Latest Article Alert from Harm Reduction Journal

The latest articles from Harm Reduction Journal, published between 06-Dec-2011 and 30-Dec-2011For articles which have only just been published, you will see a ‘provisional PDF’ corresponding to the accepted manuscript.A fully formatted PDF and full text (HTML) version will be made available soon.ReviewThe Soviet doctor and the treatment of drug addiction: “A difficult and most ungracious

Semantic Physical Science Workshop

We (Charlotte Bolton and I) are preparing the material for the Semantic Physical Science Workshop in January (10/12). A major feature of this is our Jumbo-Converters which convert legacy log files to semantic CML. To do that we are cleaning up and testing the code – which runs to probably tens of thousands of lines designed by Jim Downing and Sam Adams and implemented mainly by me.

To make it usable it has to be cleaned of historical cruft, tested and documented , probably all together and iteratively. We’ve had several iterations of wrappers for J-C including two versions of “Lensfield”. Currently it looks like we are going back to a much simpler commandline-interface, and putting some responsibility on the user to write the wrapper. This is a common problem – workflows are hard and local and don’t seem to generalise or abstract well. Moreover when you commit to one it’s very hard to remove and change to another. So, as we have done with OSCAR, we’ve whittled away the wrapper stuff.

We didn’t get as far as we’d hoped for today, because of this:

It’s a Sparrowhawk (Accipiter Nisus) and although we have seen them in our garden from time to time, this one – a female – has started to use our spruce tree as its dining table. Sparrowhawks eat mainly birds (superb article in Wikipedia where we learn that this one might eat 1500 Great Tits a year. This looked like it was eating a Blackbird and we recovered the following

Which I am guessing is a female blackbird (Turdus Merula).

We managed to get the photo with my birdwatching telescope and a phone equivalent pointed at the eyepiece.

Since the hawk takes about an hour to eat a bird and because it went off for another one and came back again, it took up a lot of our time. So the evening will have to make up for what I didn’t manage during the day.

Selling out feminism: 100 photocopies for $3,607

Would you like your students to read 

Selling (out) Feminism: Sustainability of ideology –viability tensions in a competitive marketplace by Suzy D'Enbeau & Patrice M.Buzzanell? Communication Monographs 2011, 78:1, p. 27-52?

The cost for rights to photocopy 100 copies for library reserve is $3,607, according to the Copyright Clearance Centre. This photocopy right does not get you the article itself to copy.  In contrast, here are three options for full open access that cost more than two thirds less than this publisher wishes to charge for another photocopies for a hundred students:

Printing copies for library reserve is likely of limited relevance nowadays, but good luck trying to research the costs for other re-use rights. I have tried a number of Quick Price options from the Copyright Clearance Centre, and here is the typical response that I get:
Pricing for this request requires the approval of Taylor & Francis Permissions Representative. You will be notified of the price before order confirmation. The processing period may take up to fifteen business days.
Communication Monographs is published on behalf of the National Communication Association by multinational conglomerate informa.plc through its traditional-sounding brand Routledge / Taylor & Francis.


Edgar, B. D., & Willinsky, J.(2010) (In press). A survey of the scholarly journals using open journalsystems. Scholarly and ResearchCommunication, Retrieved August 27, 2011 from

Let’s raise the floor: a proposal for Creative Commons – fair copyright, CC-free to use, rewrite noncommercial and add public domain perpetual

This post is intended as a contribution to the Creative Commons (CC) 4.0 public discussion. Please submit any comments to the appropriate CC discussion list.


This post suggests raising the floor by creating a new CC-fair copyright for works that are not freely available. This will be counter-intuitive to many a commonser, but note that this would give consumers a great way to exert pressure for fair copyright. A new CC-free to use / all rights reserves licenses is suggested, reflecting CC Version 4.0 discussions suggesting the possibility of breaking noncommercial into a stronger and a weaker license – this would be the more restricted version. Wording is suggested for noncommercial per se to clarify that educational use is not commercial, therefore permitted, and asks whether public domain should be redefined as CC-Sharelike (preferably in perpetuity). A question is raised about advertising – is this really a commercial issue, or in part a matter of creators’ moral rights?


Creative Commons – fair copyright
The idea is to create a new license for use with works that are not free at all, to indicate that the licensor supports and agrees to what we would like to see with copyright, including a broad set of fair use / fair dealing guidelines and a commitment to place works in the public domain in a reasonable time frame. By this I mean not current national or international law, but rather the best practices for fair use / fair dealing that we would all like to see as a minimum. Suggestions as to what this would be would be most welcome – perhaps an advocacy group for fair copyright has guidelines that would suit?


Strengths of this approach include:

  • This would give consumers – from individuals to large organizations like school districts – an opportunity to apply market pressure towards more fair copyright practices. As a librarian involved in coordinating purchase of information resources, I can see this being high on the list of desirable (or even required) criteria for purchase.
  • This more inclusive approach would broaden the commons, and help to bridge what I see as an “us versus them” divide. My understanding is that the experiences with free / open source software and creative commons to date have shown that people tend to start with more restrictive licensing, then move to less restrictive licensing over time. It would be psychologically a smaller leap, as a reader, listener, etc., to move from cc-fair copyright to cc-sharealike than to move from outside to inside the commons.

Weakness: proponents of a strong commons may not like this idea.

Creative Commons – free to read / all rights reserved
This is very similar to CC-fair copyright, except that the work is free to read online. With robust fair use / fair dealing, of course such uses as downloading, format-shifting, etc., for personal research and that sort of thing would be included.
Rationale: The “all rights reserved” is meant to address one suggestion that has come up in the CC Version 4.0 discussion, of dividing noncommercial into a two licenses, one with stronger and one with weaker restrictions. This would be the strong version. Sharelike might be an option with this license.

Creative Commons Noncommercial – suggested wording change
The current wording under Section 4 b – restrictions reads:

You may not exercise any of the rights granted to You in Section 3 above in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation. The exchange of the Work for other copyrighted works by means of digital file-sharing or otherwise shall not be considered to be intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation, provided there is no payment of any monetary compensation in connection with the exchange of copyrighted works.

 Suggested change to:

You may not sell the content of the work for private gain. For the avoidance of doubt, educational use is not considered commercial for the purposes of this license, and is therefore permitted. Including the work in a package designed for sales to educational institutions for the purpose of private gain is commercial use and is prohibited. Providing services that facilitate uses of the work included in this license, such as copying services, are permitted provided that any fees charged are for the copying service alone and not for content provision. 

 Question about advertising: 

Would it make sense to include: use of the work or parts thereof in advertising products or services sold primarily for public gain is considered a commercial use, and hence prohibited. The reason for why question is, I wonder if advertising conducted in such a way as to imply that the creator endorsed a product is a violation of creators’ moral rights which should be reflected in all CC licenses (for those jurisdictions where this is not already covered by copyright law, and to educate those who use CC-licensed work).

Rationale: I think that this may be close to what most ordinary creators mean by noncommercial, that is, don’t sell my work or create a new version and sell that. It’s pretty close to why I use noncommercial. Clarifying that educational uses are allowed would be a huge benefit to everyone, everywhere. Knowledge benefits us all!

Creative Commons – public domain suggestion
Based on a recent commons on the cc-licenses list that public domain is problematic, I wonder if it makes sense to redefine public as CC-Sharealike? Ideally, this should be perpetual, or at least give the creator an opportunity to say that they think this license should be perpetual.

My four bits for today, for what they are worth! Many thanks to Creative Commons and all of the cc-licenses and cc-community participants who have helped to shape my thinking about these matters. Apologies for any conceptual errors, real or imagined. This post is part of the Articulating the Commons series

Videos from BiomedCentral: IainH and Gulliver Turtle (Panton #4 and #5) and thanks to Musopen

I have spent the last days on and off editing the material that Laura Newman (OKFN) and I collected from BiomedCentral – interviewing Iain Hrynaszkiewicz and also Gulliver Turtle. Iain has got the (slightly edited) video/audio and hoped to let me have comments shortly, when I can release a final edited version.

Before I talk about the details I want to say how much I appreciate what BiomedCentral has done for the processing of publishing science Openly. They have been going a bit over 10 years and when they started their business model was unproven. I have paid tribute to this in last year. I have also commended their initiatives in going beyond the mainstream. While most publisher “open access” (such as it is) has to be dragged year-by-year from apparently resistant publishers BMC has gone out in front and want to show what we should be doing. So there is a lot of this in Iain’s interview.

Editing videos is hard work and I would be grateful for advice from people who’ve done it. It depends critically on the material and Iain was a superb interviewee. He knew what the questions would be and had prepared thoroughly, so when we interviewed him the replies were fluent, without hesitation, deviation or repetition. There are about 20 questions and answers – here is a typical one –

and the whole interview lasts about 28 minutes. So I am planning to create:

  • A complete edited movie of 29 minutes
  • 20 snippets (Q + A), each in its own movie (1-2 mins each)

Each Q+A has the interviewer (mainly Laura) in the semi-background, but quite audible and then Iain’s response. The audio seems very clear – it was an empty room with a lapel mike for Iain and a camera mike for the interviewer.

Q: should I create 20 snippets or try to bundle them into larger themes?

Q: where should I post them (currently I will use VIMEO with a CC-BY licence)?

I also wish to get a transcript of the session (this is very important for indexing by search engines). Last time we asked for OKF volunteers and it took ages. I am considering Mechanical Turk which will costs about 1 USD/min of video, so ca 30 USD. There’s a good tutorial on this ( ) so it seems to be very cost-effective and I am expect of high quality (given the simplicity of the task and the clarity of the material).

Meanwhile I have also created the final version of Gulliver Turtle’s interview (

I wanted to add music to the slideshow so that it added to the atmosphere, and @davemurrayrust offered his CC-BY material ( However it was too good in that the reader/listener spent more attention on the music than the text. So I started looking for CC-BY or CC-PD music and was pointed to a wonderful site ( This has many hundred public domain recordings (sic, CC-PD) mainly from “the classics”. So it was question of selecting something that added to the video.

I couldn’t find Carnival of the Animals so first tried Schumann’s kinderszenen – but we all agreed it was too sentimental. So the animals now have Bach’s Anna Magdalena in the background (far better than I can play it!). It’s fairly easy to add music – you have to trim it to the right length. It’s repeated three times to fit and has a fade at the end. I’d value comments, but I am thinking of using it as the basic AnimalGarden background for any generally “happy” photocomic.

So then I resurrected the slideshow that I had given at the Serpentine Gallery and added music to it. This was harder, as the themes were Innocence, Greed and Treachery, and Hope. Still choosing from Musopen (and again many thanks) I chose Anna Magdalena, Winter (4 Seasons) and Brandenburg 6-1. Certianly I am really happy to have found a PD site that gives me so much choice.

(There will be no music for IainH’s interview)

Latest Article Alert from Environmental Health

The latest articles from Environmental Health, published between 14-Dec-2011 and 28-Dec-2011For articles which have only just been published, you will see a ‘provisional PDF’ corresponding to the accepted manuscript.A fully formatted PDF and full text (HTML) version will be made available soon.CommentaryData sharing: not as simple as it seemsPearce N, Smith AHEnvironmental Health 2011, 10:107 (21

Latest Article Alert from Breast Cancer Research

The latest articles from Breast Cancer Research, published between 14-Dec-2011 and 28-Dec-2011For research articles that have only just been published you will see a ‘provisional PDF’ corresponding to the accepted manuscript. Fully formatted PDF and full-text (HTML) versions will be made available soon.Research articleLong-term prognosis of breast cancer detected by mammography screening or other

Latest Article Alert from BMC Public Health

The latest articles from BMC Public Health, published between 21-Dec-2011 and 28-Dec-2011For articles which have only just been published, you will see a ‘provisional PDF’ corresponding to the accepted manuscript.A fully formatted PDF and full text (HTML) version will be made available soon.Study protocolStudy of Women, Infant Feeding, and Type 2 diabetes mellitus after GDM pregnancy (SWIFT), a

Open access to save costs for teaching and learning

Did you know that the cost to put an electronic copy of a single article on reserve for just two semesters can cost more than it would have cost to pay a professional publisher to make the article fully open access in the first place?

Over at the Copyright Clearance Center, I just looked up the cost for an article published in a Sage journal for reuse in a coursepack / library reserve for 300 students over 2 semesters as an institutional non-subscriber. The cost was $1,638 U.S. As the Copyright Clearance Center site points out, this is just re-use rights; this does not get me the actual article. Re-use for institutional subscribers apparently is free.

If my institution could not afford to subscribe to this journal, it would have been better to have paid for the article to be published as open access at PLoS ONE at $1,350 U.S. – even if the authors had nothing at all to do with the institution. Over 2 semesters, the  savings would have been $288. If we needed the article for a second year, with the current system we’d need to pay Sage yet again through the Copyright Clearance Centre – if we had paid for OA through PLoS ONE instead, our total savings would now start to accumulate at $1,638 for every year the article is needed.

The article in question:
Information Seeking Related to Clinical Trial Enrollment.  Z. Janet Yang, Katherine A. McComas, Geri Gay, John P. Leonard, Andrew J. Dannenberg, Hildy Dillon. Communication Research. December 2011.

Suggestion for a research project: look up authors of articles in this situation, and survey or interview them to find out whether they had any idea their work would be sold in this manner.