Open Access policy adopted by IU Bloomington faculty – Scholarly Communication

“The Bloomington Faculty Council unanimously approved an Open Access policy today that ensures that faculty scholarship will be accessible and available to the public for future generations. Open Access means that scholarly articles are regarded as the fruits of research that authors give to the world for the sake of inquiry and knowledge without expectation of payment. Adopting such a policy reduces barriers to research and learning by making research available on the public internet to be downloaded and shared freely, making it possible for scholarship to be more widely read and cited than literature that appears in closed-access, licensed journal databases. The Scholarly Communication department has posted both the policy and accompanying FAQ on our website.

The Scholarly Communication staff will be available to help authors deposit their work — usually the final version of an article that has gone through peer review — in IUScholarWorks or another repository for archival purposes. Indeed, as Nazareth Pantaloni, Copyright Librarian for the IU LIbraries, observed: ‘The Indiana University Libraries are delighted that the Bloomington Faculty Council has joined the over 300 U.S. colleges and universities who have decided to make their faculty’s scholarship more freely available under an Open Access policy. We look forward to working with them to accomplish that goal.’ Faculty members may also contact us to opt-out of the policy, a process that will be incorporated into a one-click form once the policy is fully implemented.

The policy adopted today is only the latest step in an ongoing process at IU Bloomington. The BFC adopted one of the first Open Access policies in the country in March of 2004. That policy was actually a resolution in which the BFC decried the rising costs of academic journals and databases — at the time, 70% of a $9.2 million annual budget — and called on the IU Libraries to adopt several strategies in response, including, among other things, ‘to promote open scholarly communication.’ That resolution served as an impetus for the Libraries’ development of IUScholarWorks. Today, IU ScholarWorks hosts nearly 30 Open Access journals, primarily in the humanities and social sciences, and serves as the repository for nearly 8,000 items deposited by IU Bloomington faculty, students, and staff, including data sets, conference proceedings, out-of-print books recovered by faculty from their original publishers, doctoral dissertations from the Jacobs School of Music, Patten Lectures, and a wide array of journal articles, research reports, other scholarly literature, and even creative works of authorship. Current developments include improvements in the repository’s ability to host multimedia content and data.

Open Access policies are intended, in part, to provide an institutional mechanism for faculty authors to assert the retention of at least the minimum rights necessary in order not only to cooperate with their institutional OA policy, but also be able to reuse their work in other ways that could be beneficial to them, such as distributing their work via their own professional website, through social media, or simply to students in their classes.”

oa.copyright, oa.orphans, oa.legislation, oa.usa, oa.europe, oa.fair_use, oa.litigation

“Over the past decade, policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic have devoted significant attention to finding ways to permit the use of orphan works: works whose copyright owners are difficult to identify or locate. Library associations in both Europe and the United States initially supported these efforts strongly. In Europe, these efforts culminated in the adoption of an Orphan Works Directive in 2012. In the United States, by contrast, legislation stalled in 2008. Although the U.S. Copyright Office continues to push for orphan works legislation, U.S. library associations no longer seek such relief. This is due to changes in the copyright legal landscape, particularly the evolving case law concerning fair use and injunctions. This paper explores the different trajectories of orphan works legislation in the EU and the United States, with special emphasis on how U.S. libraries changed their position in response to legal developments on the ground….”

Working Together to Promote Open Access Policy Alignment in Europe: Work Package 3 report: Open Access Policies

“The PASTEUR4OA project is focused on Open Access policy developments and is undertaking a number of activities relating to policy, including mapping policies and policy-related activities, and engaging with policymakers and providing them with information about the general policy picture and what makes a policy effective. Work Package 3 involved a set of tasks as follows: [1] Describe and enumerate the policy picture in Europe and around the world [2] Rebuild ROARMAP, the registry of OA policies, including the development of a new, detailed classification scheme that describes policy elements [3] Collect data on the levels of Open Access material in institutional repositories around the world [4] Measure policy outcomes and analyse what elements of a policy contribute to its effectiveness….”

If Voltaire had used Wikipedia… | Voltaire Foundation

“Sharing open knowledge about Voltaire’s histories

To raise awareness of Voltaire as a historian, we used three tools:

  1. Histropedia: a free tool for creating engaging, interactive visualisations
  2. Wikidata: a free database and sister site of Wikipedia that drives Histropedia and other visualisations
  3. Wikipedia: the free multilingual encyclopedia.

As well as holding data about people, publications, and events, Wikidata acts as a cross-reference between the different language versions of Wikipedia, showing which concepts are represented in which languages. By querying Wikidata, we could count how many language versions of Wikipedia had an article on each work by Voltaire. This showed, as expected, a large imbalance: forty languages for Candide versus three for the Essai sur les mœurs, for example. The current number of articles for each work is shown by the size of the bubbles below.”

Religious studies scholars not readily adopting open access, according to new Ithaka S+R report | Omega Alpha | Open Access

“Although the report noted that scholars are keen to use online venues like for sharing and discovery of their research among colleagues, they are distrustful or uncertain about open access as a primary publishing model, either due to lack of appropriate open access venues in their (sub-)discipline, a perception of lower academic standards, or that it would not be recognized for tenure or promotion….”

Energy scientists must show their workings : Nature News & Comment

“The list of reasons why energy models and data are not openly available is long: business confidentiality; concerns over the security of critical infrastructure; a desire to avoid exposure and scrutiny; worries about data being misrepresented or taken out of context; and a lack of time and resources.

This secrecy is problematic, because it is well known that closed systems hide and perpetuate mistakes. A classic example is the spreadsheet error discovered in the influential Reinhart–Rogoff paper used to support economic policies of national austerity. The European Commission’s Energy Roadmap 2050 was based on a model that could not be viewed by outsiders, leaving it open to criticism. Assumptions that remain hidden, like the costs of technologies, can largely determine what comes out of such models. In the United Kingdom, opaque and overly optimistic cost assumptions for onshore wind went into models used for policymaking, and that may well have delayed the country’s decarbonization.

This closed culture is alien to younger researchers, who grew up with collaborative online tools and share code and data on platforms such as GitHub. Yet academia’s love affair with metrics and the pressure to publish set the wrong incentives: every hour spent on cleaning up a data set for public release or writing open-source code is time not spent working on a peer-reviewed paper.”

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….”

From Nairobi to the World: Open Access Week 2016

Training-the-Trainers of Open Access

The Open Access landscape is changing. As advocates, we ought to be up-to-date with these changes. This is about the Train-the-Trainer platform adopted for Nairobi’s Open Access Week 2016. Inspired by this year’s Open Access Week theme, Open in Action, I thought of a platform where researchers, librarians, students and others who have committed to working in Open could share their experiences on how that decision has benefited them.

Photo courtesy of OpenCon 2016 Nairobi



Why Train-the-Trainers?

This is my first year in Open Research and Open Education advocacy. Initially, I thought that realizing Open Access, Open Data and Open Education was a matter of simply pushing a button (i.e. a ‘one fix’ solution), only to find out how vast and technical it is. During my first year of advocacy, I encountered issues that plague work done by Open Access advocates in Kenya, which I believe are also being felt in different corners of the world. These issues include: few mentors, a lack of understanding of cultures and how cultures affect Open Access work, sustainability of Open Access initiatives, and inadequate infrastructure to foster advocacy work.

As an advocate who aspires for a community which understands the role Open plays in day-to-day economic and social developments, I am looking forward to a platform where people can be inspired as they join the Open Access community, and empowered as they continue advocating for Open. In order to bridge differences in the Open Access community, I believe we need to build the capacity of advocates, encourage collaborations, and work as a team while streamlining cultures during the development and implementation of Open Access initiatives. When every advocate’s voice is heard and embraced, solidarity amongst advocates will be attainable. 

With more empowered advocates, it will be possible to roll out various OA initiatives in our higher learning institutions, research institutes and community. Anyone who has been advocating for openness in research will agree with me that you acquire new knowledge and skills as you undergo more training (and especially so while sharing with peers!).

Finally, Open Access means different things to individuals from different disciplines and with the cross cutting nature of development issues, we should work openly, hand-in-hand.


Train-the-Trainers (TTT)

The goal of this year’s Open Access Week was for individuals and institutions in different parts of the world to come up with initiatives that went beyond what Open Access is, to how to practice Open Access: the focus was on taking steps to opening up research and scholarships and encouraging others to do the same. Our Train the Trainers program aligned with this theme.   Through partnership with OpenCon and Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) as well as speakers from Electronic Information For Libraries (EIFL) and International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), more than twenty advocates from different institutions were trained during Open Access Week Nairobi.

Train-the-Trainer was a platform that brought together postgraduate students and early career researchers who have been advocating for Open Access and Open Science with the aim of training Open Access ambassadors. The purpose of the training was to provide a good platform to roll out OA training to a large number of students and ECRs in higher learning institutions as well as research institutes. We wanted to strengthen the capacity of Open Access advocates, strengthen institutional capacity in promoting Open Access, and provide instruction on how to incorporate Open practices into research workflows.

The event covered talks by experts, talk by peers, and practical tips on how to incorporate open access in day-to-day research workflows in various research disciplines.


What Next?

Open Access has been embraced in Kenya, but only to a small extent. Still, the commitment, financial and moral support from the government, government institutions, academic and research organizations are of great importance. Here are advocates who are all out to reach the new frontiers, break and harmonize the barriers. The ambassadors will tackle issues which affect the future of Open Access, Open Data and Open Education both regionally and globally while receiving mentorship.

With the training, ambassadors are expected to become the voice of Open and will be responsible for advocacy of Open Access and related topics within their own institutions. They will be required to host workshops or lectures annually on Open Access and Open Data principles tailored by the needs of their institutions. However, for ambassadors to achieve this, they will need further training. I am working with the Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA) to develop a proposal to secure funds so that the ambassadors can receive further training. We are looking for individuals who are willing to come on board and mentor these ambassadors as well. We want to create a network of advocates that ensures students, faculty, staff, librarians, and community members can speak and practice Open.

While organizing our Open Access week event, I shared the idea with individuals from various institutions; EIFL, ITOCA, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI),ICIPE and RCMRD. I look forward to engaging with these groups during the initiative’s implementation, and to more individuals and institutions joining us on our journey.

I call us a country running even before crawling when it comes to openness in research. Kenya is a country where few people understand the role Open Research plays in science, technology and innovation, let alone research itself. Yet, there are OA policies in place. I’m ready to turn things around—are you?



Organizing an Open Access event for a second time was fun yet tiring at the same time. A second enjoyable time despite few challenges here and there. Appreciation and love goes to OpenCon, RCMRD and Iryna Kuchma (Open Access Program Manager, EIFL) for the support. The journey continues!

Lilian Juma is a spatial planner, environmentalist, and researcher who have recently developed passion in landscape planning and design. She works on participation as a tool for engagement, advocacy, skill building and social innovation.



How to solve the crisis of science | News | Expatica Switzerland

“Being able to reproduce scientific results was a key issue at the congress, and often relates back to the problem of time pressure, as scientists have an incentive to publish results that appear most interesting as soon as possible.

But attendees agreed that, while there often seem to be too many papers published in journals, there are still important phenomena – even negative results or failed experiments – that should be shared instead of thrown in the trash.

Better infrastructure for sharing such results, as well as open access data and publications, was also called for. According to [Marcel] Tanner, SCNAT [Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences] is already working with the Swiss Science and Innovation Council and the Swiss National Science Foundation to manage open access in Switzerland, where about 40% of publications produced with public funding are freely available….”

Science Library Pad: Many preprint services

“Preprints have long circulated in some disciplines.  As the science publication and rewards systems evolve to permit greater use of preprints, the number of discipline-specific preprint services continues to increase.

The two best-established ones are:

  1. (physics including particularly astrophysics and high-energy physics; mathematics; computer science)
  2. (biology)

(The X is a Chi, incidentally. This is a kind of physics humour.)

Two more are in the process of being established:

In terms of publisher-based preprint services, Nature had one called Nature Precedings which is now closed.

PeerJ has PeerJ Preprints.

There are also a bunch of services hosted by the Open Science Framework:

Obviously if this continues we will get to a point where we need meta-preprint services to combine all of the preprint services.

Funding sources and supporters are quite diverse.  It’s not clear to me that there are enough funders currently in place to sustainably fund a proliferation of preprint servers.  It’s also not really clear to me what ASAPbio will cover that bioRxiv doesn’t cover already.

arXiv is a Cornell University Library initiative with membership and private finding.  (See arXiv – Business and Governance Information and Cornell University Library – New sponsorship model broadens arXiv membership.)

bioRxiv is a Cold Springs Harbour Library initiative with private funding.  (See bioRxiv – Preprint server bioRxiv receives additional major funding.)

chemRxiv is an American Chemical Society (ACS) initiative.

ASAPbio is an initiative with a mix of public support and private funding.  (See ASAPbio – Nature – Heavyweight funders back central site for life-sciences preprints.)  Funders supporting ASAPbio’s principles include the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR).

Wellcome Trust will accept preprints in grant applications.

HHMI recognizes preprints ‘as evidence of productivity and will accept them for purposes such as laboratory head reviews.’

Most, but not all publishers will now accept manuscripts that have previously been posted online as preprints.”