Open Switch Africa launches an Open data community in the Lagos State University campus. – Open Switch Africa

“Open Data Day event in Lagos was about holding a workshop to teach participants about how to use open data tools and its advantages. 

Held at the Tetfund Hall, Lagos state University  on 25th April, 2017, the event included presentations on open data resources; workshop on how to use them (Kayode Yussuf, Creative commons Nigeria, Tech Lead) and a presentation on the importance of open access in scholarly publishing (Adisa Bolutife). It was attended by academic staff, and students drawn from different faculties of the University.

[…]

  The student and faculty will work together to ensure that a DAOJ open access repository is built and linked to the school website.

Also that the open data movement should be done on a wider scale and coverage to encourage better participation in Nigeria.

   The event was really a success and the participants were eager to build a growing community platform where they would continually hold meetings and build projects and ideas on Open data within the university. Open Data Advocates LASU in the Lagos State University is the new community formed as a brain-child of this event, this included five core members of the Students representative council, including the president. “

Publishers and Open-Resource Advocates Square Off on the Future of Course Content – The Chronicle of Higher Education

“At a friendly yet spirited debate last month over the pros and cons of open educational resources, publishers and OER advocates agreed on at least one thing: The “old” textbook market is broken.”

OEP and open pedagogy: #OEGlobal reflections | catherinecronin

“I recently returned from 10 days in Cape Town, participating in the Open Education Global Conference and GO-GN seminar and working with fellow open education researchers at the Centre for Innovation in Learning & Teaching at UCT. All were deeply enriching experiences, both personally and professionally, in a place I’ve come to love after two visits in the past year.

For those who may not know, GO-GN is a global network of PhD students working in open education. The annual 2.5-day GO-GN seminar immediately precedes the OE Global conference, but this event is just part of a broader programme and network of mutual support. Chrissi Nerantzi and Martin Weller have written wonderful blog posts about the GO-GN Cape Town experience already; mine will follow. This post is a summary of some my reflections following the 3-day OE Global conference, particularly with respect to OEP and open pedagogy.”

OEP and open pedagogy: #OEGlobal reflections | catherinecronin

“I recently returned from 10 days in Cape Town, participating in the Open Education Global Conference and GO-GN seminar and working with fellow open education researchers at the Centre for Innovation in Learning & Teaching at UCT. All were deeply enriching experiences, both personally and professionally, in a place I’ve come to love after two visits in the past year.

For those who may not know, GO-GN is a global network of PhD students working in open education. The annual 2.5-day GO-GN seminar immediately precedes the OE Global conference, but this event is just part of a broader programme and network of mutual support. Chrissi Nerantzi and Martin Weller have written wonderful blog posts about the GO-GN Cape Town experience already; mine will follow. This post is a summary of some my reflections following the 3-day OE Global conference, particularly with respect to OEP and open pedagogy.”

OpenAIRE: Impact and Measurement of Open Access | Jisc scholarly communications

“The workshop directly connected to that call for more openness and fair sharing of information, but it also highlighted the difficulty of measuring openness and the continued dearth of products which can help do that. ‘Is OA measurable and if so how?’ is a question we repeatedly ask, in part, because it is about impact, which is difficult for the best of us to prove, and because OA is often about innovation, as much as it is about ensuring access.  In other places, it is clear we need to consider how measuring OA relates to research assessment for both researchers and funders; to do that, there needs to be an open metrics framework.

It needs to be underscored, nonetheless, that there actually is a great deal, and the two questions which remain ever under the surface are ‘when will the tipping point finally come for OA?’ and ‘why is it taking so long?’ Carlos Galan-Diaz from the University of Glasgow pointed out that there is a great deal of activity on and around open access, but unfortunately so much of it is organic and lacking in any kind of global coordination, e.g., ROARMAP, as of the 10th of February, listed 769 separate OA policies:

  • 19 in Africa
  • 40 in Oceania
  • 49 in Asia
  • 198 in America and
  • 463 in Europe

It is not obviously a terribly harmonised set of activities, despite the good will in place.  He highlighted that ultimately, OA is about: access, agile/fast dissemination of information, within/between communities to foster equality. He also pointed out that there are currently 6.73-8.9 million active full-time researchers in the UK, and that in 2009, it was estimated that we were over 50 million articles mark; by 2013, it was estimated that there were 2.4 million article outputs annually; however, only about 25% of the material is available online as OA. To accurately measure the benefits of open access, we need to work together more efficiently and with better strategies.

We know that there are direct economic benefits to all of the stakeholders involved, not just the public: the publishers, the researchers and their institutions, both developed, as well as developing countries, not to mention the private and third sectors. Thus, it was stressed, that there are three separate but integrated contexts to consider throughout the various activities centred around promoting and using OA, namely the individual, the social and the material; no aspect of what we are doing can extricate one from the others, since it is all about how we interact with others at various levels to create change and influence how information is presented and used freely.

In the end, the promotion of OA needs to emphasise that, although it is still about publication, things are shifting; it was stated that for academic researchers, it is no longer publish or perish, since, in reality, the publication of an article is only the start of the research process, a touchpoint where the article, itself, along with the data, can be tested, commented on, repeated and thereby validated by others.”

Open Access and Open Data gaining momentum in Nepal – Open Knowledge Nepal

“For the 5th time in a row, Open Knowledge Nepal team led the effort of organizing International Open Data Day in Nepal. This year it was a collaborative effort of Kathmandu Living Labs and Open Knowledge Nepal. It was also the first official out of Kathmandu Valley event of Open Knowledge Nepal. Organizations like Code for NepalGandaki College of Engineering and Science and Open Access Nepal were the partners for the event. In Nepal, the event aims to served as a platform for bringing together open knowledge enthusiasts from different backgrounds, and support a series of collaborative events for enhancing knowledge and awareness about free and open source software, open data, open content, and various open knowledge technologies. There were 4 different major activities of the event: Presentation Session, Open Street Mapathon, Open Research Data Hackathon and Treasure Hunt.”

“Fostering Open Science in Global Health – the case of datasharing in Public Health Emergenices“ overview of the CVV Workshop at the World Health Summit | Centre Virchow-Villermé

On October 10 2016 the Centre Virchow-Villermé hosted a workshop on ‘Fostering Open Science in Global Health – the case of datasharing in Public Health Emergenices’. Featuring a diverse panel with representatives from different fields and different parts of the world, the workshop identified barriers and bottlenecks of an open approach to datasharing and science in general.

More than just data, more than just emergencies

Public health emergencies like the recent Zika and Ebola outbreaks illustrate the need for a more collaborative approach to research. Keeping information on screened viral genomes in situations where time counts the most is directly delaying the development of adequate responses.

However, Katherine Littler from the Wellcome Trust pointed out very early in the workshop ‘What is good for Public Health Emergencies is good for any research’, ‘There is no reason to hold information back.’ Comments from the audience sounded even more drastic: ‘There are no other reason for not sharing research data but prestige or selfishness.’

Katherine Littler of the Wellcome Trust describing how much more effort is needed to change practises in science. (Image: World Health Summit)

Open but 

Dr Ali Sié, a researcher from Nuna in Burkina Faso generally supported ‘Open Science’ as a concept. Nevertheless, immediate sharing of clinical trial data would lead to even greater North-South inequalities in the research communities. He argued that those collecting data are not necessarily those with the biggest computing power. When making raw data directly acces- and processible, researchers in the global north could use technological expertise and piggy back on this and leverage the data faster than those who collected it in the global south.

As long as scientific reputation is based on publications in high impact journals, sharing is not incentivized. A paradigm shift in recognizing the value of shared data sets is highly needed.

Context matters

Dr Diallo from the Guinean Ministry of Health and Professor at the University of Conakry pointed out that data itself is only valuable when seen in the context of its creation. The community aspect of research, especially in outbreak situation, needs to be considered when opening datasets to the public.

Sceptisism meets interest – impressions from the workshop (Image: World Health Summit)

How to open science 

Eventhough data and information on trials are technically available, they are often spread out on the Internet and difficult to find. ‘Open Trials‘, an initiative by Open Knowledge International aims to do something about this issue by collecting ‘all the data on all the trials, Linked.’ They launched the public beta version on our workshop.

Researchers, the private sector, as well as government representatives present agreed, that in fact early career researchers need to sustain the movement in favour of more open and collaborative science as the default option within academia. Some questions remain unanswered – but the Centre Virchow-Villermé remains committed to offer a platform of exchange to discuss and support a shift in current practises.

 You can read more about the workshop in this BMJ Blog:

http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2016/10/25/peter-grabitz-et-al-how-can-we-improve-data-sharing-in-public-health-emergencies/

AMS Open Math Notes

“Welcome to AMS Open Math Notes, a repository of freely downloadable mathematical works in progress hosted by the American Mathematical Society as a service to researchers, teachers and students.

 

These draft works include course notes, textbooks, and research expositions in progress. They have not been published elsewhere, and, as works in progress, are subject to significant revision.

 

Visitors are encouraged to download and use these materials as teaching and research aids, and to send constructive comments and suggestions to the authors….”

Database on EU fruit sector launched internationally | Farm Online

“AN international database on research and advancements in the European fruit sector will assist to create a ‘thematic network’ that will inform the future directions of the industry.

The EUFRUIT project is a EU-funded program that has been in development for three years as one of 11 agricultural projects to receive funding from the government’s Horizon 2020 plan.

As part of the project, an open database of information on the European fruit sector was developed and launched online about eight months ago.”