The Joint declaration by the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of states and the EU on climate change includes thanks (Section 14) for “the Intra-ACP Climate Services Programme, an initiative of the ACP Group of States, funded with 85 million EUR, also from the European Development Fund, to strengthen the capacities of regional hydro-meteorological organisations to take advantage of the full and open access to high-resolution data and value-added information from the EU’s Earth Observation Programme, Copernicus.”
“In this paper, we map OA publications in Latin America and observe how Latin American countries are moving forward and becoming a leading force in widening access to knowledge. Our analysis, developed as part of the H2020 EULAC Focus research project, is based on mixed methods and consists mainly of a bibliometric analysis of OA publications indexed in the most important scientific databases (Web of Science and Scopus) and OA regional repositories, as well as the qualitative analysis of documents related to the main OA initiatives in Latin America. Through our analysis, we aim at reflecting critically on what policies, international standards, and best practices might be adapted to incorporate OA worldwide and improve the infrastructure of the global knowledge commons.”
“In Latin America, the publications have always been Open Accessed under a “free” model – that subsists with the financial encouragement from the Governments – but it needs to be noted that Latin America contributes with the 4.9% of the global scientific production, this means that Latin America and the Caribbean are a different region from other “emergent markets”. …We agree that an OA expansion policy, through the payment of APC fees, is impossible to undertake from a financial point of view for the participant countries….”
With the emergence of electronic media, many significant changes in how researchers communicated their works came to fruition. Researchers recognized their limitations regarding the dissemination of their findings and data, and were seeking new ways by which their works could be offered free to the public to help promote the advancement of science. A new structure emerged, referred to as “open access,” that has gained considerable worldwide support.
“Our visit to Cuba not only showed us the history and culture of our Caribbean neighbor but also highlighted barriers to full participation in open access that we anticipated may be shared by others in the global south. Some of these barriers included the digital divide, inequalities in relative purchasing power, global power structures as reflected in scholarly publishing, the dominance of Western scholarly standards, and the privileging of English language scholarship.
While there may be little the OA movement can do directly to influence the Internet infrastructure or the tenure process in developing regions, nonetheless, it can find ways to improve those scholars’ access to OA materials and participation in OA publishing. The OA movement can hold firm to its philosophical underpinnings of global inclusion by taking actions mentioned throughout this paper: it can encourage OA websites to accommodate low bandwidth users; develop more inclusive web discovery tools, publishing standards, and evaluative metrics; assist repositories and journals in creating metadata and websites that aid indexing by search engines; help OA publications and initiatives find funding; and find ways to ease the language gap for those who aren’t English native speakers.
All these observations aren’t intended to trivialize the progress and impact open access has achieved thus far. They’re meant to encourage the OA movement in the West to come even closer to the goal of global inclusion, although what we’ve outlined is by no means all the challenges scholars in Cuba and developing regions face around OA. We give the last thoughts to Maha Bali, an Egyptian academic at the American University, Cairo: ‘But as a scholar from the global South… what is one to do? Wait until the North listens? Because, really, so far the only way to make them listen has been to write in their language, their journals, to their standards of scholarship and hope for the best.’61”
All the articles in this issue are in one large PDF. Here’s the table of contents:
Access to knowledge at the heart of the profession and a key to sustainable development 3 Steven W. Witt
Sharing the data: The information policies of NOAA and EUMETSAT 5 Freya R. Yost
Open access repositories in India: Characteristics and future potential 16 Prerna Singh
Open access and the Caribbean academic: An exploratory investigation of the adoption of this medium for publishing among science faculty of The University of the West Indies 25 Ingrid Iton and Ardon Iton
Faculty members’ perceptions and use of open access journals: Bangladesh perspective 36 Nafiz Zaman Shuva and Radia Taisir
Effective information service delivery to rural dwellers in Sub-Saharan Africa: Whose job? 49 Chimezie P. Uzuegbu
Kuwait’s higher education libraries: A descriptive analysis 59 Asma J. AlKanan
“After a month of intense conversations and negotiations, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) will bring the ‘Fair Access to Science and Technology Research (FASTR) Act’ up for mark-up on Wednesday, July 29th. The language that will be considered is an amended version of FASTR, officially known as the ‘Johnson-Carper Substitute Amendment,’ which was officially filed by the HSGAC leadership late on Friday afternoon, per committee rules. There are two major changes from the original bill language to be particularly aware of. Specifically, the amendment Replaces the six month embargo period with ‘no later than 12 months, but preferably sooner’ as anticipated; and Provides a mechanism for stakeholders to petition federal agencies to ‘adjust’ the embargo period if the12 months does not serve ‘the public, industries, and the scientific community.’ We understand that these modifications were made in order accomplish a number of things: Satisfy the requirement of a number of Members of HSGAC that the language more closely track that of the OSTP Directive; Meet the preference of the major U.S. higher education associations for a maximum 12 month embargo; Ensure that, for the first time, a number of scientific societies will drop their opposition for the bill; and Ensure that any petition process an agency may enable is focused on serving the interests of the public and the scientific community …”
“Impact is multi-dimensional, the routes by which impact occur are different across disciplines and sectors, and impact changes over time. Jane Tinkler argues that if institutions like HEFCE specify a narrow set of impact metrics, more harm than good would come to universities forced to limit their understanding of how research is making a difference. But qualitative and quantitative indicators continue to be an incredible source of learning for how impact works in each of our disciplines, locations or sectors.”
“Open access for monographs and book chapters is a relatively new area of publishing, and there are many ways of approaching it. With this in mind, a recent publication from the Wellcome Trust aims to provide some guidance for publishers to consider when developing policies and processes for open access books. The Wellcome Trust recognises that implementation around publishing monographs and book chapters open access is in flux, and invites publishers to email Cecy Marden at firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions for further guidance that would be useful to include in this document. ‘Open Access Monographs and Book Chapters: A practical guide for publishers’ is available to download as a pdf from the Wellcome Trust website.”
“The purpose of this post is to shed some light on a specific issue in the transition to open access that particularly affects small and low-cost publishers and to suggest one strategy to address this issue. In the words of one Resource Requirements interviewee: ‘So the other set of members that we used to have about forty library members , but when we went to open access online, we lost the whole bunch of libraries. Yeah, so basically we sent everybody ,you know, a letter saying we are going to open access online, the annual membership is only $30, we hope you will continue to support us even though there are no longer print journals, and then a whole flu of cancellations came in from a whole bunch of libraries, which we had kind of thought might happen but given how cheap we are, I have to say I was really disappointed when it indeed did happen especially from whole bunch of [deleted] libraries [for which our journal is extremely relevant]. I was going, seriously $30?’ Comments: for a university library, a society membership fee, when not required for journal subscriptions, may be difficult to justify from an accounting perspective. $30 is a small cost; however, for a university the administrative work of tracking such memberships and cutting a check every year likely exceeds the $30 cost. With 40 library members at a cost of $30, the total revenue for this journal from this source was $1,200. A university or university library could sponsor this amount at less than the cost of many an article processing charge. The university and library where the faculty member is located have a support program for open access journals; clearly the will, and some funding, is there. One of the challenges is transitioning subscription dollars to support for open access, as I address in my 2013 First Monday article. Following is one suggestion for libraries, or for faculty to suggest to their libraries: why not engage your faculty who are independent or society publishers to gain support for cancellations or tough negotiations and lower prices for the big deals of large, highly profitable commercial publishers that I argue are critical to redirect funding to our own publishing activities? Here is one scenario that may help to explain the potential …”