Invest in Open Infrastructure: An Interview with Dan Whaley – The Scholarly Kitchen

“Dan Whaley from the Invest in Open initiative answers questions about what IOI is doing, and sets a broad context for the global effort….

Open infrastructure is the solution to all this.  For me, open infrastructure is simply shorthand for technology in which the incentives to collaborate and work together are built in by design. That includes elements like open source software, open APIs, open data and open standards, but more fundamentally it’s a mindset in which your reward — either personal or organizational — comes from working together as a community for the benefit of all.  

As someone who is product focused, a question I always try to ask is what is the best user experience, regardless of who owns which piece? Does what we’re implementing actually make it easier for people to accomplish their goals? Closed systems often make decisions simply for the sake of preventing or restricting access that create terrible experiences and result in lower utility. Open systems do this too sometimes, but at least the inherent motivations are more likely to be aligned….”

Developing a research data policy framework for all journals and publishers

Abstract:  More journals and publishers – and funding agencies and institutions – are introducing research data policies. But as the prevalence of policies increases, there is potential to confuse researchers and support staff with numerous or conflicting policy requirements. We define and describe 14 features of journal research data policies and arrange these into a set of six standard policy types or tiers, which can be adopted by journals and publishers to promote data sharing in a way that encourages good practice and is appropriate for their audience’s perceived needs. Policy features include coverage of topics such as data citation, data repositories, data availability statements, data standards and formats, and peer review of research data. These policy features and types have been created by reviewing the policies of multiple scholarly publishers, which collectively publish more than 10,000 journals, and through discussions and consensus building with multiple stakeholders in research data policy via the Data Policy Standardisation and Implementation Interest Group of the Research Data Alliance. Implementation guidelines for the standard research data policies for journals and publishers are also provided, along with template policy texts which can be implemented by journals in their Information for Authors and publishing workflows. We conclude with a call for collaboration across the scholarly publishing and wider research community to drive further implementation and adoption of consistent research data policies.

Enriching Bibliographic Data by Combining String Matching and the Wikidata Knowledge Graph to Improve the Measurement of International Research Collaboration

Abstract:  Measuring international research collaboration is necessary when evaluating, for example, the efficacy of policy meant to increase cooperation between countries, but is currently very difficult as bibliographic records contain only affiliation data from which there is no standard method to identify the relevant countries. In this paper we describe a method to address this difficulty, and evaluate it using both general and domain-specific data sets.

Open Web annotation as collaborative learning | Kalir | First Monday

Abstract:  This paper describes the use of open Web annotation (OWA) for collaborative learning among online communities. OWA is defined by the open standards, principles, and practices associated with the open Web. Specifically, this case study examines collaborative learning mediated by the OWA technology Hypothesis, a standards-compliant and open-source technology that situates collaboration in texts-as-contexts. Hypothesis OWA supports a repertoire of six collaborative learning practices: Affording multimodal expression, establishing connections across contexts, archiving activity, visualizing expertise and cognition, contributing to open educational resources, and fostering open educational practices. The use of Hypothesis OWA is then described in three online communities associated with scientific research and communication, educator professional development, and Web literacy and fact-checking. The article concludes by advancing three broad questions and related research agendas regarding how OWA as collaborative learning attends to linkages among formal and informal learning environments, the growth of both open educational resources and practices, and the use of open data as learning analytics.

Depositing and reporting of reagents: Accelerating open and reproducible science. | The Official PLOS Blog

Centralized depositing of materials advances science in so many ways. It saves authors the time and burden of shipping requested materials. Researchers who request from repositories save time by not having to recreate reagents or wait months or years to receive samples. Many scientists have been on the receiving end of a request that was filled by an incorrect or degraded sample, which further delays research. Repositories like the ones recommended by PLOS handle the logistics of material requests, letting the scientists focus on what’s important: doing research….

By encouraging authors to deposit materials at the time of publication, journals will help accelerate research through timely distribution and accurate identification of reagents. Biological repositories exist to serve the scientific community. Take Addgene’s involvement in the explosive advancement of CRISPR research. Since 2012, over 8,400 CRISPR plasmids have been deposited and Addgene has distributed over 144,000 CRISPR plasmids worldwide, enabling researchers to share, modify, and improve this game-changing molecular tool. It is a prime example of the positive impact that biological repositories are making on research….”

African Principles for Open Access in Scholarly Communication – AfricArXiv

“1) Academic Research and knowledge from and about Africa should be freely available to all who wish to access, use or reuse it while at the same time being protected from misuse and misappropriation.

2) African scientists and scientists working on African topics and/or territory will make their research achievements including underlying datasets available in a digital Open Access repository or journal and an explicit Open Access license is applied.

3) African research output should be made available in the principle common language of the global science community as well as in one or more local African languages – at least in summary.

4) It is important to take into consideration in the discussions indigenous and traditional knowledge in its various forms.

5) It is necessary to respect the diverse dynamics of knowledge generation and circulation by discipline and geographical area.

6) It is necessary to recognise, respect and acknowledge the regional diversity of African scientific journals, institutional repositories and academic systems.

7) African Open Access policies and initiatives promote Open Scholarship, Open Source and Open Standards for interoperability purposes.

8) Multi-stakeholder mechanisms for collaboration and cooperation should be established to ensure equal participation across the African continent.

9) Economic investment in Open Access is consistent with its benefit to societies on the African continent – therefore institutions and governments in Africa provide the enabling environment, infrastructure and capacity building required to support Open Access

10) African Open Access stakeholders and actors keep up close dialogues with representatives from all world regions, namely Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania….”

African Principles for Open Access in Scholarly Communication – AfricArXiv

“1) Academic Research and knowledge from and about Africa should be freely available to all who wish to access, use or reuse it while at the same time being protected from misuse and misappropriation.

2) African scientists and scientists working on African topics and/or territory will make their research achievements including underlying datasets available in a digital Open Access repository or journal and an explicit Open Access license is applied.

3) African research output should be made available in the principle common language of the global science community as well as in one or more local African languages – at least in summary.

4) It is important to take into consideration in the discussions indigenous and traditional knowledge in its various forms.

5) It is necessary to respect the diverse dynamics of knowledge generation and circulation by discipline and geographical area.

6) It is necessary to recognise, respect and acknowledge the regional diversity of African scientific journals, institutional repositories and academic systems.

7) African Open Access policies and initiatives promote Open Scholarship, Open Source and Open Standards for interoperability purposes.

8) Multi-stakeholder mechanisms for collaboration and cooperation should be established to ensure equal participation across the African continent.

9) Economic investment in Open Access is consistent with its benefit to societies on the African continent – therefore institutions and governments in Africa provide the enabling environment, infrastructure and capacity building required to support Open Access

10) African Open Access stakeholders and actors keep up close dialogues with representatives from all world regions, namely Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania….”

Standardisation and difference: the challenges of infrastructures for open access – Samuel Moore

“In the last few years, there has been a marked shift in the debate on open access publishing from a focus on (mere) outputs to one on infrastructures. With terms such as ‘community-led’, ‘the commons’ and ‘governance’ regularly bandied about, advocates for OA are increasingly looking away from commercial publishers and towards infrastructures designed by and for a more accountable set of stakeholders. One exciting new initiative that launched this week is Invest in Open Infrastructures(IOI), a coalition of individuals and organisations looking to sustain and promote open-source alternatives to proprietary infrastructures. IOI describes itself as a ‘global initiative to increase the availability and sustainability of open knowledge infrastructure’….

Any infrastructural design has to find the right balance between the need for standardisation and a diversity of interactions.

Infrastructures, particularly those that are broad in their application, have a homogenising tendency that may flatten out difference, erase local contexts and promote standardisation of interactions. This is because they are designed for an ‘average’ user and can only realistically account for a finite number of possibilities. Take journal submission systems, for example, which are only able to handle a certain number of submission types, file sizes, image formats, etc. and can never do everything a user wants it to do. (I spent the first two years of my publishing career explaining this to authors, editors and reviewers.) The broader the remit of the infrastructure, and the more users it is designed to support, the more homogeneous the interactions will be….

Too often, advocates for open publishing infrastructures point towards the need for stakeholders to put aside their differences and collaborate on those issues where there is common ground. This sounds ideal in practice, but in reality, the drive for consensus benefits those with the most power (and financial/cultural capital)….”

Decisions adopted by the Executive Board at its 206th session – UNESCO Digital Library

Section 9 (p. 18): 

“Preliminary study of the technical, financial and legal aspects of the desirability of a UNESCO recommendation on open science (206 EX/9; 206 EX/ 47.I) The Executive Board, 1. Having examined document 206 EX/9, 2. Decides to include an item on the technical, financial and legal aspects of the desirability of a standard-setting instrument on Open Science in the provisional agenda of the 40th session of the General Conference; 3. Invites the Director-General to submit to the General Conference at its 40th session the preliminary study on the technical, financial and legal aspects of the desirability of a standard-setting instrument on Open Science contained in document 206 EX/9, together with the relevant observations and decisions of the Executive Board thereon, in particular, the need to overcome the digital, technological and knowledge divides existing between developing and developed countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States;4. Also invites the Director-General to continue holding intergovernmental consultations in praesentiawith a view for a possible elaboration of a recommendation on Open Science;5. Requests the Director-General to present the consolidated roadmap to the 207th session of the Executive Board….” 

Preliminary study of the technical, financial and legal aspects of the desirability of a UNESCO recommendation on open science(206 EX/9; 206 EX/ 47.I) The Executive Board, 1. Having examined document 206 EX/9, 2. Decides to include an item on the technical, financial and legal aspects of the desirability of a standard-setting instrument on Open Science in the provisional agenda of the 40th session of the General Conference; 3. Invites the Director-General to submit to the General Conference at its 40th session the preliminary study on the technical, financial and legal aspects of the desirability of a standard-setting instrument on Open Science contained in document 206 EX/9, together with the relevant observations and decisions of the Executive Board thereon, in particular, the need to overcome the digital, technological and knowledge divides existing between developing and developed countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States;4. Also invites the Director-General to continue holding intergovernmental consultations in praesentiawith a view for a possible elaboration of a recommendation on Open Science;5. Requests the Director-General to present the consolidated roadmap to the 207th session of the Executive Board