Contemporary Publishing Fellow

“The 21st-Century Publishing Fellow is a member of the Library’s Research Data and Digital Scholarship unit, reporting to the Assistant University Librarian, Research Data and Digital Scholarship. The incumbent contributes to the team’s efforts to transform the digital publishing landscape by piloting a publication program focusing on high-quality, media-rich, networked, and interactive public scholarship, often produced under the aegis of a new collaboration with Penn Press.

The incumbent proactively explores emerging publishing technologies, platforms, and practices, and provides leadership in recommending, planning, and implementing pilot digital publishing services that will provide the campus community with the tools, resources, and infrastructure for publishing multimodal projects and experimental digital scholarship….


Lead the development, management, and assessment of a pilot of sustainable, innovative open publishing services for publications that may include e.g., archival materials, time-based media, data, and other digital media…. ”

ESG data is a public good. Let’s open it up. – ImpactAlpha

“There is a lot of confusion about how to implement climate as well as environmental, social and governance, or ESG, analysis in finance. Today, ratings agencies, researchers and fund managers use different, often proprietary models to assess companies’ ESG performance. That makes it difficult to compare one company to another, and leaves room for greenwashing. 

It also holds back a full throttled re-pricing of social and environmental-related risks and opportunities. 

Climate risk analysis should not be an “investment edge,” but a “public good.” Global warming is already causing more frequent extreme weather events, and scientists warn that we are headed for far worse without a dramatic course correction. 

So here’s an idea: let’s make climate and ESG data open to everyone. …”

SPARC Statement on UNESCO Ratification of Open Science Recommendation

“SPARC welcomes the unanimous ratification of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science during its 41st General Conference.  This action represents an enormous step forward towards creating a global knowledge sharing ecosystem that is both open and equitable by design.

As the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis have underscored, there is an urgent need to accelerate scientific progress and to reimagine how we produce, share, and communicate scientific information. The UNESCO Open Science Recommendation provides a critical tool to catalyze change towards this on a global scale. 

Developed through an inclusive, transparent, and multi-stakeholder consultation process, the Recommendation is the first global standard-setting framework for international open science policies and practices.  It provides a common definition of open science that covers all scientific disciplines and scholarly practices while also encompassing the broad range of movements working to make scientific knowledge openly accessible and reusable for those within and outside the traditional scientific community….”

Application of tools to support Linked Open Data | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

These projects aim to improve library services for users in the future by combining Link Open Data (LOD) technology with data visualization. It displays and analyses search results in an intuitive manner. These services are enhanced by integrating various LOD technologies into the authority control system.


The technology known as LOD is used to access, recycle, share, exchange and disseminate information, among other things. The applicability of Linked Data technologies for the development of library information services is evaluated in this study.


Apache Hadoop is used for rapidly storing and processing massive Linked Data data sets. Apache Spark is a free and open-source data processing tool. Hive is a SQL-based data warehouse that enables data scientists to write, read and manage petabytes of data.


The distributed large data storage system Apache HBase does not use SQL. This study’s goal is to search the geographic, authority and bibliographic databases for relevant links found on various websites. When data items are linked together, all of the data bits are linked together as well. The study observed and evaluated the tools and processes and recorded each data item’s URL. As a result, data can be combined across silos, enhanced by third-party data sources and contextualized.

Developing a sustainable cultural heritage information system | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the need for developing an Indian cultural heritage information system (CHIS) where the cultural heritages can efficiently document, manage and preserve and integrate with a searchable user interface mechanism. Further, the study scopes out the feasibility of developing single-window comprehensive national CHIS for all the cultural heritage properties of India enlisted in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO’s) World Heritage list.


Conservation efforts and their sustenance require the support of a knowledge base cum digital archiving and information retrieval tool. The present study identifies the basic requirements, strategies and the execution of designing a reliable information system for cultural heritage inheritances to safeguard them to facilitate access to the current and future resilient communities. Approach on issues and challenges associated while developing such an information system has also been addressed with possible recommendations.


In India, even though regional level conservation efforts are occurring, no comprehensive information system, which gives the whole perspective of the item or environment of heritage site, has been developed for the heritage sites recognized by UNESCO in its World Heritage list from India. Developing such a comprehensive digital archive for cultural heritage helps to showcase its assets and ensures its visibility globally without hampering the physical form. Application Information and Communication Technology and digital technologies can extensively be used coupled with mechanisms such as mobile devices, digital systems and content visualization techniques to support the efficient and effective management in a systemized way.

Research limitations/implications

As a pilot study, this paper examined the cultural heritage properties incorporated in the UNESCO World list. There are many lesser-known and unprotected cultural heritages in different parts of the country having artistic value and the unique characteristics, and the possibility of building the similar kind of information system for them with innovative technological solutions are not covered under this study.

Practical implications

Access to such an exclusive digital archive in a single-window platform would greatly support administrators, tourist departments, culture departments, development administration and conservation activists. The digital version of cultural inheritances created under the cultural heritage of India must have relevance to different subject fields such as history, archeology, manuscript logy, art, administration, knowledge management, computer science and library science. Also, it ensures that the resources remain accessible to the public without any restrictions provided with a comprehensive recapitulation.


To the authors’ best knowledge, no such comprehensive system envisages or is practiced in the country. Developing such a system with technological and data infrastructure also helps to understand the value, support the activities related to cultural heritage and bring the local community to support and initiate such heritage conservation activities.

Will preprint servers disrupt scientific publishing, reference work and information science? | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  The purpose of this paper is to discuss whether preprint servers are a disruptive technology for science, librarians or information seeking among the general population.


This column explores what preprint servers are, how they are used in the world of science, how their usage changed in response to the deluge of COVID-19 related research papers and how they might impact the work of librarians and society in general.


Preprint servers are not a highly disruptive technology, but they do challenge both scientists and librarians to understand them better, use the information they find on them with care and educate society in general on topics such as peer review and the importance of using well-vetted, good quality science in making important decisions.


Up until the past year and a half, only a small segment of the librarian profession needed to be concerned with preprint servers. With the increasing presence of references to non-peer-reviewed articles from preprint servers in popular media reports, most librarians now need to know something about this technology. It is also useful to consider how the technology might benefit and create challenges for their work.

Unveiling the veiled: Wikipedia collaborating with academic libraries in Africa in creating visibility for African women through Art+Feminism Wikipedia edit-a-thon | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

This study aims to show that digital literacy can serve as a tool for effecting social change and highlights the achievements of an academic library in digital content creation using the Wikipedia platform.


The study adopted qualitative research method, Interview and document analysis were used for data gathering. Data gathered were analysed using content (conceptual) analysis.


Findings showed that the library has created or edited digital content for various categories of women, such as women in academia, industry and politics. These entries have received more than eight million views over a period of two years, which shows that the entries are being utilised. However, the editing exercise had been confronted with challenges such as accessing reliable citations in terms of the notability and verifiability policy of Wikipedia amongst others.

Practical implications

Currently, people rely more on online resources for their research, leaving physical library resources unused. Even, more students start their research online using Wikipedia. Thus, libraries could create visibility for their physical material using regularly visited sites like Wikipedia and its sister projects such as Wikidata; otherwise, these physical materials will remain invisible to the people that needed them.


Contributing to Wikipedia by creating a new entry or editing an existing one can help students to deepen their knowledge about a subject; Wikipedia editing may serve as an avenue for improving information literacy skills. Drawing from the theory of cyberfeminism as used in the study, information and communications technology has the potential to empower women and transform gender relations.

Can I use this publicly available dataset to build commercial AI software? Most likely not

Abstract:  Publicly available datasets are one of the key drivers for commercial AI software. The use of publicly available datasets (particularly for commercial purposes) is governed by dataset licenses. These dataset licenses outline the rights one is entitled to on a given dataset and the obligations that one must fulfil to enjoy such rights without any license compliance violations. However, unlike standardized Open Source Software (OSS) licenses, existing dataset licenses are defined in an ad-hoc manner and do not clearly outline the rights and obligations associated with their usage. This makes checking for potential license compliance violations difficult. Further, a public dataset may be hosted in multiple locations and created from multiple data sources each of which may have different licenses. Hence, existing approaches on checking OSS license compliance cannot be used. In this paper, we propose a new approach to assess the potential license compliance violations if a given publicly available dataset were to be used for building commercial AI software. We conduct trials of our approach on two product groups within Huawei on 6 commonly used publicly available datasets. Our results show that there are risks of license violations on 5 of these 6 studied datasets if they were used for commercial purposes. Consequently, we provide recommendations for AI engineers on how to better assess publicly available datasets for license compliance violations.


Scientists sharing Omicron data were heroic. Let’s ensure they don’t regret it | Jeffrey Barrett | The Guardian

“The global scientific community has also carried out “genomic surveillance” – sequencing the genome of the virus to track how it evolves and spreads at an unprecedented level: the public genome database has more than 5.5m genomes. The great value of that genomic surveillance, underpinned by a commitment to rapid and open sharing of the data by all countries in near-real time, has been seen in the last few days as we’ve learned of the Covid variant called Omicron. 

The surveillance requires a remarkable amount of cooperation between scientists to build compatible laboratory protocols, software systems and databases. Many of these scientists are not directly paid for this work and do it in addition to their existing jobs. They are motivated by a belief that sharing data relevant to public health, especially in a pandemic, can help speed up scientific understanding, aid in decision-making and contribute to the next generation of medicines.

This commitment to rapid data sharing has deep roots in genomics. At a 1996 summit in Bermuda, the leaders of the Human Genome Project established a set of principles to release a new DNA sequence to public databases within 24 hours. This approach departed from the established convention that experimental data only needed to be released when a study was published, months or years later. Sir John Sulston, founding director of the Wellcome Sanger Institute, said: “All of this [genome data] should be in the public domain… I think we need a public social welfare attitude to the use of this information.”


That attitude now prevails around the world, as evidenced by the rapid sharing of more than 1m Sars-CoV-2 sequences by the Sanger Institute since March 2020….”

Will there be any transformation or are we stuck with the transformative agreements? | UKSG

“In Sweden there is a government directive to reach 100% immediate Open Access during 2021. We won´t reach it this year – but we have come far as we today can count approximately 75% immediate Open Access among corresponding authors affiliated to a Swedish university. As early adoptors of transformative agreements we are quite experienced having negotiated them for roughly five years. This has been a bumpy road along which we have cancelled agreements, made mistakes, gained knowledge and also have had some success in our negotiations. Today, through the Bibsam consortia, there are 21 transformative agreements and a handful of agreements with pure Open Access publishers in place. Many Swedish universities also have local agreements with smaller publishers and societies. During these years we have seen a cultural shift from the authors – some were initially somewhat skeptical to Open Access but are now able to embrace that their research results should be openly published. Through our different agreements we are near the goal of 100% immediate Open Access – but to reach this far has led to a high increase of costs. Another subject of discussion is how we divide the costs within the consortia when we move from paying for reading to paying for publishing – and as we calculate the cost based on publishing the research-intensive institutions have seen a substantial rise.

The Swedish universities are committed to reach the goal but we don´t find the transformative agreements sustainable for the future. When Plan S came up it stated that they should be temporary, and the recommendations were for a short transitional period in order for the publishers to find new ways and models to provide Open Access. According to the funders that have signed Plan S they will cease funding publishing within such agreements on the 31st of December 2024. As an early adoptor we also believe that the transition period should be over at the end of 2024. …”

How (not) to incentivise open research | The Bibliomagician

“Lizzie Gadd makes the case for open research being required not rewarded.

There’s no glory associated with running due diligence on your research partners and following GDPR legislation won’t give you an advantage in a promotion case. These are basic professional expectations placed on every self-respecting researcher. And whilst there are no prizes for those who adhere to them, there are serious consequences for those that don’t.  Surely this is what we want for open research? Not that it should be treated as an above-and-beyond option for the savvy few, but that it should be a bread-and-butter expectation on everyone.

Now I appreciate there is probably an interim period where institutions want to raise awareness of open research practices (as I said before, they need to be enabled before they can be incentivised).  And during this period, running some ‘Open Research Culture Awards’ or offering ‘Open research hero badges’ to web pages might have their place. But we can’t dwell here for long.  We need to move quite rapidly to this being a basic expectation on researchers. We have to define what open research expectations are relevant to each discipline. Add these expectations to our Codes of Good Research Practice. Train researchers in their obligations. Monitor (at discipline/HEI level) engagement with these expectations. And hold research leads accountable for the practices of their research groups.”

Towards a reform of the research assessment system: Scoping report | Publications Office of the EU

Reforming research assessment is increasingly considered a priority to ensure the quality, performance and impact of research. Reform, however, requires cultural and systemic changes which are proving to be very complex and slow to implement. During the period March-November 2021, the European Commission consulted European stakeholders on how to facilitate and speed up changes. This scoping report presents the findings from the consultation, identifies the goals that should be pursued with a reform of research assessment, and proposes a coordinated approach based on principles and actions that could be agreed upon by a coalition of research funding and research performing organisations committed to implement changes.

UKRN position on academic publishing | UK Reproducibility Network

The UK higher education sector has invested approximately £1bn in academic publishing over the last decade (i). In our view, the principles guiding interactions between UK institutions and academic publishers should be:

Value for money.
Availability of output to all readers without subscription (e.g., open licensing).
Transparency in agreements (e.g., making costs openly available).
Support for and implementation of initiatives such as DORA.
Support for transparent research practices (e.g., around data and code).
Support for text and data mining (at no extra cost).
Active and transparent engagement with expressions of concern.

The UK higher education sector should take these factors into account in discussions with academic publishers, on the understanding that our continuing support of those who do not meet an acceptable standard is not in the long-term interests of the sector.

Opening up Education: What can Libraries do? Tue 30 Nov 2021 at 11:00 am GMT | Eventbrite

The LAI’s Open Scholarship Group is delighted to announce a one-hour webinar on the role of libraries in supporting Open Education

About this event

Open Educational Resources (OER) are defined by UNESCO as teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.

Attendees will hear from a variety of speakers who will discuss international initiatives such as the Open Education Learning Path for Librarians, as well as showcasing examples of local projects and practical actions in this area. This will be followed by time for Q&A.

This event is open to anyone with an interest in increasing access to educational resources and/or opening up teaching and learning practices.

In response to NFT debate

On Wednesday, November 24, Creative Commons (CC) shared an article on our social media channels from Cuseum titled How 21 Museums & Cultural Organization Engaged with NFTS in 2021.

At CC, we pride ourselves on raising issues thoughtfully and often share articles on our platforms about the digital space where we work. Many times CC staff will expand on these topics through our blog, to provide a perspective that reflects CC’s experiences around our work to support, steward and provide legal and technical assistance for the maximization of digital creativity, innovation and sharing. It is our hope that this open space of conversation will generate different viewpoints and promote civil debate. 

So it came as a surprise that yesterday a blog post shared about our nascent thoughts on NFTs dating back to May 2021 could lead to such a personal attack on myself, our Board and the CC team. We encourage healthy debate and welcome feedback but will not tolerate unfair and inaccurate attacks.  

CC has been researching and having conversations with others about NFTs, as referenced in the blog post from May 2021. We continued the dialogue during the CC Global Summit in September 2021 including sessions from stakeholders with different perspectives about NFTs.

For the record I hold no crypto currency or own any NFTs – my interest is looking into how NFTs relate to our licenses and our mission. From discussions so far, many artists and creators are benefiting from being fairly and justly compensated, whilst others have broader concerns about NFTs, which is why there should be a debate. In such a nascent space and as with any new technology, there are differing views and it is important that debate and discussion can be conducted respectfully. Sadly this was not always the case during the recent exchange online.

CC will continue to thoughtfully explore emerging and controversial issues affecting our licenses, our community and our belief in the value of open sharing. We will continue to share our views and ideas in this space and encourage civil debate both online and offline. Guided by our value of informed intention as stated in our strategy, we will continue to “take care with the work that we do, and … act with integrity, accountability, insight and humility.”

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