Populating the European Commission’s Open Science Policy Platform | Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

“The European Commission is putting together a Commission Expert Group to provide advice about the development and implementation of open science policy in Europe. It will be known as the Open Science Policy Platform (OSPP). This is potentially excellent news. The OSPP’s primary goal is to ‘advise the Commission on how to further develop and practically implement open science policy’. But there’s potentially a downside here. We can be sure that the legacy publishers will attempt to stuff the committee with their own people, just as they did with the Finch committee — and that, if they succeed, they will do everything they can to retard all forms of progress that hurt their bottom line, just as they did with the Finch committee. Unfortunately, multinational corporations with £2 billion annual revenue and £762 million annual profit (see page 17 of Elsevier’s 2014 annual report) are very well positioned to dedicate resources to getting their people onto influential committees. Those of us without a spare £762 million to spend on marketing are at a huge operational disadvantage when it comes to influencing policy. Happily, though, we do have one important thing on our side: we’re right. So we should do what we can to get genuinely progressive pro-open candidates onto the OSPP. I know of several people who have put themselves forward, and I am briefly describing them below (in the order I hear about their candidacy). I have publicly endorsed the first few, and will go on to endorse the others just as soon as I have a moment. If you know and admire these people, please consider leaving your own endorsement — it will help their case to be taken on to the OSPP …”

Study explores peer-to-peer research sharing communities

“Peer-to-peer research sharing looks a lot like sharing of other forms of media, a new study suggests. While some researchers are personally opposed to copyright, others pirate research simply for the sake of convenience. Piracy been around for decades, but the sources of pirated music, movies and more have multiplied over the years, expanding beyond platforms such as Napster and the Pirate Bay. Today, many users search for copyrighted scholarly papers on Facebook, Reddit and Twitter or repositories such as Library Genesis (LibGen) and Sci-Hub. Carolyn Caffrey Gardner and Gabriel J. Gardner, librarians at the University of Southern California and California State University at Long Beach, respectively, recently explored the motivations of the people who use those sites. Their paper, ‘Fast and Furious (at Publishers): The Motivations Behind Crowdsourced Research Sharing,’ will appear in an upcoming edition of College & Research Libraries, a publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries …”

Open Science Resources for Contributing to Brain Imaging Research: A Guest Blog by Cameron Craddock – GigaBlog

“In support of Brain Awareness Week, we have asked Cameron Craddock, Director of the Computational NeuroImaging Lab, Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and Director of Imaging, Child Mind Institute, to write a blog highlighting open science in neuroimaging, and to announce our upcoming publication of the 2015 Brainhack Proceedings and the Brainhack Thematic Series. BioMed Central are also highlighting some of the amazing benefits of brain research and showcasing the progress being made by researchers around to world. Learn more here.”

Open science in action! | EurekAlert! Science News

“Public health emergencies such as the currently spreading Zika disease might be successfully necessitating open access for the available biomedical researches and their underlying data, yet filtering the right information, so that it lands in the hands of the right people, is what holds up professionals to bring the adequate measures about. Submitted to the Open Science Prize contest, the present grant proposal, prepared with the joint efforts of scientists affiliated with Hypothes.is, ContentMine, University of Cambridge, Cottage Labs LLP and Imperial College of London, suggests a new scholarly assistant system, called amanuens.is, based on the existing ContentMine and Hypothes.is prototypes. Its aim is to combine machines and humans, so that mining critically important facts and making them available to the world can be made not only significantly faster, but also less costly. Through their publication in the open access journal Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO), the scientists, who are also well-known open access and open data proponents, are looking for further support, feedback and collaborations. While Hypothes.is is a mixture of software and communities, which together annotate the available literature, ContentMine are building an open source pipeline to extract facts from scientific documents, thus making the literature review process cheaper, more rigorous, continuous and transparent. The role of amanuens.is is meant to bring these two systems together …”

False claim of the Leicester Open Access (?) repository | Archivalia

„University of Leicester claim: „an estimated 53% of papers published in 2015 now openly available“. Me, I seriously doubt it.“ (Richard Poynder on Facebook) … Try my search for „Leicester“ with and without activating the „Full text only“ option (with filter date 2015): 1405 vs. 1450 items. But this only says that there is a very high percentage of full texts in the repository …”

Arizona Department Of Education To Provide Open Access To Free Educational Materials

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas today announced that the Arizona Department of Education is launching a #GoOpen initiative, supporting Arizona educators and schools as they transition to using high-quality, openly licensed educational materials. With this initiative, Arizona joins an initial group of states making a commitment to move away from traditional, expensive textbooks in favor of freely accessible educational materials … The U.S. Department of Education is coordinating the statewide #GoOpen initiatives through its Office of Educational Technology. The office’s director, Joseph South, explains, ‘With the launch of statewide #GoOpen initiatives, states are helping districts thoughtfully transition to a new model of learning by facilitating the creation of an open network of digital resources that can increase equity and empower teachers. ‘Arizona’s #GoOpen initiative builds on ADE’s existing work to provide a statewide central repository for openly licensed educational materials. The ADE Content Management System (CMS) was launched in 2015 and is already an important part of Arizona education infrastructure. This system reflects ADE’s work with the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish common vocabulary, definitions and formats to describe learning resources through the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI)   and Common Education Data Standards (CEDS), making Arizona’s CMS compatible with the national Learning Registry …”

Creating A Public Space: Open Access, Book Theft, and the Epigraphy of Ancient Libraries – SARAH E. BOND

” … As Erik Kwakkel has already talked about, medieval libraries used curses, but also  book chains in order to stop book thieves. Library materials were often expensive, rare, and labor intensive to produce, so it makes sense that libraries wished to protect them …  I have worked for both public and private institutions with adjoining libraries, and I must say that entering a public library is an altogether different spatial experience from entering a private one–which can often feel like entering a prison … “

Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Science | whitehouse.gov

“Today marks the third anniversary of the memorandum from Dr. John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, directing Federal agencies with more than $100 million in annual research and development (R&D) expenditures to develop plans for increasing public access to the results of the research they support, specifically scholarly publications and digital data. The memo recognized that making research results accessible to the largest possible audience – other researchers, business innovators, entrepreneurs, teachers, students, and the general public – can boost the returns from Federal investments in R&D. Increased access expands opportunities for new scientific knowledge to be applied to areas as diverse as health, energy, environmental protection, agriculture, and national security and to catalyze innovative breakthroughs that drive economic growth and prosperity. Over the last three years, Federal agencies have made substantial progress toward increasing access to the results of funded research. As of today, 16 Federal departments and agencies have issued public access plans covering publications and digital data, and one additional agency has completed a plan for publications. The remaining agencies are nearing completion. Agencies with completed plans account for 98 percent of annual Federal R&D spending and include the Federal government’s largest R&D funders: Department of Defense (DOD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Energy (DOE), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). Some agencies with less than $100 million per year of R&D are complying voluntarily …”

The UK – edging ever closer to open access to research publications – Universities UK blogUniversities UK blog

“This morning, Jo Johnson MP, Minister for Universities and Science, made the government’s latest foray into Open Access (OA) policy, perhaps the most significant since the now distant – but nonetheless enthusiastic – interest of David Willetts, back in 2012. The intervention came in the form of a response to independent advice by Professor Adam Tickell, Provost and Vice-Principal, University of Birmingham. Professor Tickell is widely respected and experienced in the field of OA – having previously been part of the Finch working group. He is also Chair of the Universities UK Open Access Coordination Group, which brings together expert representatives from the main stakeholder communities and has a central role in monitoring and reporting progress. The group’s most recent report was published in September 2015. Both the expertise and the evidence base available to the group have undoubtedly been very useful resources, and form the foundations of Professor Tickell’s advice. I think this, as with many other examples, is testament to the ability of the higher education sector to galvanise around important issues, with a collaborative and open approach. It’s a group I’m pleased to support. Professor Tickell’s advice is therefore well formed, and the Minister’s response is satisfyingly supportive – all recommendations appear to have been accepted. There will be long discussions on the many elements of Mr Johnson’s response, but I will draw out a few comments that strike me as interesting on first reading …”

Meet the Robin Hood of Science | Big Think

” … On September 5th, 2011, Alexandra Elbakyan, a researcher from Kazakhstan, created Sci-Hub, a website that bypasses journal paywalls, illegally providing access to nearly every scientific paper ever published immediately to anyone who wants it. The website works in two stages, firstly by attempting to download a copy from the LibGen database of pirated content, which opened its doors to academic papers in 2012 and now contains over 48 million scientific papers. The ingenious part of the system is that if LibGen does not already have a copy of the paper, Sci-hub bypasses the journal paywall in real time by using access keys donated by academics lucky enough to study at institutions with an adequate range of subscriptions. This allows Sci-Hub to route the user straight to the paper through publishers such as JSTOR, Springer, Sage, and Elsevier. After delivering the paper to the user within seconds, Sci-Hub donates a copy of the paper to LibGen for good measure, where it will be stored forever, accessible by everyone and anyone …”