Free the Law – Amicus Brief in Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org

“In 2013, Public.Resource.Org (PRO), a non-profit corporation based in California, purchased, scanned, and posted the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA).  The OCGA is the one and only official law of the State of Georgia, but the state objected strongly, maintaining that the only party who could make the OCGA available was their single, designated commercial vendor.  According to the State of Georgia, any other use–including PRO’s public dissemination of the law–is a copyright violation.

The State of Georgia sued Public Resource in the U.S. District Court and received judgement in their favor including a federal injunction prohibiting any and all dissemination of the code.  PRO appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and won a 3-0 victory, reversing the decision of the court below.

The State of Georgia appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Public Resource responded, maintaining that the State of Georgia has the law and the facts wrong, but nevertheless, the matter should be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

We prepared a amicus brief on behalf of 119 law students, 54 solo and small-firm practitioners of aw, and 21 legal educators in support of Public.Resource.Org, arguing that the Supreme Court should take the case to ensure that we have free access to all of the law nationwide, and not just to Georgia’s law.

The Supreme Court has since agreed to take the case….”

Discover how European funders are approaching Open policy and practices in new report – SPARC Europe

“A report that reveals the Open Access and Open Science policies, incentives and practices of European funders is being released today. Based on a survey conducted in late spring, the report is a first of its kind to examine what key international funding bodies (international and national funding bodies, major charities and foundations, national academics and key research performing organisations) are doing to incentivise openness to the work they help fund.

The intention behind the survey, which was led by SPARC Europe in consultation with ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, The European Foundation Centre (EFC) and Science Europe, is to spur even greater – more widespread – support for Open research; to advance Open Access to research results in Europe….”

Research on Research Institute Launches to Enable More Strategic, Open, Diverse, And Inclusive Research

“We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the Research on Research Institute (RoRI) – an international consortium of research funders, academic institutions, and technologists working to champion the latest approaches to research on research.

Co-founded by the Wellcome Trust, the universities of Sheffield and Leiden, and Digital Science, the RoRI consortium will undertake transformative and translational research on research (also known as meta-research, science of science or meta-science). By analysing research systems and experimenting with decision and evaluation data, tools and frameworks, we aim to advance more strategic, open, diverse and inclusive research….”

How academic libraries can support humanities monographs

“These differences make the publishing process for monographs distinctly different. They impose greater responsibilities on the author and the press and don’t support some of the cooperative benefit of a large-scale operation that processes thousands of articles.

What I’d like you to consider, though, is that these differences also provide some amazing opportunities for libraries to be leaders and innovators in supporting the value of the humanities and OA monograph publishing….”

A Sustainable and Open Access Knowledge Organization Model to Preserve Cultural Heritage and Language Diversity

Abstract:  This paper proposes a new collaborative and inclusive model for Knowledge Organization Systems (KOS) for sustaining cultural heritage and language diversity. It is based on contributions of end-users as well as scientific and scholarly communities from across borders, languages, nations, continents, and disciplines. It consists in collecting knowledge about all worldwide translations of one original work and sharing that data through a digital and interactive global knowledge map. Collected translations are processed in order to build multilingual parallel corpora for a large number of under-resourced languages as well as to highlight the transnational circulation of knowledge. Building such corpora is vital in preserving and expanding linguistic and traditional diversity. Our first experiment was conducted on the world-famous and well-traveled American novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by the American author Mark Twain. This paper reports on 10 parallel corpora that are now sentence-aligned pairs of English with Basque (an European under-resourced language), Bulgarian, Dutch, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Ukrainian, processed out of 30 collected translations.

International Day for Universal Access to Information

“Since 2016 UNESCO marks 28 September as the “International Day for Universal Access to Information” (IDUAI), following the adoption of the 38 C/Resolution 57 declaring 28 September of every year as International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI).  

The IDUAI has particular relevance with Agenda 2030 with specific reference to:

SDG 2 on investment in rural infrastructure and technology development,
SDG 11 on positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas and
SDG 16 on initiatives to adopt and implement constitutional, statutory and/or policy guarantees for public access to information….”

Open cultural heritage collections & institutions by digital means: A webinar series

“Open GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives & museums) is an international movement around open cultural heritage data. This webinar series is focusing on how museums and other cultural heritage institutions can open up towards their audiences with the help of digital data and media. The aim is that visitors can use data and become active participants within the institution. Both Swedish and international speakers present their work in the context of digital cultural heritage data. Have a look at the program to discover more!

This series is based on the aspects:

Museum and cultural heritage institution staff members, as well as the interested public (such as students), will have the chance to exchange thoughts on digital openness in the sector and discuss ideas and examples.
An important aspect of the series is the assumption that digital openness in museums and cultural heritage institutions is a perspective: Institutions can strive towards digital openness, but this means constant work – with changing technologies and shifting standards. This also means that every kind of institution can take part in this series, small or large, beginners or advanced participants in the open GLAM discussion. Everyone should be able to talk frankly about successful and failed digital activities – so others can learn from those experiences.
As this is a webinar series, everyone can take part from their desk. Especially small institutions do not always have the resources to participate in conferences and – as a result – important discussions. This is also a possibility for more diverse discussions on digital openness in the sector….”

Are Article Processing Charges (APCs) for Open Access the Worst Thing in the History of Publishing?

“Considering that the fully open access publisher PLOS is a member of SSP and that the biggest supporters of the organization like Wiley, Elsevier, and Springer Nature all have countless open access journals , I am surprised that the SSP President would say such a thing. But leaving that aside, I am stunned that someone can attack APC-based open access publishing in this way, without being upset about subscriptions.



Angela Cochran, “Why do you say that the APC-based open access publishing is the worst thing ever in scholarly publishing? Not perfect, but APC-based publishing has gotten us to a point where millions of papers are free to all instead of behind paywalls.”


Ms. Cochran responded with 8 points that I think warrant rebutting. (Many are common talking points of subscription publishers when they attack open access, so I’ll just quote my previous posts on those.)….”

CORE and FOAMres • LITFL • Open Access

“CORE ( offers free access to millions of research papers and host the world’s largest collection of open access full texts. CORE is a not-for-profit service delivered by The Open University and Jisc

CORE’s mission is to aggregate all open access research outputs from repositories and journals worldwide and make them available to the public. CORE facilitates free unrestricted access to research for all and aims to:

support the right of citizens to access research, free of charge
contribute to a cultural change by promoting open access, the fast-growing movement for good,
work collaboratively to support both content consumers and content providers
use artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to enrich and organise research content and support users in discovering knowledge of their interest….”

ARL Supports University of California Libraries’ Commitment to Barrier-Free Access to Information – Association of Research Libraries

“The Libraries of the University of California (UC) are seeking transformative agreements with publishers such that access to the research of UC faculty is open to all, not limited to those who can afford it. In February 2019, the UC Libraries withdrew from negotiations with the publisher Elsevier due to lack of progress, and in July, Elsevier cut off access to current content for all UC campuses.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) expresses strong support for the UC Libraries in their efforts to initiate change and expand access to research. While ARL member library approaches to transformative change may vary, we applaud UC’s commitment to the values and vision they have articulated even at the expense of disruption. In particular, we commend the strong coalition of faculty, librarians, and administrators across the UC system, that together developed the principles and together managed the negotiations….”