National Freedom of Information Coalition

“The National Freedom of Information Coalition protects our right to open government. Our mission is to make sure state and local governments and public institutions have laws, policies and procedures to facilitate the public’s access to their records and proceedings.

NFOIC exercises advocacy, education and resolve. We are keenly aware of the challenges to access information in an increasingly digital world.

We are a nonpartisan alliance of state & regional affiliates promoting collaboration, education & advocacy for open government, transparency & freedom of information. Our members include citizen-driven nonprofit FOI organizations, academic and First Amendment centers, journalistic societies and attorneys….”

National Freedom of Information Coalition

“The National Freedom of Information Coalition protects our right to open government. Our mission is to make sure state and local governments and public institutions have laws, policies and procedures to facilitate the public’s access to their records and proceedings.

NFOIC exercises advocacy, education and resolve. We are keenly aware of the challenges to access information in an increasingly digital world.

We are a nonpartisan alliance of state & regional affiliates promoting collaboration, education & advocacy for open government, transparency & freedom of information. Our members include citizen-driven nonprofit FOI organizations, academic and First Amendment centers, journalistic societies and attorneys….”

Let Canada Be First to Turn an Open Access Research Policy into a Legal Right to Know | John Willinsky | Slaw

“Canada’s three federal research funding agencies – the Canadian Institutes of Health ($1 billion annual budget in 2016-17), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada ($1.1 billion), the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada ($380 million) – instituted an intellectual property law exception in 2014. It effects the publication of research and scholarship resulting from grants which they have awarded. What began with CIHR in 2008, evolved six years later into Tri-Agency Policy on Open Access Policy on Publications. Under this policy “grant recipients are required to ensure that any peer-reviewed journal publications arising from Agency-supported research are freely accessible within 12 months of publication.”

I raise this policy because, what began a decade ago, has only grown in scope, in Canada and globally, suggesting open access is here to say. This seems worth considering in terms of its implications for the Canadian government’s current review and potential reform of the Copyright Act.

The first thing to note with Tri-Agency Policy is that it considerably abridges the author and publisher’s right to restrict access, limiting it to twelve months rather fifty years after the author’s death (whether the author retains the copyright or assigns it to the publisher, which is often a condition for publication in scholarly publishing). This is a radical turnaround, given that Canada, like other countries, had previously done nothing but extend the copyright term limit, from the original twenty-eight years, with a fourteen-year extension, of the first Copyright Act of 1875….”

Let Canada Be First to Turn an Open Access Research Policy into a Legal Right to Know | John Willinsky | Slaw

“Canada’s three federal research funding agencies – the Canadian Institutes of Health ($1 billion annual budget in 2016-17), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada ($1.1 billion), the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada ($380 million) – instituted an intellectual property law exception in 2014. It effects the publication of research and scholarship resulting from grants which they have awarded. What began with CIHR in 2008, evolved six years later into Tri-Agency Policy on Open Access Policy on Publications. Under this policy “grant recipients are required to ensure that any peer-reviewed journal publications arising from Agency-supported research are freely accessible within 12 months of publication.”

I raise this policy because, what began a decade ago, has only grown in scope, in Canada and globally, suggesting open access is here to say. This seems worth considering in terms of its implications for the Canadian government’s current review and potential reform of the Copyright Act.

The first thing to note with Tri-Agency Policy is that it considerably abridges the author and publisher’s right to restrict access, limiting it to twelve months rather fifty years after the author’s death (whether the author retains the copyright or assigns it to the publisher, which is often a condition for publication in scholarly publishing). This is a radical turnaround, given that Canada, like other countries, had previously done nothing but extend the copyright term limit, from the original twenty-eight years, with a fourteen-year extension, of the first Copyright Act of 1875….”

Journal subscription expenditure of UK higher education institutions – F1000Research

Abstract:  The academic libraries of higher education institutions (HEIs) pay significant amounts of money each year for access to academic journals. The amounts paid are often not transparent especially when it comes to knowing how much is paid to specific publishers. Therefore data on journal subscription expenditure were obtained for UK HEIs using a series of Freedom of Information requests. Data were obtained for 153 HEIs’ expenditure with ten publishers over a five-year period. The majority of institutions have provided figures but some are still outstanding. The data will be of interest to those who wish to understand the economics of scholarly communication and see the scale of payments flowing within the system. Further research could replicate the data collection in other jurisdictions.

Big Deal journal bundles: price information from New Zealand | Filling a much-needed gap

“In 2014 Timothy Gowers and others used Freedom of Information laws to extract the relevant price information from UK universities. See here for more detailed information. Earlier (2009), less extensive, work in the USA  had also been done by Ted Bergstrom and others. Inspired by this, I tried the same thing in New Zealand (for 7 of the 8 universities – representing around 8400 academic/research staff and 130000 students, so far (Lincoln University, very much smaller than the others, was omitted owing to an oversight). Whereas Gowers was able to obtain the requested information within a few weeks, it has taken me 3.5 years. In both countries universities originally refused to release the information. However, in the UK there is an automatic right of review of such decisions, undertaken by an academic. In NZ, no such right exists….”

Paola Di Maio, Toward shared system knowledge : an empirical study of knowledge sharing policy and practice in systems engineering research in the UK

Abstract:  Research in Open Access (OA) to Scholarly Publications has flourished in recent years, however studies published to date tend to be quantitative, statistical analyses over undifferentiated corpuses, that monitor the overall uptake (Bjo?rk et al. 2010; Laakso et al. 2011). This doctoral thesis explores a different path of inquiry: it examines the effectiveness of OA policies in relation to the perspective of a ‘knowledge seeker’ and considers them in the context of the wider regulatory landscape that motivates their existence, specifically monitoring the availability of shared resources – journal publications, as well as other knowledge sharing artefacts adopted in technical domains – in relation to systems engineering research in the UK. Research Funding Councils adopt Open Access policies and display them prominently on their website, yet not all funded research projects seem to share knowledge by publishing Open Access resources. The main hypothesis driving this thesis is that a gap exists between Open Access in theory and Open Access in practice. A unique research methodology is devised that combines evidence based research (EBR) with a wide range of mixed method techniques, including FOI (freedom of information) requests. A novel collection instrument, a set of heuristic indicators, are developed to support the empirical observation of the gap between ‘Open Access policies in theory’, corresponding approximately to what the funding body state on their website, and ‘Open Access policies in practice’, corresponding to the level of adoption of these policies by grant holders. A systematic review and a meta-analysis of a 100 publicly-funded projects are carried out. The research demonstrates empirically that in the majority of the audited publicly-funded projects, no Open Access resources can be located.