Book Dash: The power of open ?

“Book Dash is defined by its philosophy of open source: our books are published under an open license (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0), our sources files are open (on the website for anyone to access and use) and our model of content creation is open (the 12-hour Book Dash events have been replicated in Nigeria, Angola, Laos, Cambodia and France). The power of open extends our reach logarithmically: it enables our books to be read by people in places that we would never have reached if we had a more traditional approach to copyright. Anyone can adapt, translate, animate, download, print, distribute and even sell our books, because our license imposes no restrictions. 

In this newsletter we have rounded up a few examples of the interesting, weird and wonderful amplifications, applications and adaptations of the Book Dash books, powered by our open philosophy.

1. Google’s Rivet uses our books

Rivet is a new free reading app from Area 120, Google’s workshop for experimental projects. They scoured the internet, and found 250 open licensed books that they felt were of a high enough quality to use, and 100 of these were Book Dash books. These books, created by South African volunteer creatives, continue to be top-performers on the app (which has 1 million downloads). …”

Guest post: Overview of the African Open Access Landscape, with a Focus on Scholarly Publishing – News Service

“The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) – during October 2016 until October 2019, conducted a landscape study (Academy of Science of South Africa, 2019) of what is happening on the continent in terms of Open Science and progress made regarding Open Access. This formed part of the pilot African Open Science Platform, in preparation of building an actual platform addressing the collaborative needs experienced by scientists in addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Awareness regarding Open Access is evident through the

12 Open Science-related (Open Access/Open Data/Open Science) declarations and agreements endorsed or signed by African governments (Academy of Science of South Africa, 2019);
196 Open Access journals from Africa registered on the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ);
174 Open Access institutional research repositories registered on OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories);
33 Open Access/Open Science policies registered on ROARMAP (Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies);
24 data repositories registered with the Registry of Data Repositories (re3data.org) (although the pilot project identified 66 research data repositories);
and one data repository assigned the CoreTrustSeal. Although this is a start, far more needs to be done to align all African research practices with global standards….”

Trends in Preprints | The Official PLOS Blog

“It’s not only PLOS-facilitated preprinting that is on the up, we’ve also seen an increase in the number of authors telling us they’ve already posted a preprint of their manuscript before submitting to a PLOS journal….

PLOS’ preprint posting service appears to be very popular among scientists based in African institutions. While we have posted the highest volume of preprints from the USA, China and European countries, it is African countries that dominate our opt ins – with eight of the ten highest opt in rates. At the top of the list are Uganda and Tanzania, where over 30% of corresponding authors chose to post a preprint at submission….”

 

Ethiopia adopts a national open access policy | EIFL

“The new national open access policy adopted by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Ethiopia (MOSHE) will transform research and education in our country. The policy comes into effect immediately. It mandates open access to all published articles, theses, dissertations and data resulting from publicly-funded research conducted by staff and students at universities that are run by the Ministry – that is over 47 universities located across Ethiopia.

In addition to mandating open access to publications and data, the new policy encourages open science practices by including ‘openness’ as one of the criteria for assessment and evaluation of research proposals. All researchers who receive public funding must submit their Data Management Plans to research offices and to university libraries for approval, to confirm that data will be handled according to international FAIR data principles. (FAIR data are data that meet standards of Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusabililty.)…”

Ethiopia adopts a national open access policy | EIFL

“The new national open access policy adopted by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Ethiopia (MOSHE) will transform research and education in our country. The policy comes into effect immediately. It mandates open access to all published articles, theses, dissertations and data resulting from publicly-funded research conducted by staff and students at universities that are run by the Ministry – that is over 47 universities located across Ethiopia.

In addition to mandating open access to publications and data, the new policy encourages open science practices by including ‘openness’ as one of the criteria for assessment and evaluation of research proposals. All researchers who receive public funding must submit their Data Management Plans to research offices and to university libraries for approval, to confirm that data will be handled according to international FAIR data principles. (FAIR data are data that meet standards of Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusabililty.)…”

Open access and social justice driving African development

“The open access movement is being hailed in Africa as one of many solutions that can contribute to its development, as it opens access to scholarly literature which is critical for development. To fast track a positive development trajectory, Africa needs access to scholarly content to generate new knowledge, which provides solutions, at an exponential rate, to local challenges. Hence, there is growing reliance on freely accessible scholarly content, as well as free and open channels for the dissemination of scholarly information generated from the global south. Driving these free access and open dissemination channels is the social justice principle that researched and published solutions need to be equitably shared. As much as there is strong advocacy for free access, there has to be equal support for inclusive participation by global south researchers in knowledge creation and the free and equitable dissemination of this knowledge.

The open access movement must embrace the social justice elements embedded in the movement and robustly advance the liberation of marginalised voices. These “new voices [need] to find their way into disciplinary conversations, reach new audiences, both academic and public, and impact existing and emerging fields of scholarship and practice in a transformative way” (Roh 2016: 83). Open access services must become mainstream for academic and research institutions in Africa as open access is one of the most significant conduits for inclusive and free access to scholarship for the marginalised and has the mandate and potential to strongly promote unhindered participation in knowledge production.

This conference must challenge the open access movement and its advocates with their social justice principles to usher in equity and equal opportunity and to open the doors for full participation of new African voices in the scholarly communication landscape. There has to be a mind-set shift away from the assumption that the global south will remain ignorant and underdeveloped until it has access to the global north’s knowledge. The creation and dissemination of global south research will convert the one directional flow of information to a facilitated process of equitable knowledge exchange.”

Home – LIBSENSE – WACREN Spaces

“From November 2018 – April 2019, LIBSENSE conducted workshops in each of the three major regions in Africa bringing the library and NREN communities together to define a shared agenda for progressing open science and open access in these regions. Each workshop, which contributed to priority setting in each region, also built upon the outcomes of preceding discussions.

To date, there have already been several concrete outcomes of the LIBSENSE initiative, including:

Terms of Reference for NREN-Library collaboration in African countries
Metadata guidelines for repositories

Plans for a regional repository hosting service

National and institutional policy templates

LIBSENSE will continue to assist countries and regions in Africa to undertake new activities and act as a forum for information exchange across the continent and amongst the different stakeholder communities….”

Improving Zimbabwe’s capacities to effectively use open data on malnutrition

The need to provide better access to timely and accurate data for policy makers, farmers and the private sector to inform agriculture and nutrition interventions and activities, has been widely acknowledged as part of the solution to ending malnutrition.

It is with this in mind that the Zimbabwe Evidence Informed Policy Network, with support from the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), implemented a 2-day workshop on open data for nutrition and agriculture. Held on 11-12 March 2019 in Harare, Zimbabwe, the objective of the workshop was to develop the skills and knowledge of agriculture and nutrition stakeholders to understand what open data is, the value and benefits of open data, and the intellectual and copyright issues around it….”

Improving Zimbabwe’s capacities to effectively use open data on malnutrition

The need to provide better access to timely and accurate data for policy makers, farmers and the private sector to inform agriculture and nutrition interventions and activities, has been widely acknowledged as part of the solution to ending malnutrition.

It is with this in mind that the Zimbabwe Evidence Informed Policy Network, with support from the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), implemented a 2-day workshop on open data for nutrition and agriculture. Held on 11-12 March 2019 in Harare, Zimbabwe, the objective of the workshop was to develop the skills and knowledge of agriculture and nutrition stakeholders to understand what open data is, the value and benefits of open data, and the intellectual and copyright issues around it….”