Galileo and open access

“In writing down their discoveries, Galileo and his contemporaries created the beginnings of the system of scientific correspondence that we know today as scientific journals, where discoveries are openly described by their methods, results, and possible shortfalls. This was quite a contrast to the gnomic writings of alchemists, who cloaked their recipes in mythological allusions and double-talk. The open discourse of the scientific enterprise is one of the abiding gifts of the Renaissance. (Although it is worth noting that Galileo resorted to scrambling news of his findings in code in letters to Kepler.) …”

CERN: the Large Hadron Collider : Publications : Resources : Venner Shipley

“As with every scientific institute, CERN recognises that there is both an obligation and willingness for knowledge transfer, so that the discoveries and knowledge gained by its scientists can be disseminated to, and applied in, the real world to the benefit of the public. CERN is therefore no exception in trying to make its technologies available for both scientific and commercial purposes. An open science policy, however, requires there to be a ‘full and timely disclosure of findings and methods’ and in this regard there is often seen to be a conflict between open science and intellectual property (IP).

Two notable cases are evident from CERN’s history. In the 1970s, CERN pioneered the use of touch screens and trackballs in their computerised control systems. However, researchers were unable to progress this technology further as industrial partners were unwilling to invest, in the event that CERN would disclose this technology under the remit of their open science model. Thus, without the kinds of assurance provided by IP, touch screens and trackballs remained in house, without further development. In contrast, whilst working with Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, CERN agreed to release the World Wide Web software into the public domain in 1993 and followed the next release with an open licence. The subsequent global dissemination and use of the World Wide Web speaks for itself….”

Reassembling Scholarly Communications: Histories, Infrastructures, and Global Politics of Open Access | MIT Press Open Access

Table of contents:


Epistemic Alienation in African Scholarly Communications: Open Access as a Pharmakon – Thomas Hervé Mboa Nkoudou
Scholarly Communications and Social Justice – Charlotte Roh, Harrison W. Inefuku, and Emily Drabinski
Social Justice and Inclusivity: Drivers for the Dissemination of African Scholarship – Reggie Raju, Jill Claassen, Namhla Madini, and Tamzyn Suliaman
Can Open Scholarly Practices Redress Epistemic Injustice? – Denisse Albornoz, Angela Okune, and Leslie Chan
When the Law Advances Access to Learning: Locke and the Origins of Modern Copyright – John Willinsky
How Does a Format Make a Public? – Robin de Mourat, Donato Ricci, and Bruno Latour
Peer Review: Readers in the Making of Scholarly Knowledge – David Pontille and Didier Torny
The Making of Empirical Knowledge: Recipes, Craft, and Scholarly Communication – Pamela H. Smith, Tianna Helena Uchacz, Naomi Rosenkranz, and Claire Conklin Sabel
The Royal Society and the Noncommercial Circulation of Knowledge – Aileen Fyfe
The Political Histories of UK Public Libraries and Access to Knowledge – Stuart Lawson
Libraries and Their Publics in the United States – Maura A. Smale
Open Access, “Publicity,” and Democratic Knowledge – John Holmwood
Libraries, Museums, and Archives as Speculative Knowledge Infrastructure – Bethany Nowviskie
Preserving the Past for the Future: Whose Past? Everyone’s Future – April M. Hathcock
Is There a Text in These Data? The Digital Humanities and Preserving the Evidence – Dorothea Salo
Accessing the Past, or Should Archives Provide Open Access? – István Rév
Infrastructural Experiments and the Politics of Open Access – Jonathan Gray
The Platformization of Open – Penny C. S. Andrews
Reading Scholarship Digitally – Martin Paul Eve
Toward Linked Open Data for Latin America – Arianna Becerril-García and Eduardo Aguado-López
The Pasts, Presents, and Futures of SciELO – Abel L. Packer
Not Self-Indulgence, but Self-Preservation: Open Access and the Ethics of Care – Eileen A. Joy
Toward a Global Open-Access Scholarly Communications System: A Developing Region Perspective – Dominique Babini
Learned Societies, Humanities Publishing, and Scholarly Communication

AfricArXiv – the African preprint repository – Open Collective

“In April 2018, the seed for AfricArXiv was planted during the 2nd AfricaOSH summit in Kumasi, Ghana with this historic tweet

In June that same year, we joined forces with The Center for Open Science and launched a branded preprint service. Early in 2020 we extended our Open Access platform to a community

collection on Zenodo and initiated a partnership with ScienceOpen, with whom we are running AfricArXiv preprints and curating a collection of COVID-19 research from and about Africa.

Shortly after that and as an innovative and immediate response to the pandemic, we partnered with Knowledge Futures Group to provide a platform for audio/visual preprints on PubPub. Next, we plan to add Figshare and PKP/OPS to the list of our partner repositories. 

Since we work to foster community among African researchers, we were excited to launch a petition in 2019 to sign the African Principles for Open Access in Scholarly Communication The petition is ongoing, so you can still add your name to it. Published under CC-BY licence, anyone can Share and Adapt the principles while giving appropriate credit ‘African Principles for Open Access in Scholarly Communication as agreed upon by the signatories‘, provide a link to the principles, and indicate if changes were made.

We announced our strategic partnerships with the Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education (IGDORE), Open Knowledge Map and ScienceOpen. ORCID and AfricArXiv initiated joint efforts to assist African scientists in advancing their careers through unique identifiers. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic in March, we collect, create and disseminate a wealth of resources, ideas and guidelines around COVID-19 in Africa. 

We have received and accepted around 200 submissions in total across our partner repositories….”

Reassembling Scholarly Communications | The MIT Press

“A critical inquiry into the politics, practices, and infrastructures of open access and the reconfiguration of scholarly communication in digital societies.

The open access edition of this book was made possible by generous funding and support from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, the Open Society Foundations, the Open Knowledge Foundation, Knowledge Unlatched, and Birkbeck, University of London.

The Open Access Movement proposes to remove price and permission barriers for accessing peer-reviewed research work—to use the power of the internet to duplicate material at an infinitesimal cost-per-copy. In this volume, contributors show that open access does not exist in a technological or policy vacuum; there are complex social, political, cultural, philosophical, and economic implications for opening research through digital technologies. The contributors examine open access from the perspectives of colonial legacies, knowledge frameworks, publics and politics, archives and digital preservation, infrastructures and platforms, and global communities. he contributors consider such topics as the perpetuation of colonial-era inequalities in research production and promulgation; the historical evolution of peer review; the problematic histories and discriminatory politics that shape our choices of what materials to preserve; the idea of scholarship as data; and resistance to the commercialization of platforms. Case studies report on such initiatives as the Making and Knowing Project, which created an openly accessible critical digital edition of a sixteenth-century French manuscript, the role of formats in Bruno Latour’s An Inquiry into Modes of Existence, and the Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO), a network of more than 1,200 journals from sixteen countries. Taken together, the contributions represent a substantive critical engagement with the politics, practices, infrastructures, and imaginaries of open access, suggesting alternative trajectories, values, and possible futures.”

HighWire at 25: David Worlock looks back – Highwire Press

“So we emerge into the world of AI. In fact of course it has been with us all along, changing its name from ‘Expert systems’ to ‘neural networks’ as a way of disguising the fact that it didn’t deliver to our wildest expectations. Now that it is finally beginning to deliver, it can shoulder many duties for scholarly research. All that peer-review reference checking and concept analysis, for example. But these are the foothills. It is when AI becomes the way that researchers read other people’s research that things really get interesting. Released from the time-consuming literature, researchers may be free to research and self-publish. But acts of self-publishing may simply be releasing formatted work into the network, or opening access to the network for a digital lab notebook. Imagine Jupyter notebooks of the future where colleagues and collaborators could see and annotate ?ndings, or test reproducibility from the data available on board? As we move from Open Access to Open Science, overt acts of ‘publishing’ may become as rare as overt acts of textual reading. The minds of librarians (e.g. Hypergraph from Liberate Science) already lean in this direction….”

A 25 Year Retrospective on D-Lib Magazine

Abstract:  In July, 1995 the first issue of D-Lib Magazine was published as an on-line, HTML-only, open access magazine, serving as the focal point for the then emerging digital library research community. In 2017 it ceased publication, in part due to the maturity of the community it served as well as the increasing availability of and competition from eprints, institutional repositories, conferences, social media, and online journals — the very ecosystem that D-Lib Magazine nurtured and enabled. As long-time members of the digital library community and authors with the most contributions to D-Lib Magazine, we reflect on the history of the digital library community and D-Lib Magazine, taking its very first issue as guidance. It contained three articles, which described: the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, a project status report from the NSF/DARPA/NASA-funded Digital Library Initiative (DLI), and a summary of the Kahn-Wilensky Framework (KWF) which gave us, among other things, Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs). These technologies, as well as many more described in D-Lib Magazine through its 23 years, have had a profound and continuing impact on the digital library and general web communities.


Celebrating the Five Year Anniversary of the UK ORCID Consortium – Jisc scholarly communications

“August 2020 sees the 5-year anniversary of the UK ORCID consortium. The evolution of ORCID and the UK Consortium can be viewed as a change programme. If we look back and reflect, what have been the drivers for change and what improvements can we celebrate?…

The range and complexity of outputs that ORCID identifiers are associated with has expanded as well, as new systems and ways of capturing information emerge – especially as we move to a data rich, information-centric open science model of scholarship. As such, the power of interconnected PIDs with the personal identifier of ORCID ID embedded, gives deeply intertwined and more useful information. These potential benefits can be realised as the various systems and identifiers mature and adoption improves. Examples of associations with unique persistent person identities are: works (e.g. works identified with a DOI); organisations (identified, for example with a ROR id); affiliations and workflows which can be examined via the events captured in PID Graphs. A project identifier such as RAiD allows you to associate people, data, works and funding with a long term effort, track the impact of efforts over the long term, and focus on the narrative, rather than a particular researcher or funding stream. This evolving landscape of interconnection allows us to build better, more effective scholarly machines, to do open research on a better, more cohesive and collaborative scale….”

A brief history of open access at Harvard · Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication

“This is the first of two related posts. The second will describe our current thinking about open access. (Watch for it around Open Access Week, 2020.) We’re looking forward and want to start by showing where we’ve come from. 

For now, this brief history focuses mostly on Harvard’s thinking about subscription journal prices and Harvard’s open access (OA) policies. There are many other OA initiatives at Harvard we might add later, for example on courseware, data, digitization, open-source software, and publishing, as well as our partnerships with larger, multi-institutional initiatives. …”