The comprehensive works of influential Urdu writer, social critic and political activist Sajjad Zaheer are now broadly accessible for scholarship and study thanks to a partnership between The University of Texas at Austin and Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD), with endorsement from the Indian writer’s estate.
“But now the survival of archives as we know them is uncertain. Whether we know it or not, we all rely on a patchwork of chronically underfunded public and private institutions that hold the world’s histories and cultural heritages in trust for all of us and make them accessible….
It was only a matter of time before the market figured out a way to manufacture and sell digital scarcity, and the marketplace for cultural objects has moved well past the archival ecosystem. Artists, gamers, entertainers, athletes, and executives now sell NFTs, tokenized digital objects whose authenticity is said to be assured by the reverse traceability of blockchain transactions. The combination of Covid-19 isolation and cryptocurrency profits created a powerful incentive for digital-positive collectors to compete for these NFTs, and some creators are raking in Ethereum….
Nothing could be a greater cultural and ethical shock to archives than NFTs. Prevailing archival ethics generally dictate that all users are treated equally, and that archival materials aren’t exposed or sold only to high bidders. And once archives select materials for retention, they consider themselves in most cases ethically bound to do so permanently….
As poor a fit with archival DNA as tokenizing archive collections as NFTs may be, the possibility of leveraging digital scarcity by selling NFTs while retaining physical materials is a hefty temptation. The archival world is a world of inadequate budgets and financial constraint, filled with underpaid workers and massive, poorly resourced projects like digital preservation, and the challenging task of digitizing analog materials. Will archives be tempted by the potential upside of NFTs and tokenize digital representations of their crown jewels (or the rights to these assets)? This would worsen an already bad situation…
One working solution is for cultural and historical institutions like archives to run their own trusted registries of digital objects. But this is expensive, and it creates further incentives for archives to monetize their holdings and become less accessible to noncommercial users, like genealogists, the group that uses archives more than anyone else. …”
To make all content across the Science family of journals more integrated, discoverable, and visually compelling for the reader, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals, will move its full suite of online content to Atypon’s online publishing platform, Literatum, in the summer of 2021.
“Recognizing We Here’s contribution to the library and archives community through the centering of Black and Indigenous folks and People of Color (BIPOC), SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) has provided a $20,000 grant toward their publication up//root.
up//root: a we here publication, launched in 2020, is a publishing collective that exists to center the works, knowledge, and experiences of BIPOC within the context of the library and archives community. up//root is currently online and open access with goals of publishing in print in the future. …”
“On June 19, the reading rooms of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ARAN) reopened after months of inactivity. The archive’s director, Alexander Rabotkevich, told Meduza about the reopening.
“I am pleased to inform you that, beginning today, the reading rooms of the RAN archives in Moscow and St. Petersburg are open once again,” he said. “Our employees’ salaries have been paid in full, and all debts […] whose payment was necessary for the organization’s accounts to operate have been paid.” According to Rabotkevich, the debts that brought the archive’s operations to a stop amounted to 4.3 million rubles ($68,000). A subsidy from Russia’s Education Ministry helped the archive pay up….”
“A few years ago, SAA’s Publications Board started creating samplers. These are introductions to topics and SAA publications, whether to read on your own or used in a classroom. Two recent announcements about these samplers: they are now all open access and there’s a new one on social justice.
Archival Advocacy: Archivists must continually explain who they are, what they do, and why archives are important to society. The selected chapters in this sampler offer different approaches and techniques from three books which align with the core goal of advocating for archives.
Law and Ethics: All archivists will face legal or ethical concerns throughout their careers. In many cases, we are caught unaware, and pressure is escalated by time crunches or demanding patrons. The chapter from the three books represented here aim to equip archivists to handle these sorts of dilemmas as they arise, by presenting practical information drawn from real-life experiences of archivists.
Social Justice: As repositories of the objects that make up the historical record, archives have the potential to shape and define our collective understanding of the past. The selected chapters in this sampler consider personal and collective memory as well as examples of political influence over the historical record.”
“The British Museum was founded in 1753 by an act of Parliament and is the embodiment of Enlightenment idealism. In a revolutionary move, it was from its inception designed to be the collection of every citizen of the world, not a royal possession and not controlled by the state. Over the succeeding 260 plus years it has gathered and exhibited things from all over the globe – antiquities, coins, sculptures, drawings – and made them freely available to anyone who was able to come and see them. Millions have visited and learned, and have been inspired by what they saw. Today the Museum is probably the most comprehensive survey of the material culture of humanity in existence. The world today has changed; the way we access information has been revolutionised by digital technology. We live in a world where sharing knowledge has become easier, we can do extraordinary things with technology which enables us to give the Enlightenment ideal on which the Museum was founded a new reality. It is now possible to make our collection accessible, explorable and enjoyable not just for those who physically visit, but to everybody with a computer or a mobile device. Our partnership with Google allows us to further our own – extraordinary – mission: to be a Museum of and for the World, making the knowledge and culture of the whole of humanity open and available to all. But this isn’t just about putting the collection ‘online’. Through our partnership with Google, we hope to give people new ways to experience and enjoy the Museum, new ways to learn, new ways to share and new ways to teach. Thousands of objects from the Museum’s collection will be available to view through the Google Cultural Institute site and through a special microsite ‘The Museum of the World’ which will allow users to explore and make connections between the world’s cultures. One of the Museum’s most important Chinese scrolls, the 6th-century Admonitions Scroll has been captured in super high-resolution to give you a closer and more intimate view than could be achieved with the naked eye. We’ve captured the whole Museum via Street View, meaning that if you can’t get to the Museum in person, you can do a virtual walking tour of every permanent gallery, and all its outdoor buildings. And virtual exhibits allow you to see Celtic objects from across UK museums brought together in a unique tour, or a thematic exhibition detailing Egypt’s history after the pharaohs. None of this is to deny the power of seeing an object in the flesh in a gallery, nothing will replace that experience, but it does allow a far greater public access to the Museum and its unparalleled collection …”
“After a month of intense conversations and negotiations, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) will bring the ‘Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act’ up for mark-up on Wednesday, July 29th. The language that will be considered is an amended version of FASTR, officially known as the ‘Johnson-Carper Substitute Amendment,’ which was officially filed by the HSGAC leadership late on Friday afternoon, per committee rules. There are two major changes from the original bill language to be particularly aware of. Specifically, the amendment Replaces the six month embargo period with ‘no later than 12 months, but preferably sooner’ as anticipated; and Provides a mechanism for stakeholders to petition federal agencies to ‘adjust’ the embargo period if the12 months does not serve ‘the public, industries, and the scientific community.’ We understand that these modifications were made in order accomplish a number of things: Satisfy the requirement of a number of Members of HSGAC that the language more closely track that of the OSTP Directive; Meet the preference of the major U.S. higher education associations for a maximum 12 month embargo; Ensure that, for the first time, a number of scientific societies will drop their opposition for the bill; and Ensure that any petition process an agency may enable is focused on serving the interests of the public and the scientific community …”
“Impact is multi-dimensional, the routes by which impact occur are different across disciplines and sectors, and impact changes over time. Jane Tinkler argues that if institutions like HEFCE specify a narrow set of impact metrics, more harm than good would come to universities forced to limit their understanding of how research is making a difference. But qualitative and quantitative indicators continue to be an incredible source of learning for how impact works in each of our disciplines, locations or sectors.”
“Open access for monographs and book chapters is a relatively new area of publishing, and there are many ways of approaching it. With this in mind, a recent publication from the Wellcome Trust aims to provide some guidance for publishers to consider when developing policies and processes for open access books. The Wellcome Trust recognises that implementation around publishing monographs and book chapters open access is in flux, and invites publishers to email Cecy Marden at email@example.com with any suggestions for further guidance that would be useful to include in this document. ‘Open Access Monographs and Book Chapters: A practical guide for publishers’ is available to download as a pdf from the Wellcome Trust website.”
“The purpose of this post is to shed some light on a specific issue in the transition to open access that particularly affects small and low-cost publishers and to suggest one strategy to address this issue. In the words of one Resource Requirements interviewee: ‘So the other set of members that we used to have about forty library members , but when we went to open access online, we lost the whole bunch of libraries. Yeah, so basically we sent everybody ,you know, a letter saying we are going to open access online, the annual membership is only $30, we hope you will continue to support us even though there are no longer print journals, and then a whole flu of cancellations came in from a whole bunch of libraries, which we had kind of thought might happen but given how cheap we are, I have to say I was really disappointed when it indeed did happen especially from whole bunch of [deleted] libraries [for which our journal is extremely relevant]. I was going, seriously $30?’ Comments: for a university library, a society membership fee, when not required for journal subscriptions, may be difficult to justify from an accounting perspective. $30 is a small cost; however, for a university the administrative work of tracking such memberships and cutting a check every year likely exceeds the $30 cost. With 40 library members at a cost of $30, the total revenue for this journal from this source was $1,200. A university or university library could sponsor this amount at less than the cost of many an article processing charge. The university and library where the faculty member is located have a support program for open access journals; clearly the will, and some funding, is there. One of the challenges is transitioning subscription dollars to support for open access, as I address in my 2013 First Monday article. Following is one suggestion for libraries, or for faculty to suggest to their libraries: why not engage your faculty who are independent or society publishers to gain support for cancellations or tough negotiations and lower prices for the big deals of large, highly profitable commercial publishers that I argue are critical to redirect funding to our own publishing activities? Here is one scenario that may help to explain the potential …”
[From Google’s English] “UKB , the consortium of thirteen university libraries and the National Library, the objectives of The Hague Declaration endorsed by signing the joint declaration. All signatories state that there are no copyright restrictions are scientific results and research data. Everyone should be able to freely analyze facts and data.Licensing and copyright rules may not raise barriers before. The knowledge economy has an interest in global open access or open science. According to the statement must be contained in the European copyright rules that authors the right to (re) use of data and texts not lose by signing a contract with a publisher …”
” Demand for a service to help institutions capture their research outputs remains unabated, and any drive to help automate it will need to break challenging new ground. Jisc Publications Router is now set for a new phase of development as it seeks to do just that. It aims to become a permanent service in 2016, expanding at an accelerated pace the range of content it can deliver … It’s difficult for institutions to identify accepted research articles by their academics, according to a recent report to Jisc, as they seek to make progress in implementing the open access policy for the next REF. Jisc Publications Router is a system that gathers information about journal articles from content providers such as publishers. By looking at the affiliations of the co-authors, it then sends a notification to the relevant institution(s). This could be at or near the point of acceptance, for example, or final publication. It could consist of metadata only, or it could include full-text files as well, depending on what the content provider can send. The institutions can then capture this information onto their systems, including their open repositories. In some cases, the metadata will include details of an embargo period the repository should respect before it makes the full text freely available. The initial Router project, funded by Jisc and operated by EDINA (University of Edinburgh) aimed to demonstrate a prototype system. That has been a success: the system has delivered real articles to real institutions in ways that they have used and found helpful, saving them time and effort …”
“To advance the University of Iowa’s longstanding commitments to open inquiry, the free exchange of ideas, and public access to scholarly works, the staff of the University of Iowa Libraries have adopted an open access policy that will make their publications freely available and ensure their long-term preservation and findability. This policy complements the Libraries’ support of open access to freely accessible scholarship, advances the diverse roles staff play as producers and preservers of scholarly and professional literature, and reflects the values of the University of Iowa Libraries’ mission statement. All University of Iowa Libraries staff members grant the University of Iowa the right to archive and make publicly accessible the full texts of their professional publications. These include traditional productions such as journal articles and book chapters and extends to documents in other formats, such as conference presentation slides and audio and video recordings of public talks. This agreement provides the University of Iowa the non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable, royalty-free license to preserve and redistribute the work. Staff members will submit electronic versions of their works to the University of Iowa’s institutional repository, Iowa Research Online (IRO), within thirty days of each work’s publication, presentation, or transmission, respecting publishers’ requests for embargoes. Ideally the submitted version will be the publisher’s final version or the author’s final accepted manuscript. On a case-by-case basis, including cases in which a publisher refuses to accommodate the terms of this policy, staff members may opt-out of this agreement by sending a message to the Chair of the Scholarly Publishing Team (see membership at https://sharepoint.uiowa.edu/sites/libraries/sc/scc/default.aspx). The Scholarly Publishing Team will be responsible for interpreting the policy, resolving related problems, and revising it as necessary. The Scholarly Publishing Team will review this policy one year after its adoption and report its findings to the University Librarian.”
“The reproducibility problem in science is a familiar issue, not only within the scientific community, but with the general public as well. Recent developments in social psychology (such as fraudulent research by D. Stapel) and cell biology (the Amgen Inc. and Bayer AG reports on how rarely they could reproduce published results) have become widely known. Nearly every field is affected, from clinical trials and neuroimaging, to economics and computer science. Obvious solutions include more research on statistical and behavioral fixes for irreproducibility, activism for policy changes, and demanding more pre-registration and data sharing from grantees. Two Perspectives in this issue (pp. 1420and 1422) describe how journals and academic institutions can foster a culture of reproducibility. Transparency is central to improving reproducibility, but it is expensive and time-consuming. What can be done to alleviate those obstacles? Most scientists aspire to greater transparency, but if being transparent taps into scarce grant money and requires extra work, it is unlikely that scientists will be able to live up to their own cherished values. Thus, one of the most effective ways to promote high-quality science is to create free open-source tools that give scientists easier and cheaper ways to incorporate transparency into their daily workflow: from open lab notebooks, to software that tracks every version of a data set, to dynamic document generation. Moreover, scientists who use open-source software are not locked into proprietary software platforms with unclear monetization plans. If philanthropy or government funds new tools that the open-source community can iterate and improve on, the per-dollar return on investment can far exceed the costs. Infrastructural tools are now available, or in development, that should help to catalyze a change in scientific transparency. One example is the Open Science Framework (OSF), a free and open-source software platform for managing scientific workflow (supported by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation in partnership with the Center for Open Science). Among its many features, this platform can enable scientists to easily track the history of all versions of every document or data set and the exact contributions made by each team member. All project materials can be given persistent identifiers, and the tracking of provenance allows any subsequent research project to give proper credit to the original. Projects using this platform include the Shared Access Research Ecosystem project of the Association of Research Libraries and its partners …”