Open Access Digital Theological Library | a virtual library for theology, religious studies, and related disciplines

“The mission of Open Access Digital Theological Library (OADTL) is to curate high quality content in religious studies and related disciplines from publisher websites, institutional repositories, and stable public domain collections. The OADTL uses the world’s most advanced library discovery cataloging and discovery system, OCLC’s WorldShare, to make content easily discoverable and retrievable. The OADTL is staffed by professional librarians and curates content without regard for theological or confessional perspective. It is hoped that the increased access to high quality religious studies content will serve scholars and students of religion….”


“The Underlay is a global, distributed graph database of public knowledge. Initial hosts will include universities and individuals, such that no single group controls the content. This is an attempt to replicate the richness of private knowledge graphs in a public, decentralized manner….

Powerful collections of machine-readable knowledge are growing in importance each year, but most are privately owned (e.g., Google’s Knowledge Graph, Wolfram Alpha, Scopus). The Underlay aims to secure such a collection as a public resource. It also gives chains of provenance a central place in its data model, to help tease out bias or error that can appear at different layers of assumption, synthesis, and evaluation….

The Underlay team is developing the protocols, first instances, and governing rules of this knowledge graph. Information will be added at first by building focused, interpretive overlays — knowledge curated for a particular audience. Overlays could for instance be journals, maps, or timelines, incorporating many sources of more granular information into a single lens….

[Coming in Phase 2:] A network of Underlay nodes at different institutions, demonstrating local vs global updating. An initial pipeline for extracting structured knowledge and sources from documents to populate lower layers. Tools to sync with existing structured repositories such as Wikidata, Freebase, and SHARE. And tools to visualize what is in the Underlay and how it is being used….”


“As open becomes the default for science and scholarship, equity must be intentionally built into the foundation of the emerging new system. Inclusion has to be a central consideration and permanent priority in how we pursue an open system—individually, institutionally, and collectively. To achieve this, communities that are marginalized by our current closed system of scholarly communication need be included as central in planning for the future.

The Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet) has examined the diversity of modes of scientific discovery and dissemination in the Global South since 2014. The initiative includes 12 research teams working in 26 countries from Lebanon to Cameroon to Costa Rica carrying out projects involving critical issues such as climate change and water quality under a variety of local contexts….

For its contributions to promoting diversity in Open Science and representation of the Global South, the SPARC has honored OCSDNet with its June 2018 Innovator Award….”

Publications | Free Full-Text | Editorial-Transitioning Publications to Open Peer Review | HTML

“This is my first Editorial since the honour of becoming the new Editor-in-Chief for Publications. In this first note I’d like to take the opportunity to introduce the newly revised journal aims and scope, which now more clearly reflect the growing agenda for greater transparency and participation throughout scholarly communications, and to announce the introduction of optional open peer review as a new step in this direction for the journal.”

Championing Change in Journal Negotiations

“Because the lion’s share of both the University’s research output and of our library budgets is bound up with the services of journal publishers, advancing these goals [journal affordability and the moral imperative of achieving a truly open scholarly communication system] is inextricably entwined with the University’s ongoing relationships with publishers and must be addressed in the context of the agreements we sign with them.  Our goal, simply put, is to responsibly transition funding for journal subscriptions toward funding for open dissemination.  As we approach major journal negotiations for 2019, the UC system will be guided by the principles and goals outlined below in negotiating agreements with publishers….

We believe the time has come to address these issues head-on through a combined strategy that places the need to reduce the University’s expenditures for academic journal subscriptions in the service of the larger goal of transforming journal publishing to open access.  Through our renewal negotiations with publishers, we will pursue this goal along two complementary paths: by reducing our subscription expenditures, and investing in open access support….

It has become increasingly clear that the problem of rising journal costs in the context of a widespread movement toward open access can only be addressed by tackling the subscription system itself….

As a leading research institution that produces 8% of all US research output, UC is uniquely positioned to both contribute to and accelerate such transformation, locally, nationally, and globally.  Indeed, we believe that as a public university sustained by taxpayer and extramural funding, we have a signal obligation to do so; and we invite our colleagues in the North American research community to embark with us on this journey….

Strategic Priorities for Journal Negotiations

  1. We will prioritize making immediate open access publishing available to UC authors as part of our negotiated agreements.
  2. We will prioritize agreements that lower the cost of research access and dissemination, with sustainable, cost-based fees for OA publication.  Payments for OA publication should reduce the cost of subscriptions at UC and elsewhere.
  3. We will prioritize agreements with publishers who are transparent about the amount of APC-funded content within their portfolios, and who share that information with customers as well as the public.
  4. We will prioritize agreements that enable UC to achieve expenditure reductions in our licenses when necessary, without financial penalty.
  5. We will prioritize agreements that make any remaining subscription content available under terms that fully reflect academic values and norms, including the broadest possible use rights.
  6. We will prioritize agreements that allow UC to share information about the open access provisions with all interested stakeholders, and we will not agree to non-disclosure requirements in our licenses.
  7. We will prioritize working proactively with publishers who help us achieve a full transition to open access in accordance with the principles and pathways articulated by our faculty and our libraries.

Strategies guiding our near-term actions


  • We will evaluate all publishers on both cost-benefit and values-based grounds in our cancellation and retention decisions, including conformance to the UCOLASC Declaration of Rights and Principles to Transform Scholarly Communication, and sustainable, transparent, cost-based OA fees.
  • We will adjust our investments to follow and support transformative initiatives mounted by academic authors, editorial boards, and societies when they seek to establish a journal on fair open access principles, including transitioning support from prior legacy journals when necessary.
  • We will actively seek to partner with other national and global research institutions in transforming research output to OA….”

CCI Sea Ice Dataset Release (Sea Ice Thickness v2.0) | CCI Open Data Portal

The CCI Sea Ice team is pleased to announce the release of their updated version of the sea-ice thickness dataset (v2.0). This dataset includes observations, made by two radar altimeter missions – Envisat and CryoSat-2, on polar Winters between October 2002 and April 2017. This dataset, in comparison to the previous dataset (v1.0), provides a number improvements which include improved sea-ice thickness retrievals from Envisat data, an experimental data record in the southern hemisphere, the delivery of trajectory-based Level 2 products and the availability of freeboard data in Level 2 and 3 products. 

The sea-ice thickness data is open and publicly available via the CCI Data Portal….”

Open Science Support as a Portfolio of Services and Projects: From Awareness to Engagement

Abstract:  Together with many other universities worldwide, the University of Göttingen has aimed to unlock the full potential of networked digital scientific communication by strengthening open access as early as the late 1990s. Open science policies at the institutional level consequently followed and have been with us for over a decade. However, for several reasons, their adoption often is still far from complete when it comes to the practices of researchers or research groups. To improve this situation at our university, there is dedicated support at the infrastructural level: the university library collaborates with several campus units in developing and running services, activities and projects in support of open access and open science. This article outlines our main activity areas and aligns them with the overall rationale to reach higher uptake and acceptance of open science practice at the university. The mentioned examples of our activities highlight how we seek to advance open science along the needs and perspectives of diverse audiences and by running it as a multi-stakeholder endeavor. Therefore, our activities involve library colleagues with diverse backgrounds, faculty and early career researchers, research managers, as well as project and infrastructure staff. We conclude with a summary of achievements and challenges to be faced.

HYBRID DATA and the Promise of a Modern Digital Government

“Consequently, the last 20 years have seen a transformation of public policies – legislative, regulatory, and administrative – grounded in the philosophy that access to and dissemination of government data is a public right and that any constraints on access hinder transparency and accountability. While there is broad recognition of the need to maximize access to government data, the types of government data are increasingly diverse and complex. For instance, there are many cases where the government collects or licenses private sector data, often combining this data with other data produced by the government. These datasets are often referred to as “hybrid data” or “privately curated data” – data licensed to or collected by the government that comprises both public and private sources. Access to and use of hybrid data is increasingly critical for government to transform data into actionable information….

Examples of curated, or hybrid, datasets include…peer-reviewed scientifc and technical literature that is based on government-funded academic research but published in the private sector. Subjecting this full range of information to unfettered “openness” requirements risks the availability and quality of these valuable data-driven resources. Such requirements will ultimately harm the public interest when the inevitable “tragedy of the commons” scenario compromises the quality of the dataset, as private-sector actors begin avoiding these government partnerships for fear losing control of their data. Unfortunately, some current open data policies invite unintended consequences – specifcally, well-intentioned but overly broad open data mandates that nullify intellectual property rights by extending to data produced in the private sector and collected by, or licensed to, the government….

Collecting, verifying, analyzing, and publishing accurate datasets is a resource-intensive activity that generates valuable assets and solutions which governments need. This effort demands time and money and manages several competing interests, including individual privacy, national security, and intellectual property. Entities – both private and public – who engage in this economic activity prefer not to have the fruits of their investment publicly released in a way that would undermine their value. Yet that is what some open government advocates appear to be demanding as a blanket rule – a rule that, if followed to its logical conclusion, could discourage or eliminate public– private data collaborations that result in enormous beneft for the government and taxpayers alike….”