Press Release: Springer Nature and LYRASIS Announce Open Access Sponsorship Agreement for Books that Support Research and Teaching Aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals

“Springer Nature has signed its first sponsorship agreement for open access books with LYRASIS, a US non-profit membership association of libraries, archives, and museums, starting in 2021. The agreement is set to lead to the publication of new open access book titles. The collaboration will focus on climate change, equity, peace, and justice and will provide free access to research in critical areas that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Springer Nature is helping to advance the SDGs through a dedicated SDG publishing programme, bringing to light and disseminating important knowledge related to the world’s most pressing challenges. Since the SDGs were launched in 2015, Springer Nature has published more than 300,000 relevant articles and book chapters, which have been downloaded more than 750 million times. Springer Nature is also leading the way in open access book (OA) publishing, first piloting open access books in 2011. Its open access book portfolio now includes over 1,400 titles spanning all academic disciplines, with more than 170 million chapter downloads worldwide. As research shows that open access books are downloaded ten times more often and cited 2.4 times more, reaching 61% more countries compared to non-open access books, this new sponsoring partnership will foster the advancement of science as well as the visibility, dissemination and impact of research on these critical challenges. 

The new open access book titles will be published under the Springer Nature imprints of Springer and Palgrave Macmillan under a CC BY 4.0 licence to give readers around the world free access to the books via Springer Nature’s content platform SpringerLink. …”

Mapping for a sustainable world

“Open access is a major step towards achieving the SDGs by being able to monitor progress and build collective understanding. Because the SDG datasets and the cartographic guidance in this book are openly available, more people than ever before can make maps in support of an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable future….

However, maps both historically and currently are part of the problem, contributing to the global inequities the SDGs seek to dissolve and thus reinforcing dominant power structures. Questions on who can make and access maps—as well as the knowledge to make and access these maps—persist. In this book, we attempt to open this knowledge on cartographic design too often paywalled behind expensive textbooks or university courses. While opening this knowledge is one step towards democratizing cartography, it is not enough to confront the SDGs. We call on the global community of cartographers to continue developing and sharing open data, maps, and mapping technologies to better the world….”

Open education resources to shape post-pandemic world

“For the past two decades, the world has been building open knowledge on a massive scale, with open educational resources as a cornerstone. The 2001 launches of MIT OpenCourseWare and Creative Commons formed a solid foundation of this global open educational resource movement, which now supports many millions of learners from all walks of life.

Now, as we begin to grapple with the long-term impacts and changes in education brought on by the pandemic year, it’s crucial to assess how open educational resource (OER) tools and resources are reaching those who need and use them most. In this article, we’ll focus on students in Africa….

Beyond its role in sustaining education through the pandemic, OER like MIT OpenCourseWare has several qualities that will be essential in the rebuilding and progress to come, supporting efforts to increase equity and live more sustainably as framed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

• OER is inclusive, because it’s open for all to adapt for diverse needs and have all voices reflected.

• OER is resilient, always there when you need it, free to use in classrooms and carry with you through any future disruptions.

• OER is iterative, a collective work in progress that admits the latest insights into what’s working, and what’s not working, as knowledge is created and applied.

• OER is scalable, enabling hyper-local knowledge and lived experiences to be shared and built into a global pool of knowledge….”

Why we need to think about ethics when using satellite data for development | Devex

“To avoid these dynamics, Allan says it’s vital that stakeholders think carefully about who controls the collection of data, what platforms are being used to store and organize the data collected — and if those platforms are proprietary, or open-sourced — and what will happen to the data after the project is complete.

“The problem with proprietary data is that each NGO might be mapping different things, and they aren’t necessarily sharing that data,” Allan said. “So you might have Oxfam mapping one type of water source, but ignoring WaterAid, who may be mapping another, potentially leading to false resource reports.”

Another issue with proprietary data is that after the project is complete, it often becomes inaccessible to anyone except the NGO and donors, he said.

“The data is not only getting wasted, but it’s also potentially insecure, through lack of sustained ownership,” he said. “One way to get around this issue is to make data open-source, available in the public space, accountable to — and also update-able by — local communities.” …”

The SHRUG; Development Data Lab

“The Socioeconomic High-resolution Rural-Urban Geographic Platform for India (SHRUG) is a geographic platform that facilitates data sharing between researchers working on India. It is an open access repository currently comprising dozens of datasets covering India’s 500,000 villages and 8000 towns using a set of a common geographic identifiers that span 25 years….”

Development Data Lab

“Data limitations are a major constraint on good policy in developing countries. The sample surveys conventionally used for development policy and research are sparse, geographically imprecise, and weakly integrated. We collect many new kinds of data, including measures of well-being generated from satellite images, data exhaust from government programs, and archival administrative records not previously used for policy design. Our open data platform (the SHRUG) seamlessly stitches these data sources together, making it one of India’s first high-resolution geographic frameworks for socioeconomic analysis.

Our research uses cutting edge econometric and machine learning tools to generate policy-relevant insights that would be difficult to arrive at using other data sources. We focus on understanding how people born into poverty can live fulfilling and productive lives—and which policies and programs can help them do so….”

Meet the organisations receiving Open Data Day 2021 mini-grants – Open Knowledge Foundation blog

“The Open Knowledge Foundation is happy to announce the list of organisations from all over the world who have been awarded mini-grants to help them celebrate Open Data Day on Saturday 6th March 2021.

Thanks to the generous support of this year’s mini-grant funders –Microsoft, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Mapbox, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, Latin American Open Data Initiative, Open Contracting Partnership and Datopian – the Open Knowledge Foundation will be giving out a total of 61 mini-grants to help organisations run great online or in-person events on or around Open Data Day.

We received hundreds of mini-grant applications this year and were greatly impressed by the quality of the events being organised all over the world.

Learn more about Open Data Day, discover events taking place online or in your country and find out how to connect with the global open data community by checking out the information at the bottom of this blogpost.

Here are the organisations who will receive mini-grants for each of this year’s four themes:…”

Waiving article processing charges for least developed countries: a keystone of a large-scale open access transformation

Abstract:  This article investigates whether it is economically feasible for a large publishing house to waive article processing charges for the group of 47 so-called least developed countries (LDC). As an example, Springer Nature is selected. The analysis is based on the Web of Science, OpenAPC and the Jisc Collections’ Springer Compact journal list. As a result, it estimates an average yearly publication output of 520 publications (or 0.26% of the worldwide publication output in Springer Nature journals) for the LDC country group. The loss of revenues for Springer Nature would be US$1.1 million if a waiver was applied for all of these countries. Given that the subject categories of these publications indicate the output is of high societal relevance for LDC, and given that money is indispensable for development in these countries (e.g. life expectancy, health, education), it is not only desirable but also possible in economic terms for a publisher like Springer Nature to waive APCs for these countries without much loss in revenues.

 

Waiving article processing charges for least developed countries: a keystone of a large-scale open access transformation

Abstract:  This article investigates whether it is economically feasible for a large publishing house to waive article processing charges for the group of 47 so-called least developed countries (LDC). As an example, Springer Nature is selected. The analysis is based on the Web of Science, OpenAPC and the Jisc Collections’ Springer Compact journal list. As a result, it estimates an average yearly publication output of 520 publications (or 0.26% of the worldwide publication output in Springer Nature journals) for the LDC country group. The loss of revenues for Springer Nature would be US$1.1 million if a waiver was applied for all of these countries. Given that the subject categories of these publications indicate the output is of high societal relevance for LDC, and given that money is indispensable for development in these countries (e.g. life expectancy, health, education), it is not only desirable but also possible in economic terms for a publisher like Springer Nature to waive APCs for these countries without much loss in revenues.