Thank You to Cameroon — Compliments on the JIDC Mentoring System

A couple of weeks ago, JIDC Editor-in-Chief Salvatore Rubino received a letter from a researcher in Cameroon.  The letter from Jane-Francis Akoachere of the University of Buea in Cameroon, described how the JIDC Mentoring System supports researchers in non-English speaking countries to communicate the research from their communities on an international level.

When the letter was received, everyone at JIDC especially E-in-C Salvatore Rubino was incredibly moved as the Mentoring is the HEART of JIDC.  The whole JIDC Editorial and Technical Staff wanted to show how important this letter was to us and say a big THANK YOU to Jane-Francis Akoachere.  It means more than can be expressed to have a reader communicating their gratitude.

So… Thank You Jane-Francis Akoachere and Cameroon from everyone at JIDC!

Here is  Dr. Jane-Francis Akoachere’s Letter:

Dear Dr Salvatore Rubino,

I was browsing through Scopus and came across JIDC for the first time. Out of curiosity, I did a Google search and got a write up (PDF document) on the mission and vision of JIDC. I salute the concern you and your team has shown  about scientists in developing countries and I earnestly thank you all for  drawing up such a project. Personally, I think I will benefit from the JIDC project because being linked to a mentor, will enable me polish up my writing skills and come up with good manuscripts.

Kindly extend my warm greetings, appreciation and best wishes to your entire team.

Jane-Francis Akoachere,
Coordinator for Microbiology Programme,
Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology,
Faculty of Science,
University of Buea,

Graduate Students Across Canada Celebrate OA Week

Graduate students at Canadian universities joined their international counterparts in celebrating the 5th Open Access Week. The graduate members of the National Graduate Caucus (NGC) of the Canadian Federation of Students support principles of Open Access as they are aligned with values of access to high quality, peer-reviewed scholarly publications regardless of wealth or location. Graduate student unions of the NGC will be working with their on-campus librarians to support Open Access repositories as well as grants to support students and faculty to publish in Open Access journals. 

Graduate students have taken the lead in hosting panel discussions, workshops, movie screenings, forums and other events to bring public attention to the issue and to illustrate the relevance to students and the broader public. Long-time advocates for increases to public research funding, graduate students within the Canadian Federation of Students believe that research produced for the public good should be made more easily accessible to taxpayers.

Outreach materials such as posters, buttons, bookmarks and webcasts have been made available to graduate students across Canada. Under the broad messaging that no one should be denied access to the research they need, students will participate in Open Access week events from October 24th – 30th.

The National Graduate Caucus is a separate caucus within the Canadian Federation of Students representing over 70,000 students at 31 campuses across Canada.

Make hay when the sun shines!

Not everything is peachy in the world of Open Access publication, and in this next post, I tackle the issue of predatory open access. I have kept it short intentionally mainly because the issue is not something I want too many people to get too suspicious about and hence send out a wrong impression about the whole deal of Open Access. But, at the same time, I want everyone to be aware of what they are getting themselves into and not get duped by posers who are setting the open access revolution by several decades.

Read my latest post here: Predatory Open Access – Making Hay While the Sun Shines

What has been your experience with these posers? Any of them got you? Drop by and leave a line! 



Thanks to Donna for moderating members and blog posts


I’d like to offer special thanks to Donna Okubo from the Public Library of Science who has been monitoring this site continually for new members and new content, and releasing both from the moderation queue. We unfortunately still need to guard both from spam and spammers and it’s a big job to keep an eye on all of the amazing activity on this site. Donna, THANK YOU for keeping the OA Week site alive with news and new members from all corners of the globe. We couldn’t do this without you.



Program Director for Open Access Week



Jennifer McLennan

Director of Programs & Operations


(202) 296-2296 x121

Fax: (202) 872-0884


Open Access Week 2011

October 24 – 30


The SPARC Open Access Meeting

March 11 – 13, 2012

Kansas City


Wicked Solutions for a Wicked Problem — Help us Empower Students and Hack for Social Good!

Oct 26-28th: help us empower at-risk kids and reboot education.


From Oct 26-28, during the DIYDays LA conference and Open Access Week, The Workbook Project along with UCLA, FreedomLab Future Studies and the Mozilla Foundation will host a think-tank meets hackathon called Wicked Solutions for a Wicked Problem (WSWP).


WSWP works to bridge the gap between technology, storytelling and problem solving within a collaborative environment. The experience will begin on Oct 26, 2011 at UCLA’s Charles E. Young Research Library. Over the course of 48 hours, a “core team” of programmers, designers, storytellers, community leaders and researchers will work to harness the power of storytelling to impact the future of education and help alleviate the problems of high student to teacher ratios. On Oct 26, the core team will spend 12 hours in a “Mindstorm,” developing a spec that uses storytelling to improve the education experience. They will then hand over this spec to a group of hackers, who will have 24 hours to create a prototype that places education directly in students’ hands in an effort to unlock creativity. On Oct 28, the team will present a working prototype to the DIYDays LA audience.


On Oct 26th — during the Mindstorm —  Work with us, online, as we try to figure out which paradigms of storytelling can be applied to improve the education experience. Participate in the conversation, contribute your own education experiences or expertise and collaborate with a team from all over the world on harnessing the power of storytelling for a social good. The Mindstorm will take place from 8:30am-7:30pm Pacific Standard Time. 

We’re looking for educators and perspectives from all over the world — if you are interested in participating online, please e-mail with your name and the time you will be available to collaborate.



On Oct 27th —  If you are in the LA Area — We’re looking for some talented hackers to take part in building prototypes designed to put education directly in the hands of students. Prototypes will be presented on stage on Oct 28th at the close of DIY DAYS in front of an audience as well as a special panel of angel investors, NGOs and educators. Hackathon takes place Oct 27th (11am to 10:30pm) @ Charles E. Young Research Library on UCLA’s campus. Come with a team or come and find a team to work with. This is a social hack that is intended to be fun and for a very good cause. The goal is to help reboot aspects of the educational system, find ways to empower students and learning while at the same time having fun. Food and drink supplied by your friends at the Mozilla Foundation.

But it’s not just for hackers!

It’s not enough to bust a hack—you need to spread the word. We’re inviting creative people of all stripes to help communicate what the teams have made over the course of the hackfest.

Bring a camera, bring your thinking cap, and help the teams advertise the fruits of their labors.

Will you make a movie-style trailer for their hack? An web-based interactive intro? A slidecast?

Help these ideas spread by catching the world’s attention. Everyone of all skill levels is welcome.

SPACE is limited so if you are interested in taking part please send an email to with the subject “hack for social good.”




Occupied Scholarly Territory: Which publishers do I trust?


For me the primary concern in scholarly publishing is who do I – and maybe you – trust? This blog will give some personal thoughts and probably upset some, but it shows my thoughts.

If I am getting windows renewed for the house I need to know which builders I can trust. That’s as important as cost. Who has my interests at heart when I pay them for materials and labour? It’s not a silly idea – and in a small city like Cambridge there are many ways to address it – friends and neighbours who have had work done – reports (good and bad) on the Cambridge blogosphere – visiting showrooms and premises, etc.

And almost always talking to the people involved.

And generally it works. When large commercial companies are involved the personal trust is lacking but it’s still possible to read consumer magazines or the grumblepages of the newspapers. Generally you know what is available with some idea of who the cowboys are (a UK term which is not flattering!). And local tradespeople often have the interest of the community as well – they live there!

But in scholarly publishing it’s different. Who can you trust to look after your interests? Either as author, or reader, or institution, or the wider society?

Answer: There are almost no scholarly publishers you can trust. Certainly not when measured by the volume of publications.

The only publishers I trust are those where I know the people involved, talk with them, and we know each other’s desires and limitations. Here are some I do trust:

  • The International Union of Crystallography. They have a society-based ethic, are innovative, have been part of my life for 45 years. I know the editors and the IUCr boards and committees. They are my ideal, followed by:
  • The European Geosciences Union (publishing through Copernicus). They are aggressively Open Access because they are part of the community and have the community interests at heart.
  • Public Library of Science PLoS. Because it was set up by passionate scientists, who wanted to change the world of scholarly publishing. My trust remains as long as the scientists such as Jonathan Eisen are in control.
  • ASBMB – a society publishing biology and molecular biology. I know the editor Ralph Bradshaw well and we have talked long about the aspirations of the journal for Open Data – the need to back the science with data. He insisted on that for Molecular and Cellular Proteomics (MCP) and the rest of the publishing community sneered. Now they have adopted the principles pushed forward by Ralph. MCP isn’t OA, but I trust it. As long as Ralph is in charge.

I trust these because I trust the people. Other people I currently trust are the immediate editors in Biomed Central who have done a great job in promoting Open Access and Open Data.

But BMC are owned by Springer and I totally distrust Springer as an organization to look after my interest, my university’s interests, and my readers’ interests. I may be slightly romantic but I come from a background where companies were ethical and wished to provide a fair product or service for those whose money they paid. It used to be called pride.

But read Richard Poynder’s interview with Springer’s boss . Haank speaking:

“The Big Deal is the best invention since sliced bread. I agree that there was once a serial pricing problem; I have never denied there was a problem. But it was the Big Deal that solved it.

“The truth is that it is in the interests of everyone—publishers and librarians—to keep the Big Deal going.”

I find no mention of “reader” (the enduser of a publisher is the purchasing officer of the university – often the Library)

I find no mention of “author” (other than “author charges”, “author archiving”)

I find no mention of “the scientific community”

The whole article is cold-hearted. About how Springer has designed a product not on its value to the community which is paying for it, but as something artificial that can be manufactured as cheaply as possible and sold at the highest price. It doesn’t matter to Haank whether it helps science – it’s just a commodity. And absolutely no indication of innovation based on what the community wants – oh, no – it’s innovations that Springer thinks it can sell. Like the 35 USD per day rental of papers.

So, sadly, I do not trust BMC long term and it saddens me to say so.

The other commercial publishers (almost all closed access) are all the same. I don’t trust any.

And what about Societies? I used to help run the Molecular Graphics Society as treasurer. We didn’t use publications to subside the society – we used the society to subsidize subscription costs for members. (Shut up, PMR, you are a stupid romantic – we are in the C21 and sentimentality is a thing of the past).

Most of the societies have lost their soul and sold out in one way or another. The American Chemical Society’s anticontributions are well-known. The Royal Society of Chemistry stated that “Open Access is ethically flawed”. OK, 5 years ago – but how can a society say that at all? Many learned societies , especially large ones, are run for the benefit of their senior officers and the bottom line.

Which is a tragedy, because it is the learned societies and international unions who should be the guardians of scholarship. Not profit-oriented business people, whether commercial or not. I’d love to recover their role – I wish I knew how.

And until that happens we are left with a very few organisations we can trust. A few charities (e.g. Wellcome Trust) and a few (not all) funding bodies.

Oh, and if you think that all commercial OA publishers can be trusted, read Richard Poynder on InTech ( ). Oh for the lost learned societies. Quis custodiet? No one except you and me… We’ll have to do it through the blogosphere.

Because, yes, I can trust the bits of the blogosphere I have learned to trust.

Yes, today seems to be a gloomy start.



DSpace Open Access repository development in Africa: Mozambique, Senegal

Mozambique, Senegal This is the third of a five-part series that looks at Open Access repository development in twelve African countries in celebration of Open Access Week Oct. 24-30, 2011. The first part (Botswana, Ethiopia and Ghana) may be found here: Part two (Kenya, Malawi) may be found here

The series is co-authored by Iryna Kuchma, Open Access Programme manager, EIFL ( and EIFL-OA country coordinators: Netsanet Animut, Addis Ababa University and Chair of the Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries, Charles Banda, Copperbelt University, Zambia, Aissa Mitha Issak, Universidade Pedagógica, Mozambique, Gloria Kadyamatimba, Chinhoyi University of Technology Library, Zimbabwe, Richard B. Lamptey, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, Fredrick Kiwuwa Lugya, Makerere University Library, Uganda, Reason Baathuli Nfila, University of Botswana Library, Rosemary Otando, University Nairobi, Kenya, Kondwani Wella, Kamuzu College of Nursing, University of Malawi and Carol Minton Morris, DuraSpace.


Contributing to sharing global knowledge

SABER ( – the Mozambican Open Access repository ( was launched in November 2009 by Centro de Formação Jurídica e Judiciária, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane and Universidade Politécnica. Within a year of operations, three more higher education institutions joined the project, namely, Instituto Superior de Ciências e Tecnologia de Moçambique, Universidade Pedagógica and Universidade São Tomás de Moçambique.
SABER has been supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture under the Fund for Improvement of Quality and Innovation – QIF and Sida / SAREC.
SABER currently holds 2,519 items including theses and dissertations, journal articles and conference papers from Mozambican researchers. More visibility, coupled with the knowledge that the material can be read worldwide, has led to a greater awareness about the quality of work presented by researchers. SABER provides assurance for long term preservation, especially for gray literature, much of which currently disappears from libraries and university departments. Most importantly, SABER contributes to a desire by Mozambicans to move away from being only a consumer of information and to also be able to contribute to global knowledge sharing. Other factors of success include identifying repository champions to help advocate to university management and faculty.
Technical support and advice is generously provided by the University of Minho in Portugal.
See a case study SABER: a unique and innovative FOSS Open Access Repository:


Open Access to cultural heritage collections and audiovisual material

Biens Culturels Africains ( is an Open Access institutional repository of Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire Cheikh Anta Diop de l’Université. Current publications (research articles, journals, books and manuscripts), cultural heritage collections and audiovisual material are publicly available. The project is implemented in partnership with l’Université de Toulouse II-Le Mirail and with financial support from Fonds francophone des inforoutes and le Ministère français des affaires étrangères.

Our OA Flyer Goes Global: Translations in Arabic, French, Polish, and Spanish Mark a Milestone in Student Advocacy

Cross-posted from our blog at

In a tangible demonstration of the Right to Research Coalition’s now global presence, we’re excited to kick off Open Access Week with translations of our Open Access Flyer in 4 new languages: Arabic, French, Polish, and Spanish.  These translations will not only help students continue to advocate for and educate their peers about Open Access, but they also represent a milestone in the growth of our coalition.

Click here for our Open Access Flyer translations page

The past year has been an incredible one in terms of growing our coalition into a truly global organization – we’ve gone from being a North American alliance to one with members representing just under 7 million students in approximately 100 countries on 6 continents.  And we haven’t simply grown in size.  Our new members from around the world are diving right in.  

The European Medical Student Association (EMSA) has approached the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME) about supporting Open Access, and we’re seeing interest from many other discipline-specific student organizations in lobbying for their respective professional societies to take an explicit, pro-Open Access position.  Furthermore, students have already taken the Open Access message back to their home countries and campuses, making presentations across Europe, Africa, and beyond.

These 4 translations are a tangible manifestation that Open Access has truly become a global issue among students – that there are students in the Middle East, in Europe, in North and South America, and beyond actively pushing to set the default to open.  

Many thanks those who took the time to translate our flyer, and you can find downloadable copies of the translations here.


Latest Article Alert from BMC Public Health

The latest articles from BMC Public Health, published between 18-Oct-2011 and 25-Oct-2011For articles which have only just been published, you will see a ‘provisional PDF’ corresponding to the accepted manuscript.A fully formatted PDF and full text (HTML) version will be made available soon.Study protocolStudy protocol of KLIMOP: a cohort study on the wellbeing of older cancer patients in Belgium