India Celebrates Open Access Week

oaw-commit-indiaThe Open Access India community while committing itself for putting Open in Action is celebrating this year’s Open Access Week by organizing series of Webinars on various topics related to Open Access during 24-30, October 2016 daily in the afternoon at 1:00 – 1:30 PM (IST) using Google Hangouts and YouTube Live. For the updates at Google+.

The detailed schedule is as follows:

Date

Day

Topic

Speaker

24 Oct Mon Open Access (Basics) Devika Madalii
25 Oct Tue Open Access and DOAJ Vrushali Dandawate
26 Oct Wed Open Access@CSIR-NISCAIR G. Mahesh
27 Oct Thu Want to make your research OA so where do you publish? – Make DOAJ your starting point for finding quality peer-reviewed OA journals Leena Shah
28 Oct Fri  TBA  TBA
29 Oct Sat  TBA  TBA
30 Oct Sun Open Access India Sridhar Gutam

Please sign-up here for the webinars. You may access the slides after the presentation at SlideShare and watch recorded live at YouTube.

Call for Members: Open Access India Working Group

oai-wgThe Open Access India is looking for new members to join its Working Group to plan and work for ‘Open Access the Default by 2020‘ in India. The Open Access India community of practice is formed to advocate Open Access, Open Data and Open Education among the students, researchers, teachers, professors, scientists and policy makers.

Therefore, the working group members are expected to actively participate in the group communications and discussions about Open Access, Open Data and Open Education. The members would engage with the research and academic community by conducting talks or seminars at their respective work/study places. They would also support and guide the Open Access India Ambassadors and write blog posts on the issues related to Open Access, Open Data and Open Education in India and the World. The working group would participate in weekly/monthly calls and share/discuss the work plan.The Open Access India is a voluntary community of practice and the participation in the working group or for that matter any role is voluntary. Any member of a working group may step down at any time. Upon constitution of the new working group, the members may elect/select the working group chair and co-chairs.

To submit an expression of interest, please fill-out the form here by mentioning a short motivation paragraph outlining work, experience and interest on Open Access, Open Data and Open Education. The current working group members may also express the interest. The deadline for submissions is 10th October, 2016. A week before the Open Access Week 2016, the new working group would be in place.

Please note that participation in the Open Access India is voluntary. Feel free to get in touch with sridhar[at]openaccessindia[dot]org if you have any questions. For the current working group constitution, please visit About Us on Open Access India website.

Adopted from Call for Members: FOC Working Group “An Internet Free and Secure” (February 2016). Accessed on 20 September 2016.

Letter to UGC on Impact Factors and DOAJ

Open-Access-1Dear Colleagues and Friends,

As you may be aware that the University Grants Commission (UGC) has set up a committee under the Chairmanship of Dr. V.S. Chauhan, Member, UGC and former Director, ICGEB (New Delhi) to prepare the list of journals in which authors should be publishing in-order to gain score for Academic Performance Indicators (API) system. It is reported that this attempt is being made to address the sub-standard publishing by the authors from colleges/universities. It is also mentioned in the news that they may use give weight-age to the journal’s Impact Factor. (Source: The Hindu)

On the other hand earlier in December 2012, The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) an initiated by the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) had put forth a recommendation that “the need to eliminate the use of journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, in funding, appointment, and promotion considerations” and had asked the individuals and organizations to sign the DORA declaration.

This call was taken by the DBT/DST and may subscribing to the DORA had mentioned in their Open Access policy that they may not consider Impact Factors in career assessments, promotions or appointments (of individuals in research and academics),

It is proposed that as the DOAJ is improving in terms of quality and services, shall we approach UGC and request it to consider giving weight-age to the DOAJ Indexed Journals while recommending the List of Journals and giving points for publishing in DOAJ Indexed Journals?

If you agree that Open Access should be given weight-age in API Score and Impact Factors should not be used for assessment/appointments/promotions, then please send an email to Dr. V.S. Chauhan <virander[at]icgeb[dot]res[dot]in>

Cite this article as: Sridhar Gutam, "Letter to UGC on Impact Factors and DOAJ," in Open Access India, July 20, 2016, http://openaccessindia.org/letter-ugc-impact-factors-doaj/, accessed on May 1, 2017.

Familiarizing Open Source Seed Concept in India

OpenSourceSeedsThe GNU/Linux, the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) movements around the globe and Creative Commons had influenced people to share their creations openly and freely. The BiOS is such kind of initiative which is sharing all its biological innovations openly. Now the same concept of sharing the biological materials openly for public good.

In Agriculture, the seed is the fundamental input and access to quality seed is becoming restricted to people by financially, technically and legally. To overcome this, the Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) was formed and it aims to free the seed. The OSSI had pledged to make the seed free and is permitting the buyers/consumers to use in any ways they want but asks them not to restrict the others use with patents or by any other legal means.

In order to familiarize/popularize the philosophy of Open Source Seed/Free the Seed concept, the Open Access India and IndiaSeeds.in jointly took an attempt to seeds which are almost free of any legal IPR rights. For this as a test crop, Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) has been selected and the excess seeds which were purchased from a farmer by name Undavalli Trimurthulu in West Godavari, Andhra Pradesh for cultivation are being distributed to people for general cultivation or for research purpose.

These Qunioa seeds are being sent to the recipients under Open Source Seeds MTA (material transfer agreement) incorporating the text adopted from The OSSI Pledge. The MTA says “You have the freedom to use these Open Source Seeds in anyway you choose, In return, you pledge not to restrict other’s use of these seeds or their derivatives by patents or other means, and to include this Open Source Seeds MTA with any transfer of these seeds or their derivatives. If anyone are interested to join the OSSI or share their seeds through The OSSI Pledge in India, they may contact Open Access India, IndiaSeeds.in or the OSSI collaborator in India, the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture.

OA India Member gets featured as Friends of Agro-Know

gutamThe Agro-Know publishes Friends of Agro-Know series of interviews with people that it wants to work with or had already worked with them. As part of the Open Access Week, this time in its series, our member, Dr. Sridhar Gutam is featured because of active involvement in the field of open access to research outcomes and data.

You may read the full interview post here.

In this interview, he opined that the researchers can themselves solve the availability and accessibility issues of publicly funded research outputs when they get themselves aware about the need for ‘Openness’ and the joy of ‘Sharing’ the outputs by practicing self-archiving in Open Repositories. He further added that the Open Access India community by pledging its support for the global and local initiates on Open Access, Open Data and Open Education, would like to work for the development of a National Open Access Policy for India and wish to build Community Open Access Repository for India in which everyone irrespective of institutional affiliation can deposit and share their works freely.

You may read the full interview post here.

OpenCon 2015 Applications are Open!

Applications to attend OpenCon 2015 on November 14-16 in Brussels, Belgium are now open! The application is available on the OpenCon website at opencon2015.org/attend and includes the opportunity to apply for a travel scholarship to cover the cost of travel and accommodations. Applications will close on June 22nd at 11:59pm PDT.

OpenCon seeks to bring together the most capable, motivated students and early career academic professionals from around the world to advance Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data—regardless of their ability to cover travel costs.  In 2014, more than 80% of attendees received support.  Due to this, attendance at OpenCon is by application only.

Students and early career academic professionals of all experience levels are encouraged to apply.  We want to support those who have ideas for new projects and initiatives in addition to those who are already leading them.  The most important thing is an interest in advancing Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data and a commitment to taking action. We also hope to use applications to connect applicants with opportunities for collaboration, local events in your area, and scholarship opportunities to attend other relevant conferences.

OpenCon is equal parts conference and community.  The meeting in Brussels serves as the centerpiece of a much larger network to foster initiatives and collaboration among the next generation across OpenCon’s issue areas.  Become an active part of the community by joining our discussion list, tuning in for our monthly community calls and webcasts, or hosting an OpenCon satellite event in your community.

Apply now, and join the OpenCon community today!

About OpenCon:

Hosted by the Right to Research Coalition and SPARC, OpenCon 2015 will bring together students and early career academic professionals from across the world to learn about the issues, develop critical skills, and return home ready to catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information — from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital data.  OpenCon 2015 will be held on November 14-16 in Brussels, Belgium.

OpenCon 2015’s three day program will begin with two days of conference-style keynotes, panels, and interactive workshops, drawing both on the expertise of leaders in the Open Access, Open Education and Open Data movements and the experience of participants who have already led successful projects.

The third day will take advantage of the location in Brussels by providing a half-day of advocacy training followed by the opportunity for in-person meetings with relevant policy makers, ranging from the European Parliament, European Commission, embassies, and key NGOs. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the conference’s three issue areas, stronger skills in organizing local and national projects, and connections with policymakers and prominent leaders across the three issue areas.

OpenCon 2015 builds on the success of the first-ever OpenCon meeting last year which convened 115 students and early career academic professionals from 39 countries in Washington, DC.

Speakers at OpenCon 2014 included the Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States for Legislative Affairs, the Chief Commons Officer of Sage Bionetworks, the Associate Director for Data Science for the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and more than 15 students and early career academic professionals leading successful initiatives. OpenCon 2015 will again feature leading experts, and the program will be announced in the coming months.

OpenCon 2015 Details Announced!

For immediate release: April 7, 2015
Press Contact: Ranit Schmelzer: +1 202 538 1065, sparcmedia@arl.org

Broad Coalition Announces 2nd Conference for Students & Early Career Academic Professionals on Open Access, Open Education and Open Data

opencon2015OpenCon 2015 to Take Place November 14-16 in Brussels, Belgium

WASHINGTON, DC — Today 11 organizations representing the next generation of scholars, researchers, and academic professionals announced OpenCon 2015: Empowering the Next Generation to Advance Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. Slated for November 14-16 in Brussels, Belgium, the event will bring together students and early career academic professionals from across the world to learn about the issues, develop critical skills, and return home ready to catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information — from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital data.

Hosted by the Right to Research Coalition and SPARC, OpenCon 2015 builds on the success of the first-ever OpenCon meeting last year which convened 115 students and early career academic professionals from 39 countries in Washington, DC.  More than 80% of these participants received full travel scholarships, provided by sponsorships from leading organizations, including the Max Planck Society, eLife, PLOS, and more than 20 universities.

“OpenCon 2015 will expand on a proven formula of bringing together the brightest young leaders across the Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data movements and connecting them with established leaders in each community,” said Nick Shockey, founding Director of the Right to Research Coalition. “OpenCon is equal parts conference and community.  The meeting in Brussels will serve as the centerpiece of a much larger network to foster initiatives and collaboration among the next generation across OpenCon’s three issue areas.”

OpenCon 2015’s three day program will begin with two days of conference-style keynotes, panels, and interactive workshops, drawing both on the expertise of leaders in the Open Access, Open Education and Open Data movements and the experience of participants who have already led successful projects.

The third day will take advantage of the location in Brussels by providing a half-day of advocacy training followed by the opportunity for in-person meetings with relevant policy makers, ranging from the European Parliament, European Commission, embassies, and key NGOs. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the conference’s three issue areas, stronger skills in organizing local and national projects, and connections with policymakers and prominent leaders across the three issue areas.

Speakers at OpenCon 2014 included the Deputy Assistant to the President of the United States for Legislative Affairs, the Chief Commons Officer of Sage Bionetworks, the Associate Director for Data Science for the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and more than 15 students and early career academic professionals leading successful initiatives. OpenCon 2015 will again feature leading experts.  Patrick Brown and Michael Eisen, two of the co-founders of PLOS, are confirmed for a joint keynote at the 2015 meeting.

“For the ‘open’ movements to succeed, we must invest in capacity building for the next generation of librarians, researchers, scholars, and educators,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). “OpenCon is dedicated to creating and empowering a global network of young leaders across these issues, and we are eager to partner with others in the community to support and catalyze these efforts.”

OpenCon seeks to convene the most effective student and early career academic professional advocates—regardless of their ability to pay for travel costs. The majority of participants will receive full travel scholarships. Because of this, attendance is by application only, though limited sponsorship opportunities are available to guarantee a fully funded place at the conference.  Applications will open on June 1, 2015.

In 2014, more than 1,700 individuals from 125 countries applied to attend the inaugural OpenCon.

“As an organization that represents more than 11 million students across 39 European countries, the European Students’ Union is committed to advancing openness in research and education,” said Erin Nordal, Vice-Chairperson of the European Students’ Union (ESU). “ESU is excited to help organize OpenCon 2015 and ensure the next generation is at the forefront of the conversation around Open Access, Open Education and Open Data—in Europe and beyond.”

This year, an expanded emphasis will be placed on building the community around OpenCon and on satellite events. OpenCon satellite events are independently hosted meetings that mix content from the main conference with live presenters to localize the discussion and bring the energy of an in-person OpenCon event to a larger audience.  In 2014, OpenCon satellite events reached hundreds of students and early career academic professionals in nine countries across five continents.  A call for partners to host satellite events has now opened and is available at http://www.opencon2015.org/satellite.

OpenCon 2015 is organized by the Right to Research Coalition, SPARC, and a committee of student and early career researcher organizations from around the world. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available and will be critical to ensuring that dedicated students and early career academic professionals across the globe are able to attend. For more information, see www.opencon2015.org/sponsor.

Applications for OpenCon 2015 will open on June 1st. For more information about the conference and to sign up for updates, visit www.opencon2015.org/updates.  You can follow OpenCon on Twitter at @Open_Con or using the hashtag #opencon.

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The Right to Research Coalition is an international alliance of graduate and undergraduate student organizations, which collectively represent nearly 7 million students in over 100 countries around the world, that advocate for and educate students about open methods of scholarly publishing.  The Right to Research Coalition is a project of SPARC.

SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system.  Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change.  Its pragmatic focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries.  More information can be found at www.sparc.arl.org and on Twitter @SPARC_NA.


Contact Information for Organizing Committee Members

Belgian Medical Students’ Association
Koen Demaegd, National Officer on Research Exchange
nore [at] belgianmsa [dot] com

EuroScience
Slobodan Radicev, governing board member
slobodan.radicev [at] euroscience [dot] org

The European Students’ Union
Erin Nordal, Vice-Chairperson
Erin [at] esu-online [dot] org

The International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA)
Ivana Di Salvo, Liaison officer for
Research and Medical Associations [at] ifmsa [dot] org

IFMSA-Pakistan
Arslan Inayat, National President IFMSA Pakistan*
arslan201 [at] hotmail [dot] com

Max Planck PhDnet
Prateek Mahalwar, Spokesperson
prateek.mahalwar [at] tuebingen.mpg.de

The Open Access Button
Joseph McArthur, Co-lead
Joe [at] righttoresearch [dot] com

Open Knowledge
Jonathan Gray, Director of Policy and Research
jonathan [dot] gray [at] okfn [dot] org

Open Library of Humanities
Martin Paul Eve, Co-Director
martin [dot] eve [at] openlibhums [dot] org

National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS)
Kristofferson Culmer, President & CEO
president [at] nagps [dot] org

Siyavula Education
Megan Beckett, Instructional Designer and Open Education Advocate
megan [at] siyavula [dot] com

Meredith Niles
Post-doctoral research fellow, Harvard University*
Assistant Professor, University of Vermont (August 2015)*
meredith_niles [at] hks [dot] harvard [edu]

Iara Vidal Pereira de Souza
PhD student, Brazilian Institute of Information in Science and Technology / Federal University of Rio de Janeiro*
iaravidalps [at] gmail [dot] com

Erin McKiernan
Postdoctoral fellow, Wilfrid Laurier University*
emck31 [at] gmail [dot] com

* Institutions are for affiliation purposes only

Source: http://opencon2015.org/blog/opencon-2015-details-announced

2015 International Open Access Week Theme: “Open for Collaboration”

Open_Access_logo_PLoS.svgThe SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) today (4th March 2015) had announced that the theme for this year’s 8th International Open Access Week will be “Open for Collaboration.”

The theme highlights the ways in which collaboration both inspires and advances the Open Access movement—from the partnerships behind launching initiatives such as PLOS and ImpactStory, to the working relationships the community has established with policymakers that have delivered Open Access policies around the world.   The theme also emphasizes the ways in which Open Access enables new avenues for collaboration between scholars by making research available to any potential collaborator, anywhere, any time.

Established by SPARC in 2008, International Open Access Week provides an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access the norm in scholarship and research.  This year’s Open Access Week will be held from October 19th through the 25th.

The “Open for Collaboration” theme will also explore how cooperation between stakeholder communities helps to set the default to open for scholarly communication.  At a broader level, the theme will provide an opportunity for Open Access supporters to consider working with those in similar, allied movements for Open Data and Open Education to advance common goals more quickly.

“The energy that’s generated when smart, committed people work together on issues they care deeply about is palpable,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC.  “This year’s Open Access Week gives us the opportunity to highlight examples of that energy in action – and to create opportunities for new partnerships to be forged.”

Last year’s “Generation Open” theme addressed the important role students and early career researchers play within the Open Access movement, and coordinated efforts between librarians and the students on their campuses have proven to be effective in advancing the conversation around Open Access at universities around the world.

International Open Access Week is a distributed, community-driven week of awareness for opening up scholarly communication, celebrated by institutions and organizations across the world.  For more information about International Open Access Week, please visit www.openaccessweek.org.

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About SPARC

SPARC®, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, is an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system.  Developed by the Association of Research Libraries, SPARC has become a catalyst for change.  Its pragmatic focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries.  More information can be found at www.sparc.arl.org. Connect with us on Twitter at @SPARC_NA.

For more information, contact:

Nick Shockey on (202) 296-2296 at nick@arl.org

Source: http://sparc.arl.org/news/2015-open-access-week-theme-announcement

India’s Top Scientific Departments Announces OA Policy

Open-Access-1The two top most scientific departments in India, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Department of Science and Technology (DST) under the Ministry of Science and Technology had announced jointly the Open Access Policy on 12th December 2014.

The departments are of the opinion that as the funds for research on science and technology are public funds, therefore, the “information and knowledge generated through the use of these funds are made publicly available as son as possible”. However it adds a foot note that information sharing is subject to the “Indian law and IP policies of respective funding agencies and institutions where the research is performed” and the institutions are encouraged to seek IP protection to the research outputs.

The policy states that the departments believe that by the distribution of the research publications freely “is the most effective way of ensuring that the research it funds can be accessed, read and built upon” and  “free, open and digital access of scientific research will ensure percolation of cutting edge research at a rapid pace into higher education curricula, thereby raising the standard of technical and scientific education in the country

As per the policy, all the research articles’s final accepted manuscripts (post-prints) resulting from the DBT/DST funds received from the fiscal year 2012-13 onwards are required to be deposited either in their respective institutional repositories or in the Ministry’s central repositories (dst.sciencecentral.in/ and dbt.sciencecentral.in/) and the harvester (sciencecentral.in) would harvest the full-text and metadata of the publications.

The highlight of the DBT/DST Open Access policy is that while it recognizes “the right of researchers to publish their work in journals of their choice”, it states that “the intrinsic merit of the work, and not the title of the journal in which an author’s work is published, should be considered in making future funding decisions” and the DBT and DST do not recommend the use of journal impact factors either as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, to assess an individual scientist’s contributions, or in hiring,promotion, or funding decisions“.

This above statements by DBT/DST shows that the departments are in agreement to the The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) which “intends to halt the practice of correlating the journal impact factor to the merits of a specific scientist’s contributions“.

The Open Access India community is welcomes this Open Access policy and hopes that this step towards Open Access to public funded research would lead to development and adoption of National Open Access Mandate in India and also the policy adds into it all the research outputs (not limited to articles) and shares them freely for the public good.

Introducing Open Access India Ambassadors

The first two proud Ambassadors of the Open Access India are Ms. Sri Amudha S., a full time PhD candidate in Dept. of Library and Information Science, Pondicherry University.  and Mr. Sandeep Rawal, a PhD Scholar, Department of AgronomyCCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar.

To take forward the Open Access movement in India and to build the momentum by involving all the stakeholders, the Open Access India had followed the foot steps of OKFN‘s Ambassador Scheme and the Max Planck Society‘s Open Access Ambassadors, and had given call for the Open Access India Ambassador Scheme. By this scheme, the Community would have a network of volunteers in India for advocating Open Access, Open Data and Open Education. More on how to apply Ambassador, please see the post and fill out the form here.