Sci-Hub Celebrates 10 Years Of Existence, With A Record 88 Million Papers Available, And A Call For Funds To Help It Add AI And Go Open Source | Techdirt

“To celebrate ten years offering a large proportion of the world’s academic papers for free — against all the odds, and in the face of repeated legal action — Sci-Hub has launched a funding drive:

Sci-Hub is run fully on donations. Instead of charging for access to information, it creates a common pool of knowledge free for anyone to access.

The donations page says that “In the next few years Sci-Hub is going to dramatically improve”, and lists a number of planned developments. These include a better search engine, a mobile app, and the use of neural networks to extract ideas from papers and make inferences and new hypotheses. Perhaps the most interesting idea is for the software behind Sci-Hub to become open source. The move would address in part a problem discussed by Techdirt back in May: the fact that Sci-Hub is a centralized service, with a single point of failure. Open sourcing the code — and sharing the papers database — would allow multiple mirrors to be set up around the world by different groups, increasing its resilience….”

Consultation on a ‘Declaration of Digital Principles’ | Europeana Pro

“In this context, the Europeana Foundation, Network Association and Aggregators’ Forum, collectively representing the Europeana Initiative, strongly support a rights-based, people-centred approach to the concept of digital citizenship and the development of principles that promote a more equitable and democratic digital environment in which

basic liberties and rights are protected online, 

sovereignty of data is protected,

public institutions are empowered to function in the public interest, and 

people are able to participate more fully in the creation, functioning and potential of their digital environment.  …

The Europeana Initiative recognises the relevance and importance of these principles through its work with the cultural heritage sector, and we believe that we have useful insights to share on them. However we believe that a fundamental principle is missing – that of universal access to cultural heritage online. …

Europeana’s focus is on supporting the cultural heritage sector in its digital transformation  because access to cultural heritage is vital to humankind – to our knowledge and understanding of who we are, where we’ve come from and what we can become. Democratising access to cultural heritage online, in ways that support inclusivity, innovation, creativity, education and knowledge sharing, is at the heart of Europeana’s purpose….

We work with Europe’s cultural heritage institutions to ensure that digital cultural heritage is shared in formats and of a quality which allows use and reuse by researchers and educators, creatives and innovators, and all citizens. Our work promotes the use of digital technology that makes cultural heritage online accessible, traceable and trustworthy, which in turn means people can explore it, use it, be inspired by it and learn from it with confidence. It contributes to an open, knowledgeable and creative society….”

 

How can governments nudge students to become ebook readers? Evidence from Indonesia | Emerald Insight

Abstract:  Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate if and how government intervention can nudge students to become ebook readers.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 1,144 students from four middle and high schools in urban and rural areas of Indonesia participated in this study. The results from statistical analyses were further discussed through the lens of the nudge theory.

Findings

This paper founds evidence that government intervention in the form of the Buku Sekolah Elektronik (BSE) policy that has been providing free electronic textbooks for more than a decade can help nudge students to become ebook readers. After controlling for student’s demographic information, this paper founds that their awareness of such a policy is significantly associated with a stronger preference toward ebooks while having no significant effect on their preferences toward printed book format. This paper also founds that mobile device adoption plays an important role where early adopters tend to prefer ebook format, whereas laggards are more associated with printed book format.

Originality/value

Many have studied the benefits of using ebooks in learning, but the literature also shows that most students still prefer reading printed books over ebooks. This is true not only in developing countries where problems with infrastructures can hamper the adoption of ebooks in general but also in developed countries where ebooks are much more prevalent, even among the general population. This paper showed how government interventions have the potency to help tip the scales and nudge students to become ebook readers.

Sci-Hub Pledges Open Source & AI Alongside Crypto Donation Drive * TorrentFreak

“Sci-Hub founder Alexandra Elbakyan has launched a donation drive to ensure the operations and development of the popular academic research platform. For safety reasons, donations can only be made in cryptocurrencies but the pledges include a drive to open source the project and the introduction of artificial intelligence to discover new hypotheses….”

Pilot Program Offers NYU Students and Faculty Instant Access to 150,000 Ebooks Via App

“NYU Libraries and ProQuest have launched a pilot project that will make over 150,000 scholarly titles available to students and faculty via their mobile devices. NYU users can access coursebooks, ebooks, and reference works from major publishers through an e-reader app called SimplyE….”

Open Access Helper

“There are more than 25 million Open Access versions of otherwise “paywalled” scientific articles, however they are often not easy to find.

Open Access Helper for iOS & macOS is designed to help you get easy access to these documents, with a lot of help from some amazing APIs….

Open Access Helper is designed to make finding the best Open Access location easy. Whenever my app comes across a DOI, it will query the APIs of unpaywall.org & core.ac.uk to see if an Open Access copy is available elsewhere.

The App is free and Open Source and I have no intention to change that….”

The rise of citizen science: can the public help solve our biggest problems? | Universities | The Guardian

“For instance, in Kenya, University College London (UCL) scientists and their local partners are working with the Maasai to protect their environment against the climate crisis.

The researchers are co-developing a smartphone app that will help the community map the location of vital medicinal plant species and, as a result, better manage them. The app will allow the Maasai to upload the location of the plants, analyse the results and display them using icons like a thumbs up, an ant, and a red no entry sign next to invasive species, as well as pictures of the plants they want to protect….

Despite its obvious merits, citizen science still faces challenges. Researchers have a reputation for arriving in a community, exploiting it for data, and leaving it without giving any credit for its contribution….

In the end, citizen science is about shifting power from scientists to the public. A new £1.3m project called Engaging Environments led by the University of Reading, which is running in its own city as well as Birmingham and Newcastle, aims to do just that by training researchers to work with a wide range of communities to address their concerns about issues like pollution, climate change and air quality. This might be through getting sixth formers to monitor wildlife, or mosques encouraging their congregation to develop environmentally friendly practices such as avoiding single-use plastics during festivals.

This project is needed because of the social divide that exists between the public and many scientists. …

It doesn’t benefit scientists to isolate themselves from the public, either….”

Biologer: an open platform for collecting biodiversity data

Abstract:  Background

We have developed a new platform named “Biologer” intended for recording species observations in the field (but also from literature resources and collections). The platform is created as user-friendly, open source, multilingual software that is compatible with Darwin Core standard and accompanied by a simple Android application. It is made from the user’s perspective, allowing everyone to choose how they share the data. Project team members are delegated by involved organisations. The team is responsible for development of the platform, while local Biologer communities are engaged in data collection and verification.

New information

Biologer has been online and available for use in Serbia since 2018 and was soon adopted in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In total, we have assembled 536 users, who have collected 163,843 species observation records data from the field and digitalised 33,458 literature records. The number of active users and their records is growing daily. Out of the total number of gathered data, 89% has been made open access by the users, 10% is accessible on the scale of 10×10 km and only 1% is closed. In the future, we plan to provide a taxonomic data portal that could be used by local and national initiatives in Eastern Europe, aggregate all data into a single web location, create detailed data overview and enable fluent communication between users.

Biologer: an open platform for collecting biodiversity data

Abstract:  Background

We have developed a new platform named “Biologer” intended for recording species observations in the field (but also from literature resources and collections). The platform is created as user-friendly, open source, multilingual software that is compatible with Darwin Core standard and accompanied by a simple Android application. It is made from the user’s perspective, allowing everyone to choose how they share the data. Project team members are delegated by involved organisations. The team is responsible for development of the platform, while local Biologer communities are engaged in data collection and verification.

New information

Biologer has been online and available for use in Serbia since 2018 and was soon adopted in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In total, we have assembled 536 users, who have collected 163,843 species observation records data from the field and digitalised 33,458 literature records. The number of active users and their records is growing daily. Out of the total number of gathered data, 89% has been made open access by the users, 10% is accessible on the scale of 10×10 km and only 1% is closed. In the future, we plan to provide a taxonomic data portal that could be used by local and national initiatives in Eastern Europe, aggregate all data into a single web location, create detailed data overview and enable fluent communication between users.

New business models for the open research agenda | Research Information

“The rise of preprints and the move towards universal open access are potential threats to traditional business models in scholarly publishing, writes Phil Gooch

Publishers have started responding to the latter with transformative agreements[1], but if authors can simply upload their research to a preprint server for immediate dissemination, comment and review, why submit to a traditional journal at all? Some journals are addressing this by offering authors frictionless submission direct from the preprint server. This tackles two problems at once: easing authors’ frustrations with existing journal submission systems[2], and providing a more direct route from the raw preprint to the richly linked, multiformat version of record that readers demand and accessibility standards require….

Dissemination of early-stage research as mobile-unfriendly PDF is arguably a technological step backwards. If preprints are here to stay, the reading experience needs to be improved. A number of vendors have developed native XML or LaTeX authoring environments which enable dissemination in richer formats….”

Are you an iOS user? Access scientific articles in your device without hitting a paywall – CORE

“Another year has passed and left a lot of good news, investigations and developments for CORE. Today we would like to tell you about one of them – Open Access (OA) Helper, an application developed for iOS mobile devices by Claus Wolf. We asked Claus to tell us how he came up with the OA Helper and here is what he answered….”

Next Generation ArXiv and the Economics of Open Access Publishing

“Launched in 1991, arXiv has become an indispensable platform providing free and open access to research for the machine learning community and beyond. Now, arXiv has announced plans to alpha test its next-generation “arXiv-NG” submission system in the first quarter of 2020. The system is a significant part of the growing arXiv-NG initiative that aims to improve core service infrastructure through an incremental and modular renewal of the existing arXiv system.

The arXiv team has already taken the initial steps to improve the overall accessibility of the repository’s user interfaces, both through behind-the-scenes structural improvements and user-facing changes — adding for example support for mobile-friendly abstract pages….”

eLife announces first release of open-source submission and peer-review platform: Libero Reviewer | For the press | eLife

“eLife, in collaboration with the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation (Coko), has launched the first release of Libero Reviewer, an open-source application that will support the organisation’s unique editorial process from submission to acceptance.

This first release takes the form of a wizard that guides an author through submitting their work for initial assessment by eLife’s board of Senior Editors and integrates with the journal’s existing peer-review software, eJournalPress (eJPress). It follows the same mobile-first mentality that was incorporated into the design of eLife’s publishing platform Libero Publisher, making it easier to navigate the system while on the move….”