Montreal’s McCord Museum launches remarkable new open access online platform | Arts |

“To mark its 100th anniversary, the McCord Museum is launching a new open access platform with bilingual descriptions of over 140,000 objects, photographs, and archival documents from its collections. The site also features approximately 130,000 royalty-free images that may be downloaded in the highest resolution available, free of charge, with no restrictions on their use.

Created to provide unparalleled access to the Museum’s collections, the project is a first for the institution. The new platform, whose content will be constantly updated, was launched with the support of the Azrieli Foundation and Canadian Heritage….”

Panel discussion: Building geospatial data capacity at the municipal level Tickets, Wed, 18 May 2022 at 12:00 PM | Eventbrite

“Municipalities are the level of government closest to residents. Geospatial data is critical in planning the infrastructure and delivering the services that residents interact with daily. More broadly, sharing geospatial capacity can enable municipalities to collectively address challenges extending beyond any community’s borders.

Yet, the ability to fully leverage geospatial data varies significantly between communities. Collaboration – that is, sharing data assets, infrastructure, and knowledge – can help municipalities to gain capacity they would not otherwise be able to access in order to improve internal data practices; share collective intelligence and make mutual decisions on issues of regional importance; unlock geospatial information for community-based economic, social, and environmental initiatives, and; present a united ask for resources from higher levels of government.

Join Open North for a virtual panel discussion where we will address questions raised in our recent report such as:

What issues can most benefit from greater collaboration and sharing of geospatial resources between municipalities?
What are the barriers to forming and sustaining collaborations?
What can we learn from successful existing collaborations?
How can provincial governments, civil society, and the private sector better support collaborations? …”

Aligning the Research Library to Organizational Strategy – Ithaka S+R

“Open access has matured significantly in recent years. The UK and EU countries have committed largely to a “gold” version of open access, driven largely by transformative agreements with the major incumbent publishing houses.[14] The US policy environment has been far more mixed, with a great deal of “green” open access incentivized by major scientific funders, although some individual universities pursued transformative agreements. Both Canadian and US libraries have benefitted from the expansion of free and open access in strengthening their position at the negotiating table with major publishers.[15]

Progress on open access has radically expanded public access to the research literature. It has also brought with it a number of second-order effects. Some of them are connected to the serious problems in research integrity and the growing crisis of trust in science.[16] Others can be seen in the impacts on the scholarly publishing marketplace and the platforms that support discovery and access.[17]

While open access has made scientific materials more widely available, it has not directly addressed the challenges in translating scholarship for public consumption. Looking ahead, it is likely that scholarly communication will experience further changes as a result of computers increasingly supplanting human readership. The form of the scientific output may decreasingly look like the traditional journal article as over time standardized data, methods, protocols, and other scientific artifacts become vital for computational consumption….”

Share an Adoption – eCampusOntario Open Library Portal

“Please fill out the following form if you have adopted an OER (open educational resource) from either eCampusOntario’s Open Library or another collection. You have the opportunity to share as much or as little information as you wish. While eCampusOntario is keen to report students’ savings, we are also looking to connect successful OER adopters with educators considering the option….”

Is Canada ready for open access? — University Affairs

“Canadian science could benefit enormously if all research articles in the country were made freely available to anyone immediately upon publication. But there are significant barriers that need to be overcome to achieve this.

Last year, 30 per cent of Canadian research was published as paid open access (OA). That’s slightly below the global average of 34 per cent but trailing many other high research output countries such as Sweden (54 per cent), Netherlands (50 per cent) and the United Kingdom (48 per cent), according to the database. As one of the top-quality research output countries in the world, according to Nature Index, Canada should be doing better. In our opinion, the fundamental reasons for the slow uptake of open access in Canada are (1) the lack of coordinated funding to support OA publishing, and (2) barriers that researchers face to publish in OA.

The Tri-Councils’ OA policy stipulates that any publications coming from research should be freely accessible within 12 months of publication. However, there is low compliance with this request. Researchers are expected to pay for open access via article publishing charges (APCs). As noted in the “Open Science Dialogues,” organized by the Office of the Chief Science Advisor (OCSA) to gain feedback on their Roadmap for Open Science, researchers are expected to pay these APCs from their research grants. Unfortunately, the APCs commanded by the high impact factor journals can represent an unfeasibly large percentage of the researchers’ total grant. APCs of US$5,000 to $10,000 are not uncommon for the prestige journals published by the large commercial publishers. But even the more moderate APCs of US$1,000 to $3,000 of lesser journals and those of not-for-profit publishers can also quickly deplete smaller research grants. For example, average NSERC grants in 2020 ranged from C$26,000 to $53,000, which leaves little room, if any, for the added expense of APCs….

The slow adoption of OA in Canada is probably not due to a lack of money per se. A back-of-the-envelope calculation of the number of Canadian articles being published as OA multiplied by the average APCs (from publisher websites), suggests that C$30-40 million was spent on OA publishing last year, 80 per cent of which was spent with the large commercial publishers….

So can Canada achieve a national OA strategy? We believe so, but to overcome the barriers we need an approach that captures the following principles:

Unity: bring together all stakeholders in the scientific research enterprise to establish a unified front and determine priorities, requirements and challenges.
Coordination: to move beyond consultation, there is a need for a coordinating body to establish a path forward, timelines, funding needs and to organize this collaborative action.
Evidence: There is an immediate need to assess data on costs, sources of funds being allocated to subscriptions and APCs, trends in OA publishing outputs, and to determine if there is sufficient existing funding to support a full switch to OA….”

McMaster professor adapting open biology textbook to include Canadian content | McMaster University Library

“Since the start of his teaching career at McMaster University 13 years ago, Chad Harvey has been unable to find the perfect textbook for his students.

Harvey, associate professor of the School of Interdisciplinary Science at McMaster University, saw the Open Educational Resources Grant program as an opportunity to solve this problem.

“I’ve been struggling for years with not having a textbook that aligns with how and what I’m teaching,” said Harvey. “The Open Educational Resources Grant gave me an opportunity to adapt an existing open textbook to seamlessly integrate into the course curriculum.”

Harvey’s version of Biology 2e, ‘Biology 2e: Canadian Edition’ will present first-year biology content in a Canadian context.

Each chapter of the textbook, geared toward introductory level biology courses, will include a profile of a Canadian researcher who uses the concepts presented in that chapter as a foundation for their research….”

Full article: The Buyback Dilemma: How We Developed a Principle-Based, Data-Driven Approach to Unbundling Big Deals

Abstract:  [University of Saskatchewan] is a publicly funded, medium-sized research intensive medical doctoral university in Canada. Like other academic libraries, we have been coping with the rising costs of Big Deal journal packages in the context of shrinking budgets and variable currency fluctuation between the Canadian and American Dollar. When faced with a need to cancel two Big Deal packages in order to balance our budget, we undertook a data-driven, principles-based approach. We discuss the context at [University of Saskatchewan], and the principles and steps we used to successfully determine which packages to cancel, and how to determine titles for re-subscription within a limited budget. We discuss how we compiled and used data that addresses scholarly (citation), pedagogical (downloads), and reputational (survey responses) concerns, and share the formula we developed. We also share some lessons learned and recommendations and ideas for future Big Deal assessment.


Professional Program in Open Education | – Kwantlen Polytechnic University

This comprehensive and flexible online program is designed to develop expertise and capacity across a broad spectrum of open educational practices, including open educational resources and pedagogies, educational technologies, policy, advocacy, and scholarship. The program balances both theoretical and practical elements, always ensuring that critical perspectives and issues are foregrounded.

Note that the program will be offered from Fall, 2022.  Check back often as additional program information will continue to be added.

Opinion: Open science, not for-profit discovery, is Canada’s best path to pandemic prevention – The Globe and Mail

“But Dr. Brunham had a plan. He had long been a proponent of a model of scientific discovery called “open science,” which eschewed patents – and profits – and sought to develop cures that could help the most people possible, rather than only those who could pay for them. The SARS Accelerated Vaccine Initiative, a network of publicly funded Canadian laboratories dedicated to testing SARS vaccine candidates, was his moonshot. Not only would it buck the for-profit system by making all of its findings completely open to all, but he was convinced this decentralized approach could bring a SARS vaccine to market in less than two years….”

IOP Publishing Strikes a Transformative Deal with CRKN: Some Questions for Julian Wilson – The Scholarly Kitchen

“This week it was announced that IOP Publishing (IOPP) had signed a three-year “read and publish” transformative agreement with the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) – the first such agreement for IOPP in North America. I posed a few questions about the agreement to Julian Wilson, IOPP’s sales and marketing director.”

Controlled Digital Lending of Library Books in Canada by Christina de Castell, Joshua Dickison, Trish Mau, Mark Swartz, Robert Tiessen, Amanda Wakaruk :: SSRN

Abstract:  This paper explores legal considerations for how libraries in Canada can lend digital copies of books. It is an adaptation of A Whitepaper on Controlled Digital Lending of Library Books by David Hansen and Kyle K. Courtney, and draws heavily on this source in its content, with the permission of the authors. Our paper considers the legal and policy rationales for the process — “controlled digital lending” — in Canada, as well as a variety of risk factors and practical considerations that can guide libraries seeking to implement such lending, with the intention of helping Canadian libraries to explore controlled digital lending in our own Canadian legal and policy context. Our goal is to help libraries and their lawyers become better informed about the concept by fully explaining the legal rationale for controlled digital lending in Canada, as well as situations in which this rationale is the strongest.


VOICES postdoctoral fellowship: Examining Inclusion and engagement in open science | ScholCommLab

We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow to join our interdisciplinary team of researchers at the Scholarly Communications Lab (ScholCommLab), Vancouver, BC, Canada. This is a one year position, with a possibility of renewal for a second year (in-person preferred, with remote work options available for the right candidate). The VOICES fellowship is part of a 2.5-year project funded by the The Trans-Atlantic Platform for Social Sciences and Humanities (T-AP) examining the Value of Openness, Inclusion, Communication, and Engagement for Science in a Post-Pandemic World (VOICES). While this position may be particularly relevant to scholars with a background in open science, scholarly communication, information science, research impact, metascience, or science communication, we welcome applicants from any field with an interest in this research topic.

Springer Nature: Open Access Transformative Agreements in the Americas

“This morning (February 8), Springer Nature is making another announcement about transformative agreements, this time featuring one in Canada and one in Latin America.

Each represents a national first for Springer, the Latin American deal being based in Colombia….

As of our last transformative-agreement announcement from Springer on January 28—that was the deal struck with Egypt’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Funding Authority and the Egyptian Knowledge Bank—Springer Nature had arranged 14 such deals. Today’s announcement indicates that the company now has 17 national agreements in place, having inked its first such accord in 2014 with a transformative agreement in the Netherlands.


The North American transformative agreement in Canada is for members of the Federal Science Libraries Network (FSLN), intended to support Canada’s “Roadmap for Open Science” to make federal scientific publications openly accessible by providing members with the ability to publish open access; this agreement became active last month.
The Latin American transformative agreement is with Consorcio Colombia and is being announced by Springer Nature as “marking a step in favor of global academic communication and the recognition of Colombian scientific capabilities in all areas of knowledge”; it becomes active in July….”