Open Access, Books, and the Tricky Transition | School of Advanced Study

“The Third Research Excellence Framework, scheduled for the mid-2020s, now has a mandate for open access books. Despite calls from the digitally enlightened, however, most humanities long-form writing remains very much ensconced within the traditions and economics (both symbolic and financial) of the printed book. In this talk, I will discuss the challenges of a migration from conventional books to an open access model and the range of approaches that are currently being taken.

In the age of data mining, distant reading, and cultural analytics, scholars increasingly rely upon automated, algorithm-based procedures in order to parse the exponentially growing databases of digitized textual and visual resources. While these new trends are dramatically shifting the scale of our objects of study, from one book to millions of books, from one painting to millions of images, the most traditional output of humanistic scholarship—the single author monograph—has maintained its institutional pre-eminence in the academic world, while showing the limitations of its printed format. Recent initiatives, such as the AHRC-funded Academic Book of the Future in the UK and the Andrew W. Mellon-funded digital publishing initiative in the USA, have answered the need to envision new forms of scholarly publication on the digital platform, and in particular the need to design and produce a digital equivalent to, or substitute for, the printed monograph. Libraries, academic presses and a number of scholars across a variety of disciplines are participating in this endeavour, debating key questions in the process, such as: What is an academic book?  Who are its readers? What can technology do to help make academic books more accessible and sharable without compromising their integrity and durability? Yet, a more fundamental question remains to be answered, as our own idea of what a ‘book’ is (or was) and does (or did) evolves: how can a digital, ‘single-author’ monograph effectively draw from the growing field of digital culture, without losing those characteristics that made it perhaps the most stable form of humanistic culture since the Gutenberg revolution? Our speakers will debate some of these questions and provide their points of view on some of the specific issues involved. After their short presentations, all participants are invited to bring their own ideas about, and experience with, digital publishing to the table.”

Kenya leads the way for African countries to shift to more open, accessible and data-driven national agricultural policies | Diana Szpotowicz | Pulse | LinkedIn

“The event had a simple mission: to spur greater investment in agriculture and food nutrition data, especially in the G77 countries – a mission shared by the United Nations and the African Union this year.

The conference was co-convened by the Government of Kenya, the G77 Secretariat, African Union (NEPAD) and the Platform of African Farmers’ Organizations (PAFO).”

The Cell Image Library

“The Cell Image Library™ is a freely accessible, easy-to-search, public repository of reviewed and annotated images, videos, and animations of cells from a variety of organisms, showcasing cell architecture, intracellular functionalities, and both normal and abnormal processes. The purpose of this database is to advance research, education, and training, with the ultimate goal of improving human health….”

Professor in Potsdam produces, directs ‘Paywall: The Business of Scholarship’ documentary | NorthCountryNow

“When library budgets are not able to meet the demands of publisher contracts, subscriptions are canceled and access to information is lost. Young said open access benefits academics by increasing the visibility and impact of research.

‘Information hidden behind a paywall is seen as a disadvantage for everyone,’ she said. ‘Open access allows more information to be added to the intellectual record, and people can continue to research because access is available and there are increased opportunities for collaboration.’

Several prominent academic writers have signed on to help write the documentary storyline, including Science magazine contributing correspondent John Bohannon, Birkbeck University of London Professor Martin Paul Eve, and futurist, educator and consultant Bryan Alexander.

Schmitt will have additional video crew support from Zach Brunelle ’17 of Burt Hills, N.Y., and professional videographer Russel Stone of Burlington, Vt.

The grant will support the travel, editing and final mastering, as well as provide a streaming and downloadable file for global viewing of the documentary.”

Webinar: Publishing in the Open: Exploring pathways for open access publishing – YouTube

“This webinar on Open Access publishing lead by Dr. Maha Bali (American University in Cairo) and Associate Professor Laura Czierniewicz (University of Cape Town, South Africa) took place 20 September 2016 as a part of the one week seminar: Publishing in the Open: Exploring pathways for open access publishing….”

U of California, Berkeley, to delete publicly available educational content

“The University of California, Berkeley, will cut off public access to tens of thousands of video lectures and podcasts in response to a U.S. Justice Department order that it make the educational content accessible to people with disabilities….”

Open Documentary Lab at MIT

“In the spirit of MIT’s open courseware and open source software movements, the Open Documentary Lab is inclusive, collaborative and committed to sharing knowledge, networks, and tools. ‘Open’ in its understanding of documentary’s forms and potentials, the Lab is catalyst, partner and guide to the future of reality-based storytelling….”