Lancet editor-in-chief calls for ‘activist’ journals | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Academic journals must become more “activist” if they are to survive, seeking to “change the direction of society” rather than “passively waiting” for manuscripts, according to the editor-in-chief of The Lancet.

The medical journal is one of a number of titles now explicitly committed to helping pursue the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which range from eradicating hunger to reducing inequalities, as titles try to carve out a new role in a world where publishing has moved online….

Instead of “sitting in our office passively waiting for manuscripts to be submitted to the journal”, Dr Horton said, The Lancet, founded in 1823, now had a mission to “gather the very best scientific evidence, [and] to then think strategically about how that evidence fits within the overall trajectory of scientific and political policy in the world”.

For example, last year the journal published a report setting out how to eradicate malaria by 2050, backed by research funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This was one of dozens of “commissions” initiated by the journal, which bring together experts to formulate proposals on subjects ranging from defeating Alzheimer’s disease to reforming medical education for the 21st century….

Still, some journals have faced long-standing criticism that their subscription costs mean they are unaffordable for readers in developing countries – or conversely, that the price of publishing an open-access article excludes scholars from poorer university systems.

Some publishers offer discounts to academics in poorer countries. The Lancet, for example, waives open-access publishing fees for scholars whose main funder is based in a state with a low human development index….”

NGOs’ experiences of navigating the open… | F1000Research

Abstract:  Grant-led consortia working in the global development sector rely on the input of local and national non-government organisations in low- and middle-income countries. However, the open access mandates and mechanisms embedded within grants and promoted by funders and publishers are designed almost exclusively with large universities and research institutions in mind. Experiences from the consortium of health research non-government organisations comprising the Communicable Diseases Health Service Delivery research programme show that implementing open access mandates is not as simple or frictionless as it initially appears.

 

NGOs’ experiences of navigating the open… | F1000Research

Abstract:  Grant-led consortia working in the global development sector rely on the input of local and national non-government organisations in low- and middle-income countries. However, the open access mandates and mechanisms embedded within grants and promoted by funders and publishers are designed almost exclusively with large universities and research institutions in mind. Experiences from the consortium of health research non-government organisations comprising the Communicable Diseases Health Service Delivery research programme show that implementing open access mandates is not as simple or frictionless as it initially appears.

 

Digital Bangladesh: How Research Data Defines Development – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Before the 2008 general election, the political party Bangladesh Awami League proposed a concept called the ‘Vision 2021’ in its election manifesto. As the party assumed power in 2009, the vision was translated into a perspective plan for 2010?2021. Both the vision and the plan envisaged Bangladesh becoming a middle-income country by 2021 – the year the nation will celebrate 50 years of independence. It was further realized that ICT-based economic development would be a crucial aspect of attaining that vision. That insight led into the idea of a ‘Digital Bangladesh’ and allowed plans, resources and execution to make it real.

Ten years on, Bangladesh’s digitalization has now evolved through numerous avenues. Four paths, however, remain at the core. The first is to prepare the citizens to capitalize on the amazing opportunities the ICT sector has to offer, through many capacity development initiatives. Bangladesh has 16% of the world’s online workers, which ranks it second in the world following India (24%). A report suggests there are about half a million active ICT freelancers, together earning US$ 100 million per year….”

UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources (OER)

“[T]he UNESCO OER Recommendation has five objectives: (i) Building capacity of stakeholders to create access, use, adapt and redistribute OER; (ii) Developing supportive policy; (iii) Encouraging inclusive and equitable quality OER; (iv) Nurturing the creation of sustainability models for OER; and (v) Facilitating international cooperation….”

Open Data and Open Access – CGIAR

“CGIAR is committed to the widespread dissemination of the results of its research and activities. CGIAR has made a strong commitment to open access and open data (OA-OD), and all Centers have signed CGIAR’s 2013 Open Access and Data Management Policy. The rationale behind OA-OD is to achieve the maximum impact to advantage the poor, especially smallholder farmers in developing countries….”

Health and medical research for all: The challenge remains open

“Five years ago, we commented that “open access to medical research has become more complicated than just choosing an idealistic new journal over regressive old ones”, referring to the labyrinth of hybrid subscription and article processing charge publishing models that exists, often disingenuously crafted so as to protect the business models of for-profit publishers. This unhelpful situation prevails today and prevents access in a fashion that could honestly be described as “open”, for many readers, to a large proportion of newly published research papers. We hope that the ongoing initiative Plan S—supported by the research funder group cOAlition S—will be able to resolve this issue by 2021….”

Contextualizing Openness: Situating Open Science | IDRC – International Development Research Centre

“Contextualizing Openness offers a fascinating look at Open Science and the democratization of knowledge in international development and social transformation with a focus on the Global South. This volume presents contri­butions from the 12 projects that form the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet) organized around four central themes: Defining Open Sci­ence in Development, Governing Open Science, Negotiat­ing Open Science, and Expanding Open Science for Social Transformation. The collective goal is to illustrate how the opportunities and challenges associated with openness vary across regions and, further, to identify the key dif­ferences that characterize the actors, institutions, as well as the infrastructure and governance of knowledge-based resources in highly diverse settings.

To understand the movement toward Open Science and its impact on the thinking and practices that drive development, we must challenge the asymmetry of global knowledge production and of access to this knowledge. Contextualizing Open­ness aims to stimulate further research and debates about how to collectively design a knowledge system that is open and equitable for all….”

Contextualizing Openness: Situating Open Science | IDRC – International Development Research Centre

“Contextualizing Openness offers a fascinating look at Open Science and the democratization of knowledge in international development and social transformation with a focus on the Global South. This volume presents contri­butions from the 12 projects that form the Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet) organized around four central themes: Defining Open Sci­ence in Development, Governing Open Science, Negotiat­ing Open Science, and Expanding Open Science for Social Transformation. The collective goal is to illustrate how the opportunities and challenges associated with openness vary across regions and, further, to identify the key dif­ferences that characterize the actors, institutions, as well as the infrastructure and governance of knowledge-based resources in highly diverse settings.

To understand the movement toward Open Science and its impact on the thinking and practices that drive development, we must challenge the asymmetry of global knowledge production and of access to this knowledge. Contextualizing Open­ness aims to stimulate further research and debates about how to collectively design a knowledge system that is open and equitable for all….”

No borders on knowledge? WIPO debates key question | EIFL

“EIFL will join copyright experts, librarians, educators and government representatives in Geneva to debate a key question facing libraries, archives and museums today: will copyright barriers to accessing knowledge be removed?…

In developing countries, where easy access to knowledge is critical for education and socio-economic development, the situation is particularly acute. For example, out of 53 countries surveyed in Africa in the WIPO study by Professor Kenneth Crews, 13 countries have no exception for libraries, only one country allows inter-library document delivery, and no countries permit cross-border exchange. …”