without restrictions, ideally under a free license, given it’s produced by authors, reviewers and editors “for free” (as part of their duties). This includes papers published in journals and conference proceedings, but also book chapters, books, experiment data. A cost-effective open science infrastructure is possible but requires political will and proprietary private platforms grow to fill unmet needs, but authors can make their works green open access autonomously and for free, thanks to open archives and publisher or employer policies. The problem is, how much effort does it take? We tried to find out.

The easy way out

In the past year we saw many developments in the open access landscape. On the reading side, DOAI and then oaDOI plus Unpaywall have made it possible to access some 40 % of the literature in just one click, collecting data from thousands of sources which were formerly rather hard to use. It was also proven that cancelling subscriptions produces little pain. On the authoring side, the SSRN fiasco paved the way to various thematic open archives and general-purpose repositories like Zenodo (offered by OpenAIRE and CERN), that make sure that an open access platform is available for all authors in the world, whatever their outputs. Publishers begin to understand the importance of metadata, although much work needs to be done, and the Open Access button staff helps connect with authors. Finally, the web platform Dissemin put ORCID and all the above initiatives together to identify 36 million works which could benefit from green open access. Authors can deposit them from Dissemin to an open archive in a couple clicks, without to need to enter metadata manually. With the possibility of a “legal Sci-Hub” within our reach, what does it take to get the authors to help?

Frontpage of the Dissem.in platform

Wikimedia Italia takes initiative

Wikimedia projects contributor Federico Leva, frustrated at the number of pay-walled articles linked from the Italian and English Wikipedia, decided to contact their authors directly. Using the available data, almost half a million depositable articles by a million authors were found. An email was sent to each of them where possible: the message thanked them for contributing sources to Wikipedia, presented them with the dilemma of a simple volunteer editor who wants to link an open access copy for all Wikipedia users to see, and asked to check the publication on Dissemin to read more about its legal status and to deposit it. The response has been overwhelmingly positive: over 15 % of the recipients clicked the links to find out more, thousands wrote encouraging replies, over 3000 papers were deposited via Dissemin in two months. Wikimedia Italia, active since 2008 in open access, covered the costs (few hundreds euro on phplist.com) and provided its OTRS instance to handle replies. With AISA’s counsel, hundreds of support requests have been handled (mostly about the usual pains of green OA, such as locating an appropriate manuscript).

Tell me a story

Our reasoning has been driven by examples such as the story of Jack Andraka, which showed how open access can change the world. Jack, as high school student, proposed a cheap method for an early diagnose of pancreatic cancer. Jack’s research, like every invention, is based on previous scientific results. Jack was not affiliated to any research entity and was not able to access paywalled research, but he was able to consult the extensive body of open access research provided by NIH’s PubMed Central, which is often in the public domain or under a free Creative Commons license. Jack’s story was a potent message in mass media on how open access can save lives.

Some reactions and what we learnt

The authors’ responses taught us what makes a difference:
  • make deposit easy and authors will love open archives;
  • focus on their own work and its readership;
  • show the concrete difference they can make, rather than talk abstractly about open access;
  • lead by example: list other colleagues who archived papers from the same journal;
  • some will adopt a free Creative Commons license to facilitate further reuse, if told about it.
More warmth came from Peter Suber’s supportJohn Dove’s proposal for OA journals to accelerate depositing of papers they reference and a lively discussion. Surprisingly many authors simply don’t know about green open access possibilities: they just need to hear about it in a way that rings true to their ears. If you work with a repository, an OA journal or other, you have a goldmine of authors to ask for deposits and stories relevant to them: why not start doing it systematically? If you are a researcher, you can just search your name on Dissemin and see what is left to make open access; when you are done, you can ask your colleagues to do the same. It’s simple and, as with Jack Andraka, you can really change the world around us.

Let’s imagine a creative format for Open Access

- October 26, 2014 in OKF France, Open Access, Open Access Week

This post is part of our Open Access Week blog series to highlight great work in Open Access communities around the world. It is written by Celya Gruson-Daniel from Open Knowledge France and reports from “Open Access Xsprint”, a creative workshop held on October 20 in the biohackerspace La Paillasse in Paris – as announced here. More and more information is available online about Open Access. However it’s difficult to process all this content when one is a busy PhD Student or researcher. Moreover, people already informed and convinced are often the main spectators. The question thus becomes : How to spread the world about Open Access to a large audience ? (researchers, students but also people who are not directly concerned). With the HackYourPhD community, we have been developing initiatives to invent new creative formats and to raise curiosity and/or interest about Open Access. Open Access Week was a perfect occasion to propose workshops to experiment with those kinds of formats.

An Open Access XSprint at La Paillasse

During the Open Access Week, HackYourPhD with Sharelex design a creative workshop called the Open Access Xsprint (X standing for media). The evening was held on October 20 in the biohackerspace La Paillasse in Paris with the financial support of a Generation Open Grant (Right to Research Coalition)

The main objective was to produce appealing guidelines about the legal aspects and issues of Open Access through innovative formats such as livesketching, or comics. HackYourPhD has been working with Sharelex on this topic for several months. Sharelex aims at providing access to the law to everyone with the use of a collaborative workshop and forum. A first content has been produced in French and was used during the Open Access XSprint.

One evening to invent creative formats about Open Access

These sessions brings together illustrators, graphic designers, students, researchers. After a short introduction to get to know each other, the group discussed about the meaning of Open Access and its definition. First Livesketching and illustration emerged.

B0eU8AFIUAA-cig

In a second time, two groups were composed. One group worked on the different meaning of Open Access with a focus on the Creative Commons licences.

B0aXUjdCMAA8g8u

The other group discussed about the development of the different Open Access models and their evolution (Green Open Access, 100% Gold Open Access, hybrid Journal, Diamond, Platinum). The importance of Evaluation was raised. It appears to be one of the brakes in the Open Access transition.

After an open buffet, each group presented their work. A future project was proposed. It will consist of personalizing a scientific article and inventing its different “”life””. An ingenious way to present the different Open Access Models.

B0eVPZSIIAEH0Sl Explore also our storify “Open Access XSprint”

Next Step: Improvisation Theatre and Open Access

To conclude the Open Access Week, another event will be organized on October 24 in a science center (Espace Pierre Gilles de Gennes) with HackYourPhD and Sharelex, and the financial support of Couperin/FOSTER.

This event aims at exploring new format to communicate about Open Access. An improvisation theatral company will participate to this event. The presentations of different speakers about Open Access will be interspersed with short improvisation. The main topic of this evening will be the stereotypes or false ideas about Open Access. Bring an entertaining and original view is a way to discuss about Open Access for a large public, and maybe a starter to help them to become curious and to continue exploring this crucial topic for researchers and all citizen.

Licence Creative Commons Ce(tte) œuvre est mise à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution – Partage dans les Mêmes Conditions 4.0 International.

Nature-branded journal goes Open Access-only: Can we celebrate already?

- October 26, 2014 in OKF Brazil, Open Access, Open Access Week

This post is part of our Open Access Week blog series to highlight great work in Open Access communities around the world. It is written by Miguel Said from Open Knowledge Brazil and is a translated version of the original that can be found the Brazilian Open Science Working Group's blog. Open access 2(1)Nature Publishing Group reported recently that in October, its Nature Communications journal will become open access only: all articles published after this date will be available for reading and re-using, free of charge (by default they will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution license, allowing virtually every type of use). Nature Communications was a hybrid journal, publishing articles with the conventional, proprietary model, or as open access if the author paid a fee; but now it will be exclusively open access. The publishing group that owns Science recently also revealed an open access only journal, Science Advances – but with a default CC-NC license, which prevents commercial usages. So we made it: the greatest bastions of traditional scientific publishing are clearly signaling support for open access. Can we pop the champagne already? This announcement obviously has positive aspects: for example, lives can be saved in poor countries where doctors may have access to the most up-to-date scientific information – information that was previously behind a paywall, unaffordable for most of the Global South. Papers published under open access also tend to achieve more visibility, and that can benefit the research in countries like Brazil, where I live. The overall picture, however, is more complex than it seems at first sight. In both cases, Nature and Science adopt a specific model of open access: the so-called "gold model", where publication in journals is usually subject to a fee paid by authors of approved manuscripts (the article processing charge, or APC). In this model, access to articles is thus open to readers and users, but access to the publication space is closed, in a sense, being only available to the authors who can afford the fee. In the case of Nature Communications, the APC is $5000, certainly among the highest in any journal (in 2010, the largest recorded APC was US $ 3900 – according to the abstract of this article… which I cannot read, as it is behind a paywall). This amounts to two months of the net salary of a professor in state universities in Brazil (those in private universities would have to work even longer, as their pay is generally lower). Who is up for spending 15%+ of their annual income to publish a single article? Nature reported that it will waive the fee for researchers from a list of countries (which does not include Brazil, China, India, Pakistan and Libya, among others), and for researchers from elsewhere on a "case by case" basis – but they did not provide any further objective information about this policy. (I suspect it is better not to count on the generosity of a publisher that charges us $32 to read a single article, or $18 for a single piece of correspondence [!] from its journals.) On the other hand, the global trend seems to be that the institutions with which researchers are affiliated (the universities where they work, or the scientific foundations that fund their research) bear part of these charges, partly because of the value these institutions attach to publishing in high-impact journals. In Brazil, for example, FAPESP (one of the largest research foundations in Latin America) provides a specific line of funding to cover these fees, and also considers them as eligible expenses for project grants and scholarships. As it happens, however, the funds available for this kind of support are limited, and in general they are not awarded automatically; in the example of FAPESP, researchers compete heavily for funding, and one of the main evaluation criteria is – as in so many situations in academic bureaucracy today – the researcher's past publication record:
Analysis criteria [...] a) Applicant's Academic Record a.1) Quality and regularity of scientific and / or technological production. Important elements for this analysis are: list of publications in journals with selective editorial policy; books or book chapters [...]
Because of this reason, the payment of APCs by institutions has a good chance of feeding the so called "cumulative advantage" feedback loop in which researchers that are already publishing in major journals get more money and more chances to publish, while the underfunded remain that way. The advancement of open access via the gold model also involves another risk: the proliferation of predatory publishers. They are the ones that make open access publishing (with payment by authors or institutions) a business where profit is maximized through the drastic reduction of quality standards in peer review – or even the virtual elimination of any review: if you pay, you are published. The risk is that on the one hand, predatory publishing can thrive because it satisfies the productivist demands imposed on researchers (whose careers are continually judged under the light of the publish or perish motto); and on the other hand, that with the gold model the act of publishing is turned into a commodity (to be sold to researchers), marketable under high profit rates - even without the intellectual property-based monopoly that was key to the economic power mustered by traditional scientific publishing houses. In this case, the use of a logic that treats scientific articles strictly as commodities results in pollution and degradation of humankind's body of scientific knowledge, as predatory publishers are fundamentally interested in maximizing profits: the quality of articles is irrelevant, or only a secondary factor. Naturally, I do not mean to imply that Nature has become a predatory publisher; but one should not ignore that there is a risk of a slow corruption of the review process (in order to make publishing more profitable), particularly among those publishing houses that are "serious" but do not have as much market power as Nature. And, as we mentioned, on top of that is the risk of proliferation of bogus journals, in which peer review is a mere facade. In the latter case, unfortunately this is not a hypothetical risk: the shady "business model" of predatory publishing has already been put in place in hundreds of journals. Are there no alternatives to this commodified, market-oriented logic currently in play in scientific publishing? Will this logic (and its serious disadvantages) be always dominant, regardless if the journal is "proprietary" or open access? Well, not necessarily: even within the gold model, there are promising initiatives that do not adhere strictly to this logic – that is the case of the Public Library of Science (PLOS), an open access publishing house that charges for publication, but works as a nonprofit organization; because of that, it has no reason to eliminate quality criteria in the selection of articles in order to obtain more profits from APCs. Perhaps this helps explain the fact that PLOS has a broader and more transparent fee waiver policy for poor researchers (or poor countries) than the one offered by Nature. And finally, it is worth noting that the gold model is not the only open access model: the main alternative is the "green model", based on institutional repositories. This model involves a number of challenges regarding coordination and funding, but it also tends not to follow a strictly market-oriented logic, and to be more responsive to the interests of the academic community. The green model is hardly a substitute for the gold one (even because it is not designed to cover the costs of peer review), but it is important that we join efforts to strengthen it and avoid a situation where the gold model becomes the only way for scientists and scholars in general to release their work under open access. (My comments here are directly related to my PhD thesis on commons and commodification, where these issues are explored in a bit more detail – especially in the Introduction and in Chapter 4, pp. 17-20 and 272-88; unfortunately, it's only available in Portuguese as of now. This post was born out of discussions in the Brazilian Open Science Working Group's mailing list; thanks to Ewout ter Haar for his help with the text.)

Open Access Week in Nepal

- October 25, 2014 in OKF Nepal, Open Access, Open Access Week

This post is part of our Open Access Week blog series to highlight great work in Open Access communities around the world. Open Access Week was celebrated for the first time in Nepal for the opening 2 days: October 20, 21. The event, which was led by newly founded Open Access Nepal, and supported by EIFL and R2RC, featured a series of workshops, presentation, and peer to peer discussions and training by country leaders in Open Access, Open Knowledge, and Open Data including a 3 hour workshop on Open Science and Collaborative Research by Open Knowledge Nepal on the second day. Open Access Nepal is a student led initiative that mostly includes students of MBBS. Most of the audience of Open Access Week celebrations here, hence, included med students, but engineering students, management students, librarians, professionals, and academics were also well represented. Participants discussed open access developments in Nepal and their roles in promoting and advancing open access. EIFL and Right to Research Coalition provided financial support for the Open Access Week in Nepal. EIFL Open Access Program Manager Iryna Kuchma attended the conference as speaker and facilitator of workshops. Skærmbillede 2014-10-23 kl. 16.37.26 Open Knowledge Nepal hosted an interactive session on Open Science and Collaborative Research on the second day of two. The session we led by Kshitiz Khanal, Team Leader of Open Access / Open Science for Open Knowledge Nepal with support from Iryna Kuchma and Nikesh Balami, Team Leader of Open Government Data. About 8-10 Open Access experts of the country were present inside the hall to assist participants. The session began a half an hour before lunch where participants were first asked to brainstorm till lunch was over about what they think Open Science and Collaborative Research is, and the challenges relevant to Open Access that they have faced / might face in their Research endeavors. The participants were seated in round tables in groups of 7-8 persons, making a total of 5 groups. After lunch, one team member from each group took turns in the front to present the summary of their brain-storming in colored chart papers. Participants came up with near exact definitions and reflected the troubles researchers in the country have been facing regarding Open Access. As we can expect of industrious students, some groups impressed the session hosts and experts with interesting graphical illustrations. Skærmbillede 2014-10-23 kl. 16.39.09 Skærmbillede 2014-10-23 kl. 16.39.39 Iryna followed the presentations by her presentation where she introduced the concept, principles, and examples related to Open Science. Kshitiz followed Iryna with his presentation on Collaborative Research. Skærmbillede 2014-10-23 kl. 16.40.14 Session on Collaborative Research featured industry – academia collaborations facilitated by government. Collaborative Research needs more attention in Nepal as World Bank’s data of Nepal shows that total R&D investment is only equivalent to 0.3% of total GDP. Lambert Toolkit, created by the Intellectual Property Office of the UK, was also discussed. The toolkit provides agreement samples for industry – university collaborations, multi–party consortiums and few decision guides for such collaborations. The session also introduced version control and discussed simple web based tools for Collaborative Research like Google Docs, Etherpads, Dropbox, Evernote, Skype etc. On the same day, Open Nepal also hosted a workshop about open data, and a session on Open Access Button was hosted by the organizers. Sessions in the previous day included sessions that enlightened the audience about Introduction to Open Access, Open Access Repositories, and growing Open Access initiatives all over the world. This event dedicated to Open Access in Nepal was well received in the Open Communities of Nepal which has mostly concerned themselves with Open Data, Open Knowledge, and Open Source Software. A new set of audience became aware of the philosophy of Open. This author believes the event was a success story. Skærmbillede 2014-10-23 kl. 16.41.08

Uncovering the true cost of access

- October 24, 2014 in Open Access, Open Access Week, Open Science

This post is part of our Open Access Week blog series to highlight great work in Open Access communities around the world.
Large amounts of public money are spent on obtaining access to published research results, amounting to billions of dollars per year.

Large amounts of public money are spent on obtaining access to published research results, amounting to billions of dollars per year.

Despite the huge amounts of public money spent on allowing researchers to access the published results of taxpayer funded research [1], there is little fiscal transparency in the scholarly publishing market and frequent examples of secrecy, where companies or brokers insert non-disclosure clauses into contracts so the cost of subscriptions remains opaque. This prevents objective analysis of the market, prevents libraries negotiating effectively with publishers for fair prices and makes it hard to ascertain the economic consequences of open access policies. This matters. Open access campaigners are striving to make research results openly and freely available to everyone in a sustainable and cost effective manner. Without detailed data on current subscription costs for closed content and the emerging cost of article processing charges (APCs) [2], it is very difficult to accurately model and plan this transition.
Library budgets are stretched and their role within institutions is changing, making high journal costs an increasing concern.

Library budgets are stretched and their role within institutions is changing, making high journal costs an increasing concern.

Specifically, there are concerns that in the intervening period, publishers may be benefiting from ‘double dipping’ – offering hybrid products which incur APCs for open access articles and subscription fees for all other content which could result in higher overall income. In a market where the profit margins of several major publishers run at 35-40% and they exert monopolistic control over a large proportion of our accumulated scientific and scholarly knowledge, there is understandably a lot of anger and concern about the state and future of the market. Over the past year, members of the Open Knowledge open science and open access working groups have joined many other advocates and concerned researchers, librarians and citizens in working tirelessly to gather information on the true cost of knowledge. Libraries do not routinely publish financial information at this level of granularity and may be constrained by contractual obligations, so the route chosen to obtain data in the UK has been Freedom of information act (FOI) requests. High profile mathematician and OA advocate Tim Gowers revealed that the cost at Elsevier journals at top universities. Two further rounds of FOI requests by librarian and OKFest attendee Stuart Lawson and Ben Meghreblian have given an even broader overview across five major publishers. This has been released as open data and efforts continue to enrich the dataset. Working group members in Finland and Hong Kong are working to obtain similar information for their countries and further inform open access advocacy and policy globally. Subscription data only forms part of the industry picture. A data expedition at Oxford Open Science for Open Data Day 2014 tried to look into the business structure of academic publishers using Open Corporates and quickly encountered a high level of complexity so this area requires further work. In terms of APCs and costs to funders, the working groups contributed to a highly successful crowdsourcing effort led by Theo Andrew and Michelle Brook to validate and enrich the Wellcome Trust publication dataset for 2013-2014 with further information on journal type and cost, thus enabling a clearer view of the cost of hybrid journal publications for this particular funder and also illustrating compliance with open access policies.
Mapping open access globally at #OKFestOA.  The session conclusion was that far more data is needed to present a truly global view.

Mapping open access globally at #OKFestOA. The session conclusion was that far more data is needed to present a truly global view.

This work only scratches the surface and anyone who could help in a global effort to uncover the cost of access to scholarly knowledge would be warmly welcomed and supported by those who have now built up experience in obtaining this information. If funders and institutions have datasets they could contribute this would also be a fantastic help. Please sign up to the wiki page here and join the related discussion forum for support in making requests. We hope by Open Access Week 2015 we’ll be posting a much more informative and comprehensive assessment of the cost of accessing scholarly knowledge! Footnotes: [1] A significant proportion of billions of dollars per year (estimated $9.4 billion on scientific journals alone in 2011). See STM report (PDF – 6.3MB). [2] An open access business model where fees are paid to publishers for the service of publishing an article, which is then free to users. Photo credits: Money by 401(K) 2012 under CC-BY-SA 2.0 OKFest OA Map, Jenny Molloy, all copyright and related or neighboring rights waived to the extent possible under law using CC0 1.0 waiver. Published from the United Kingdom. Library by seier+seier under CC-BY 2.0

O estado da matemática no acesso aberto

- October 24, 2014 in acesso aberto, ciência aberta, Destaque, matemática, MathML, Open Access Week

(Publicado primeiro no blog do Grupo de Trabalho em Ciência Aberta) Na semana de 20 a 26 de outubro, ocorre a Open Access Week e o Mozilla Festival, que possui uma ótima trilha de ciência. Este post traz alguns pensamentos sobre matemática, acesso aberto e esses dois eventos. Acesso Aberto e Matemática Da Budapest Open Access Initiative temos:
“By ‘open access’ to this literature, we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.”
Infelizmente, atualmente, qualquer recurso matemática em acesso aberto não encontra-se totalmente de acordo com a definição de Budapeste pois algumas vezes usuários não podem ler ou buscar ou transmitir a expressão matemática para um software devido a barreiras técnicas. Continue a ler para entender isso. Dispositivos Usuários deveriam ser capazes de ler expressões matemáticas independente do dispositivo que possuem. Você já tentou ler uma expressão matemática em um dispositivo pequeno (como um celular)? small-screen-200x300 Em alguns casos a expressão matemática é maior que a tela e o dispositivo não quebra a equação em múltiplas linhas nem deixa o usuário rolar a tela ou ampliar/reduzir o texto. Expressões Matemáticas como Imagens Atualmente, na maior parte do tempo, o que você encontra na Internet é uma imagem rasterizada (pense em um arquivo JPG). Isso não ajuda o acesso aberto, pois você não pode remixar, buscar ou usar a expressão como entrada para um programa de computador. Se você possuir alguma dificuldade visual, também pode não conseguir ler a expressão. Existe uma solução? Sim, MathML. MathML é um padrão proposto pelo W3C que possibilita remixar, buscar ou usar a expressão como entrada para um programa de computador (que torna possível oferecer soluções para pessoas com dificuldades visuais). Ferramentas de Escrita para MathML Já temos uma longa lista de ferramentas com suporte para produzir MathML. No caso do acesso aberto, gostaria de destacar pandoc, que converte vários formatos de arquivo para HTML+MathML e LaTeXML, que converte LaTeX para HTML+MathML e possui suporte a vários pacotes LaTeX. Ferramentas de Leitura para MathML Ferramentas para renderizar MathML é o grande empecilho para adoção de MathML. O motor utilizado pelo Firefox e Chrome possuem suporte ao MathML (Chrome não é distribuido com suporte a MathML) mas o Gecko, o motor do Firefox, ainda precisa seguir parte da especificação do W3C (quebra de expressões em linhas e matemática elementar) e o WebKit, o motor do Chrome, precisa de várias melhorias e, também, seguir parte da especificação do W3C. mathml-on-epiphany-273x300 mathml-on-firefox-279x300 Nota: A maior parte, se não toda, da implementação do suporte ao MathML no Gecko e WebKit foi feito por voluntários que algumas vezes têm a sorte de ter sucesso em projetos de crowd founding para alavancar o suporte ao MathML. MathML na Open Access Week e MozFest Estou um pouco desapontado por não ter visto notícias relacionadas com MathML durante a Open Access Week e que, algumas vezes, a conversa em grupos de Acesso Aberto limitação a licenças e barreiras financeiras. Em relação ao MozFest, também não vi nenhuma proposta dedicada ao MathML mas tenho esperança de ouvir alguma coisa da sessão sobre ferramentas para escrita. flattr this!

Open Access and the humanities: on our travels round the UK

- October 23, 2014 in Open Access, Open Access Week

This post is part of our Open Access Week blog series to highlight great work in Open Access communities around the world. It is written by Alma Swan, Director of Key Perspectives Ltd, Director of Advocacy forSPARC Europe, and Convenor for Enabling Open Scholarship. Digital Camera Whither the humanities in a world moving inexorably to open values in research? There has been much discussion and debate on this issue of late. It has tended to focus on two matters – the sustainability of humanities journals and the problem(s) of the monograph. Neither of these things is a novel topic for consideration or discussion, but nor have solutions been found that are satisfactory to all the key stakeholders, so the debate goes on. While it does, some significant developments have been happening, not behind the scenes as such but in a quiet way nevertheless. New publishers are emerging in the humanities that are offering different ways of doing things and demonstrating that Open Access and the humanities are not mutually exclusive. These publishers are scholar-led or are academy-based (university presses or similar). Their mission is to offer dissemination channels that are Open, viable and sustainable. They don’t frighten the horses in terms of trying to change too much, too fast: they have left the traditional models of peer review practice and the traditional shape and form of outputs in place. But they are quietly and competently providing Open Access to humanities research. What’s more, they understand the concerns, fears and some bewilderment of humanities scholars trying to sort out what the imperative for Open Access means to them and how to go about playing their part. They understand because they are of and from the humanities community themselves. The debate about OA within this community has been particularly vociferous in the UK in the wake of the contentious Finch Report and the policy of the UK’s Research Councils. Fortuitously, the UK is blessed with some great innovators in the humanities, and many of the new publishing operations are also UK-based. This offers a great opportunity to show off these some new initiatives and help to reassure UK humanities authors at the same time. So SPARC Europe, with funding support from the Open Society Foundations, is now endeavouring to bring these new publishers together with members of the UK’s humanities community. We are hosting a Roadshow comprising six separate events in different cities round England and Scotland. At each event there are short presentations by representatives of the new publishers and from a humanities scholar who can give the research practitioner perspective on Open Access. After the presentations, the publishers are available in a small exhibition area to display their publications and talk about their publishing programmes, their business models and their plans for the future. The publishers taking part in the Roadshow are Open Book Publishers, Open Library of the Humanities, Open Humanities Press and Ubiquity Press. In addition, the two innovative initiatives OAPEN and Knowledge Unlatched are also participating. The stories from these organisations are interesting and compelling, and present a new vision of the future of publishing in the humanities. Humanities scholars from all higher education institutions in the locality of each event are warmly invited to come along to the local Roadshow session. The cities we are visiting are Leeds, Manchester, London, Coventry, Glasgow and St Andrews. The full programme is available here. We will assess the impact of these events and may send the Roadshow out again to new venues next year if they prove to be successful. If you cannot attend but would like further information on the publishing programmes described here, or would like to suggest other venues the Roadshow might visit, please contact me at sparceurope@arl.org