This week the US House Representatives introduced H.R. 4186, the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act of 2014 (FIRST Act). The stated goal of the proposed law — “to provide for investment in innovation through scientific research and development, [and] to improve the competitiveness of the United States — is worthy and well received. But part of the bill (Section 303) is detrimental to both existing and proposed public access policies in the United States.
Section 303 of the bill would undercut the ability of federal agencies to effectively implement the widely supported White House Directive on Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research and undermine the successful public access program pioneered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – recently expanded through the FY14 Omnibus Appropriations Act to include the Departments Labor, Education and Health and Human Services. Adoption of Section 303 would be a step backward from existing federal policy in the directive, and put the U.S. at a severe disadvantage among our global competitors.
The White House Directive, NIH Public Access Policy, Omnibus Appropriations Act, and the proposed Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) all contain similar provisions to ensure public access to publicly funded research after a relatively short embargo (6-12 months). These policies make sure that articles created and published as a result of federal funding are deposited in a repository for access and preservation purposes. In addition, the policies provide for a reasonable process and timeline for agencies to development a plan to comply with the public access requirements.
The FIRST Act would conflict with each of these practices. Instead, if enacted it would permit agencies that must comply with the law to:
This bill is scheduled to be marked up in the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology tomorrow, March 13.
But there are better alternatives, both in existing policy (e.g. White House Directive), and in potential legislation (e.g. FASTR). Here’s what you can do right now:
Den 15. marts 2012 blev Bassel Khartabil, mangeårig open source aktivist og én af Creative Commons’ repræsentanter i Syrien, fængslet som en del af en bølge af arrestationer i Mazzeh distriktet i Damaskus. Siden da har hans familie ikke fået nogen official forklaring på fængslingen eller er ej heller blevet givet informationer om hvor han befinder sig. Derfor holder internationale open-source communities verden over på lørdag d. 15. marts 2014 FREE BASSEL DAY.
Bassel Khartabil er en internationalt respekteret 31-årig palestinsk-syrisk computeringeniør, der specialiserer sig i open source softwareudvikling – hvilket er den type software som eksempelvis Internettet er bygget på. Han startede hans karriere for 10 år siden i Syrien, og har arbejdet som teknisk leder for en lang række lokale virksomheder og kulturprojekter herunder genopbygningen af Palmyra og Forward Syria Magazine.
Siden da er Bassel blevet kendt i hele verden for hans store engagement for at bevare det åbne Internet, lære andre om teknologi og bidrage frivilligt med hans store erfaring til at forbedre verden. Bassel er projektleder for open source softwaren Aiki Framework. Han er ydermere kendt i mange online teknologi forums som en dedikeret frivillig bidragsyder til Internet-projekter såsom Mozilla Firefox (mozilla.org), Wikipedia (wikipedia.org), Open Clip Art Library (openclipart.org), Fabricatorz.com, Sharism (sharism.org) og naturligvis Creative Commons (creativecommons.org). Vi har i Creative Commons Danmark haft fornøjelsen af selv at møde Bassel flere gange, senest under hans besøg i København i 2012, og kender ham ligeledes som en sympatisk, humørfyldt og altid imødekommende person.
Siden hans anholdelse har hans frivillige arbejde, både i Syrien og resten af verden, været bremset. Hans fravær har kunnet mærkes tydeligt i de onlinefællesskaber som var afhængige af hans bidrag. Ydermere har hans familie, inklusiv hans forlovede, som skulle have været gift med i April 2013, måttet sætte deres liv på hold, mens de venter på hans frigivelse. Bassel Khartabil har været ulovligt indespærret i mange måneder uden at være sat foran en dommer og uden at være blevet oplyst om hvilke anklager han tilbageholdes for.
Derfor er Creative Commons, herunder Creative Commons Danmark, og mange mange online fællesskaber verden over gået sammen for at opfordre til, at han løslades eller at myndighederne officielt erklærer hvorfor han holdes tilbage. Den fælles koalition kræver endvidere at der øjeblikket gives besked til hans familie om hans helbredsmæssige og mentale tilstand.
På lørdag d. 15. marts 2014 markeres hans anholdelsesdato verden over med FREE BASSEL DAY. Med aktiviteter i hele verden vil tusinder af støtter skabe opmærksomhed omkring den ulovlige og uretfærdige behandling af Bassel. Også her i Danmark tager vi fat. Således opfordrer Creative Commons Danmark alle om at deltage i en online sprint, hvor vi eksempelvis vil oversætte Bassel’s side på Wikimedia til dansk – såvel som siderne for de åbne-Internet projekter som har han dedikeret sig til.
Derfor – skriv til os på info (a) creativecommons (dot) dk hvis du vil være med! Også hvis du har idéer til hvordan vi kan bidrage yderligere til den globale kampagne.
Du kan også læse meget mere om den globale kampagne her – og følge hashtagget #freebassel.
Denne uge bidrager Creative Commons Danmark til den globale event Open Education Week, der løber fra 10.-15. marts 2014. Open Education Week er en global fejring af den internationale bevægelse for åben og tilgængelig uddannelse.
Formålet er at skabe opmærksomhed omkring bevægelsen og dens indflydelse på læring over hele kloden – samt vigtigheden af at uddannelse er tilgængelig for alle samt at læringsmaterialer udgives således at de kan deles og genbruges (disse refererer man internationalt til som OER – “Open Educational Resources”). Alle kan deltage med aktiviteter til ugen, og alle bevægelsens materialer er naturligvis åbne og frit tilgængelige for alle at bruge.
Hos Creative Commons Danmark har vi valgt at arrangere en række online samtaler med udvalgte nøglepersoner indenfor feltet. Helt konkret er der tale om Google Hangouts – online videosamtaler – som alle kan tune ind på og lytte med på, samt kommentere og stille spørgsmål til. Samtalerne bliver optaget og gjort tilgængelige på YouTube efterfølgende, så selv hvis man har misset dem “live” kan man kigge med.
Programmet er som følger:
Mandag: “O’et i OER” (se optagelse)
Deltagere: Peter Leth (Creative Commons Danmark)
Tirsdag: Fingrene i bolledejen, embedding og remixing som læringsværktøjer (se optagelse)
Deltagere: Peter Leth (Creative Commons Danmark)
Onsdag: OER i ind- og udland (med Jane Park, CC International/USA) (se optagelse)
Deltagere: Peter Leth (Creative Commons Danmark), Jane Park (Creative Commons International, USA), Lass Larsen.
Torsdag: Eksempler og debat (se optagelse)
Deltagere: Peter Leth (Creative Commons Danmark), Ylva Pettersson (Sverige)
For at deltage skal du blot følge de Google Hangout links som bliver på postet på Peter Leth’s Google+ profil.
Man kan læse meget mere om Open Education Week (og hente alle materialer) på openeducationweek.org.
The post Creative Commons Danmark fejrer Open Education Week appeared first on Creative Commons Danmark.
On the 18th of February, Creative Commons organized a debate on „Really Open Education. Domestic Policies for Open Educational Resources”, hosted by Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, MEP. The meeting brought together almost 40 experts and stakeholders from a range of educational projects, national schooling systems, and national and international non-governmental organizations across Europe.
The debate started with a presentation of three national initiatives. Hans de Four, founder of the Belgian KlasCement, presented the project. KlasCement started as a bottom-up initiative to create a portal for sharing content among teachers. Currently, 70 000 teachers are members, and share 30 000 items, over half of which are available under a Creative Commons license. OERs on the site are downloaded 300 000 per month. de Four talked about the significance of having a bottom-up project, which is able to tap into the grassroots energy of teachers. At the same time he underlined the importance of the support of the Flemish government, which ultimately began supporting the project and is now a governmental initiative. de Four also mentioned the challenge faced by teachers when dealing with unclear copyright rules – especially the difference between which uses are allowed in the classroom, and which are allowed online. According to de Four, reforms that would clarify and standardize these rules for both online and offline education would be much appreciated by Belgian teachers.
Robert Schuwer from the Dutch Open University presented the Wikiwijs initiative – a repository similar to KlasCement, but different in several key ways. Wikiwijs is a top-down project, launched in 2008 by the Ministry of Education. All content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution or Attribution-Share Alike license. WIkiwijs has a peer review mechanism for ensuring quality, as well as quality marks certified by partner organizations. Schuwer explained that the goal of Wikiwijs is not just to increase the development and use of OERs, but to support teachers in professionalization and the creation of their own teaching materials or courses. The system makes available to Dutch teachers 650 000 content building blocks and 35 000 full lessons. Schuwer ended with providing a broader policy perspective – the Dutch government has recently announced a program that will provide EUR 1 million a year for development of open education at the higher education level.
The third speaker was Piotr Dmochowski-Lipski, director of the Polish Center for Educational Development. He presented the Polish open e-textbooks initiative (together with the educational resources repository, Scholaris). The e-textbooks project, which forms part of a larger “Digital School” initiative, will create a set of 62 publicly funded textbooks on 14 subjects by 2015. After presenting the project, Dmochowski-Lipski focused on policy issues related to the project, initially by relating to a range of European and Polish strategic documents. According to him, the project is a response to an egalitarian approach to educational matters in the Polish society, and growing belief that “What is 100% funded by public money should be free and accessible”. Dmochowski-Lipski demonstrated how open education fits into a broader public debate on copyright and funding of different forms of creativity, by presenting “pros” and “cons” raised by actors in the Polish debate. He ended by declaring commitment of the Polish government to developing OERs, coupled with a careful approach to copyright matters.
During the fourth presentation, Teresa Nobre from Creative Commons Portugal presented the preliminary results of a study of educational exceptions and limitations, which she has been investigating as part of the “OER policies for Europe” project (the full results will be available during 2014 Open Education Week). The presentation demonstrated the fragmented landscape of user rights that allow teachers, educators and students to quote works, make compilations for educational purposes, and transform works. This fragmentation leads to uncertainty and additional costs related to rights clearance, especially in international projects. On the one hand, this demonstrates the advantage of OERs as content that provides users with certainty about allowed uses. On the other hand, it shows the importance for reform and modernization of the copyright system in Europe.
The meeting ended with a speech by Ricardo Ferreira from DG Education and Culture, who presented the European “Opening Up Education” initiative. Ferreira argued that education is not just public spending, but an important investment for society. For this reason we need to bring education into the digital age, and at a time of budget cuts, increase its cost efficiency and effectiveness. Open education is an approach that can be helpful with regard to all these issues – especially if introduced as part of a comprehensive education reform. With regard to OERs, Ferreira stressed the complementarity of OERs and traditional resources – combined with the freedom of choice by teachers – as the basic principle. Finally, he described the importance of supporting grassroots initiatives – with this goal the “Opening Up Education” portal was created as a common access point. This, coupled with an Open Access requirement included in the Erasmus+ program, will according to Ferreira provide support for the growth of OER projects in Europe.
We hope that the event provided an opportunity for participants to learn more and discuss open education initiatives taking place in EU member states. We plan to continue this discussion, which hopefully will lead to the adoption of OER policies across Europe.
Lørdag d. 22/2 fejres Open Data Day med hackathons og data-arrangementer i hele verden. I København er der planlagt fire spændende workshops, som Creative Commons Danmark er med til at arrangere.
Alle er velkomne til at deltage, lære mere om åben data, anvende konkrete åbne data, diskutere og møde andre med interesse i åbne data. Creative Commons står sammen med bl.a. Open Knowledge Foundation, Wikimedia Danmark og en række andre organisationer bag det danske Open Data Day arrangement, der byder på hele 4 workshops/hackathons. Den ene workshop byder på remix og video-mashup af billeder under CC-licens fra Statens Museum for Kunst.
Åbne data refererer til data som er frit tilgængelige for borgere at bruge, genbruge og redistribuere uden restriktioner. Eksempelvis offentlige data som statistikker, vejrdata, trafikdata, offentlige budgetter og regnskaber og meget, meget andet. Åbne data gør det muligt at få mere værdi ud af de data som samfundet producere og dermed gøre det til en resource, som kan bruges til iværksætteri, jobskabelse, bedre service til borgere og ikke mindst en mere transparent samfundsmodel, hvor befolkningen har indsigt i hvordan de offentlige kroner anvendes.
Til Open Data Day i København kan man deltage i følgende aktiviteter (som er sakset på engelsk fra det officielle danske Open Data Day site, der for at gøre det så tilgængeligt som muligt for alle – og for at forbinde med resten af verdens over 100 events – er holdt på engelsk).
Om aftenen inviterer vi ydermere til BYOB/Bring Your Owm Beamer i samarbejde med Frost Festival. Dette foregår på Tøjhusmuseet fra kl. 19-23, hvor man vil kunne se de videoværker som er blevet produceret i løbet af dagen i Remixing SMK workhoppen. Der vil være fri entré!
For at læse mere om arrangementet, besøg dk.opendataday.org og Facebook eventet. Alle kan deltage, uanset evner og it-niveau – husk dog blot at registere dig på Meetup.com, så vi ved hvor mange sandwiches vi skal købe.
Eventet finder sted på (CBS, Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg), og løber fra 10:00 til 16:00.
On the 18th of February, we are organizing a policy discussion about domestic policies on open education. The meeting is hosted by Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, MEP and will have the format of a working breakfast. Our guests will include OER experts from Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and Portugal, as well as representatives of the DG Education and Culture, responsible for implementing the „Opening Up Education” initative.
During the meeting we would like to discuss how to implement open education projects as part of this initiative, both at European level and in member states. We hope that best examples of domestic policies will provide inspiration for other states.
Please join us in the European Parliament in Brussels on the 18th of February, 8.15-10.00. If you plan attending the event, please RSVP by sending email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
More information can be found on the page of the event.
Creative Commons Danmark, Open Knowledge Foundation Danmark og Science Friction inviterer i fællesskab til gratis visning af “Exposing the Invisible” dokumentar-trilogien fra Tactical Technology Collective i Berlin. Filmene, der er udgivet under Creative Commons licens, sætter fokus på datajournalistik, der i stigende grad gør brug af nye teknologier for at afsløre korruption, ulovlige krigshandlinger og økonomisk svindel.
Den digitale tidsalder har for alvor ændret den måde hvorpå mennesker finder og deler information. Internettet muliggør samarbejde mellem aktivister, hackere og journalister på en hidtil uset skala. Dette har ledt til ufattelige muligheder for opsøgende journalistik. Borgere har nu helt nye værktøjer til at finde skjult information og afsløre korruption og svindel – og dermed udgøre en reel forskel ved at bringe sandheder frem i lyset.
Gennem en serie af korte dokumentarer, “Exposing the Invisible” fortæller Tactical Technology Collective i Berlin personlige historier fra dem som kæmper på de nye journalistiske fronter. Filmene viser de værktøjer og metoder de bruger og videre endvidere hvordan disse borgere håndterer de risici som følger dét at være informationsaktivist. Ydermere præsenterer filmene også en række resourcer som hjælper aktivisterne med at beskytte sig selv og deres arbejde. Praktisk information
Filmene vises tirsdag 21. Januar 2014 kl. 19.30-22.00 i Science Friction, Skt. Hans Gade 26A (kælderen), 2200 København N – der er fri entré. Meld dig gerne til forud via dette Facebook-event.
Denne aften viser vi alle tre film og inviterer til en efterfølgende uformel snak om disse nye former for opsøgende borgerjournalistik i en tidsalder med nye teknologiske muligheder.
19.30 – dørene åbner
19.45 – filmfremvisning
21.15 – snak
Læs mere om Exposing the Invisible på https://exposingtheinvisible.org/ (eller download filmene selv – de udgives under Creative Commons licens). Arrangører
(This post is part of Copyright week, during which a range of organizations highlights key principles that should guide copyright policy – right in time for the European copyright consultations. Please also read posts published previously on the CC blog: on the public domain and on Open Access. Today’s theme is “You bought it, you own it”).
It’s ever harder to tinker with things
We live in societies, in which equipment and gadgets are ever more often „black boxes”. As users and consumers, we don’t have access to their internals – we cannot fix them, adapt them, modify. Sometimes it’s an issue of having advanced technical skills, and sometimes of owning a really strange screwdriver that will fit proprietary screws. And companies differ in their approaches – with a spectrum running between gadgets that just won’t open, and those that allow a „do it yourself” approach.
With physical objects, we understand well what owning them means, and how much control over them we have. But the same issues of ownership and control apply to symbolic goods – the digital files and content streams through which we experience our culture, education and science. In their case, it’s easy to confuse ownership with mere possibility of access and use – but without real control. And copyright is the mechanism that determines the extent of your ownership of a work.
What about digital files?
Some aspects of what you can do with digital files are determined by technology. You chose „copy”, but nothing happens the digital management system, defined by the seller, has just kicked in and limited your rights as an owner. But copyright choices made in license agreements, as well as general rules of copyright, are just as important. Even if you can copy a file, you might still be committing a crime.
True ownership of works in digital formats faces today many challenges. The shift to cloud computing, and concurrent rise of streaming services, significantly complicates the issue of our rights as users. Ever more often we access works that seem and feel as if they were really owned, but in fact are only made available to users as a service – with a very limited set of attached user rights, and with a reserved right of the content owner to cease the service at almost any moment.
How to give others the right to “tinker”?
But the opposite question can be asked – what can we do to provide users with rights, if we believe that cultural, educational or scientific works should be tinkered with, fixed, reused, recycled, copied and passed on to others?
At the technical level, all this can be done with files by virtue of their character as digital object: copying is error-free and costs practically nothing. Reuse is easy with a range of cheap or even free digital tools. The Net is an underlying infrastructure for sustainable and effective sharing. But things are more complicated at the legal level. Default copyright law makes digital content equivalent to physical objects that are meant to be carried – but lack handles; meant to be opened – but are fitted with non-standard screws. User rights are limited as they are by default reserved by rights-owners.
Open licensing, of the type that Creative Commons promotes, is a solution to this problem. For this reason, public policies need to address licensing, and not just technical or economic barriers to access to culture and knowledge. Many Open Access policies avoid licensing issues. They are still a huge step towards making culture, education or science available. But they stop short of giving us rights beyond access itself. This fact might have historic reasons, as Open Access to scientific research – as a movement – has a much longer track record than similar movements in culture or education. And in science, reuse of the research paper is not a significant stakes – one does not experiment with the scientific paper, but with formulas and materials described by it.
Educational resources want to be tinkered with
The case is very different with education, where educators work directly with content. The best of them tinker and reuse them in the process – and then have an urge to share with their peers. Similar arguments could be made with regard to culture, where what we now call a remix fit into a long tradition of artistic practise. The argument is in particular strong for public domain works – heritage that’s meant to be shared and used.
Makers, hackers and fixers teach us about the advantages of truly owning the things we have. And if you agree that we should be able to lift the hoods of our cars and fix them – then you should also care about real ownership of non-material good. This means caring about how copyright affects such ownership, and monitoring practices of commercial entities in this regard. But it also means open licensing of works – so that our education, culture and knowledeg is something that can be not just passively experienced, but tinkered with.
Vi giver af og til mikrofonen videre til danske projekter, som vælger at bruge Creative Commons værktøjerne til at bidrage med nye og spændende tiltag i de mange kreative miljøer man finder landet over. Denne gang det internationalt orienterede projekt Seriously We Think Free Magazine, som er sat i verden af de to ildsjæle Elina og Denica:
Vi har arbejdet hårdt i mere end et år og skabt et interaktivt livsstilsmagasin, der rejser. Det er en unik kombination af trykte medier og digitale teknologier. Brugere, læsere, kreative og almindelige mennesker skriver artikler til os, for at inspirere og uddanne læserne. Vi har håndplukket 25 artikler om musik, design, kunst, lavbudget-rejser, usædvanlige måder at leve på, håndlavede ting og madlavning. Magasinet er bæredygtigt og miljøvenligt, fordi det bliver delt: Efter at have læst det, er brugeren opfordret til at videregive det til en anden person, og kan samtidig spore det ved at bruge vores mobile platform til at se, hvor mange kilometer magasinet har været på rejse, og hvor mange personer der har læst det. Læserne har også mulighed for at deltage i konkurrencer og vinde spændende præmier.
Takket være Creative Commons kunne vi finde de forfattere og bloggere, der gerne vil dele deres artikler i vores magasin. Alle vores artikler og fotografier har Attribution-ShareAlike CC licens, så folk kan læse bladet, dele indholdet, give det videre til andre mennesker og fortælle om det. Da magasinet deles, gav CC os den bedste mulighed for at gøre en nyskabelse i forlagsbranchen.
Vi har netop vundet 1. pladsen i Copenhagen Business Startup Awards, og vi har endnu flere milepæle, vi planlægger at opnå i de følgende år. Det omfatter flere interaktive sider, spil i magasinet, sider som er forbundet med de sociale medier, bæredygtige ideer, til hvordan man kan indarbejde solceller i papiret, og afspille musik direkte fra siden. Tak til vores bidragsydere og entusiastiske tilhængere, ny-kommende forfattere og læsere, der har været med til at få det til at vokse – og skabe det verdens eneste magasin, der rejser.
Stay tuned for vores nyheder og interaktive real-time kort via vores hjemmeside: http://www.seriously-wethinkfree.com
Du kan også ‘like’ os på Facebook for at vinde nogle fantastiske godbidder eller downloade freebies: https://www.facebook.com/SeriouslyWeThinkFreeMagazine
Og sidst, men ikke mindst, kontakt os gerne i tilfælde af at du ønsker at bidrage – eller bare at sige ‘Hej!’. Vi kan fanges på følgende mail adresse: contact (a) seriously-wethikfree (dot) com.
The post Gæsteblog: Seriously We Think Free Magazine – magasinet der rejser appeared first on Creative Commons Danmark.
PLOS is pleased to announce the redesign of PLOS.org, which completes phase two of our website overhaul. The new landing page now enables visitors to navigate more quickly and easily to the information they need. Highlights of the new site also include a rotating carousel of PLOS’ most recent announcements, a news feed and a featured article from our suite of journals.
Phase one of our overhaul last year included updates to the journal websites. We are always looking to improve. Please send PLOS feedback as you navigate the new site. Comments are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for supporting PLOS and its mission to transform research communication.
PLOS has been using the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license for almost 10 years as the default for the research that it publishes. On November 25, 2013, Creative Commons unveiled the next generation of open licenses to support the sharing of content. The new licenses are the result of an open community process with stakeholders from a wide range of domains, including research, education, and the creative arts, and PLOS is proud to have been involved in the effort to make the licenses work for researchers.
Two aspects of the Version 4.0 licenses are particularly important for researchers because they address issues that could have made reuse of published research more cumbersome. Firstly, the re-use rights for data within an article are made clearer and more consistent between different countries and regions.
Second, the licenses provide flexibility on attribution. This is important for research, and particularly for text and data mining, where a multitude of articles might be analyzed together. It doesn’t make sense to list every paper analyzed with each and every search result. It does make sense to link from each result to a page recognizing all the contributions. The new licenses still absolutely require attribution but allow all attributions to a large corpus to be collected together.
Another important aspect of the new licenses is that they combine the experience of several years of developing localized license variants into one international license, ensuring global compatibility and ease of use for all researchers, wherever they may be based.
PLOS will be publishing new articles under CC BY v4.0 beginning in mid-December for PLOS ONE and from January 1, 2014 for all other PLOS journals.
The CC BY license has long been an important part of realizing our aim, of creating the largest possible pool of accessible, re-usable and interoperable research content possible. Open Access is about more than content being free to read; it must also be free to re-use, and re-combine, not just with other articles, but with all forms of research information. The new version of the Creative Commons licenses, the global standard for web based content, is an important part of the toolkit for making that vision possible.
The following ‘letter to the editor’ was submitted to Science October 4, 2013 and was published on Sciencemag.org December 5, 2013.
John Bohannon’s News story “Who’s afraid of peer review?” (special section on Communication in Science, 4 October, p. 60) incriminates many Open Access (OA) journals. Our journal, PLOS ONE, was not implicated. It rejected the fraudulent paper promptly and for the right reasons, as Bohannon acknowledges. Still, the “study” was disappointing: It was not controlled, which would have required seeking to entrap a matched set of closed-access journals, yet it claims that a source of the problem is open access. It then concludes that profitability for OA journals is driven by volume, without acknowledging that the same is true for closed-access journals. The issues raised by Bohannon’s exercise are not about open access journals; they are about science and technical publishing and the peer review processes used throughout the industry.
In the short term, all scientific publishers have a responsibility to reinforce and strengthen pre-publication review. We must improve the efficiency of peer review and continue to perform checks that uncover conflicts of interest, identify financial disclosures, confirm author affiliations, and ensure compliance with international standards of animal and human testing.
Even with these tools, peer review will never be flawless. As Editor-in-Chief Marcia McNutt points out, it is “time-honored” and “the gold standard” (Editorial, p. 13), but that doesn’t mean our methods of evaluation can’t and shouldn’t be improved. This is the real challenge. And this is why PLOS is working to transform scientific communication by developing better measures of scientific quality both before publication (currently traditional peer review) and after publication (currently the dreaded impact factor).
To this end, PLOS is developing Article Level Metrics (ALMs) that enable the scientific community itself to confer on a research contribution its credibility, relevance, and importance, independent of the journal in which it is published. Peer review at its best is a continual process of critique and assessment.
Elizabeth MarincolaChief Executive Officer, The Public Library of Science, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA. E-mail: email@example.com
The post Letter to the Editor of Science, by Elizabeth Marincola appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.
The Council of the European Union, comprised of Ministers of member states, debated last week on the topic „Open Educational Resources and digital learning.” The debate was held during the meeting of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council on the 25-26th of November.
The meeting was related to the Commission’s „Opening Up Education” initiative, which was launched at the end of September and in which the development of OER policies plays a key role. Yet the scope of debate at the Council meeting was broader, and didn’t seem to be well connected to the “Opening Up Education” project. The Council did not provide a written conclusion on the matter. Based on limited available information (see the minutes of the meeting, p. 10), it seems that the Council focused primarily on broad issues related to digital learning and MOOCs (which are drawing significant attention from the public as well as policy makers).
Similarly, the brief position paper prepared by the Lithuanian Presidency, titled „Presidency Discussion Paper: Open Educational resources and digital learning”, does not provide a substantial viewpoint on OER. It lists advantages and challenges, and suggests that „time is ripe for a debate at European level on the opportunities and challenges which Open Educational Resources will undoubtedly bring”.
The „Opening Up Education” communication provides a much stronger view of OER as advantageous for education in Europe. It’s good news that representatives of the Ministries of Education are discussing OERs. But if the Council meeting is treated as a sample, there is still much work needed at the national level, so that policymakers are provided with a clear sense of the benefits of open education and the role of OERs within digital learning frameworks.
(Short report from the meeting is available on the Open Education Europa portal).
Den 26. november var en stor dag. Efter mere end 2 år på udviklingsstadiet, udgave den internationale organisation Creative Commons (som Creative Commons Danmark udgør den lokale afdeling af) nemlig version 4.0 af Creative Commons licenserne.
Det betyder at du nu kan besøge Creative Commons’ website og forny din licens – hvis du ønsker at bruge den nye internationale standard (hvilket dog ikke betyder at de danske licenser, som har version 2.5 ikke stadigvæk er brugbare). Fordelene ved at bruge de nye licenser kan du læse mere om nedenfor.
De nye version 4.0 licenser afspejler mere end nogensinde før den styrke som ligger i det globale Creative Commons fællesskab. Henover de seneste 6 år har CC’s internationale hovedkvarter arbejdet med hundredevis af frivillige over hele verden – bl.a. med nogle af klodens skarpeste professionalle advokater og jurister indenfor ophavsrettighedslovgivning og åben licensering – for at oversætte og tilpasse CC licenserne til lokale forhold i mere end 60 lande (herunder Danmark). I løbet af den proces er mange erfaringer blevet indsamlet om hvordan det internationale rettighedslandskab for licenser hænger sammen.
Det er derfor version 4.0 er den internationalt set mest håndhævelige udgave af licenserne der nogensinde er blevet udviklet. Version 4.0 vil derfor ikke blive oversat og tilpasset til hvert enkelt land som de tidligere udgaver. Den virker bare. Overalt.
Disse licenser er et symbol på den dedikation og diversitet som Creative Commons communitiet verden over rummer; et community som du automatisk tilslutter dig når du bruger et CC-licenseret værk eller licenserer ét selv. Så vi kan allesammen være stolte af hvad vi har skabt sammen!
Læs mere om frigivelsen af de nye licenser på Creative Commons internationale blog, og overvej samtidig at give Creative Commons en julegave i form af en donation.
The post Creative Commons lancerer ny international version af licenserne appeared first on Creative Commons Danmark.
Now when you shop with Amazon, via AmazonSmile, 0.5% of eligible purchases can be donated to PLOS, at no cost to you.
PLOS will direct proceeds from this program to support authors who are unable to pay all or part of their publication fees.
Sign up today to help PLOS remove barriers to participation in Open Access publishing.
Remember: PLOS only benefits when you purchase through smile.amazon.com (not amazon.com). Initially you select “Public Library of Science” as your charitable organization and it should autoload on each visit.
(This guest post is written by Lisette Kalshoven from Kennisland)
The Netherlands has been a strong OER (Open Educational Resources) country since 2008 when the report on Education and Open Educational Resources was released by the Education Council. Because of the advice given in the report, the OER platform Wikiwijs was created to help teachers navigate through OER content and create their own. This was an enormous step forward in the world of OER. However, it has not proven to be the revolution in educational resources that some had hoped.
Although the platform Wikiwijs (now: www.wikiwijsleermiddelenplein.nl) gave teachers the opportunity to use, share and create (Open) Educational Resources, this is not enough to change the way we in The Netherlands produce and use educational resources. This is due to the bigger issues surrounding OER in The Netherlands:1. Strong regulations on educational material
In the Netherlands there are strong governmental regulations on what is high enough quality material to be taught in our schools. There are standardised tests in the final years of high school and learning materials developed especially to train students for the test. It is therefore very difficult for a teacher to develop OER material that completely fits the government profile.2. Who is paying for it?
The teachers are worried about the OER approach because they are afraid that content creation is going to be piled up on top of their regular workload. Who is going to pay for the time they spend on developing their own teaching materials? Are some much-needed hours for grading being allocated for work on OER platforms, or should teachers consider it a hobby and work on this in their free time?3. Teachers do not understand copyright
Ignorance about copyright is abundant in society, teachers not excluded. Even if teachers create new materials they often do not have the know-how to license it so that their fellow teachers can use it legally. And if they are aware that they have copyright on the materials they create (or use), there is an Education exception in the Dutch copyright law which adds up to the confusion.4. Wrong financial incentive
The Dutch government gives schools earmarked money to use for schoolbooks. That is why schools can’t use this money for anything else but books. Parents do not care about the pricing of schoolbooks because they do not feel like they are paying for the books themselves. Cost-saving discussions therefore will only be fruitful at a national level.What do we have to do?
We can do a lot to entice people to make more use of OER. There is much to be gained with an awareness programme for schools throughout the country. A lot of teachers already have the intention to create OER but are not aware of the possibilities and restrictions caused by not licensing them appropriately. We need to make OER more bottom-up than top-down.
Also, a lot of ground can be gained by taking the discussion back to the national level. Though OER was a priority for the Dutch Government in the late noughties, it seems to have withered substantially with the new minister(s) of education. If we can take some of the enthusiasm for OER present at the EU level (propagated by my fellow Dutchperson Neelie Kroes) back to the national debate, maybe we can solve bigger issues such as the earmarked schoolbook money and the time allocation for teachers.
New country report on Open Educational Resources in Poland has been published by the Institute of Information Technologies in Education UNESCO (IITE). „Open Educational Resources in Poland: Challenges and Opportunities” ( PDF) is a review of projects and policies of public institutions and non-governmental organisations. The report is written by Karolina Grodecka ( e -Learning Center of AGH University of Science and Technology) and Kamil Śliwowski (Digital Center).
The study covers public (top-down) ICT and OER initiatives in public education as well as non-governmental (bottom-up) OER projects and initiatives like open education evangelism and lobbing actions. Publication focuses a lot on the story of the Polish Coalition of Open Education, a unique coalition of NGOs and public institution that has been a significant force supporting open education in Poland.
Just as important is the Digital School program, the first nationwide program that will provide, among other elements, a complete set of open school textbooks for all school levels and subjects. Both projects are characteristic of the Polish OER field and have drawn international interest over last years. Especially the Digital School program, which among its three components includes open textbook production – the smallest, but also most challenging and ontroversial component. Two years of consultations did not end the critique from commercial educational publishers, who mostly boycotted the program.
The report furthermore demonstrates another significant challenge faced by both public and non-governmental projects (besides the biggest, like the Polish Wikipedia or the very popular public domain digital library wolnelektury.pl) – they struggle to draw the interest of teachers. Lack of public, systematic support for teachers and NGO projects that would help implement and sustain the creation and dissemination of resources is one of most important barriers for wide OER implementation.Despite the language barrier, Poland in last years became very active in the OER area, both „importing” projects and resources from English-speaking countries (there is Polish foundation running Khan Academy translations and making their own videos) and exporting some ideas. Coalition for Open Education and Creative Commons Poland are trying to show best practices form Poland and some projects like edukacjamedialna.edu.pl are starting to create second language versions of their resources.
The report (PDF), has been published as part of a series on OER that previously included overviews of the state of OER in Brazil, China, Lithuania and Russia. The report was prepare in co-operation with authors’ affiliate institutions (AGH University of Science and Technology and Centrum Cyfrowe Projekt: Polska), and the Polish Coalition for Open Education.
With this post we’d like to initiate a series of overviews of OER Policy developments in Europe. We are starting with a post about Romania, written by Valentina Pavel from the Association for Technology and Internet (ApTI).
To start the discussion about OER in Romania, we actually have to talk about copyright. People in general have little knowledge about copyright and licences…not to mention OER. Therefore, in Romania we need to focus on information and awareness campaigns targeted at decision-makers, educators, parents as well as pupils and students. At the same time, there is a sense of shyness and reluctance when it comes to approaching this new subject and people hardly stop to grasp and internalize its advantages. Consequently, OER is not yet perceived as a new business model and is considered as a threat to the publishers’ market.
OER without even realizing it
didactic.ro is what I would have liked to refer to as a good practice example. The website (available in Romanian) is an online teacher’s community and the biggest Romanian portal with educational resources for all K12 classes, including technical and vocational education. There are nearly half a million registered members and around 190 000 available resources. Whether there are teaching plans, exercises, extra-curricular activities, literary comments or exam notes and materials, teachers, parents and pupils have the possibility to use, share, comment and benefit from the available resources. There’s only one catch here… what’s missing in this example is for the materials to have an open licence. Although nobody minds if the materials are used, distributed and remixed, it’s not exactly legal from the copyright law perspective. Hopefully, it’s only a matter of time until we will be proud to add diddactic.ro to the list of CC wonderful case studies.
Side talk: Digital textbooks with a very light touch of OER
There is a hot debate going on about digital textbooks for 1st and 2nd grade textbooks, however the legislative proposals do not mention copyright issues. When it comes to the format of the textbooks, NGOs are trying to channel the discussions towards having open textbooks. Therefore, we have to hope for political willingness to extent the idea of OER to digital textbooks. It would be a great opportunity for the Romanian educational system. The Ministry of Education is currently working on a web page (www.manuale.edu.ro) where all the digital textbooks are going to be freely available for download. We are waiting for more info on this and to see how this project will be implemented, what type of format is going to be used and under what licences.
The first policy breakthrough
In its strategic national governmental plan for 2013-2016, the Romanian government mentioned for the first time Open Educational Resources and the integration of IT methods for learning. The strategic plan states that the Romanian Government, together with the Ministry of Education, will ‘support innovative methods for integrating web 2.0 educational resources and open educational resources in the learning process’. At the same time, this governmental plan is backed up by the European Open Data initiative and by signing the Open Government Partnership in 2011. In conjunction to this, the National Education Law mentions a Virtual Library and an e-Learning platform. However, there are no norms as to how this law should be applied.
In short, the progress is slow, but at least there are some policy and legislative texts to fall back on and to give decision-makers a sense of direction.
A step forward
A strong civil movement is starting to take shape regarding OER and open licences in a more broader sense. There are several NGOs who usually partner up and work together in these kinds of open initiatives. The most recent example is a project on OER organized together by ApTI (The Association for Technology and Internet), Kosson, ANBPR and Soros Foundation. In the next months they are going to organize 4 workshops in 4 different cities in Romania and talk to librarians, academics and university staff about copyright issues, open licences and OER. They launched this project at the national librarian’s conference in Sibiu which took place between 10-12 October. The first conclusions are that OER could definitely find its place amongst the projects librarians are designing and implementing all over the country for their local communities.
At the same time, there are other small initiatives such as an open legal education website that wants to make the legal language more accessible and empower people with information about their rights while promoting civil engagement. Although it is still under construction, we are hoping to see the beta version of the website some time at the beginning of next year.
I am looking forward for more initiatives and results in OER as the wave of curiosity is gradually starting to build up. More information on the OER situation in Romania will soon be available in a report written by the Soros Foundation some time by the end of this year.
The three award recipients for the Accelerating Science Award Program (ASAP) were announced today in Washington, DC at the Open Access Week kickoff event hosted by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the World Bank. ASAP recognizes the use of scientific research, published through Open Access, that has led to innovations benefiting society. Major sponsors include the Wellcome Trust, PLOS and Google.
The award recipients, along with the challenges they address and their innovative approaches, include:
“This recognition may help enlist more people into the collaborative effort to fight malaria,” said Dr. Matthew Todd. “If we succeed with these efforts, the approach could be extended to fighting other diseases – such as cancer.”
“Being an award recipient will help shine light on the fact that open access acts like a catalyst – by allowing unrestricted knowledge sharing – it exponentiates the power of knowledge to transform and impact lives beyond borders, boundaries, languages, and regions; facilitates creation of novel innovations, improved practices and policies,” said Dr. Nitika Pant Pai. “With our synergistic innovation (application), we created a patient desired non-judgmental, private option that empowers proactive individuals to self-educate, stage, and seek linkages for HIV.”
“We want people to play around with scientific materials and to engage with scientific processes,” said Dr. Daniel Mietchen. “Scientific research should play a more public role in our society, and open licenses greatly facilitate that. We are glad that the award highlights the value of reusing, revising, remixing and redistributing Open Access materials.”
As award recipients, these individuals and teams are being honored for addressing a real-world challenge by reusing previously published Open Access research to make a difference in science, medicine, business, technology or society as a whole. Open Access is the free, immediate online availability of articles, coupled with the rights to use these articles fully as long as the author and the original source are properly attributed.
Photos and video interviews of the winning recipients and honorable mentions can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/asaptoolkit/ . Additional information on ASAP can be found at http://asap.plos.org/
The ASAP program sponsors share a commitment to affect policy and public understanding to support the adoption of Open Access. They include the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Co-Action Publishing, Copernicus Publications, Creative Commons, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Doris Duke Charitable Trust, Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), eLife, Hindawi, Health Research Alliance (HRA), Howard Hughes Medical Institute, ImpactStory, Jisc, Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, Mendeley, Microsoft Research, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), Research Councils UK (RCUK), Research Libraries UK (RLUK), Social Science Research Network (SSRN), the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), SURF (Netherlands), the World Bank, and major sponsors Google, PLOS and the Wellcome Trust.
The post ANNOUNCING THE RECIPIENTS FOR THE ACCELERATING SCIENCE AWARD PROGRAM appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.