[Blog] Why does a geographical perspective on open access matter? –

“When I’m asked what I am focussing on in my PhD research, more than a few of my counterparts initially don’t understand why my focus as a geographer is the transition of the scholarly publishing system, or what the whole thing has to do with geography. But when I start to reflect upon what kind of issues relate to an open access to knowledge, it becomes quite clear why geographers, and geography as a scholarly discipline, should care. In this blog post I will explain why….”

Free dataset archive helps researchers quickly find a needle in a haystack

“Ahmed Eldawy, an assistant professor of computer science in the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering, and his group spent the last three years combing the internet for public spatio-temporal datasets, studying their attributes, and summarizing the results for each set on interactive maps that show the user exactly what they’re getting.

“People who work on data science need datasets but can spend a lot of time finding them,” Eldawy said. “I wanted to build an archive they can find easily.”

Called the UCR Spatio-temporal Active Repository, or UCR STAR, the archive is made available as a service to the research community to provide easy access to large spatio-temporal datasets through an interactive exploratory interface. Users can search and filter those datasets as if shopping for their research, except that everything is free….”

The unintended consequences of Open Access publishing – And possible futures – ScienceDirect



• Most early geography journals were established by learned societies as non-profit-making ventures.

• Most of these are now published by commercial organisations, alongside many others they have established.

• Journal publication is now a capitalist, profit-making venture to which academics donate their intellectual property.

• Moves to make all journal papers derived from publicly-funded research freely accessible and sustained by author charges will exacerbate this situation.

• Non-capitalist alternatives are desirable….”


Jisc geospatial data gives academics access to millions of open data maps | Jisc

“Jisc is pleased to announce the launch of the improved Jisc geospatial data service providing universities and colleges easy and free access to more than 1.6 million geographical datasets from around the world, including the most comprehensive index of maps ever brought together.

The service features the implementation of a new search tool, GeoSeer, and the access to Airbus’ Vision-1 satellite imagery….”

Can Geowalling Save Open Access? – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Remember when Elsevier floated the idea of regional open access in 2017 and was soundly pilloried for it? 

I do. So imagine my surprise to hear that Jean-Claude Burgelman, the Open Access Envoy of the European Commission who serves on the cOAlition S Executive Steering Group, has suggested geo-specific access as an approach to achieving open access!…

When pushed to reconcile his proposal with the principles of open access, Burgelman replied that regional access “is better than no OA and that it could be imagined at a regional level.”  …

The proposed solution is geowalling, which takes inspiration from the fact that “Amazon knows if someone is in the US or the UK and shows them different prices.” But, instead of different prices, geowalling would allow a user access or not based on geo-location. Burgelman seems to suggest that this geowalled access could also be used as a policy lever, to get other nations to follow the European lead. 

Johan Rooryck, the cOAlition’s Open Access Champion, stated to me via e-mail that “Jean-Claude Burgelman has made is clear that he made his remarks about Geowalling strictly in a personal capacity. This proposal does not reflect the position of cOAlition S, whose purpose is full and immediate Open Access as reflected in the June 2019 principles and implementation guidance.” …

I tend to agree with Burgelman that full regional access is better than no open access. More reading access for more readers at the same or lower price is a good thing. But, it is not open access. 

And, to quote Johan Rooryck, the cOAlition’s Open Access Champion, it is also: “Not in line with Plan S. Period.” …”

High Court narrowly backs Ordnance Survey in ‘address wars’ case | UKAuthority

“In particular, the judgment will give ammunition to businesses wishing to re-use datasets created under the EU INSPIRE directive and those published under the Open Government Licence.

The litigation began in 2016 when 77m, a small business registered in Surrey, sought a declaration from Ordnance Survey that a product called Matrix, which contains some 28 million residential and non-residential addresses, did not infringe any Ordnance Survey intellectual property rights.

 OS responded with a defence and a counterclaim, claiming infringement of both copyright and database rights. The case was transferred from the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court to the High Court, where it was heard last summer by one of England and Wales’ most experienced patents judges, Sir Colin Birss (Mr Justice Birss)….”

The World Science Day for Peace and Development 2019 – “Open Science, leaving no one behind” – OSGeo

“The World Science Day for Peace and Development 2019 will be devoted to the theme of “Open Science, leaving no one behind”.  Celebrated every 10 November, World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the important role of science in society and  underlines the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives.  Open Science is not only an issue of science being open to the research community, as in “open access” and “open data”, but refers to a science open to society.  In spite of the progress made in recent years, we are still witnessing great disparities across and within different regions and different countries when it comes to accessing science, technology and innovation (STI) and enjoying their benefits. To address these disparities and close the existing STI gaps, Open Science is an important step in the right direction….”

Please share Open Principles in Science and Education ideas and philosophy | RDA

“May i request all who are taking part in various events globally on science and education to also make use of the opportunity to promote Open Principles in Education by sharing GeoForAll ideas and welcoming all interested to be part of this. 


I first came across GIS by serendipity. More than twenty years back (in 1994) , I was a student in Civil Engineering in India and by pure chance I came across a short article in a magazine in my college library on the amazing Geographic Information System that is used by town planners. That was the first time I heard about the wonderful technology called GIS! At that time there was no GIS in the college where I did my undergraduate degree. My dream that time was to get opportunity to do my final year undergraduate project using GIS. I still remember the struggles  I faced to just get access to learning GIS as very few universities had GIS that time in India as it was very expensive. I spend nearly two years going around different universities and places knocking so many doors to just to get access to GIS. Unfortunately in spite of all my best efforts I failed that time…


I was disappointed but I carried on working with hope and faith. I did my final year undergraduate project in design of a hospital building! (structural engineering project). Still I kept looking for opportunities to get access to GIS. Years later (after I finished my undergraduate degree), I finally got opportunity to learn GIS through another project and my search for learning  GIS lead me to so many new opportunities . As some wise people told me, FAIL stands for First Attempt In Learning. So when I think back, even though my efforts  to get access to GIS in my undergraduate years failed, I learned lot of things from those experiences. In fact, if I had not gone though those experiences , I might not have got the determination to do everything in my abilities to keep the doors of GIS education open to all so that no student anywhere should go through what I went through.


When GeoForAll was started , I faced lot of ridicule and opposition from some folks but I also got lot and lot of amazing support and help from so many amazing colleagues globally. Thanks to all our amazing colleagues, we have now truly made GIS education opportunities open to all. …”

‘Location-specific’ blocks on journal access could be OA ‘interim solution’ | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Restricting ability to view open-access journal articles in nations that have not reciprocated with policies to remove paywalls could provide an incentive to aid the global spread of open access, according to a European Commission expert.

Jean-Claude Burgelman, the European Commission’s open access envoy, said – speaking in a personal capacity – that one of the arguments against open access was that although publishers were willing to commit to it in Europe, large parts of the world had not yet done the same. This would leave these nations free to access articles through initiatives such as Plan S – a global open access plan unveiled last year by European funders under the auspices of the commission – when their own country had not reciprocated with similar plans….”