Newsroom : Supporting Faster Discovery of New Medicines

“Ontario is investing in medical research and open science to help speed up the development of new treatments for diseases and conditions such as cancer, diabetes, obesity and rare diseases.

Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, was joined by Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, to announce support for the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute in Ottawa today. The SGC is a public-private partnership based on the principle of open science — making research data open and accessible to researchers everywhere, to speed up the discovery of new medicines. The SGC also helps Ontario attract pharmaceutical investment, build a stronger commercialization pipeline for new treatments and create and retain high quality jobs. Supporting research and innovation is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.”

From Open to Action: Open Textbook Summit 2017 | BCcampus

“Thought-leaders, open education practitioners, pioneers and newbies alike came together for two days, from May 24-25, at Simon Fraser University, in beautiful, Vancouver, B.C. We shared experiences and exchanged ideas, explored what other institutions are doing to move the open textbook agenda forward, and looked ahead at how open pedagogy can influence open textbook development to enhance teaching and learning….”

Progress RPT Project

“What is this about? We are currently examining the review, promotion, and tenure (RPT) process in the United States and Canada. At this point, very little is known about what RPT documents contain, but we believe that changes in these documents can lead to a greater opening of research. …Can I help? Yes! Below is a list of the institutions in our sample. If you don’t see an X, it means we still need a departmental or faculty guideline from that institution/discipline!….”

What do you call a homepage? Incorporating indigenous knowledge into Wikipedia – Wikimedia Blog

First Nation in Canada may soon have a Wikipedia to call their own.

The Atikamekw Nehirowisiw Nation, located in central Quebec, is one of the few aboriginal peoples in Canada where virtually the entire population still speaks the language, making it among the most vibrant among the First Nations.

An ongoing project, the first of its kind in Canada, is working with the Atikamekw community to develop Wikipedia content in their own language. The initiative’s goal is to one day have the Atikamekw Wikipedia, currently in the Wikimedia incubator join one of the hundreds of extant Wikipedias.

‘It is a way to pass on ancestral knowledge using computers and it allows to preserve traditional practices,” project member Nehirowisiw says. ‘It is an educational tool for all.'”

Challenges and opportunities: Open Educational Resources (OERs) at McGill University

“‘Challenges and Opportunities: Open Educational Resources (OERs) at McGill University,’ recommends:

  1. The SSMU and McGill University should engage in further data collection and information on OERs and affordable course content at McGill. a. This should be done in order to better understand where OERs may have the most impact for students and educators (e.g. what faculty or specific courses could be initial OER candidates)
  2. The SSMU and other student associations on-campus should engage in greater student advocacy efforts towards OERs. This would include educating the McGill community on the concerns of course material accessibility, what OERs are and how they can be utilized on campus.
  3. Increase the amount of institutional support for OERs on-campus through:
    1. Partnerships with the Library and Teaching & Learning Services
    2. Adoption of OER policies by the University and/or individual departments/faculties
    3. Increasing on-campus incentives to adopt/create OERs, including but not limited to financial incentives, recognition awards, and/or time-off for faculty interested in employing/developing OERs”

Journal publishers’ Big Deals: Are they worth it?

Evaluating the cost/benefit of the ‘Big Deal’ at the Universite de Montreal.

“At each stage of the process of analysis and renegotiations, we created multiple opportunities for discussion among our personnel, the faculty union, departments, senior administrators, and students’ groups. Every effort was made to remind members of our community of their role in the scholarly publishing ecosystem and of the alternatives available to them, starting with Open Access publishing….”

Open Access Policies and Academic Freedom: Understanding and Addressing Conflicts

Abstract:  The adoption of open access (OA) policies that require participation rather than request it is often accompanied by concerns about whether such mandates violate researchers’ academic freedoms. This issue has not been well explored, particularly in the Canadian context. However the recent adoption of an OA policy from Canada’s major funding agencies and the development of the Fair access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) in the United States has made addressing the issue of academic freedom and OA policies an important issue in academic institutions. This paper will investigate the relationship between OA mandates and academic freedom with the context of the recent OA policy at the University of Windsor as a point of reference. While this investigation concludes that adopting OA policies that require faculty participation at the institutional level should not be an issue of academic freedom, it is important to understand the varied factors that contribute to this tension. This includes misunderstandings about journal based (gold) and repository based (green) OA, growing discontent about increased managerialism in universities and commercialization of research, as well as potential vagueness within collective agreements’ language regarding academic freedom and publication. Despite these potential roadblocks, a case can be made that OA policies are not in conflict with academic freedom given they do not produce the harms that academic freedom is intended to protect.

Job Opportunity: Director of Product Engineering – Creative Commons

“The Director of Product Engineering reports to the CEO and will lead the development and implementation of CC’s products and services. You’ll be responsible for the CC Search roadmap and the review and enhancement of existing tools to ensure their successful adoption on the web. This is a rare opportunity to lead within an organization that is fundamental to sharing online, operating at a global scale. The successful candidate will lead a technical team to meet the needs of this vital organization, and to build a more vibrant, usable global commons, powered by collaboration and gratitude.

We believe that diverse teams build better organizations and better services. Applications from qualified candidates from all backgrounds, including those from under-represented communities, are very welcome.

The Director of Product Engineering leads the technology team to:

  • Develop, lead and implement an ambitious product strategy, including a product and service roadmap for CC Search and other relevant services. Lead a small team aligned with our goal of a more vibrant, usable commons powered by collaboration and gratitude
  • Attract and oversee a small team of software developers and UX designers to build innovative, robust software both for CC use and for public release
  • Work in the open, in public repositories, open chat rooms, public wikis and a global community
  • Work with the CEO and Director of Development to seek funding for CC’s various technical projects
  • Represent the organization and provide technical leadership within various open communities and with CC partners. Coordinate with other outside communities, companies, and institutions to further Creative Commons’ mission, for example: W3C, non-profit communities like EFF, Open Knowledge, and Wikipedians, and the open data, open access, library, and open education communities”

Kudos to the Simon Fraser University Publishing Program

“Kudos to the Simon Fraser University Publishing Program for this key provision in its updated criteria for promotion and tenure:

“In keeping with the University’s Open Access Policy of 2017, only those publications that are in compliance with the policy will be considered by tenure, promotion, and review committees….”

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I9bZK3hAHzzWAVILMO1_MvvDPT3vCWnkvdYS6vp6h_Y/edit

All universities should follow suit….”

National survey begins today to gather data on academic journal usage | UToday | University of Calgary

In light of a budgetary crisis that has forced post-secondary institutions across Canada to cancel a range of subscriptions to academic journals, the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) has launched its first-ever national survey to gather data that will inform future decisions….“Data gathered during this survey will help the University of Calgary and other Canadian institutions make evidence-based decisions when confronted with the need to cancel journals because of budgetary constraints,” explains Tom Hickerson, vice-provost (Libraries and Cultural Resources)….”