Open or Ajar? Openness within the Neoliberal Academy[v1] | Preprints

Abstract:  The terms ‘open’ and ‘openness’ are widely used across the current higher education environment particularly in the areas of repository services and scholarly communications. Open-access licensing and open-source licensing are two prevalent manifestations of open culture within higher education research environments. As theoretical ideals, open-licensing models aim at openness and academic freedom. But operating as they do within the context of global neoliberalism, to what extent are these models constructed by, sustained by, and co-opted by neoliberalism? In this paper, we interrogate the use of open-licensing within scholarly communications and within the larger societal context of neoliberalism. Through synthesis of various sources, we will examine how open access licensing models have been constrained by neoliberal or otherwise corporate agendas, how open access and open scholarship have been reframed within discourses of compliance, how open-source software models and software are co-opted by politico-economic forces, and how the language of ‘openness’ is widely misused in higher education and repository services circles to drive agendas that run counter to actually increasing openness. We will finish by suggesting ways to resist this trend and use open-licensing models to resist neoliberal agendas in open scholarship.

 

Barriers to Working With National Health Service England’s Open Data | Bacon | Journal of Medical Internet Research

Abstract:  Open data is information made freely available to third parties in structured formats without restrictive licensing conditions, permitting commercial and noncommercial organizations to innovate. In the context of National Health Service (NHS) data, this is intended to improve patient outcomes and efficiency. EBM DataLab is a research group with a focus on online tools which turn our research findings into actionable monthly outputs. We regularly import and process more than 15 different NHS open datasets to deliver OpenPrescribing.net, one of the most high-impact use cases for NHS England’s open data, with over 15,000 unique users each month. In this paper, we have described the many breaches of best practices around NHS open data that we have encountered. Examples include datasets that repeatedly change location without warning or forwarding; datasets that are needlessly behind a “CAPTCHA” and so cannot be automatically downloaded; longitudinal datasets that change their structure without warning or documentation; near-duplicate datasets with unexplained differences; datasets that are impossible to locate, and thus may or may not exist; poor or absent documentation; and withholding of data for dubious reasons. We propose new open ways of working that will support better analytics for all users of the NHS. These include better curation, better documentation, and systems for better dialogue with technical teams.

 

Open Matters: A Brief Intro | New England Board of Higher Education

“In late September 2019, I joined NEBHE as its Open Education Fellow to help build upon the grassroots efforts that have been underway for years in the Northeast aiming to lessen the burden that textbook costs place on higher education students and their families. Like so many of my colleagues doing this work day in and day out, I’m passionate about breaking down this very real barrier to student learning and success. Many people still have only a vague sense of “Open Education,” so I’d like to share some thoughts on what it is and why it matters.

I recently attended my third Open Education Global Conference in November 2019 at Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy. As always, I returned home from the conference, feeling inspired after engaging with colleagues from around the globe who are doing amazing things to make education more equitable and attainable for students.

The final conference keynote delivered by Cheryl-Ann Hodgkinson-Williams of the University of Cape Town in South Africa defined “open education” as an umbrella term that encompasses the products, practices and communities associated with this work. The common term that represents the products of Open Education is OER (Open Educational Resources)….”

The naïveté of Academia: How Plan S could let pseudoscientific and predatory publishers take advantage of researchers

“We are, in general, supporters of Creative Commons – in many ways it is the basis of all scientific work. Within science itself the right to quote is mostly sufficient to be able to see further, standing on the shoulders of giants.

The ideals behind CC publishing are thus great, but we believe they are a bit naive in regard to the society we live in, and many of the actors in this society – including anti-science actors. We believe that the current models of CC publishing promoted by Plan S make it possible for scientists to become useful idiots for for instance pseudoscientific and predatory publishers….”

The naïveté of Academia: How Plan S could let pseudoscientific and predatory publishers take advantage of researchers

“We are, in general, supporters of Creative Commons – in many ways it is the basis of all scientific work. Within science itself the right to quote is mostly sufficient to be able to see further, standing on the shoulders of giants.

The ideals behind CC publishing are thus great, but we believe they are a bit naive in regard to the society we live in, and many of the actors in this society – including anti-science actors. We believe that the current models of CC publishing promoted by Plan S make it possible for scientists to become useful idiots for for instance pseudoscientific and predatory publishers….”

Job Posting: Digital Access and Licensing Analyst | Libraries News and Information

“The Ohio State University Libraries seeks an innovative and analytical person to fill the position of Digital Access and Licensing Analyst. The person in this position will be an integral part of the Electronic Resources Management team and will focus on supporting accessibility of Libraries’ purchased electronic resources….”

Introducing the CC Search Browser Extension

This is part of a series of posts introducing the projects built by open source contributors mentored by Creative Commons during Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2019. Mayank Nader was one of those contributors and we are grateful for his work on this project.

Creative Commons (CC) is working towards providing easy access to CC-licensed and public domain works. One significant step towards achieving that goal was the release of CC Search in 2019. Through this search and indexing tool, we’re making a plethora of CC-licensed images accessible in one place. As CC Search expands to include more than just images, CC is also developing a suite of applications and interfaces to help users across the world interact, consume, and reuse open access content.

CC Search Extension (1)

The CC Search Browser Extension is one such application. This browser extension is an open-source, lightweight plugin that can be installed and used by anyone with an updated web browser.

Why did we create this browser extension?

Browsers are the gateway to the web, and users often install browser plugins to improve productivity and overall experience. With the CC Search Browser Extension, users can now search for CC-licensed images, download them, and attribute the owner/creator without needing to head over to Flickr, Behance, Rawpixel or any other source of CC-licensed content. The other great feature? The CC Search Browser Extension works across different browsers, providing a familiar and intuitive experience for all users.

Key features of the CC Search Browser Extension: 

  • Search and filter CC-licensed content

You can use the extension filters to filter the content by the source website, types of licenses, and/or use-case.

CC Search Extension (2)

  • One-click attribution

One condition of all CC licenses is attribution. Attributing the owner/creator of CC-licensed content found using the extension is easy with one-click attribution. Both the Rich-text and HTML versions of the attribution are available.

CC Search Extension (3)

  • Download images (and attribution)

Download the image to use it in your works through the extension itself. You can also download the attribution information as a text file along with the image; this can be helpful when downloading multiple images in a single session.

  • Bookmark images

Bookmarking the images will save them in the extension. You can view and remove your bookmarks from the bookmarks section.

CC Search Extension (4)

  • Export and import bookmarks

As a user, you can easily archive and/or transfer your bookmarks. This feature makes sure that the process of archiving and transferring bookmarks is uncomplicated and straightforward.

CC Search Extension (5)

  • User-interface (UI) options available for custom settings

The extension also allows for setting default filters, etc. The “Options” page helps declutter the main popup of the extension, ensuring that it shows only the most necessary information. In the future, this “Options” page will also host additional and updated features.

CC Search Extension (6)

  • Sync your custom settings and bookmarks across devices

Chrome and Firefox have a built-in feature that syncs browser settings and preferences across your logged-in devices. The extension leverages this feature to sync your custom settings and bookmarks. This will make your experience more pleasant and familiar. 

  • Dark Mode

The extension also has a dark mode that you can toggle “on” by clicking the icon in the header. This reduces screen glare and battery consumption. You can set the dark mode as default in the “Options” page.

Future plans and development

  • Find and fix bugs
  • Add a review and feedback tab on the “Options” page
  • Integrate Vocabulary into the extension
  • Develop usability enhancements
  • Remove infinite scrolling and replace it with pagination or voluntary loading
  • Add search syntax for better specificity of results and a search syntax guide
  • Make the code more modular and add more tests
  • Port the features of the CC Search web application that are relevant in the context of the browser plugin

Installation

The latest version of the extension is available for installation via Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera.

Join the community

Community contribution and feedback is an essential part of the development process, so we encourage you to contact us if you have feedback or a specific suggestion. This is an open-source project, you can contribute in the form of bug reports, feature requests, or code contributions.

To install the development version of the extension, read the installation guide on Github.

Finally, come and tell us about your experience on the Creative Commons Slack via the slack channel: #cc-dev-browser-extension.

The post Introducing the CC Search Browser Extension appeared first on Creative Commons.

Introducing the CC Search Browser Extension

This is part of a series of posts introducing the projects built by open source contributors mentored by Creative Commons during Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2019. Mayank Nader was one of those contributors and we are grateful for his work on this project.

Creative Commons (CC) is working towards providing easy access to CC-licensed and public domain works. One significant step towards achieving that goal was the release of CC Search in 2019. Through this search and indexing tool, we’re making a plethora of CC-licensed images accessible in one place. As CC Search expands to include more than just images, CC is also developing a suite of applications and interfaces to help users across the world interact, consume, and reuse open access content.

CC Search Extension (1)

The CC Search Browser Extension is one such application. This browser extension is an open-source, lightweight plugin that can be installed and used by anyone with an updated web browser.

Why did we create this browser extension?

Browsers are the gateway to the web, and users often install browser plugins to improve productivity and overall experience. With the CC Search Browser Extension, users can now search for CC-licensed images, download them, and attribute the owner/creator without needing to head over to Flickr, Behance, Rawpixel or any other source of CC-licensed content. The other great feature? The CC Search Browser Extension works across different browsers, providing a familiar and intuitive experience for all users.

Key features of the CC Search Browser Extension: 

  • Search and filter CC-licensed content

You can use the extension filters to filter the content by the source website, types of licenses, and/or use-case.

CC Search Extension (2)

  • One-click attribution

One condition of all CC licenses is attribution. Attributing the owner/creator of CC-licensed content found using the extension is easy with one-click attribution. Both the Rich-text and HTML versions of the attribution are available.

CC Search Extension (3)

  • Download images (and attribution)

Download the image to use it in your works through the extension itself. You can also download the attribution information as a text file along with the image; this can be helpful when downloading multiple images in a single session.

  • Bookmark images

Bookmarking the images will save them in the extension. You can view and remove your bookmarks from the bookmarks section.

CC Search Extension (4)

  • Export and import bookmarks

As a user, you can easily archive and/or transfer your bookmarks. This feature makes sure that the process of archiving and transferring bookmarks is uncomplicated and straightforward.

CC Search Extension (5)

  • User-interface (UI) options available for custom settings

The extension also allows for setting default filters, etc. The “Options” page helps declutter the main popup of the extension, ensuring that it shows only the most necessary information. In the future, this “Options” page will also host additional and updated features.

CC Search Extension (6)

  • Sync your custom settings and bookmarks across devices

Chrome and Firefox have a built-in feature that syncs browser settings and preferences across your logged-in devices. The extension leverages this feature to sync your custom settings and bookmarks. This will make your experience more pleasant and familiar. 

  • Dark Mode

The extension also has a dark mode that you can toggle “on” by clicking the icon in the header. This reduces screen glare and battery consumption. You can set the dark mode as default in the “Options” page.

Future plans and development

  • Find and fix bugs
  • Add a review and feedback tab on the “Options” page
  • Integrate Vocabulary into the extension
  • Develop usability enhancements
  • Remove infinite scrolling and replace it with pagination or voluntary loading
  • Add search syntax for better specificity of results and a search syntax guide
  • Make the code more modular and add more tests
  • Port the features of the CC Search web application that are relevant in the context of the browser plugin

Installation

The latest version of the extension is available for installation via Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Opera.

Join the community

Community contribution and feedback is an essential part of the development process, so we encourage you to contact us if you have feedback or a specific suggestion. This is an open-source project, you can contribute in the form of bug reports, feature requests, or code contributions.

To install the development version of the extension, read the installation guide on Github.

Finally, come and tell us about your experience on the Creative Commons Slack via the slack channel: #cc-dev-browser-extension.

The post Introducing the CC Search Browser Extension appeared first on Creative Commons.

New paper – How Open is OpenGLAM? Identifying Barriers to Commercial and Non-Commercial Reuse of Digitised Art Images | Melissa Terras

“I’m delighted to be a co-author on a new paper recently published in the Journal of Documentation: How Open is OpenGLAM: Identifying barriers to commercial and non-commercial reuse of digitised art images (PDF of accepted manuscript).

This results from Foteini Valeonti’s work on Useum.org, where she has built a “virtual museum that democratises art”, including (or at least, trying to include!) many openly licensed images of artworks, testing out the limits of open licensing for both commercial and non-commercial applications. Are they really that open? what barriers are in the way?…”