A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access By Peter Suber

Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder.

In most fields, scholarly journals do not pay authors, who can therefore consent to OA without losing revenue. In this respect scholars and scientists are very differently situated from most musicians and movie-makers, and controversies about OA to music and movies do not carry over to research literature.

OA is entirely compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance. Just as authors of journal articles donate their labor, so do most journal editors and referees participating in peer review.

OA literature is not free to produce, even if it is less expensive to produce than conventionally published literature. The question is not whether scholarly literature can be made costless, but whether there are better ways to pay the bills than by charging readers and creating access barriers. Business models for paying the bills depend on how OA is delivered.

There are two primary vehicles for delivering OA to research articles: OA journals and OA archives or repositories.

OA archives or repositories do not perform peer review, but simply make their contents freely available to the world. They may contain unrefereed preprints, refereed postprints, or both. Archives may belong to institutions, such as universities and laboratories, or disciplines, such as physics and economics. Authors may archive their preprints without anyone else’s permission, and a majority of journals already permit authors to archive their postprints. When archives comply with the metadata harvesting protocol of the Open Archives Initiative, then they are interoperable and users can find their contents without knowing which archives exist, where they are located, or what they contain. There is now open-source software for building and maintaining OAI-compliant archives and worldwide momentum for using it.
OA journals perform peer review and then make the approved contents freely available to the world. Their expenses consist of peer review, manuscript preparation, and server space. OA journals pay their bills very much the way broadcast television and radio stations do: those with an interest in disseminating the content pay the production costs upfront so that access can be free of charge for everyone with the right equipment. Sometimes this means that journals have a subsidy from the hosting university or professional society. Sometimes it means that journals charge a processing fee on accepted articles, to be paid by the author or the author’s sponsor (employer, funding agency). OA journals that charge processing fees usually waive them in cases of economic hardship. OA journals with institutional subsidies tend to charge no processing fees. OA journals can get by on lower subsidies or fees if they have income from other publications, advertising, priced add-ons, or auxiliary services. Some institutions and consortia arrange fee discounts. Some OA publishers waive the fee for all researchers affiliated with institutions that have purchased an annual membership. There’s a lot of room for creativity in finding ways to pay the costs of a peer-reviewed OA journal, and we’re far from having exhausted our cleverness and imagination.
For a longer introduction, with live links for further reading, see my Open Access

Overview, http://www.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/overview.htm.
Peter Suber
Director, Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication
Director, Harvard Open Access Project
Faculty Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet & Society
Senior Researcher, Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
Research Professor of Philosophy, Earlham College
peter.suber@gmail.com

 

Follow the orginal article @

http://legacy.earlham.edu/~peters/fos/brief.htm

What are Open Educational Resources

There is no one, standard definition of Open Educational Resources. However, the following broad definition of OERs from OER Commons seems to be generally accepted by the community:

 

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are freely available online for everyone to use, whether you are an instructor, student or self-learner. Examples of OER include: full courses, course modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab and classroom activities, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.

OERs exist within a wider ‘Open’ movement and context, explored below.

The Open Movement

A range of ‘Open’ philosophies and models have emerged during the 20th Century as a result of several different drivers and motivations – including sharing freely, preventing duplication, avoiding restrictive  (Copyright) practices, promoting economic efficiencies and improving access to wide groups of stakeholders. Many of these have been driven by and created by communities that recognise the benefits to themselves, and sometimes to wider groups. Some of these are listed below:

 

  • Open source (relating to business and technology)
  • Open source software
  • Open source hardware
  • Open standards
  • Open access (research)
  • Open design
  • Open knowledge
  • Open data
  • Open content
  • Open courseware
  • Open educational resources
  • Open educational practice

 

Several of these ‘movements’ or ‘philosophies’ have been significant within the education community both in terms of research and learning & teaching (particularly educational technology). Whilst it is widely expected that sharing and openness would bring benefits to some stakeholders in the educational community, traditional cultures and practices, managerial approaches and processes, and perceived legal complexities have been identified as barriers to sharing both within and across institutions. (refs: CD LOR, TRUST DR, Sharing e-learning content, Good Intentions report)

 

Whilst the terms ‘Open content’ and ‘Open courseware’ are sometimes used to mean the wide range of resources to support learning and teaching, one is fairly broad and the other very specific. We have chosen to use the term Open Educational Resources (OER) as this relates to resources that are specifically licenced to be used and re-used in an educational context.

 

What are educational resources?  

Whilst purely informational content has a significant role in learning and teaching, it is helpful to consider learning resources by their levels of granularity and to focus on the degree to which information content is embedded within a learning activity:

 

  • Digital assets – normally a single file (e.g. an image, video or audio clip), sometimes called a ‘raw media asset’;
  • Information objects – a structured aggregation of digital assets, designed purely to present information;
  • Learning objects – an aggregation of one or more digital assets which represents an educationally meaningful stand-alone unit;
  • Learning activities – tasks involving interactions with information to attain a specific learning outcome;
  • Learning design – structured sequences of information and activities to promote learning.

 

(adapted from Littlejohn, A., Falconer, I. and McGill, L. (2008) ‘Characterising effective eLearning resources’. Computers & Education, 50 (3), pp. 757-771.)

 

What are open educational resources?

The following definitions and examples are taken from a paper prepared by Li Yuan at JISC CETIS in 2008 concerning the state of open educational resources internationally. This well-received paper can be accessed from the CETIS website.

 

The term Open Educational Resources (OER) was first introduced at a conference hosted by UNESCO in 2000 and was promoted in the context of providing free access to educational resources on a global scale. As mentioned above, there is no authoritatively accredited definition for the term OER at present, with the OECD preferring, ‘digitised materials offered freely and openly for educators, students and self-learners to use and reuse for teaching, learning and research’ (OECD, 2007). Stephen Downes presents a useful overview of what Open Educational Resources are in Open Education: Projects and Potential.

 

“Engagement with OER can be light touch. New staff should be encouraged to source open materials when creating new educational materials (from CC resources or other OER), and to fully reference all other assets in their teaching materials. An academic’s own digital assets such as images, pod casts and video can be released under a CC licence to web 2.0.” GEES Project final report

 

OER initiatives aspire to provide open access to high-quality education resources on a global scale. From large institution-based or institution-supported initiatives to numerous small-scale activities, the number of OER related programmes and projects has been growing quickly within the past few years.

 

According to OECD in 2007, there are materials from more than 3000 open access courses (open courseware) currently available from over 300 universities worldwide:

 

  • In the United States resources from thousands of courses have been made available by university-based projects, such as MIT OpenCourseWare and Rice University’s Connexions project: (http://ocw.mit.edu/, http://cnx.rice.edu/ )

 

  • In China, materials from 750 courses have been made available by 222 university members of the China Open Resources for Education (CORE) consortium.(http://www.core.org.cn/en/).

 

  • In Japan, resources from more than 400 courses have been made available by the19 member universities of the Japanese OCW Consortium. (http://www.jocw.jp/).

 

  • In France, 800 educational resources from around 100 teaching units have been made available by the 11 member universities of the ParisTech OCW project. (http://graduateschool.paristech.org/).

 

  • In Ireland, universities received government funding to build open access institutional repositories and to develop a federated harvesting and discovery service via a national portal. It is intended that this collaboration will be expanded to embrace all Irish research institutions. (http://www.irel-open.ie/).

 

  • And in the UK, the Open University has released a range of its distance learning materials via the OpenLearn project (http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/), and over 80 UKOER projects have released many resources (via Jorum) which are used to support teaching in institutions and across a range of subject areas.

 

For a more visual explanation of Open Educational Resources look at Stephen Downes’ presentation on Slideshare.

 

For more /Original article,Please read at the link below :https://openeducationalresources.pbworks.com/w/page/24836860/What%20are%20Open%20Educational%20Resources

The Twelfth International Conference on Open Repositories, OR2017,Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals

 

 

Call for Proposals

 

The Twelfth International Conference on Open Repositories, OR2017, will be held on June 26th-30th, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. The organisers are pleased to issue this call for contributions to the program, with submissions due by 20 November 2016.

In 2017 the Open Repositories conference returns to Australia, where the Open Repositories journey started in Sydney 2006. Repositories have come a long way in the intervening years, having emerged as critical systems for managing, preserving and sharing intellectual, artistic and scientific output. As such, repositories have found a firm placing within scholarly processes and are becoming an integral vehicle to moving towards true Open Science. The OR community has established itself as an important contributor in this space, something we would like to emphasise in Brisbane by promoting the community’s ability to always stay at the forefront of development of both infrastructure and good practice.

For OR2017 the theme is Open : Innovation | Knowledge | Repositories, aiming to reflect how the Open Repository community continues to be at the forefront of developments, sharing knowledge, and working as an enabler of scholarship and open science. OR2017 will provide an opportunity to:

  • showcase innovative repository services as well as innovations in functionality and user experience of repository software;
  • introduce innovative uses of repositories, for example to accommodate new types of content, serve new groups of users, or achieve new goals;
  • analyse drivers for repository innovation, including evolving technologies, changes in scholarly communication processes, as well as policies around open access to research outputs at institutional, national and international levels; and
  • explore and highlight innovation in the wider ecosystem around repositories.

We welcome proposals on these ideas, but also on other theoretical, practical, technical, organisational or administrative topics related to repositories. Submissions that demonstrate original and repository-related work outside of these themes will be considered, but preference will be given to submissions which address them. We are particularly interested in the following Themes (Please check the wesbite for detailed description on themes).

KEY DATES

Readers of this call for proposals who are familiar with the OR conference series will notice that it is issued somewhat earlier than in previous years. This is done to benefit international participants, aiming to provide earlier feedback on submissions in order to leave enough time in advance of the conference to make travel arrangements for a journey to Australia.

  • By 30 September 2016: Submission system opens
  • 20 November 2016: Deadline for submissions
  • 14 December 2016: Deadline for Scholarship Programme applications
  • 03 February 2017: Submitters notified of acceptance (except Interest Groups)
  • 03 February 2017: Registration opens
  • 10 February 2017: Submitters notified of acceptance to Interest Groups
  • 10 February 2017: Scholarship Programme winners notified
  • 21 April 2017: All presenters are encouraged to register by the close of Early Bird, 21 April 2017
  • 26-30 June 2017: OR2017 conference

SUBMISSION PROCESS

Accepted proposals in all categories will be made available through the conference’s web site, and later they and associated materials will be made available in an open repository. Some conference sessions may be live streamed or recorded, then made publicly available.

PRESENTATIONS AND PANELS – GENERAL TRACK

We expect that proposals for full presentations or panels will be two to four pages (see below for Proposal Templates). Successful submissions to the general track in past years have typically described work relevant to a wide audience and applicable beyond a single software system. Panels in the general track are expected to include at least some degree of diversity in viewpoints and personal background of the panelists. In general, sessions in this track will have three full presentations; panels may take an entire session or may be combined with a presentation.

Relevant proposals unsuccessful in the general track may be considered for inclusion, as appropriate, as an Interest Group presentation, developer track presentation, poster or 24×7 presentation.

PRESENTATIONS AND PANELS – INTEREST GROUPS

The opportunity to engage with and learn more about the work of relevant communities of interest is a key element of Open Repositories. One to two page proposals are invited for presentations or panels that focus on the work of such communities, traditionally DSpace, EPrints, and Fedora, describing novel experiences or developments in the construction and use of repositories involving issues specific to these technical platforms. Further information about applications for additional Interest Groups and guidance on submissions will be forthcoming.

24×7 PRESENTATIONS

24×7 presentations are 7-minute presentations comprising no more than 24 slides. Proposals for 24×7 presentations should be one to two pages (see below for Proposal Templates). Similar to Pecha Kuchas or Lightning Talks, these 24×7 presentations will be grouped into blocks based on conference themes, with each block followed by a moderated discussion / question and answer session involving the audience and whole block of presenters. This format will provide conference goers with a fast-paced survey of like work across many institutions, and presenters the chance to disseminate their work in more depth and context than a traditional poster.

POSTERS

We invite one-page proposals for posters that showcase current work (see below for Proposal Templates). OR2017 will feature digital rather than physical posters. Posters will be on display throughout the conference. Instructions for preparing the digital posters will be distributed to authors of accepted poster proposals prior to the conference. More information regarding digital posters can be found here.

DEVELOPER TRACK: TOP TIPS, CUNNING CODE AND IMAGINATIVE INNOVATION

Each year a significant proportion of the delegates at Open Repositories are software developers who work on repository software or related services. OR2017 will feature a Developer Track that will provide a focus for showcasing work and exchanging ideas.

Building on the success of the Developer Track at OR2015 and OR2016, where we encouraged live hacking and audience participation, we invite members of the technical community to share the features, systems, tools and best practices that are important to you. Presentations can be as informal as you like, but once again we encourage live demonstrations, tours of code repositories, examples of cool features and the unique viewpoints that so many members of our community possess. Submissions should take the form of a title and a brief outline of what will be shared with the community.

Developers are also encouraged to contribute to the other tracks.

IDEAS CHALLENGE

OR2017 will also again include the popular Ideas Challenge. Taking part in this competition provides an opportunity to take an active role in repository innovation, in collaboration with your peers and in pursuit of prizes. The Ideas Challenge is open to all conference attendees – developers, non-developers, and everyone in between. Further details and guidance on the Ideas Challenge will be forthcoming.

WORKSHOPS AND TUTORIALS

One to two-page proposals for workshops and tutorials addressing theoretical or practical issues around digital repositories are welcomed. See below for Proposal Templates; please address the following in your proposal:

  • The subject of the event and what knowledge you intend to convey
  • Length of session (e.g., 2 hours, half a day or a whole day)
  • A brief statement on the learning outcomes from the session
  • The target audience for your session and how many attendees you plan to accommodate
  • Technology and facility requirements
  • Any other supplies or support required
  • Anything else you believe is pertinent to carrying out the session

SUBMISSION SYSTEM

The conference system is now open for submissions. PDF format is preferred.

TO ACCESS THE SYSTEM PLEASE CLICK HERE.

REVIEW PROCESS

All submissions will be peer reviewed and evaluated according to the criteria outlined in the call for proposals, including quality of content, significance, originality, and thematic fit.

CODE OF CONDUCT

The OR2017 Code of Conduct and Anti-Harrassment Policy are available at http://or2017.net/code-of-conduct/.

SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME

OR2017 will again run a Scholarship Programme which will enable us to provide support for a small number of full registered places (including the poster reception and conference dinner) for the conference in Brisbane. The programme is open to librarians, repository managers, developers and researchers in digital libraries and related fields. Applicants submitting a proposal for the conference will be given priority consideration for funding. Please note that the programme does not cover costs such as accommodation, travel and subsistence. It is anticipated that the applicant’s home institution will provide financial support to supplement the OR Scholarship Award. Full details and an application form will shortly be available on the conference website. Please click here to subscribe to our mailing list for further updates.

  • Scholarship Programme Application Deadline: 14 December 2016
  • Successful Applicants Notified: 10 February 2017

For the templates and also more on particpation please check

http://or2017.net/call-for-proposals/ and also keep us posted your updates.

 

Open Access in Perspective

stephenpinfield_300wThe “Open Access in Action” series has explored many but certainly not all the facets of this highly disruptive publishing trend. To put the issues in perspective, and to focus on the resulting changes to the role of academic and research librarians, we interviewed Dr. Stephen Pinfield, Professor of Information Services Management at The University of Sheffield.

Professor Pinfield joined Sheffield in 2012. Before that, he was a self-described practitioner of academic information science, serving as CIO for the University of Nottingham. In 2001, he helped set up the U.K.’s first open access institutional repository, followed by the SHERPA project in 2002. In 2006 he set up at Nottingham the first UK institutional central fund for paying APCs, and has authored open access policy papers for The Russell Group. Commenting on his role as an academic with a technical background, he described his research as “at the interface of practice and theory.”

OAIA_articlebox_header

This feature article is part of our Open Access in Action series, sponsored by Dove Press, which tracks the evolution of important open access (OA) issues through a library lens by presenting regular original articles, video interviews, news, and perspectives. To learn more about how librarians like you are driving practice across the lifestyle of open access, be sure to visit our Open Access in Action hub page.

Library Journal: What are the important differences between those who implement and support open access systems and the faculty members and researchers who use them?

Professor Pinfield: Faculty shouldn’t have to be experts in the mechanics of scholarly communication. They should be carrying out their research—communicating it in ways that are appropriate for their scholarly community and beyond. However, those who provide support, like libraries and IT services, have to understand the research cycle—the processes that researchers go through. Twenty or thirty years ago, librarians had to understand a narrow aspect of scholarly communications: negotiating subscriptions with publishers, storing and preserving collections, and making them available to researchers. Now, librarians need to understand and engage with a much wider range of activities in the research process, in order to provide credible services.

LJ: What are some examples?

Pinfield: Librarians can intervene earlier, encouraging researchers to deposit at the preprint stage, for example. They need to have a clear understanding of the publishing process, and how it may vary from discipline to discipline. They can design workflows that fit the way faculty works—not assume that all faculty have the same requirements and motivations for publishing their research.

Many repositories are designed in isolation from what faculty actually do or care about, creating an unnecessary burden. Librarians have to understand their users, so they can incentivize faculty [by emphasizing] the importance of a deposit [to] increasing usage and citations, for example. Then they can design services to demonstrate that.

LJ: In the article series, we discussed various open access funding models, APCs, Green versus Gold, and the prospect of “flipping” subscription journals to open access. Can you comment on where we are now—and where we’re likely to go?

Pinfield: This is a challenge. If you look system-wide, there’s enough money to pay for APCs—if you look at the whole universe of research funding. The key challenge, of course, is how that happens, and how it affects individual players. The European focus has been on system-wide shifts, mainly because negotiations with publishers happens more at a national level. The U.S. is a very different environment. It’s far larger and more fragmented, so there’s a tendency for large institutions to resist the increased cost implications of APCs. I think that changes will come as we start thinking of the bigger picture for research as a whole. The recent Pay It Forward study points to the possibility of research funders shouldering more of the cost. The benefit of an APC model is that it scales with the funding.

LJ: What is the main resistance to this type of change?

Pinfield: I think the resistance to open access is more on an operational level than it is on principle. When I first became involved in the open access movement, I naively thought we just had to persuade academics it was a good idea and they’d just start doing it. What we didn’t understand then was the level of inertia and vested interests there are in the system. So, we started adding conversations with policy makers and funding entities, who in turn began encouraging more open access behaviors in institutions.

LJ: To what extent is open access adoption driven by differences in academic discipline—such as STEM or the humanities?

Pinfield: Differences in disciplines should not be underestimated. Even within STEM, some disciplines gravitate towards the Green model, while others—like health sciences—tend to be Gold. (That’s not to say that Green and Gold aren’t both valuable. I see them as complementary and interactive in many cases.) In the humanities, there are new models for monographs and open access, so what we’re seeing in STEM may not apply. Martin Eve’s recent book, Open Access and the Humanities, is a good place to start there.

LJ: Let’s get back to librarians. How would you advise them when it comes to open access?

Pinfield: I think these are exciting times for information professionals. It’s an opportunity to be engaged to a much greater degree. As other opportunities for librarians diminish—like the importance of managing large print collections—this is an opportunity to stake out new territory. With open access, we’re now at the stage of how we deliver it, not whether we do so. This puts the focus on the library community.

We’re also thinking about it in a much broader way—in terms of open science and open data, not just open access journal publishing. Becoming more conversant with that sort of strategic vision is becoming increasingly important. Having a professional confidence in these skills will revitalize the library profession. It’s not a narrow, diminishing path, but a wide one.

LJ: Could this be seen as a bulwark against library funding cuts?

Pinfield: Potentially, yes. Collections are still important, but there’s also more emphasis now on delivering services. You can see this now in how libraries are designed—not just as a place to house collections but also as spaces for collaboration, use of technology, and creative activity. That’s all to the good, but it will require agility on the part of the library profession.

Originally posted at http://lj.libraryjournal.com/openaccessinaction/?ref=oaia-postlink

India’s New IPR Policy

The Indian government published the National Intellectual Rights Policy in May 2016. The policy has been formulated keeping in mind that there is a lack of awareness with regard to the obtaining of Intellectual Property Rights in India. The aim of India’s IPR policy is to promote the “knowledge economy”, which the policy defines as “an economy that creates, disseminates and uses knowledge to enhance its growth and development.” This is a goal complementary to Open Access, which aims to effectuate openness in obtaining, publishing and processing research, in order to create a knowledge based society. IPR could be perceived as a restriction on open access because it allows those who invent and innovate to have exclusive rights to the usage of that invention. However, IPR is necessary to encourage creativity and innovation, by allowing inventors to earn from their inventions, but the existing legal regime could be tweaked in order to support Open Access. More information about IPR and the alternatives to the existing IPR regime is here. India’s policy is framed in order to increase the prevalence of IPR. There is even a provision for the creation of special courts for IPR enforcement, which would encourage the usage of IPR.

However, some aspects of the policy could be improved upon to have better social impact. For example, one of the objectives of India’s IPR policy is to “Get value for IPRs through commercialization”. This objective states that value and economic reward for IP holders is obtained is through commercialization of IPR. While commercialized rights do protect investors, it is important to recognize that commercialization sometimes means lack of access to information. For example, say an IP holder sells her rights to a large corporation, then this means that they would not be in charge of their own rights. Therefore, a researcher may not have the legal right to share his work even though he may wish to see his research be utilized by others worldwide. The IPR policy does not prevent this utilization, of course, but a blanket promotion of commercialization may inadvertently discourage open access. To illustrate, to encourage commercialization would effectively discourage the usage of APF or repository system of sharing research. The policy also aims to commercialize even publically funded research, infact suggest that R&D institutions should reward researchers on the basis of IPR creation. This may not meet the policy’s aims, as IPR driven research is not always socially beneficial research. Moreover, publicly-funded research is slowly moving into the field of Open Access all around the world. For example, the EU recently announced that all publically funded research should be OA by 2020. Infact, the principles of this policy might not be directly aligned with the goals of the Indian government as well. Prime Minister Modi has expressed the ideas India ruling the 21st century, calling it the ‘era of knowledge’. Various institutions in India, such as the Department of Science and Technology have applied an open access policy across their departments. In 2012, India released the “National Data Sharing and Accessibility Policy”, which tries to improve data management through open access. Such positive steps are benefitting Indian scientists and researchers.

The strengthening of the IPR system in India could be improved by taking into consideration the larger societal requirement of sharing of research. An IPR system is beneficial for the holistic development of knowledge, but it is not enough. Research and innovation is complementary and complex, and greater protection for the innovator is not always the best approach. This is the most apparent in the sciences, since research is often expensive and time consuming. In developing countries, sparse resources would be wasted in situations where two laboratories may produce duplicative research. A system which would implement IPR without compromising Open Access would serve the interests of the nation better, and truly make India a knowledge producer.

This blog was originally posted on the WSIS KC Blog. 

Be kind…share!

Thanks to the Open Access Policy that the India’s department of science and technology (DST) and the department of biotechnology (DBT) introduced last December, open access is at the forefront of research interest and its importance is certainly highly understood to allow  researchers to publish in “high quality, peer-reviewed” journals and at the same time giving free access to information and data to the public.

Certainly a key role to this shift has been that of Open Access India, a community of practice that advocates for and assist with all aspects related to publishing using Open Access mechanisms.

It might seem surprising that this news are welcome with such enthusiasm as it would probably appear obvious to most people that research results should be available to everyone without any legal or technical restrictions especially when that same public has contributed with its taxes to the research behind the resulting knowledge.

Sadly though in many research environments this is not the case- yet! Often knowledge and information is in practice not shared but in fact locked away leaving out a huge percentage of readers who could otherwise benefit from it. The scientific community has been resisting to embrace Open Access mainly because of costs, reputation, and fears of plagiarism.

Cost: it is true that publishing on Open Access Journals involves a cost: however, given that governments and donors push for such approach, it should be the same donors who fund the open access publication; all proposals therefore ought to include that cost and fracture it in.

Reputation: it is no longer valid the argument that Open Access Journals are not good. Many well-kown journals like Elsevier now offer several Open Access options and it is easy to distinguish the predatory journals from the genuine ones that have as real object that of disseminating knowledge.

Plagiarism: by making research results and knowledge accessible and available and thus under everyone’s eye, attempts to copy and misappropriate somebody’s else work will become even more obvious and visible rather than the other way round.

All in all it seems therefore that these fears are not grounded while the benefits are enormous. I copy here a wonderful graphic representation done by the Danny Kingsley & Sarah Brown which nails the issue down perfectly. cc-by_logoSurprisingly the CGIAR has only recently started seriously this approach. With the aim of improving the efficiency, efficacy, and impact of its research, on 2 October 2013 the Open Access and Data Management Policy was approved by the CGIAR Consortium Board to make unrestricted and free online access to and re-use, by any user worldwide, of all information products generated within the CGIAR research.

Open Access is not a fashion or trend; it is a strategy to ensure that research results can become truly international public goods while assisting scientists in building their publication reputation.

So if you love knowledge, be kind, share it! Love OA

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.

Open Access in Happening!!!!

JAHThe Journal of Applied Horticulture (JAH) an official publication of the Society for the Advancement of Horticulture based at Lucknow in India had made open some of its articles in Open Access on its website.

The JAH had started its publication in 1999 and is making available some of the articles in Open Access from 2000 onwards. This move is a welcome sign in the Open Access movement in the India’s National Agricultural Research System (NARS). We can hope to see lot happening in the area of Open Access in NARS. The credit for this happening should go to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) which recently had adopted a most progressive Open Access policy.

The ICAR had also started an online portal for hosting Open Access Journal using Open Journal Systems for the NARS and is hosting about 19 publications.

ICAR adopts Open Access Policy

Blogged from <http://icar.org.in/en/node/6609>

ICAR adopts Open Access Policy

  • Each ICAR institute to setup an Open Access Institutional Repository.
  • ICAR shall setup a central harvester to harvest the metadata and full-text of all the records from all the OA repositories of the ICAR institutes for one stop access to all the agricultural knowledge generated in ICAR.
  • All the meta-data and other information of the institutional repositories are copyrighted with the ICAR. These are licensed for use, re-use and sharing for academic and research purposes. Commercial and other reuse requires written permission.
  • All publications viz., research articles, popular articles, monographs, catalogues, conference proceedings, success stories, case studies, annual reports, newsletters, pamphlets, brochures, bulletins, summary of the completed projects, speeches, and other grey literatures available with the institutes to be placed under Open Access.
  • The institutes are free to place their unpublished reports in their open access repository. They are encouraged to share their works in public repositories like YouTube and social networking sites like Facebook ®, Google+, etc. along with appropriate disclaimer.
  • The authors of the scholarly articles produced from the research conducted at the ICAR institutes have to deposit immediately the final authors version manuscripts of papers accepted for publication (pre-prints and post-prints) in the institute’s Open Access repository.
  • Scientists and other research personnel of the ICAR working in all ICAR institutes or elsewhere are encouraged to publish their research work with publishers which allow self- archiving in Open Access Institutional Repositories.
  • The authors of the scholarly literature produced from the research funded in whole or part by the ICAR or by other Public Funds at ICAR establishments are required to deposit the final version of the author’s peer-reviewed manuscript in the ICAR institute’s Open Access Institutional Repository.
  • Scientists are advised to mention the ICAR’s Open Access policy while signing the copyright agreements with the publishers and the embargo, if any, should not be later than 12 months.
  • M.Sc. and Ph.D. thesis/dissertations (full contents) and summary of completed research projects to be deposited in the institutes open access repository after completion of the work. The metadata (e.g., title, abstract, authors, publisher, etc.) be freely accessible from the time of deposition of the content and their free unrestricted use through Open Access can be made after an embargo period not more than 12 months.
  • All the journals published by the ICAR have been made Open Access.  Journals, conference proceedings and other scholarly literature published with the financial support from ICAR to the professional societies and others, to be made Open.
  • The documents having material to be patented or commercialised, or where the promulgations would infringe a legal commitment by the institute and/or the author, may not be included in institute’s Open Access repository. However, the ICAR scientists and staff as authors of the commercial books may negotiate with the publishers to share the same via institutional repositories after a suitable embargo period.

Implementation

The DKMA to function as nodal agency for implementation of the ICAR Open Access policy. The DKMA will organize advocacy workshops and capacity building of scientific & technical personnel, repository administrators, editors and publishers on Institutional Repositories, application and usage of Free and Open Source Software.

End Note

OA initiative is not a single event. It is a process and expects full compliance over a period of three years.  Therefore, the proposed modest policy is a first step in the journey towards formal declaration of openness and then after reviews progress, compliance and impact periodically.