“After the generous pledge to DOAB and OAPEN, PKP, and OpenCitations last year, several institutional members and customers of the Consortium of Swiss Academic Libraries have now pledged funding to three services currently being promoted by SCOSS: arXiv, Redalyc/AmeliCA and DSpace and to two infrastructures from the SCOSS Pilot cycle: DOAJ and Sherpa Romeo. Over the next three years, the support will total 57.750 Euros for arXiv, 47.250 Euros to Redalyc/AmeliCA, 57.750 Euros to DSpace, 88.357,50 Euros to DOAJ, and 136.500 Euros to SherpaRomeo, for a combined total of nearly 388.000 Euros….”
An interview with Gunay Kazimzade (Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society – The German Internet Institute)
Gunay, in your research, you deal with the discrimination through AI systems. What are typical examples of this?
Typically, biases occur in all forms of discrimination in our society, such as political, cultural, financial, or sexual. These are again manifested in the data sets collected and the structures and infrastructures around the data, technology, and society, and thus represent social standards and decision-making behaviour in particular data points. AI systems trained upon those data points show prejudices in various domains and applications.
For instance, facial recognition systems built upon biased data tend to discriminate against people of colour in several computer vision applications. According to research from MIT Media Lab, white male and black female accuracy differ dramatically in vision models. In 2018, Amazon “killed” its hiring system, which has started to eliminate female candidates for engineering and high-level positions. This outcome resulted from the company’s culture to prefer male candidates to females in those particular positions traditionally. These examples clarify that AI systems are not objective and are mapping human biases we have in society to the technological level.
How can library or digital infrastructure staff develop an awareness of this kind of discrimination? To what extent can they become active themselves?
Bias is an unavoidable consequence of situated decision-making. The decision of who and how classifies data, which data points are included in the system, is not new to libraries’ work. Libraries and archives are not just the data storage, processing, and access providers. They are critical infrastructures committed to making information available and discoverable yet with the desirable vision to eliminate discriminatory outcomes of those data points.
Imagine a situation where researchers approach the library asking for images to train a face recognition model. The quality and diversity of this data directly impact the results of the research and system developed upon those data. Diversity in images (Youtube) has been recently investigated in the “Gender shades” study by Joy Buolamwini from MIT Media Lab. The question here is: Could library staff identify demographic bias in the data sets before the Gender Shades study was published? Probably not.
The right mindset comes from awareness. Awareness is the social responsibility and self-determination framed with the critical library skills and subject specialization. Relying only on metadata would not be necessary for eliminating bias in data collections. Diversity in staffing and critical domain-specific skills and tools are crucial assets in analysing library system digitised collections. Training of library staffing, continuous training, and evaluation should be the primary strategy of the libraries on the way to detect, understand and mitigate biases in library information systems.
If you want to develop AI systems, algorithms, and designs that are non-discriminatory, the right mindset plays a significant role. What factors are essential for the right attitude? And how do you get it?
Whether it is a developer, user, provider, or another stakeholder, the right mindset starts with the
- Clear understanding of the technology use, capabilities as well as limitations;
- Diversity and inclusion in the team, asking the right questions at the right time;
- Considering team composition for the diversity of thought, background, and experiences;
- Understanding the task, stakeholders, and potential for errors and harm;
- Checking data sets: Consider data provenance. What is the data intended to represent?;
- Verifying the quality of the system through qualitative, experimental, survey, and other methods;
- Continual monitoring, including customer feedback;
- Having a plan to identify and respond to failures and harms as they occur;
Therefore, long-term strategy for library information systems management should include
- Transparent processes
- Explainability/interpretability for each worker/stakeholder
- Special Education/Training
- University Education
- Quality Metrics
Everybody knows it: You choose a book from an online platform and get other suggestions a la “People who bought this book also bought XYZ”. Are such suggestion and recommendation systems, which can also exist in academic libraries, discriminatory? In what way? And how can we make them fairer?
Several research findings suggest making recommendations fairer and out of the “filter bubbles” created by technology deployers. In recommendations, transparency and explainability are among the main techniques for approaching this problem. Developers should consider the explainability of the suggestions made by the algorithms and make the recommendations justifiable for the user of the system. It should be transparent for the user based on which criteria this particular book recommendation was made and whether it was based on gender, race, or other sensitive attributes. Library or digital infrastructure staff are the main actors in this technology deployment pipeline. They should be conscious and reinforce the decision-makers to deploy the technology that includes the specific features for explainability and transparency in the library systems.
What can they do if an institute, library, or repository wants to find out if their website, library catalogue, or other infrastructure they offer is discriminatory? How can they tell who is being discriminated against? Where can they get support or a discrimination check-up done?
First, “check-up” should start by verifying the quality of the data through quantitative and qualitative, mixed experimental methods. In addition, there are several open-access methodologies and tools for fairness check and bias detection/mitigation in several domains. For instance, AI Fairness 360 is an open-source toolkit that helps to examine, report, and mitigate discrimination and bias in machine learning models throughout the AI application lifecycle.
Another useful tool is “Datasheets for datasets”, intended to document the datasets used for training and evaluating machine learning models; this tool is very relevant in developing metadata for library and archive systems, which can be further used for model training.
Overall, everything starts with the right mindset and awareness on approaching the bias challenge in specific domains.
- Artificial intelligence: New Opportunities for Citizen Science, Research and Libraries
- Science Checker: Open Access and Artificial Intelligence Help Verify Claims
- Digital Open Science Tools: How to Achieve More Openness Through an Inclusive Design
- Horizon Report 2020: AI, XR and OER Begin to Catch on in Higher Education
- Open Access: AfricArXiv Facilitates Knowledge Exchange Between Africa and Europe
- DGI Day Practicum: How Does Artificial Intelligence Change the World of Information Professionals?
- Hackathon Coding.Waterkant: How to Improve Library Services Through Chatbots and Artificial Intelligence
We were talking to:
Gunay Kazimzade is a Doctoral Researcher in Artificial Intelligence at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society in Berlin, where she is currently working with the research group “Criticality of AI-based Systems”. She is also a PhD candidate in Computer Science at the Technical University of Berlin. Her main research directions are gender and racial bias in AI, inclusivity in AI, and AI-enhanced education. She is a TEDx speaker, Presidential Award of Youth winner in Azerbaijan and AI Newcomer Award winner in Germany. Gunay Kazimzade can also be found on Google Scholar, ResearchGate und LinkedIn.
Portrait: Weizenbaum Institute©
Recently, the “German Science and Humanities Council” (Wissenschaftsrat) has issued their “Recommendations on the Transformation of Academic Publishing: Towards Open Access“. On page 33 they write that increasing the competition between publishers is an explicit goal of current transformative agreements:
publishers become publication service providers and enter into competition with other providers
This emphasis on competition refers back to the simple fact that as content (rather than service) providers, legacy publishers currently enjoy monopolies on their content, as, e.g., the European Commission has long recognized: In at least two market analyses, one dating as far back as 2003 and one from 2015, the EC acknowledges the lack of a genuine market due to the lack of substitutability:
it is rare that two different publications can be viewed as perfect substitutes, as there are differences in the coverage, comprehensiveness and content provided. Therefore, in terms of functional interchangeability, two different publications could hardly be regarded as substitutable by the end-users, the readers. On that basis, the Commission found that consumers will rarely substitute one publication for another following a change in their relative prices
Publications for different academic subjects are clearly not substitutable from the reader’s point of view. Even within a given discipline, there may be little demand side substitution from the point of view of the individual academic between different publications.
As this lack of substitutability is one of the main sources of the problems associated with academic publishing today, not just the German WR, but many initiatives around the globe see increased competition among publishers as key to moving forward.
“Recently, the “German Science and Humanities Council” (Wissenschaftsrat) has issued their “Recommendations on the Transformation of Academic Publishing: Towards Open Access“. On page 33 they write that increasing the competition between publishers is an explicit goal of current transformative agreements:
publishers become publication service providers and enter into competition with other providers
This emphasis on competition refers back to the simple fact that as content (rather than service) providers, legacy publishers currently enjoy monopolies on their content, as, e.g., the European Commission has long recognized: In at least two market analyses, one dating as far back as 2003 and one from 2015, the EC acknowledges the lack of a genuine market due to the lack of substitutability…
Without such prestige, the faculty argue, they cannot work, risk their careers and funding. Arguments that these ancient vehicles are unreliable, unaffordable and dysfunctional are brushed away by emphasizing that their academic freedom allows them to drive whatever vehicle they want to their field work. Moreover, they argue, the price of around one million is “very attractive” because of the prestige the money buys them.
With this analogy, it becomes clear why and how tenders protect the public interest against any individual interests. In this analogy, it is likely also clear that academic freedom does not and should not trump all other considerations. In this respect, I would consider the analogy very fitting and have always argued for such a balance of public and researcher interests: academic freedom does not automatically exempt academics from procurement rules.
Therefore, ten experts advocate a ban on all negotiations with publishers and, instead, advocate policies that ensure that all publication services for public academic institutions must be awarded by tender, analogous the the example set by Open Research Europe and analogous to how all other, non-digital infrastructure contracts are awarded.”
“ASAPbio is seeking several new members for our Board of Directors to support our mission to drive positive change in science communication and to broaden our geographic representation.
We are looking for new Board members who can help us deliver on our strategic goals and complement the perspectives of existing Board members. We particularly seek individuals with expertise in the areas below:
Driving and managing culture change
Meta-research, ideally with a strong understanding of the current landscape and trends around preprints and open peer review
Data and information analysis in the context of science communication
We want to increase the geographical representation within the Board, and we would particularly welcome applications from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Oceania.”
VU Amsterdam and the University of Twente intend to offer the existing Twente bachelor’s study programme Creative Technology in Amsterdam too. If all the signs are right, this will be the second technical bachelor’s programme that pre-university education students in the Amsterdam region can choose. In 2019 the two universities started the study programme Mechanical Engineering, from which the first batch of students will graduate this June.
Abstract: Yvonne Campfens, executive director of the OA Switchboard, presented an overview of the Switchboard and shared pre-recorded statements from a panel of user-stakeholders: Liz Bal and Jennifer Sanchez-Davies of Jisc, Alex Howat of the Microbiology Society, and Adam Der of the Max Planck Digital Library. Throughout her presentation, Campfens also shared quotes from interviews conducted with representatives of research funding organizations, publishers, and research institutions. The comments from the panelists and interviewees served to illustrate the potential benefits of the OA Switchboard for organizations which are producing, supporting, and transitioning to Open Access (OA) publishing.
Abstract: In 2020, LYRASIS conducted a survey of their members to better understand predominantly U.S. institutional attitudes towards open content, including Open Access (OA) scholarship. The survey revealed several findings indicating that U.S. institutions cannot conform to the same OA models and strategies as their international counterparts. Likewise, a significant portion of institutions cannot participate in transformative agreements, at least not by the current definition. This presentation described the survey findings and how strategists from LYRASIS used what they learned to introduce OA into their negotiations in a way that increased participation from institutions of different sizes, missions, and research outputs, thus expanding the definition of the transformative agreement.
Abstract: This presentation explored current library Open Educational Resources (OER) publishing practices and presented research results on those practices. This original research surveyed academic librarians involved in OER publication projects to begin to address the need for expanded dialogue and the development of best practices for publishing OER. The survey results illustrate a broad picture of current practices and serves as a foundation for creating a best practice guide for library OER publishing. The presentation addressed author recruitment and marketing, publishing tools and platforms, and publishing support outside the library.
“The Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) enables authors to exercise the rights they have on their manuscripts to deposit a copy of the Author Accepted Manuscript (AAM) in a repository on publication and provide open access to it. To help researchers acknowledge and assert their rights, cOAlition S is launching an online campaign, under the theme “Publish with Power: Protect your rights“. The campaign aims to encourage researchers to retain their intellectual property rights, explains the steps they need to take and highlights the benefits for them and also for science and society. Below is a suite of resources about the Rights Retention Strategy, freely available for downloading, using and sharing….”
“In 2020 cOAlition S released its Rights Retention Strategy (RRS) with the dual purpose of enabling authors to retain rights that automatically belong to the author, and to enable compliance with their funders’ Open Access policy via dissemination in a repository.
This video explains briefly the steps a researcher has to follow to retain their intellectual property rights….”
“If there is one academic discovery search that dominates it is Google Scholar.
Much has been said about it’s merits , particularly over library discovery systems but even the best discovery service will not be popular if it does not help the user access the full text whether open access or based on the user’s own unique circumstances (typically institutional affiliation).
In this blog post, I will list 5 different ways Google Scholar helps a user get to full text. The last two were methods I recently discovered and it seems may not be very well known even by academic librarians.
1. Free full text tagged [PDF] or [HTML]
2. Library Links programme
3. Library search via Open WorldCat Search
4. The print/or non-electronic holdings option…
5. Subscriber links programme …”
Mark Hahnel looks at the progress that’s been made toward open research data — what’s been achieved, what still needs work, and what happens next?
The post Guest Post: A Decade of Open Data in Research — Real Change or Slow Moving Compliance? appeared first on The Scholarly Kitchen.
From Google’s English: “The two-day interdisciplinary event deals with digital publishing in the humanities. The thematic priorities are quality criteria in humanities publications in connection with and as a result of open access, digital publishing and scholar-led publishing as well as current problems of scientific publishing such as reputation building mechanisms, peer review and data tracking.
A theoretical part deals with sociological, scientific-theoretical and political issues relating to open access in the humanities. The different disciplinary perspectives of humanities scholars are brought together through common problems and interests. The specification of quality criteria and the current publication practice leads to the controversial topic of peer review.
In the practical part, the goal is the joint development of position papers on problem areas and task-oriented requirements for quality assurance in the humanities (in book format). Current examples of the implementation of academic and library-organized publishing are presented and discussed.
The third part focuses on other current problems of scientific publishing, such as data tracking….”
“We’re testing a new experimental open science feature intended to promote data sharing and reuse across the PLOS journal portfolio. A subset of PLOS articles that link to shared research data in a repository will display a prominent visual cue designed to help researchers find accessible data, and encourage best practice in data sharing….”