Open Science, Mental Health, and Sustainable Development: A Proposed Model for a Low-Resource Setting

“Mental health is an important concern in low and middle income countries and must be addressed for sustainable development. Open science is a movement which can contribute significantly towards addressing mental health challenges. Mental health in India and other low and middle income countries faces many challenges, such as lack of resources and low investment. This policy brief proposes an intervention model using the core principles of open science to transform the mental health programmes run by local self-government institutions in India. The model can co-opt key stakeholders involved in the data collection, programme implementation, and monitoring for standardisation. Kerala’s participatory development experience is employed as a case to describe the model. By empowering frontline health workers, accredited volunteers, and officials of the childcare system, and implementing open science principles, this model could help address mental health challenges with minimal resource allocation through the streamlining of the data management process. It could also encourage increased participation in open science through the citizen science model, opening scientific research to non-specialists. Open science principles such as collective benefit, equity, participation, sustainability, and inclusiveness can also be promoted.”


Equitable Research Capacity Towards the Sustainable Development Goals: The Case for Open Science Hardware

“Changes in science funders’ mandates have resulted in advances in open access to data, software, and publications. Research capacity, however, is still unequally distributed worldwide, hindering the impact of these efforts. We argue that to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), open science policies must shift focus from products to processes and infrastructure, including access to open source scientific equipment. This article discusses how conventional, black box, proprietary approaches to science hardware reinforce inequalities in science and slow down innovation everywhere, while also representing a threat to research capacity strengthening efforts. We offer science funders three policy recommendations to promote open science hardware for research capacity strengthening: a) incorporating open hardware into existing open science mandates, b) incentivizing demand through technology transfer and procurement mechanisms, c) promoting the adoption of open hardware in national and regional service centers. We expect this agenda to foster capacity building towards enabling the more equitable and efficient science needed to achieve the SDGs.”

Pathways to Opening Access to Agricultural Research Knowledge in India

Scroll to p. 305. Abstract:  New knowledge is created by analysing and processing data and information. Having access to data and information promotes the generation of science, the communication of science, and the creation and adoption of new knowledge. All Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include agriculture as an integral component, and agriculture should be prosperous and sustainable to achieve any SDG. Besides developing skilled and talented human resources, the Indian Agricultural Research System seeks to offer quality data and information to stakeholders to improve agricultural production, processing, and exports. However, access remains restricted despite the availability of data and information, making it impossible to achieve desired results. The purpose of this paper is to summarise how data, information and knowledge of NARS [e National Agricultural Research System] are available and accessible to various stakeholders during various phases of World Bank-supported projects and how the availability and accessibility to data and information exist in NARS.

Open Science Policies as an Accelerator for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

“The Journal of Science Policy & Governance (JSPG), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY) are pleased to announce a call for papers and competition on shaping the future of global scientific practices in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic, focused on Open Science Policies as an Accelerator for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Open science is a movement towards a more accessible, more transparent, and more participatory way of designing, conducting, publishing, and evaluating scholarly research. Open science can be a true game changer in bridging the science, technology and innovation gaps between and within countries, fulfilling the human right to science and leaving no one behind. 

We invite students, post-doctoral researchers, policy fellows, early career researchers and young professionals from around the world to develop bold and innovative policy and governance ideas for exploring the untapped potential of open science to create a better society, and push for the attainment of the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Submission deadline: July 10, 2022. …”

Connecting Sustainable Development, Publishing Ethics, and the North-South Divide – The Scholarly Kitchen

“The divide between the North and the South in scholarly publishing is often discussed and studied. We have also made some progress in reducing this gap, for example, in accessing research (e.g., Research4Life brings many global publishers under one umbrella to support the Global South), in publishing research (e.g., open access (OA) journals offer article processing charge (APC) waivers and discounts to researchers of Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs)), and in reducing geographical inequity (e.g., by publishing regional OA journals). Although we don’t often talk about the North-South divide in publishing ethics, a recent study shows a large variation in the awareness of academic integrity at the universities in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Developing countries’ organized battles against predatory journals can also be seen on some rare occasions….”

Connecting Sustainable Development, Publishing Ethics, and the North-South Divide – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Recently, I was preparing a talk for a NISO Plus 2022’s (February 15-17, 2022) panel on ‘Working towards a more ethical information community’. I started asking myself, if sustainable development works towards a just and ethical society, how does it deal with the Global North-South divide in the ethics of scholarly publishing?… 

Under global programs, like Research4Life, institutions of my Least Developed Country (LDC), Bangladesh, are now accessing thousands of journals for free and researchers are enjoying the APC waivers offered by many journals. But, all this will change in 2026, when Bangladesh will graduate from the LDC list. Do we realize that a change in a country’s economic status does not necessarily correspond with a change in that country’s research system and investments in it? Have we thought of any ethical coping mechanism for the researchers and authors of countries in similar economic transitions?

We need to ask ourselves, as we work toward the SDGs, can we really have an ethical scholarly community without addressing such a dynamic North-South divide? More specifically, are we contextualizing enough the ethical considerations of the North for the South as we address this divide? …”


UCT Open Textbook Journeys | UCT Libraries

Abstract:  The UCT Open Textbook Journeys monograph tells the stories of 11 academics at the University of Cape Town who embarked on open textbook development initiatives in order to provide their students with more accessible and locally relevant learning materials. Produced by the Digital Open Textbooks for Development (DOT4D) initiative, the monograph contributes towards a better understanding of open textbook production by providing details related to authors’ processes and their reflections on their work. The collection aims to provide rich anecdotal evidence about the factors driving open textbook activity and shed light on how to go about conceptualising and producing open textbooks, and to aid the articulation of emerging open textbook production models that advance social justice in higher education.


Access to Seeds Index 2021 dataset for Western and Central Africa | World Benchmarking Alliance

“On 21 September 2021, we launched the third Access to Seeds Index with a focus on companies in Western and Central Africa. The index assesses seed companies on their efforts to make quality seeds accessible to smallholder farmers.

These companies are assessed using the 2021 Access to Seeds Index, which includes 32 across six measurement areas.

The datasheet contains information on the scores of each of these companies. Scores for each company are publicly available at the indicator level for all stakeholders. Individual company results are presented in company scorecards and detailed assessments….”

Live Webinar: Sustainable development goals and scholarly communications – 1511374

“Please join us for this free, one-hour panel discussion and find out why (and how) libraries, research bodies and publishers alike should embrace the UN’s sustainable development goals – many of them brought into sharp focus at the recent COP26 summit – to benefit the global community.”

Open Position: Software Engineer, 18 month full-time or part-time. FTE Salary £24-35k depending on experience @ Open Book Publishers

One of COPIM’s consortial partners, Open Book Publishers, are looking for a software engineer who is enthusiastic about open source and Open Access initiatives, to join their small energetic team.

OBP is taking a leading role in developing open source infrastructure to support open access book publishing. They are presently:

responsible for the development of the Open Dissemination System and Archiving and Preservation services for open access books within the Research England and Arcadia Fund financed COPIM project

providing hosting services for a number of Open Access initiatives and projects

in the process of re-developing OBP’s own website to provide an open source and white label website for other Open Access book publishers to adopt

expecting to be involved in other similar initiatives over the coming months.

OBP are seeking a versatile software engineer to work alongside their existing development team across these development projects.

Using citizen science data to monitor the Sustainable Development Goals: a bottom?up analysis – CS Track

“This research explores whether citizen science data could be used to improve the monitoring of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By investigating this issue from the perspective of citizen science, this research finds that citizen science projects see both valuable opportunities as well as deep-rooted barriers in linking their data to the SDGs….”

Data governance: Enhancing access to and sharing of data – OECD

“Access to and sharing of data are increasingly critical for fostering data-driven scientific discovery and innovations across the private and public sectors globally and will play a role in solving societal challenges, including fighting COVID-19 and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). But restrictions to data access, sometimes compounded by a reluctance to share, and a growing awareness of the risks that come with data access and sharing, means economies and societies are not harnessing the full potential of data.

Adopted in October 2021, the OECD Recommendation on Enhancing Access to and Sharing of Data (EASD) is the first internationally agreed upon set of principles and policy guidance on how governments can maximise the cross-sectoral benefits of all types of data – personal, non-personal, open, proprietary, public and private – while protecting the rights of individuals and organisations.

The Recommendation intends to help governments develop coherent data governance policies and frameworks to unlock the potential benefits of data across and within sectors, countries, organisations, and communities. It aims to reinforce trust across the data ecosystem, stimulate investment in data and incentivise data access and sharing, and foster effective and responsible data access, sharing and use across sectors and jurisdictions.

The Recommendation is a key deliverable of phase 3 of the OECD’s Going Digital project, focused on data governance for frowth and well-being. It was developed by three OECD Committees (Digital Economy Policy, Scientific and Technological Policy, and Public Governance) and acts as a common reference for existing and new OECD legal instruments related to data in areas such as research, health and digital government. It will provide a foundation stone for ongoing OECD work to help countries unlock the potential of data in the digital era.”