Team Awarded Grant to Help Digital Humanities Scholars Navigate Legal Issues of Text Data Mining – UC Berkeley Library Update

“We are thrilled to share that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded a $165,000 grant to a UC Berkeley-led team of legal experts, librarians, and scholars who will help humanities researchers and staff navigate complex legal questions in cutting-edge digital research….

Until now, humanities researchers conducting text data mining have had to navigate a thicket of legal issues without much guidance or assistance. For instance, imagine the researchers needed to scrape content about Egyptian artifacts from online sites or databases, or download videos about Egyptian tomb excavations, in order to conduct their automated analysis. And then imagine the researchers also want to share these content-rich data sets with others to encourage research reproducibility or enable other researchers to query the data sets with new questions. This kind of work can raise issues of copyright, contract, and privacy law, not to mention ethics if there are issues of, say, indigenous knowledge or cultural heritage materials plausibly at risk. Indeed, in a recent study of humanities scholars’ text analysis needs, participants noted that access to and use of copyright-protected texts was a “frequent obstacle” in their ability to select appropriate texts for text data mining. 

Potential legal hurdles do not just deter text data mining research; they also bias it toward particular topics and sources of data. In response to confusion over copyright, website terms of use, and other perceived legal roadblocks, some digital humanities researchers have gravitated to low-friction research questions and texts to avoid decision-making about rights-protected data. They use texts that have entered into the public domain or use materials that have been flexibly licensed through initiatives such as Creative Commons or Open Data Commons. When researchers limit their research to such sources, it is inevitably skewed, leaving important questions unanswered, and rendering resulting findings less broadly applicable. A growing body of research also demonstrates how race, gender, and other biases found in openly available texts have contributed to and exacerbated bias in developing artificial intelligence tools. …

Open access and social justice driving African development

“The open access movement is being hailed in Africa as one of many solutions that can contribute to its development, as it opens access to scholarly literature which is critical for development. To fast track a positive development trajectory, Africa needs access to scholarly content to generate new knowledge, which provides solutions, at an exponential rate, to local challenges. Hence, there is growing reliance on freely accessible scholarly content, as well as free and open channels for the dissemination of scholarly information generated from the global south. Driving these free access and open dissemination channels is the social justice principle that researched and published solutions need to be equitably shared. As much as there is strong advocacy for free access, there has to be equal support for inclusive participation by global south researchers in knowledge creation and the free and equitable dissemination of this knowledge.

The open access movement must embrace the social justice elements embedded in the movement and robustly advance the liberation of marginalised voices. These “new voices [need] to find their way into disciplinary conversations, reach new audiences, both academic and public, and impact existing and emerging fields of scholarship and practice in a transformative way” (Roh 2016: 83). Open access services must become mainstream for academic and research institutions in Africa as open access is one of the most significant conduits for inclusive and free access to scholarship for the marginalised and has the mandate and potential to strongly promote unhindered participation in knowledge production.

This conference must challenge the open access movement and its advocates with their social justice principles to usher in equity and equal opportunity and to open the doors for full participation of new African voices in the scholarly communication landscape. There has to be a mind-set shift away from the assumption that the global south will remain ignorant and underdeveloped until it has access to the global north’s knowledge. The creation and dissemination of global south research will convert the one directional flow of information to a facilitated process of equitable knowledge exchange.”

Bridging Learned Society Publishing and Open Access: an International Collaboration and Webinar Series – Transitioning Society Publications to OA

“Scholarly or learned societies enable geographically diverse scholars to build and engage with communities that share and discuss ideas and findings, with the aim of promoting knowledge exchange for social value and the common good. Traditionally, societies achieve this convening function through a subscription-based publishing model in which society membership or institutional support affords scholars access to society publications. As global publishing shifts toward open access (OA), societies are wrestling with the need for new revenue streams and publishing strategies not only to ensure cost recovery, but also to sustain other important society functions—like educational programming, grant awards, professional development, and advocacy—once supported by membership or library subscription spends.

New financial models to support learned society publishing have significant implications for society operations and organizational structures, as well as the ability of authors and academic institutions to participate in society publishing. Whereas authors could once publish in society journals for free, many are now being asked to contribute article processing charges to subsidize OA publication costs. And many of the libraries and research organizations that once engaged in large licensing arrangements to provide their affiliates with access to aggregated society journal titles are now left exploring how to repurpose subscription budgets to support both access and publishing, including by undertaking society journal publishing directly. The mileage of these different OA financial models for societies may also vary: OA publishing is a global enterprise, subject to and reflecting different pressures, mandates, and opportunities within local or regional communities. 

Society publishing stakeholders may need support in navigating these contoured pressures. On the heels of Plan S, societies have begun organizing to bring clarity to the emerging OA landscape and its relationship with society publishing needs and infrastructures. In the UK, the Society Publishers’ Coalition (SocPC)—a group of like-minded, not-for-profit learned societies, community publishers, and membership charities who publish—has formed to help societies, funders, and research organizations collectively explore funding solutions that enable OA publication while buttressing core society functions and missions. In the United States, Transitioning Society Publications to OA (TSPOA) is a similar group seeking to connect society publishing stakeholders with support and useful resources related to an OA publishing transition. (Other resources and efforts are also underway. For instance, the Societies and Open Access Research project catalogs OA society journals in an effort, among other things, to help society publishers who have yet to commit to OA find peers at other societies.)…”

Join the M.O.S.T. Regional Open Educational Resource Forum · Open Educational Resources at UMBC · myUMBC

“This day-long regional forum is targeted to higher education faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and administrators interested in getting an introduction to openly licensed materials, finding resources to support OER adoption, and joining discussions on OER accessibility, quality, and impact on student success. Attendees will have an opportunity to network, learn, and collaborate with colleagues from across Maryland’s 2- and 4-year higher education institutions….”

Open Source Publishing Technologies: Current Status and Emerging Possibilities | NISO website

“This session will focus on discussions of open source publishing platforms and systems. What is the value proposition? What functionalities are commonplace? Where are the pitfalls in adoption and use by publishers or by libraries? What potential is there for scholarly societies who are similarly responsible for publication support and dissemination? Given the rising interest in open access and open educational resources, this session will offer professionals a sense of what is available, a sense of practical concerns and a general sense of their future direction….”

2019:GLAM/Public Domain Awareness Project: enhancing use of CC’s Public Domain tools to serve the needs of GLAM institutions and reusers – Wikimania

“Making assessments about the copyright status of a work remains a challenge notwithstanding the tools that CC has developed over the years, such as the Public Domain Mark and CC0. It is also hard to communicate to end users about the laws that apply to their particular use of a work. Copyright is jurisdiction based, which means each country has their own copyright and public domain rules. These differing laws presents challenges for digitizers of content and reusers of digital online surrogates.

Several efforts and projects offer partial solutions for these challenges; however they tend to serve single jurisdiction or regional needs, are loosely coordinated, and are not integrated into a unified solution that works starting from the moment of digitization and continuing through to the public that encounters them over the Internet. Ideally, the public domain is the easiest part of the knowledge commons to assess and reuse, but the current environment makes it challenging at each stage in the process of getting that content to a public.

Creative Commons and other key stakeholders such as Wikimedia brought forth this Project for initial discussion with our community and stakeholders at the CC 2019 Global Summit in Lisbon. The outcomes of the 4 hours session at the Summit can be found here.

At this session, we expect to be able to follow on some of the data modelling challenges in relationship with the Help:Copyrights page on Wikidata. We want to gather feedback and input from the community that is working in the intersection of GLAM institutions and Wikidata.

Creative Commons will bring some of its legal expertise on copyright and open licensing, and we expect to engage more with the Wikidata community to leverage the different languages and community needs, and better refine our initial project….”

2019:Libraries/Reaching Authors of Academic Journals about Open Access – Wikimania

“More and more methods are emerging by which individuals and small teams can reach authors of important scholarly articles to encourage them to provide Open Access to their work.

This ideation session will report on some best practices, such as:

the project done in 2017 by Italian Wikipedians to reach out to 96K senior scholars of works cited in English Wikipedia that could have been shared but had not yet been.
the “Open Letter(s) on Open Access” [#OALetters] in which a small team crafted open letters to authors of important works which were not yet shared. This project revealed how capabilities of the Open Access Button could be deployed by small teams to systematically message authors at scale.
new features of the Open Access Button [#OAButton] have come out recently (and there are likely to be more by mid-Sept) which may add to the portfolio of tools/techniques available to this purpose.
an example of a scholarly article where the author went all out to have her cited sources open. It dramatically improves readability (which clearly improves impact)….”

Open Access 2.0: Rethinking Open Access

“The open access movement has empowered museums to connect with their audiences by providing unprecedented access to digital collections. Now that a number of museums have had an open access policy for the better part of a decade, how have their policies stood the test of time? How have their policies made an impact on their institutions and communities? Have standards of “openness” changed? How can policies be updated to address changes in community practice? What lessons can those still advocating for an initial open access policy at their institution learn from early innovators? Representatives from several museums with open access policies will share how their policies are evolving and lessons learned from their experiences implementing open access, and a representative from Creative Commons will give an update on the work the OpenGLAM community is doing to support open access policies….Key Outcomes: After attending this session, participants from institutions with open access policies will be ready to review their policies for areas that may need updating. Participants who are still lobbying for open access at their museum will come away with strategies for gaining institutional support for open access and crafting a policy that reflects current practice.”

What’s Next for OpenCon: Putting Equity at the Core – OpenCon

“Today, we’re announcing a shift in how SPARC supports OpenCon to reflect the OpenCon community’s evolution. Instead of hosting a global conference in 2019, we will focus on laying the long-term foundation for the OpenCon community, and will host a reconfigured global meeting in 2020. This decision was driven by the community’s commitment to put equity at the core of its work and represents the culmination of OpenCon’s first five years.

Since launching in 2014, OpenCon has grown from an idea into a global community of next generation leaders working to make research and education more open and equitable. Driven by these emerging leaders, OpenCon has evolved into a global network that has now hosted events in 44 countries and 24 unique languages, reaching more than 9,500 participants. Community members have helped advance open policies at all levels, launched projects and organizations, built new tools, and fostered the adoption of open practices in their local communities. Throughout these efforts, OpenCon’s community has made it clear that equity is essential and inclusion is non-negotiable, and that these values must be built into the foundation of this work—not added on afterward.

From the beginning, the aspirations for open research and open education have been connected to equity: the idea that open systems can be fairer than closed ones and should be explicitly built to address the causes of marginalization. As open research and open education transition from aspiration to implementation, we have an unprecedented opportunity. In redesigning systems for creating and sharing knowledge to be open, we can address deep inequities in the current system….”

How should scholarly societies transition to open access?: Webinar key takeaways and answers to attendee questions – OASPA

“Following on from last week’s popular webinar entitled How should scholarly societies transition to open access?, we asked our speakers to summarise their talks by offering a few key takeaways, which you can find below. This may be useful for those who missed it or wish to share with colleagues. You can also access the full audio recording and recommended reading and slides.

We also asked speakers to respond to the many questions that were posed by attendees via the webinar chat.  You can find those questions and answers directly under the takeaways….”