Applying the Logic of Intellectual Property Incentives Outside the Law – Slaw

“That was then, and this is now. And for now, what encourages learning and promotes science’s progress amounts to a legal work-around that largely circumvents the law. For example, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Open Access Policy (following the example of NIH in the US) insists that the Canadian research it sponsors be made publicly available one year after publication, rather than 50 years after the author’s death prescribed by law as a necessary incentive to stimulate science. Or consider the widespread use of Creative Commons licensing that similarly works around the automatic application of lifetime-plus restrictions to encourage the ready and free use of the content. when it comes to promoting the benefits of research and scholarship, funding agencies and universities find little incentive in the law.

In earlier blog posts, I have suggested that this is reason enough to revisit the law, and my goal for the coming academic year is to begin in earnest just such a Sisyphean uphill push for legal reform….”

Beyond Consumers The Value of Engaging Undergraduate Students in Journal Management and Authorship

“In 2011, a group of University of Saskatchewan (U of S) students proposed the establishment of a multidisciplinary undergraduate research journal. The Office of the Vice President of Research (OVPR) saw alignment with its Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI) and agreed to fund the journal. The University of Saskatchewan Undergraduate Research Journal (USURJ) is a double-blind faculty-reviewed, open-access journal.1 It is based in the Writing Center, which is part of the University Library at the U of S. Each year, an average of twenty student editors gain experience in academic publishing processes. Dozens more students submit papers and experience the rigors of undergoing faculty review and editing a manuscript to publishable quality. This library-based partnership ensures a rich, immersive experience from which student editors and authors gain valuable skills transferrable to life after graduation….”

The Initial Impact of the Open Scholarship Policy Observatory

Abstract:  In September 2016, members of the Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Partnership—a broad, diverse group working to advance understanding of, and resolve critical issues in, the production, distribution and widespread engagement of digital scholarship in Canada and beyond—met to discuss future directions and focus areas. One of the resulting initiatives is the Open Scholarship Policy Observatory. The Open Scholarship Policy Observatory tracks national and international policies and policy changes in order to assist INKE partners with developing timely and responsive policies. This paper describes the development of the initiative, and reports on the initial impacts the project has had to date.

This KPU professor brought open-education advocacy all the way to the UN | University Affairs

For several years, Kwantlen Polytechnic University psychology professor Rajiv Jhangiani has been leading the charge in Canada towards open educational resources and open educational practices. In October 2018, he made the leap to the international stage with an invitation to address the United Nations on this topic on behalf of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. A video of that presentation has already become a well-circulated primer on the topics of open resources – textbooks and other learning tools offered at no cost to students – and the broader philosophy of open education, which supports unrestricted access to knowledge. [Dr. Jhangiani’s presentation begins around 15:40.] …

Yet another sign of maturity is in the fact that practitioners are beginning to look critically at the movement, with Dr. Jhangiani helping to foster this discussion. To that end, he co-founded a website called the Open Pedagogy Notebook and in 2017, he edited a collection of papers titled Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science (available as an open text, of course).

Dr. Jhangiani’s reputation continues to grow as well. His UN presentation sparked new partnerships between KPU and universities in Sri Lanka and Australia, among others. And Dr. Jhangiani says he’s looking forward to continuing to boost open education as it spreads even further….”

Open-access chemistry textbooks gain popularity

“In October 2018, the US Department of Education gave LibreTexts, an OER portal based at the University of California, Davis, a $4.9 million grant to develop free, open textbooks in targeted subjects, including chemistry. The goal for the chemistry materials is to develop resources that will enable schools to offer an ACS-approved bachelor’s degree with zero cost for textbooks. ACS evaluates programs to determine whether they meet the guidelines established by the society’s Committee on Professional Training. The consortium developing LibreTexts includes 11 institutions beyond UC Davis, plus the California State University system. The consortium and its predecessor, ChemWiki, previously received funding from the US National Science Foundation….

Professors who want to use LibreTexts can use the existing materials as is, or they can mix and match the various textbooks available to make their own. The consortium currently contains 61 chemistry textbooks, 58 of which are in English and 3 of which are in Spanish.

Brett McCollum, a chemistry professor at Mount Royal University, in Canada, adopted LibreTexts for one section of his general-chemistry class in 2015. After a successful trial run, his department adopted it for all sections of both semesters of general chemistry the following year….

Rather than linking to existing LibreTexts pages, McCollum replicates those pages on his own course pages within LibreTexts and edits them to fit the focus of his class. “Having that freedom to tailor the book was really valuable to me,” he says….

McCollum envisions a future with most OER development funded by governments. In Canada, most provinces already have an OER initiative, he says. “Canada sees this as an important path forward for equity and for enabling students from diverse backgrounds to engage more fully in higher education,” McCollum says. “We have a vision of sharing nationally and internationally” the materials from the OER initiatives….

One thing that differentiates OpenStax from commercial publishing is the OER provider doesn’t need to constantly release new editions of its books to keep ahead of a used-book market. OpenStax books are available free to students electronically or for a nominal cost if a student prefers to have a printed version….”

Why does it cost millions to access publicly funded research papers? Blame the paywall | CBC News

Canada’s academic librarians are cheering from the sidelines now that the University of California has cancelled its subscriptions with the academic publishing giant Elsevier.

It was a clash of titans as the largest public university in the U.S. pushed back against a multi-million dollar paywall blocking open access to the world’s scientific knowledge.

“People were following it very closely,” said Mary-Jo Romaniuk, librarian and vice-provost at the University of Calgary. “This may be the start of things to come.”

Tension has been building for years over the gradual privatization of academic literature which has resulted in a handful of powerful international publishing companies controlling the dissemination of research. …
 

Increasingly, public funding agencies are requiring scientists to make their research freely available as a condition for receiving grants.

All three of Canada’s major research funding agencies — the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) — have an open access requirement. Any research funded since 2015 must be freely available within 12 months.

So far, CIHR estimates that about 60 per cent of its researchers have complied.”

Why does it cost millions to access publicly funded research papers? Blame the paywall | CBC News

Canada’s academic librarians are cheering from the sidelines now that the University of California has cancelled its subscriptions with the academic publishing giant Elsevier.

It was a clash of titans as the largest public university in the U.S. pushed back against a multi-million dollar paywall blocking open access to the world’s scientific knowledge.

“People were following it very closely,” said Mary-Jo Romaniuk, librarian and vice-provost at the University of Calgary. “This may be the start of things to come.”

Tension has been building for years over the gradual privatization of academic literature which has resulted in a handful of powerful international publishing companies controlling the dissemination of research. …
 

Increasingly, public funding agencies are requiring scientists to make their research freely available as a condition for receiving grants.

All three of Canada’s major research funding agencies — the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) — have an open access requirement. Any research funded since 2015 must be freely available within 12 months.

So far, CIHR estimates that about 60 per cent of its researchers have complied.”

scholcommlab

“The ScholCommLab is an interdisciplinary team of researchers based in Vancouver and Ottawa, Canada, interested in all aspects of scholarly communication.

We explore a wide range of questions using a combination of computational techniques (including applied statistics, machine learning, network analysis, and natural language processing), innovative methods (such as Twitter bot surveys), and traditional qualitative methods (such as interviews, surveys, and focus groups) to investigate how knowledge is produced, disseminated, and used.

We are associated with the Publishing Program and the Public Knowledge Project at Simon Fraser University and with the School of Information Studies at the University of Ottawa….”

For Innovation, Open Science Means Open for Business | Centre for International Governance Innovation

“Last week, Celgene – an American biotech company – invested the most ever for a Canadian-discovered early-stage drug. The US$40-million down and potentially US$1-billion deal only came about because of strategic funding by governments both for “open science” partnerships and for risk-taking, IP-generating research and commercialization centres. Open science partnerships openly share data and research results with the scientific community and do not seek patent rights over their results.

The Celgene deal is the fruit of a new innovation path – from open science to Canadian IP – that involves the Ontario government-funded Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and its commercialization partner, FACIT Inc. This “made in Canada” approach does not copy U.S. approaches, which commonly result in Canadian IP rights being transferred to foreign firms for pennies on the dollar, as we are doing in the cases of Sidewalk Labs and investments in artificial intelligence. Rather, it leaves the IP in Canada for much longer, within a locally owned company that will continue to develop the drug and conduct clinical trials here, and thus extract fuller scientific and economic value from our investments….

Five years ago, OICR embraced open science as an early innovation strategy and partnered with the SGC. Both OICR and SGC appreciated that although IP is a key pillar of the innovation economy, seeking it too early or by the wrong entity creates barriers to collaboration, leads to redundant research, introduces significant transaction costs and, perhaps counterintuitively, slows down innovation. The open science collaboration allowed knowledge, materials and data to flow freely and enabled OICR and SGC to develop a new chemical probe against the WDR5 protein and to share it freely and rapidly with research groups around the world. Those groups revealed WDR5’s therapeutic role in leukemia, breast cancer and neuroblastoma….”

Partnership for Open Access

“The Partnership for Open Access establishes an innovative model for collaboration between university libraries and scholarly journals, and helps provide continuous financial support to Canadian publishers in transition toward complete open access….

Coalition Publi.ca is a strategic partnership created in the spring of 2017 by Érudit and the Public Knowledge Project (PKP). It stems from an intensive and collaborative reflection process within the Canadian research community, aiming to develop a national infrastructure for the open access dissemination of publications in HSS and arts and letters….”