U.S., EU, India, S.Africa reach compromise on COVID vaccine IP waiver text | Reuters

“The United States, European Union, India and South Africa have reached a consensus on key elements of a long-sought intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines, according to a proposed text reviewed by Reuters.

Sources familiar with the talks described the text as a tentative agreement among the four World Trade Organization members that still needs formal approvals from the parties before it can be considered official. Any agreement must be accepted by the WTO’s 164 member countries in order to be adopted….

The document authorizes use of “patented subject matter required for the production and supply of COVID-19 vaccines without the consent of the right holder to the extent necessary to address the COVID-19 pandemic”.

It said IP rights would also be waived for ingredients and processes necessary for COVID-19 vaccine manufacture, a move aimed at granting critical know-how to many countries lacking expertise, especially for advanced mRNA-type vaccines….”

Simplicity, flexibility, equity – IFLA submits comments on South Africa’s Copyright Amendment Bill – IFLA

“IFLA has responded to a call for comments on the South African Copyright Amendment Bill, highlighting the need to reject proposals that will have a chilling effect on the work of libraries, and deepen divisions in terms of access to education, knowledge and culture.”

Virtual Stakeholder Workshop to consult on the draft South African Open Science Policy – 22.02.22 – YouTube

“The successful development of the South African Open Science Policy is contingent on broad-based consultations and inputs from stakeholders across the entire National System of Innovation. The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), in partnership with the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and Universities South Africa (USAf), is hosting the online Stakeholder Workshop to facilitate this broad-based consultation….”

South Africa’s draft open science policy promises shake-up – Research Professional News

“All publicly-funded research conducted in South Africa will have to be published in open access journals under a draft national open science policy released this week.

The draft was published on 15 February by the Academy of Science of South Africa, ahead of a workshop to discuss it on 22 February. It was drawn up under the leadership of Ahmed Bawa, the chief executive of Universities South Africa….

The draft policy suggests the establishment of a “national forum” to promote best practice in open science. Researchers will also be offered as-yet unspecified incentives to encourage them to publish in open-access journals….

The policy recommends that a national agency be established to curate publicly-funded research data. Also on the cards is a “federated open science infrastructure” which will make it easier for everyone to access research outputs….

Virtual Stakeholder Workshop to Consult on the Draft South African Open Science Policy

“The  development of the South African Open Science Policy is contingent on broad-based consultations and inputs from stakeholders across the entire NSI.To facilitate this broad-based consultation, the DSI, Universities South Africa and ASSAf, invites you to an online stakeholder workshop.”

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.

 

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….”

An analysis of research output in open access journals in BRICS countries: a bibliometric study | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the current status of research output published in open access (OA) journals from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) countries from 2010 to 2019 and compare their performances in terms of OA research output.

Design/methodology/approach

Papers contributed by the researchers of BRICS countries were searched using an advanced search option in the Web of Science core collection database. The retrieved results were restricted to the “journal articles” published in the “English language” during the time period of 2010 to 2019. After that, the selected papers were again refined by using the “open access” section to identify the research output of BRICS countries published in OA journals.

Findings

Total 2,219,943 papers were published from BRICS countries, out of which 402,199 articles were published in OA journals and South Africa has published the highest number of research output in OA journals (31%). Although, there has been a constant increasing growth of research output published in OA journals in BRICS countries from 13,300 papers in 2010 to 82,310 articles in 2019. Engineering and Technology have published the maximum number of papers in OA journals. Researchers of BRICS countries mostly contributed their OA research output in journals published from the USA and Scientific Reports (UK) is identified as one of the leading OA journals. Additionally, among all the BRICS countries, China is found as the promising leader in terms of OA journals publications, the maximum share i.e. 71.25 per cent of total 402,199 OA journal publications have been produced by the highest number 137 (23.41%) of institutions of China and Chinese Academy of Sciences (China) is leading institution with 39,036 papers published in OA journals.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to BRICS countries, but it offers theoretical implications for extending its scope to different countries. This study may be used for raising awareness of OA among researchers of BRICS countries and encouraging them to contribute their research work in OA journals. The findings of this study are useful and meaningful in understanding the comparative status of research across countries, disciplines, journals and institutions.

Originality/value

This is the first study in BRICS countries focusing on the research output published in OA journals.

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. …”