Open Access Week 2021 colloquium | North-West University Libraries, South Africa | 26 October | virtual

“International Open Access Week, a global event now entering its fourteenth year, is an opportunity for open access advocates to engage the research communities to inform them about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they have learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.    

Programme: 26 October 2021

Words of welcome –  Ms. Neli Kaunda, Director: Shared Services, NWU

Opening address – Prof. Jeffrey Mphahlele, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, NWU

The LIS Open Access Initiatives and technologies

Dr. Mathew Moyo, Chief Director: Library and Information Service, NWU

The role of universities in opening up access through Open Educational Resources

Prof. Jako Olivier, UNESCO Research Chair on Multimodal Learning and Open Educational Resources, NWU…”

Registration: https://nwu.libcal.com/calendar/research-library-training-calendar/open-access-week-2021

COMMENTS OF THE LIBRARY COPYRIGHT ALLIANCE REGARDING COPYRIGHT AMENDMENT BILL

“IIPA [International Intellectual Property Alliance] attacked subsection 12D7(a) as a threat to “academic freedom” because it gives the author of a scientific article that is the result of a research activity primarily funded by the government the right to make the article available on an open access basis. This is a truly Orwellian argument. How does preserving a scientist’s right to make her research publicly available undermine her academic freedom? The statute doesn’t obligate her to provide open access, although the Government certainly has the authority to do so as a condition of its providing the research funding. Indeed, the United States government conditions it research grants on making the resulting articles available on an open access basis. So do the EU and many other research funders around the world.

CFP DHASA 2021 | Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa | deadline: 22 August

“The Digital Humanities Association of Southern Africa (DHASA) is organizing its third conference with the theme “Digitally Human, Artificially Intelligent”. The field of Digital Humanities is currently still rather underdeveloped in Southern Africa. … By bringing together researchers working on Digital Humanities from Southern Africa or on Southern Africa, we hope to boost collaboration and research in this field….

The DHASA conference is an interdisciplinary platform for researchers working on all areas of Digital Humanities (including, but not limited to language, literature, visual art, performance and theatre studies, media studies, music, history, sociology, psychology, language technologies, library studies, philosophy, methodologies, software and computation, etc.). It aims to create the conditions for the emergence of a scientific Digital Humanities community of practice.

Suggested topics include the following:…

Digital cultural studies, hacker culture, networked communities, digital divides, digital activism, open/libre networks and software, etc.;…

Critical infrastructure studies, critical software studies, media archaeology, eco-criticism, etc., as they intersect with the digital humanities;…

Important dates

Submission deadline: 22 August 2021…

Conference: 29 November 2021 – 3 December 2021…”

 

Make your nomination for the 2021 UCT Open Textbook Award | UCT News

“The University of Cape Town (UCT) is calling for nominations for the 2021 UCT Open Textbook Award.

The award, which was launched in 2020, is an initiative of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC): Teaching and Learning, Associate Professor Lis Lange, and aims to incentivise innovation in teaching and learning, recognise the efforts of open textbook authors and promote the creation and reuse of open educational resources….”

South African Government places DOAJ on list of accredited journals – DOAJ News Service

“DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) is pleased to announce its inclusion in the recognised list of journals, lists and indexes accepted by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training. The move represents the first time that an open access listing has been recommended to South African University academics, encouraging researchers to publish in open access and make use of the free quality content available on DOAJ….

Articles published in DOAJ journals by South African scholars, will receive publishing points. Only articles published in approved scholarly journals can be subsidised by the Department of Higher Education and Training. …”

South African Government places DOAJ on list of accredited journals – DOAJ News Service

“DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) is pleased to announce its inclusion in the recognised list of journals, lists and indexes accepted by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training. The move represents the first time that an open access listing has been recommended to South African University academics, encouraging researchers to publish in open access and make use of the free quality content available on DOAJ….

Articles published in DOAJ journals by South African scholars, will receive publishing points. Only articles published in approved scholarly journals can be subsidised by the Department of Higher Education and Training. …”

Researchers decry ‘pay to publish’ system — but don’t want it to stop

“A survey of nearly 1,000 academic researchers in South Africa suggests that the majority are in favour of keeping a government scheme that offers cash rewards for publishing research papers in accredited journals, even though they agree that this can promote unethical practices.

The publication-incentive programme — which awards payments when researchers publish journal articles, conference proceedings and book chapters — is the country’s largest single pool of research funding, worth an estimated 2.4 billion South African rand (US$160 million) each year.

Under the scheme, researchers can receive about 120,000 rand per published article. The subsidies were initially implemented in 2005 to drive academic output, and it worked: South Africa’s overall research output rose from 4,063 articles in 2005 to 25,371 in 2018….”

Gender gaps in research productivity and recognition among elite scientists in the U.S., Canada, and South Africa

Abstract:  This study builds upon the literature documenting gender disparities in science by investigating research productivity and recognition among elite scientists in three countries. This analysis departs from both the general comparison of researchers across organizational settings and academic appointments on one hand, and the definition of “elite” by the research outcome variables on the other, which are common in previous studies. Instead, this paper’s approach considers the stratification of scientific careers by carefully constructing matched samples of men and women holding research chairs in Canada, the United States and South Africa, along with a control group of departmental peers. The analysis is based on a unique, hand-curated dataset including 943 researchers, which allows for a systematic comparison of successful scientists vetted through similar selection mechanisms. Our results show that even among elite scientists a pattern of stratified productivity and recognition by gender remains, with more prominent gaps in recognition. Our results point to the need for gender equity initiatives in science policy to critically examine assessment criteria and evaluation mechanisms to emphasize multiple expressions of research excellence.

 

Open Access Colloquium: Transformation in Universities hosting Dr Peter Suber (Harvard University) – UP Libraries Bookings – University of Pretoria

“The 2020 Open Access Colloquium of the Department of Library Services at the University of Pretoria is an annual event entering its second year. It is an opportunity for the university community to discuss the challenges and potential benefits of Open Access, to reflect and to understand how to transition to Open Access as a new norm in scholarship and research….”

On a knife edge? South Africa’s new copyright law | EIFL

“The Copyright Amendment Bill [B13B – 2017] had been sitting on the desk of President Cyril Ramaphosa for over a year waiting to be signed into law. In June 2020, when Blind South Africa issued a legal challenge over the delay, the President acted. But instead of signing the Bill that had been approved by the legislature, the President used his prerogative to return it to parliament citing constitutional concerns with certain aspects, including new exceptions for libraries, education and persons with disabilities.

The President’s rejection of the Bill is widely seen as the result of pressure by copyright industries, and the threat of trade sanctions and reduced future investment from the United States and the European Union. …

In advance of the briefing, EIFL wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly and to the Portfolio Committee to pledge support for the Bill. EIFL’s letter sets out how libraries and educational institutions in South Africa, and the millions of South Africans citizens they serve, will benefit greatly from new exceptions designed for non-commercial uses. They will help to re-calibrate the existing copyright system in South Africa which forces resource-deprived institutions to pay high licence fees to largely European and US companies. (For example, the 2011 Copyright Review Commission Report, known as the Farlam Review, confirmed that 70% of copying fees paid by higher education institutions in the previous year were distributed to foreign rightsholders). While this is a windfall for these companies, it is in our view, bad public policy for South Africa.

EIFL’s letter also notes that the exceptions in the Bill are modelled on provisions in the copyright laws of developed countries including Australia, Canada, Israel, Singapore, the UK and the US, that the Bill seeks merely to ensure that libraries and educational institutions in South Africa have the same rights than their counterparts in these countries, and any concerns that they may be inconsistent with South Africa’s obligations under international copyright treaties are misplaced….”

FOIA: Film industry lobbies South Africa’s Parliament to suspend Copyright Amendment Bill | Knowledge Ecology International

“Through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) has obtained 311 pages of correspondence between officials from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) and employees of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and other entities including law firms on matters regarding South Africa and copyright policy. The FOIA request was filed by Claire Cassedy on October 29, 2019. The 311 page document is available here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wUYHzgwtYUaYiMLLeGfV7ucxk5Q1tpu0/view?usp=sharing

The correspondence dates from December 2018 to November 2019 and reveals an assiduous campaign mounted by the MPA and RIAA to thwart the passage of South Africa’s Copyright Amendment Bill in the South African Parliament and to prevents its signing by the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa. The MPA and RIIA, working in concert with the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) petitioned USTR to impose higher tariffs on South Africa (by revoking the Generalized System of Preferences) over concerns with, inter alia, the fair use provisions contained in South Africa’s Copyright Amendment Bill….”

FOIA: Film industry lobbies South Africa’s Parliament to suspend Copyright Amendment Bill | Knowledge Ecology International

“Through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) has obtained 311 pages of correspondence between officials from the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) and employees of the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and other entities including law firms on matters regarding South Africa and copyright policy. The FOIA request was filed by Claire Cassedy on October 29, 2019. The 311 page document is available here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wUYHzgwtYUaYiMLLeGfV7ucxk5Q1tpu0/view?usp=sharing

The correspondence dates from December 2018 to November 2019 and reveals an assiduous campaign mounted by the MPA and RIAA to thwart the passage of South Africa’s Copyright Amendment Bill in the South African Parliament and to prevents its signing by the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa. The MPA and RIIA, working in concert with the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) petitioned USTR to impose higher tariffs on South Africa (by revoking the Generalized System of Preferences) over concerns with, inter alia, the fair use provisions contained in South Africa’s Copyright Amendment Bill….”

EU Joins In The Bullying Of South Africa For Daring To Adopt US-Style Fair Use Principles | Techdirt

“As part of its copyright reform, South Africa plans to bring in a fair use right. Despite the fact its proposal is closely modeled on fair use in American law, the copyright industry has persuaded the US government to threaten to kill an important free trade deal with South Africa if the latter dares to follow America’s example. If you thought only US copyright companies were capable of this stunningly selfish behavior, think again. It seems that the European copyright industry has been having words with the EU, which has now sent a politely threatening letter to the South African government about its copyright reform (pdf)….”

New publishing model pins hopes on ‘unity of purpose’

“Higher education leaders in South Africa are looking to move to a European model for open access (OA) publishing of scholarly articles as soon as possible, according to the body that coordinates the country’s public universities.

Under the plan, an estimated ZAR500 to ZAR600 million, which is currently being spent on journal subscriptions, would be funneled into new “transformative” agreements with the big five academic publishers – Reed-Elsevier, Taylor & Francis, Wiley-Blackwell, Springer and Sage – as the country’s universities move to a pay-to-publish model for funding the dissemination of research….”