Lancet editor-in-chief calls for ‘activist’ journals | Times Higher Education (THE)

“Academic journals must become more “activist” if they are to survive, seeking to “change the direction of society” rather than “passively waiting” for manuscripts, according to the editor-in-chief of The Lancet.

The medical journal is one of a number of titles now explicitly committed to helping pursue the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which range from eradicating hunger to reducing inequalities, as titles try to carve out a new role in a world where publishing has moved online….

Instead of “sitting in our office passively waiting for manuscripts to be submitted to the journal”, Dr Horton said, The Lancet, founded in 1823, now had a mission to “gather the very best scientific evidence, [and] to then think strategically about how that evidence fits within the overall trajectory of scientific and political policy in the world”.

For example, last year the journal published a report setting out how to eradicate malaria by 2050, backed by research funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

This was one of dozens of “commissions” initiated by the journal, which bring together experts to formulate proposals on subjects ranging from defeating Alzheimer’s disease to reforming medical education for the 21st century….

Still, some journals have faced long-standing criticism that their subscription costs mean they are unaffordable for readers in developing countries – or conversely, that the price of publishing an open-access article excludes scholars from poorer university systems.

Some publishers offer discounts to academics in poorer countries. The Lancet, for example, waives open-access publishing fees for scholars whose main funder is based in a state with a low human development index….”

Towards Global Open Science: Core Enabler of the UN 2030 Agenda

“You are cordially invited to attend the first United Nations Open Science Conference on 19 November 2019, organized by the UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library in collaboration with the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). 

The theme of the conference is “Towards Global Open Science: Core Enabler of the UN 2030 Agenda”.  With a desire to elevate the discussion about open science and open research to the global level and to examine the role of open science in advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the conference will bring together representatives of open science initiatives (OpenAIRE, Hindawi, LA Referencia, AfricanLII and others), early career researchers, library directors and policymakers.

In the following pages, you will find the concept note, detailed programme, social media hashtag, and more. Please use the blue button above to register should you wish to attend in person, as space is limited. The conference will also be webcast, and you can watch it live on UN WebTV….”

WHO joins coalition for free digital access to health research

“Today, WHO announces it is the first of the United Nations agencies to join a coalition of research funders and charitable foundations (cOAlition S), an initiative to make full and immediate open access to research publications a reality.  cOAlition S is built around Plan S, which consists of 10 principles to ensure that the results from publicly-funded research, must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo. …”

World Health Organization and TDR Join cOAlition S to Support Free and Immediate Access to Health Research | Plan S

“Today the World Health Organization (WHO) announces it is the first of the United Nations agencies to join the growing coalition of research funders and charitable foundations who implement Plan S. This commitment will ensure that all WHO supported health research will be free to read online on the day it is published.

TDR, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, a global programme of scientific collaboration that helps facilitate, support, and influence efforts to combat diseases of poverty will also join cOAlition S alongside WHO. TDR is hosted at WHO, and is sponsored by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, and WHO….”

Here, but Not Evenly Distributed: Libraries, Innovation and the Right to Science « Library Policy and Advocacy Blog

A focus on sharing not just technology, but all forms of knowledge, is arguably missing from the UN 2030 Agenda. And there are questions – around expanding internet access, and finding sustainable models for Open Access. Yet the key elements of any future drive in this area are in place in the shape of libraries.

Clearly we are still some way from delivering the right to science, but the Universal Declaration reminds us that the effort is worth it….”

Development and Access to Information (DA2I)

Development and Access to Information (DA2I) is the first of a series of annual reports that will monitor the progress countries are making towards fulfilling their commitment to promote meaningful access to information as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

DA2I will be launched annually, at the time of the United Nations High Level Political Forum (UN HLPF) and it is designed for UN member states, intergovernmental organizations, funders, civil society, other stakeholders working in development, and the library community itself. It underlines the invaluable contribution that information access, particularly through libraries, makes to promoting more socially and economically inclusive societies.

As well as updating on progress on a range of indicators of access to information, each DA2I report will have a focus on the SDGs selected for review at the HLPF in the year of publication. This includes thematic chapters on how access to information promotes the achievement of each of the selected SDGs.

The DA2I 2017 thematic chapters focus on the following goals: Zero Hunger (SDG2), Good Health and Well-being (SDG3), Gender Equality (SDG5), and Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG9).”

Open Access and Education: the cases of SABER and the Open Educational Resources (OER) – Inventa International

“Multiple studies carried out by international institutions, such as the UN, identified Intellectual Property Rights as partially responsible for the existence of a difference between ‘information-rich’ and ‘information-poor’ due to the exclusion they create. Thus, an approach to the management of Intellectual Property, taking into account human development and fundamental rights, has proved to be essential.

In this context, the Open Access approach to copyright management emerged as the most appropriate model to promote education through access to information and creative content.

Under this model, intellectual works, such as educational and research materials, are made available online free of charge.”

Access To Medicines Resolution Adopted By UN Human Rights Council

“A resolution on access to medicines proposed by a number of developing countries was adopted today by the United Nations Human Rights Council, as well as a resolution on enhancing capacity-building in public health. This marks yet another United Nations fora in which developing countries seek to raise the issue of access to medicines, particularly with regard to high prices.”

“The reference to price of medicines in the resolution is an inadequate simplification of the issue, he said. Patents and prices are not directly linked, he said, as prices result from a variety of factors, such as import taxes, national medicine supply systems, and the role of intermediaries.”

Panel: Broadband crucial to public education | The Recorder

“Before coming to Charlemont, Bernard was a research assistant with the Harvard Open Access Project and Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She also worked for at least 25 years as a child development specialist, working with young children and their families, teaching at colleges, and writing and presenting talks at conferences and workshops. Bernard said that the United Nations, through its UNESCO program, has a goal to focus on open-education resources that can be made available to everybody. Also, the U.S. Department of Education has started a “Go Open” campaign, urging states and school districts to save money by using openly licensed educational materials….”

The Paul G. Allen Ebola Program Awards $11 Million in New Grants, Continuing… — SEATTLE, Oct. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —

“With a $1.02 million grant, UNOCHA [United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] will integrate data systems and offer data services to partners across West Africa. It will also enhance its open data platform, the Humanitarian Data Exchange, with new features for data sharing and analysis….”