Global directory of open access databases launched | The Indian Express

“Dr Girish Sahni, director general, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) launched LOADB — the listing of open access databases, a portal developed by CSIR URDIP showcasing databases in multiple areas of science and technology that are available freely for public use. The objective is to create a web-enabled, linked, classified and categorised collection of Open Access Databases which can be accessed from a single portal …”

Free Ebook Foundation to promote access and preservation of knowledge, literature, and culture.

“Two projects that have been building towards a sustainable ecosystem for free ebooks have joined together in a new non-profit corporation. The Free Ebook Foundation envisions a world where ebooks will be funded, distributed and maintained for the benefit of all, by coordinating the efforts and resources of many….”

Program Coordinator (Job ID: 32314) – HigherEdJobs

“Familiarity with and understanding of copyright, intellectual property, and related information policy and legal concerns of academic libraries, including an awareness of open access issues and considerations.  Ability to adapt to changing conditions in academic libraries and the flexibility and desire to learn new skills as scholarly communication continues to evolve at UofL and elsewhere….”, oa.funders, oa.recommendations, oa.libre, oa.licensing,, oa.repositories,

“The shift toward knowledge-sharing strategies and approaches that embrace new search technologies, the logic of open access and open source, and the realities of the Internet as a largely decentralized and dynamic selfpublishing space offers the possibility of coordinating publishing efforts, and possibly agreeing to the use of shared practices that can facilitate shared learning while acknowledging the independence of individual organizations. · While there are some common obstacles preventing foundations from moving toward shared systems and practices, there are also a number of publishing practices being widely adopted that together address most of those obstacles and represent a set of shared practices around which the social sector might coalesce and coordinate….”

Vancouver Foundation becomes the first Canadian community foundation to join the Open Licensing movement.

“Vancouver Foundation today announced that, beginning in 2017, it will adopt an open licensing policy for projects funded through its community granting programs. The Foundation’s goal is to advance transparency and accessibility of materials to drive greater innovation and creativity in British Columbia and beyond. The Open Licencing Policy will require grantees to apply a Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY 4.0) to projects and research funded through community advised grant programs. This policy will enable grant recipients to retain copyright over materials while, at the same time, allowing others to use and build upon the positive work created by these Vancouver Foundation grants. Vancouver Foundation will also apply this policy to its own intellectual property, including publications and reports….”

Vancouver Foundation announces first CC BY policy for a Canadian foundation – Creative Commons

“Vancouver Foundation has announced that it will adopt an open licensing policy by January 2017. The foundation will require that all projects and research funded through community advised grant programs be licensed and shared under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (CC BY). In addition, the foundation has pledged to license their own intellectual property–such as reports and publications–under CC BY….”

Universities UK – UUK Open Access Coordination Group

“The UUK Open Access Coordination Group works to ensure that the activities to support the transition towards open access in the UK can be effectively coordinated, have an ongoing focus and that progress can be monitored. The group has no formal powers, but brings funders, institutions, publishers and other stakeholders together to recognise and explore challenges, and to build and maintain a close and constructive dialogue….”

iCite | Help | NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis

“iCite is a powerful web application that provides a panel of bibliometric information for journal publications within a defined analysis group (where an analysis group can consist of a single article or a very large group of articles). The data produced by iCite can be downloaded as a customized report from the dashboard and could be used to understand the influence of articles within an analysis group. An example application for iCite might be to compare how the influence of a portfolio of articles compares to the remaining articles that come out of grants funded by the NIH….

The Relative Citation Ratio [RCR] is a new metric developed within the Office of Portfolio Analysis (OPA) that represents a citation-based measure of scientific influence of one or more articles. It is calculated as the cites/year of each paper, normalized to the citations per year received by NIH-funded papers in the same field and year. A paper with an RCR of 1.0 has received the same number of cites/year as the average NIH-funded paper in its field, while a paper with an RCR of 2.0 has received twice as many cites/year as the average NIH-funded paper in its field….”

A Challenge to Collaborate– from the ground up

Published in June 2013 and written by the University of Regina historian James Daschuk, Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life is a study of population health of the Indigenous people who lived (and continue to live) in Canada’s Plains region. More importantly, the book is an indictment of the actions of the government of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. During the nineteenth century, Macdonald implemented a policy of starvation that was designed to wreak havoc among Indigenous peoples and, literally, “clear the plains” to enable settlement. Daschuk recounts this history and shows how the physical effects of disease and malnutrition linger among those people’s descendents, even today.

Historians had long known about Sir John A. Macdonald’s policies and their effects on our First Peoples. But for academics who weren’t historians, for many Indigenous people, and for the Canadian public at large, this story of mass starvation was a revelation.

Clearing the Plains became a national best seller. Op-eds appeared in national newspapers, expressing the need for Canadians to acknowledge this dark chapter of our history and to teach it to our children. Readers told us of the horror and sorrow they experienced while reading the book, even while thanking the author for his work. On November 3, 2014, in Ottawa, James Daschuk received a Governor General’s History Award for Scholarly Research (ironically, this award is called the “Sir John A. Macdonald Prize”).

For many people, Clearing the Plains has completely changed their view of Canada as a so-called “nice” nation.

On October 19, we released on U of R Press’s website the twenty years of research—primary source documents, notes, bibliographies—that went into writing Clearing the Plains.

Academics have traditionally guarded their research from view, so James Daschuk has taken a giant step forward in OA by making available his publicly funded research. Daschuk hopes new ideas will flow from his research, with scholars, students, and writers using it to deepen our understanding of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples.

University of Regina Press challenges all scholars to follow Daschuk’s lead to speed productivity, research progress, and knowledge translation, and to take the OA model to this logical next step.

Why Be Open Access? A Journal Editor Shares His Story

For Open Access Week 2015, Ursula C. Schwerin Library (New York City College of Technology, CUNY) is highlighting our college’s own open access journal, NANO: New American Notes Online. Why did NANO’s editor and founder, Sean Scanlan, opt to make his journal open access?

Who are we? City Tech is our often used nickname for the New York City College of Technology which is part of the City University of New York, CUNY. We are located in downtown Brooklyn.

NANO: New American Notes Online‘s mission is to “invigorate humanities discourse by publishing brief, peer-reviewed reports with a fast turnaround enabled by new technologies.” Issues are themed and articles often incorporate multimedia.

Monica Berger (New York City College of Technology, Library): Why specifically did you choose to make NANO an open access journal? I read your Open Access Statement, but please tell us more about how you and others involved in the creation of the journal reached this place.

Sean Scanlan: Thank you for inviting me to share my ideas on Open Access and academic journals. My journal was conceived to be Open Access from the beginning and I’d like to tell that story now.

In 1997, when I was getting my Master’s degree in English at the University of Missouri St. Louis, I applied to go to a critical theory conference at Cornell University. I met people from all over the world, and one of my friends, Thomas, was from Kerala, India, and he was the most excited person I’ve ever met to be at a literary conference. The reason that he was so excited was that his travels and commitment to come to New York relied upon a funding operation that exceeded the usual travel funds of his university by an enormous factor. Simply put: everybody he knew had contributed to his arrival at Cornell.

But I didn’t understand the core issue of what scholarly access meant until Henry and I talked about libraries. During our down time, we often visited the main library at Cornell. It was a thing to marvel at—nearly 8 million volumes. Many times he said to me: there is nothing I could not accomplish with such a library at my home institution. And now, after seeing this, I feel that there is nothing I can accomplish back in Kerala.

“Why is that?” I asked.

“Because I have to compete to get my work published in US journals against scholars who have access to all this.”

Even though I was in the US, it hit me that my small state university had a small fraction of Cornell’s holdings, and so I too would face such access problems. I’ve talked to many colleagues who have shared a story or two about not getting at a vital piece of research due to access. I realized that the institution of the academy, an institution that I thought was ethical and open to all had a dirty secret: it had good qualities but it was grossly unequal. Scholars should not be limited to their small research holdings, they should not be constrained even by small consortia of libraries, they should be able to access world-class holdings.

In addition to Henry’s story, I want to add an idea I gleaned from the legal scholar Eben Moglen, who has written about intellectual property and sharing. He argues that potential Shakespeares and Einsteins of the world should not suffer because of a lack of scholarly resources—but as of now, they do. Why? Because rules that protect intellectual property have been contorted to protect not the thinker, but the employer of the thinker.  Intellectual property rights now are ways to provide funding streams to publishers who want to not only cover their costs, but also provide shareholder returns. If universities were selling sneakers, then perhaps such a profit model would be ethical, but education is not sneaker selling, especially not public university education.

In fact, the public university has an ethical obligation to make, at the very least, some of the research it produces available for no cost to the public. This is not only ethical, it will help bring in new students, new teachers, and even more funding. Sharing scholarly information is the way that new scholarship is enabled, and the result of newest, best ideas will be growth in a following of eager students and eager faculty. And following them will be increased resources. This happens all the time, look at those research institutions that have promoted cognitive neuroscience or digital humanities.

Open Access is an idea accelerator and impact accelerator, thus, it is resource generator, only certain factions cannot see this very positive event horizon.

The last part of this longish answer borrows from a blog post by Daniel Cohen who writes about Digital Humanities and the cost of publishing online (maybe provide a link?). He says the Social Contract of Scholarly Publishing is what happens between authors, editors, and readers. This contract says that readers will read published work if they know that the manuscript has minimal errors, that the footnotes are accurate, that the fonts and navigation systems are clear and high quality. But does it matter if it is printed on paper, if the book is hardcover, if the imprint has grudging respect? I want to propose the idea of the Public University Social Contract. Such a contract improves the supply side of Cohen’s metaphor by putting more into the editing and less into the prestige of paper and bindings, more into the fast turnaround of publishing—and less into the cues of name-brands. The Public University Social Contract would state that publishing means sharing above all else—not as money-loser, but the complete opposite: as a way to enhance the missions of educate and improve knowledge, validate, build-upon, and propagate conversations and collegial bonds: in short to build trust among a vastly larger network of scholars, thereby gaining the respect of the world, so that Thomas can cite a vast number of articles and books, and so that Thomas’s work can, in turn, get cited by scholars at City Tech and beyond.

Everywhere and Anytime, Here and Now: Digital and Residential Education at Harvard

“Since the founding of edX and HarvardX in 2012, Harvard has made substantial investments in online learning in order to advance three goals: [1] Expanding access to knowledge, [2] Improving teaching and learning on campus, [3] Advancing our understanding of how people learn. These goals reflect our mission as a research university: to create and disseminate knowledge and to educate talented students from around the world….”

Elizade University’s Vice-Chancellor promised to support Open Access

Open Access Week was for the second year running marked with a well attended Workshop organised for lecturers of Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Nigeria yesterday, October 22, 2015. There, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof ‘Kunle Oloyede promised to grant an institutional support for Open Access. This, apart from equipping our researchers with new skills in using Zotero, Google Scholar and Academia.Edu was the major gains of this year’s OA Week in Elizade University, Nigeria.

Open Access Week: A View from Nepal

OA advocates like me have been waiting for this significant and riveting time of the year. The highlight of this year is definitely the International Open Access Week; a focal week, when the global community unites to celebrate the achievements of openness, organize different events around the world in collaboration with one another, plan for the future and eulogize the importance and need for open entities to a range of audiences.

Open Access Week, a global event is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what we’ve learned, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research. This year’s theme is “Open for Collaboration” and what better way to celebrate that then to highlight some of the amazing event that Open Access Nepal has lined up for this much awaited week.

Open Access Nepal has been successfully organizing advocacy and grassroot campaigns in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. But with time, we felt the strong need of expanding our work outside the capital targeting larger scale of students and researchers. In regards to this, OANepal is running a project “Open Access: Greater Reach for Research” wherein we are travelling to all the universities of Nepal and some acclaimed colleges. We’ve targeted all the 5 development regions of Nepal and we are advocating Open Access in major universities and colleges within each development region. During the Open Access Week 2015, OANepal will be organizing events as an extension to this project. During the OA week we will be focusing our events in two districts of the country. It will be a two day event in each district. The first day will witness an event where orientation about Open Access, Open Educational Resources and Open Access Repository will be provided to the participants who include researchers, students, librarians, authors and faculties. The second day will provide an opportunity for students to get into action and engage themselves in different workshops (such as OA advocacy at local level, OER, Finding and Accessing Open Resources, Issues and Challenges related to OA and establishment of OA repository). Along with these events, we have also planned a separate event with advocates and experts of Open movement in Nepal to assist us in drafting a national Open Access Policy. A final report of our event and a National Open Access Policy draft will be submitted to the Ministry of Education for further study and consideration.

I hope that these series of events can inspire even more work around Open Access in future and that our community will use this week to get involved both locally and globally. Open Access Nepal hopes to keep the momentum going and come up with even more creative and innovative ideas for Open Access Week to attract more attention and address a larger pool of audiences.

Roshan Kumar Karn
President, Open Access Nepal