GitHub – FreeOurKnowledge/community: Place to discuss Project Free Our Knowledge (including campaign proposals, posted as separate Issues) and store project documents

“Academia functions like a ‘tragedy of the commons dilemma’ (or collective action problem) — the widespread adoption of open science practices could benefit everyone in the research community, but their adoption is impeded by incentive structures that reward sub-optimal research and publication practices at the individual level. Our platform functions much like Kickstarter, but for cultural change rather than products. Any researcher can propose a campaign calling for their peers to adopt a particular behaviour if and when there is a critical mass of support in their community to do so. Pledges remain inactive and anonymised until this time, allowing vulnerable individuals to signal their desire for positive culture change without risking their career in the process. Then — after the critical mass is met — all signatories are de-anonymised on the website and directed to carry out the action together, thus creating momentum for change and protecting one another’s interests through collective action. We envisage that over time, these campaigns will grow increasingly larger in size and scope, and eventually become a powerful driving force in aligning the academic system with the needs of research community and principles of science itself….”

UT System joins Texas Library Coalition to improve access to scientific journals | University of Texas System

“The University of Texas System has joined the Texas Library Coalition for United Action (TLCUA) to rethink how university libraries collectively can improve access to faculty research and to push for changes to the costly subscription models offered by publishers of academic journals.

A total of 41 institutions in Texas have now joined the Coalition – including the 14 UT institutions – making it the largest and most diverse consortia of its kind and giving it significant negotiating power.

Beyond the high cost of subscriptions, which is becoming unsustainable for many academic institutions, the Coalition is advocating for increased author control of their own scholarship and for university libraries to increase the accessibility of scholarship produced by their own faculty members….”

Enabling complete PACER RSS feeds in the Eastern District of California

“We are writing to urge the District Court for the Eastern District of California to fully enable an existing feature of the PACER system: RSS feeds of all recent cases and filings in your jurisdiction. I am the executive director of Free Law Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Oakland, California that works to make the U.S. legal system more fair and efficient. I am writing on behalf of a broad coalition of individuals and organizations that believe enabling this simple feature is important to transparency and public understanding of court activity….” 

Passenger Pigeon Manifesto

“We are supposed to learn from history, yet we don’t have access to it. Historical photographs of extinct animals are among the most important artefacts to teach and inform about human impact on nature. But where to look when one wants to see all that is left of these beings? Where can I access all the extant photos of the thylacine or the passenger pigeon? History books use photos to help us relate to narratives and see a shared reality. But how can we look through our own communities’ photographic heritage, share it with each other and use it for research and education?

Historical photos are kept by archives, libraries, museums and other cultural institutions. Preservation, which is the goal of cultural institutions, means ensuring not only the existence of but the access to historical materials. It is the opposite of owning: it’s sustainable sharing. Similarly, conservation is not capturing and caging but ensuring the conditions and freedom to live.

Even though most of our tangible cultural heritage has not been digitised yet, a process greatly hindered by the lack of resources for professionals, we could already have much to look at online. In reality, a significant portion of already digitised historical photos is not available freely to the public – despite being in the public domain. We might be able to see thumbnails or medium sized previews scattered throughout numerous online catalogs but most of the time we don’t get to see them in full quality and detail. In general, they are hidden, the memory of their existence slowly going extinct.

The knowledge and efforts of these institutions are crucial in tending our cultural landscape but they cannot become prisons to our history. Instead of claiming ownership, their task is to provide unrestricted access and free use. Cultural heritage should not be accessible only for those who can afford paying for it….”

Using Outreach Weeks to Examine Labor, Assessment and Value in Open Advocacy

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION Like the scholarly communication system it aims to transform, open advocacy work is broad in scope and reflects many influences, practices, and players. Despite having a rewarding mission, scholarly communication librarians frequently juggle multiple roles, may experience isolation and career stagnation, and produce outputs that are not readily understood. METHODS These challenges inspired the creation of the Open Action Kit, a suite of tools to help practitioners plan, execute, and assess open advocacy weeks, particularly Open Access Week. This resource sought to make explicit parallels between the activities and scope of open advocacy work and leadership skills that could aid in career progression. RESULTS The project’s aims and structure matured to focus on a broader, critical appraisal of the nature of scholarly communication work. Its encouragement of dialogue between its members and audience more thoroughly recognized and addressed the tensions between open advocacy work and professional success. DISCUSSION Open advocates expressed many frustrations with their work: they often felt isolated or burnt out, hindered by structures or expectations from their organization. While relational work is fundamental to the cultural change inherent in scholarly communication work, the overly simplistic, quantitative measures typical of library assessment do not accurately capture its nuance or complexity. CONCLUSION Centering the relational components of open advocacy work is necessary for it to be successful, sustainable, and appropriately valued. While the Open Action Kit has not been updated since 2017, it serves as a useful model for translating and centering relational work through distributed leadership, advocacy, and skill development.


CASAD – C.A.S.A.D. Centre d’Accès aux Savoirs d’Afrique et de sa Diaspora

From Google’s English:  “C.AS.AD Center for Access to Knowledge of Africa and its Diaspora is a public service blog whose mission is to provide information on the knowledge of Africa and its Diaspora.

C.AS.AD aims to become a short-term Non-Governmental Organization and a long-term Research Institute. He specializes in the field of collecting and preserving academic and cultural knowledge from Africa and its diaspora. Its purpose is topromote the work of researchers from Africa and its diaspora to be accessible online on the Internet. She wants to encourage democracy, education in developing countries in Africa and her diaspora in Canada. The role of its diaspora to help access to information is a pledge that should allow people to make a judicious choice of those who should lead their state. C.AS.AD recognizes Information and Communication Technologies as privileged tools to encourage sustainable development, reduction of the digital divide in universities, schools and institutions wherever its sons live in the world. C.AS.AD acts to help and train all people wishing to organize, process in order to archive all memories of any kind.

You can access free articles, lecture videos and books….”

Labour of Love: An Open Access Manifesto for Freedom, Integrity, and Creativity in the Humanities and Interpretive Social Sciences · Commonplace

“The undersigned are a group of scholar-publishers based in the humanities and social sciences who are questioning the fairness and scientific tenability of a system of scholarly communication dominated by large commercial publishers. With this manifesto we wish to repoliticise Open Access to challenge existing rapacious practices in academic publishing—namely, often invisible and unremunerated labour, toxic hierarchies of academic prestige, and a bureaucratic ethos that stifles experimentation—and to bear witness to the indifference they are predicated upon….

What can we, as researchers, do? We can reinvigorate ties with journals published by scholarly societies. We can act creatively to reclaim ownership over the free labour that we mindlessly offer to commercial actors. We can conjure digital infrastructures (think of platforms from OJS to Janeway, PubPub, and beyond) that operate in the service of the knowledge commons. Scholar-led OA publishing has the power to bypass gatekeeping institutions, bridge the knowledge gap produced by commercially driven censorship, and provide support to homegrown digital activism in countries where access to scholarship is restricted. All of this, without neglecting scholarly institutions such as a constructive peer review process or other forms of consensus-building and quality assurance proper to the humanities and interpretive social sciences….”


From Google’s English:  “We are a citizen laboratory in Ecuador, which seeks to generate dialogues and experiences related to digital culture, citizen participation and open knowledge. We define ourselves as activists for the free software movement, popular and critical education, citizen science, privacy, open innovation, the development of computational thinking and the horizontal exchange of knowledge.

We do everything, debates, courses, hackathons, labs, social projects, mentoring, art exhibitions, mapping, conferences, all from an open and collaborative perspective. We want to support the free and digital culture communities of the country, necessary to promote the economy of knowledge and creativity that society needs.

We advise the production of virtual events and innovation processes with academic institutions, the media, NGOs and civil society.

We are a non-profit organization that seeks to generate redistribution and self-management of its processes. We collaborate with different organizations in the country and Latin America related to our same principles.”

Advocacy for an open and responsible scientific culture in our society

“In a recent editorial, we called for information, which had become urgent, of Plan S, which was initially to apply from January 2020 and fortunately postponed until next year with a transitional phase, which may run until 20244. We insisted more generally on this notion of “open science”, and on the necessary involvement of researchers. We prejudged it necessary so that innovative awareness would precede theoretical rules, sometimes, if not often, judged disappointing a posteriori, and proposed a participatory methodology unlike decisions asserted and decreed by the Institutions.

We are continuing our reflection here aroused by the letter of “The Conversation” of last February 25 by Xin Xu5 which is entitled: “The threat of Covid-19 forces researchers to share their discoveries, and it is a revolution for science !”. In the preamble, let us say that we are delighted with this plea which reveals an awareness of the “bottom up” type. …”

Open and Reproducible Research Group (ORRG)

“Open Science is better science. Research benefits from sharing data and scientific knowledge which is publicly available, making open science essential. The Open and Reproducible Research Group (ORRG) uses evidence-based and computational approaches to make research cultures more open, transparent and participatory through new practices and technologies. In our interdisciplinary team we combine competences in philosophy, sociology, and information science with computer science and life science. We research services, policies, and tools to investigate and foster the uptake and evaluation of Open Science practices in the following areas: …”