SPARC Announces Knowledge Equity Seminar for LIS Students – SPARC

“In cooperation with the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, SPARC is sponsoring the Knowledge Equity and Justice Spring Seminar (KEJSS), an intensive learning opportunity open to graduate students in Information Studies programs that will focus on critical issues in epistemic justice relevant to Library and Information Studies.

Convened by Dr. Stacy Allison-Cassin, the seminar will take place online over three weeks from May 9-26, 2022 and will cover topics including scholarly communication, language and marginalization, Indigenous knowledge, and issues related to knowledge, citation and the Global South. The seminar will invite participants to recognize knowledge as a site for justice and consider how to put knowledge justice into practice as future information professionals. 

Seminar guest speakers will include Leslie Chan (University of Toronto Scarborough); Priyank Chandra (Faculty of Information, University of Toronto); Alan Corbiere (York University); Stefanie Haustein (uOttawa); and, Anasuya Sengupta & Adele Vrana (Whose Knowledge?). These guest lectures will be open to the community, and SPARC will provide additional information about joining each in the next month….”

U of T Libraries expands students’ access to scientific journals – The Varsity

“On January 27, University of Toronto Libraries announced a new agreement with the Public Library of Science (PLOS), an open access publisher with a library of scientific journals. The new agreement expands U of T’s access to 12 PLOS journals and will allow U of T researchers to publish an unlimited number of articles on the journals’ websites without charge. It also provides “[a] 25% discount to non-U of T corresponding authors for papers where U of T researchers are co-authors.”

The topic of accessibility to scientific journals has garnered more attention in passing years, and a study from 2021 showed that the average article processing charge paid by authors has increased. As article processing charges have continued to increase over the past decade and inflated the costs of research as a result, librarians have stepped in to promote open access to academic research to make these services more affordable for students….”

University of Toronto Researchers Accelerate Embrace of Open Science – SPARC

“Quickly sharing the genetic sequence of the new coronavirus in early 2020 made all the difference in the response to the pandemic.

“In one year, we’ve gone from the discovery of the gene of the COVID-19 virus to a vaccine. That could have never happened if we hadn’t been sharing,” says Aled Edwards, professor of the Donnelly Centre for Molecular and Biomolecular Research at the University of Toronto and director of the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC). “If not for open, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

Still, the science behind public health interventions takes time. The research community was also poised to make fast progress because of decades of advances made earlier in labs, Edwards notes. Availability of open data allowed companies to quickly apply new information to what they already knew to develop therapeutics and vaccines. More broadly, the moment has ushered in a growing awareness of the value of open practices, Edwards says….”

Open Praxis Forum

“Open Praxis Forum (OPF) was created out of a necessity to showcase early career-researchers’ work, and more importantly, to mobilize and collectivize a community of knowledge creators that already exists. Often, knowledge creators can feel isolated within academia and beyond due to publishing barriers, lack of encouragement, being unable to access resources, or because they present their knowledge in alternative ways.

We are a group of University of Toronto students who, through our own research experiences, wondered what we can do to modify the seemingly exclusionary landscape of academia. We decided to create this space that is constructed by and for early-career researchers. For us, researchers include: students, social justice activists, artists, or anyone seeking to interrogate inequities or with an idea to share that contribute to shaping a safe space for dialogue….”

Sharing by Law: Open Science Takes a Legal Approach

“‘A partnership between the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) at the University of Toronto and U of T’s Faculty of Law has yielded a new concept that could change the way scientists share research tools. Aled Edwards, who leads the SGC, is lead author of a recent paper that applies the concept of a legal trust to open research reagents ­— substances that scientists use to test biological hypotheses and give insight into potential new therapies. Under this model, the researchers who receive reagents would become ‘trustees’ obligated to treat the materials as public goods. The article is published in Science Translational Medicine….Academic researchers use public funds to create reagents to use the lab. Currently any reagent created at any University is legally the property of the institution and is shared only under contract. Although this is the status quo, many of us believe science shouldn’t belong to an institution or an individual, but to society and that our work should be viewed as a public good,’ says Edwards, who is also a professor in the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Molecular Genetics and an expert in open science drug discovery.”