Free the California Jury Instructions: Call for Legal Practitioner, Law Professor and Law Librarian Support for a California Rule Change Proposal

“We at the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law are representing Public.Resource.Org in a petition to the Judicial Council of California to clarify that California’s jury instructions are in the public domain and free for public use. We’re requesting support for the petition from legal practitioners, law professors and law librarians. Please consider signing the statement below; thank you!

Your name, title, and institutional affiliation will accompany the below statement as a signatory. Your affiliation is for identification purposes only; we will make clear that it does not imply endorsement by your firm, law school, or other institution….”


“We are an international group of researchers and patients who believe that:

it is ethically untenable to remain complicit in the crises that undermine science,

there are simple measures which can improve the quality and openness, and

the public and patients have a right to full access of the research they fund….”

Open Letter to the American Society of Criminology Concerning Access to Its Journals: Make It Legal for Authors to Immediately, Publicly Share the Accepted Version of Their Manuscripts · Criminology Open

“We are writing with respect to the American Society of Criminology’s journals, Criminology: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and Criminology & Public Policy.undefined Their self-archiving policy prohibits authors from sharing the accepted version of their manuscripts, or “postprints,”undefined for a period of 24 months on all publicly accessible websites.

This policy is in conflict with the Society’s Purpose & Objective and Code of Ethics. It directly opposes free and open access to knowledge; hinders the study of crime and social control; impedes exchange and cooperation among stakeholders; shrinks the forum for disseminating criminological knowledge; thwarts public discourse on findings and dissemination of them; and, forbids a key countermeasure to social injustice. 

Therefore, we ask the Society to revise the journals’ self-archiving policy. It should be legal for their authors to immediately share their postprints on any website….” 

500 signatures collected and no sign of slowing down.. – Campaign to investigate the academic ebook market

“We have now collected and published 500 signatures to the open letter. This is a phenomenal result given this is only the first “working” day of the campaign. To quote one respondent “This evidences the current impasse with ebook acquisition in HE libraries. Review and culture shift is definitely required to drive change”

We all want to support our students as best we can. It is unacceptable and distressing that we cannot even provide the basics to our students due to the over-commodification of information and gross profiteering….”

Campaign to investigate the academic ebook market – Academic publishing practices are making ebooks unaffordable, unsustainable and inaccessible to university libraries. We call for urgent regulation of the market

“The letter below calls on the UK Government to investigate the practices of the academic ebook publishing industry. Ebooks are becoming increasingly unaffordable, unsustainable and inaccessible for academic libraries to purchase. Urgent action is needed now. Please read and consider adding your signature via this link . Read more about the campaign here….

GitHub – FreeOurKnowledge/community: Place to discuss Project Free Our Knowledge (including campaign proposals, posted as separate Issues) and store project documents

“Academia functions like a ‘tragedy of the commons dilemma’ (or collective action problem) — the widespread adoption of open science practices could benefit everyone in the research community, but their adoption is impeded by incentive structures that reward sub-optimal research and publication practices at the individual level. Our platform functions much like Kickstarter, but for cultural change rather than products. Any researcher can propose a campaign calling for their peers to adopt a particular behaviour if and when there is a critical mass of support in their community to do so. Pledges remain inactive and anonymised until this time, allowing vulnerable individuals to signal their desire for positive culture change without risking their career in the process. Then — after the critical mass is met — all signatories are de-anonymised on the website and directed to carry out the action together, thus creating momentum for change and protecting one another’s interests through collective action. We envisage that over time, these campaigns will grow increasingly larger in size and scope, and eventually become a powerful driving force in aligning the academic system with the needs of research community and principles of science itself….”

Passenger Pigeon Manifesto

“We are supposed to learn from history, yet we don’t have access to it. Historical photographs of extinct animals are among the most important artefacts to teach and inform about human impact on nature. But where to look when one wants to see all that is left of these beings? Where can I access all the extant photos of the thylacine or the passenger pigeon? History books use photos to help us relate to narratives and see a shared reality. But how can we look through our own communities’ photographic heritage, share it with each other and use it for research and education?

Historical photos are kept by archives, libraries, museums and other cultural institutions. Preservation, which is the goal of cultural institutions, means ensuring not only the existence of but the access to historical materials. It is the opposite of owning: it’s sustainable sharing. Similarly, conservation is not capturing and caging but ensuring the conditions and freedom to live.

Even though most of our tangible cultural heritage has not been digitised yet, a process greatly hindered by the lack of resources for professionals, we could already have much to look at online. In reality, a significant portion of already digitised historical photos is not available freely to the public – despite being in the public domain. We might be able to see thumbnails or medium sized previews scattered throughout numerous online catalogs but most of the time we don’t get to see them in full quality and detail. In general, they are hidden, the memory of their existence slowly going extinct.

The knowledge and efforts of these institutions are crucial in tending our cultural landscape but they cannot become prisons to our history. Instead of claiming ownership, their task is to provide unrestricted access and free use. Cultural heritage should not be accessible only for those who can afford paying for it….”

The Open Covid Pledge: lifting the lid | Association for Learning Technology

“Since we launched the Open Covid Pledge for Education, more than 100 open educators and more than 40 organisations have pledged to share their knowledge to support the educational response to COVID-19.

It’s a wonderful expression of solidarity in the face of enormous challenges. But what does an open pledge really mean, and what could it achieve? …”

Sign the Open Covid Pledge for Research in Education | Association for Learning Technology

“We pledge to make our intellectual property openly and freely available to the world to support educators, students and decision-makers, to help educational organisations survive and thrive, and to build a fairer and more resilient education system.

We pledge – where possible – to openly license or dedicate to the public domain our intellectual property.”

Co-signing ‘Open Science saves lives: lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic’

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a large number of low-quality studies have been conducted and shared as preprints or fast-tracked for publication in journals, wasting research funds and decreasing efficiency of the research process. In some cases, questionable claims made by these studies have been amplified by the media and resulted in dire consequences on public policy, research, and associated public health, such as the high-profile case of Gautret et al. (2020), which resulted in Hydroxychloroquine being promoted as a cure for COVID-19 despite extremely weak and questionable evidence of its efficiency. In this paper (, we attempt to identify the root causes of these problems by analysing data related to each stage of the research process, and find that 27% of COVID-19-related retractions were due to flawed designs or analyses, 43% of fast-tracked articles, accepted in a day or less, had potential conflicts of interest between authors and editors, and many unreviewed COVID-19 preprints were widely covered by news. In line with these results, we argue that Open Science Practices have the potential to vastly improve the quality of future research on COVID-19 — for example by improving study designs through pre-registration, ensuring reliability through open code and data, and exposing conflicts of interest through open peer review — and that public education about Open Science practices (e.g., preprints) will be necessary to prevent further loss of scientific progress and life moving forward.

While we may not all be working on medical research, we believe that our findings and recommendations extend to all fields of research and thereby invite you (PhDs/MDs/PhD students) to co-sign this article if you agree with our analysis and our wish to see in the near future the full adoption of Open Science principles.”