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Spreading the Word: PLOS Advances Research Through Media Partnerships

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Last year, PLOS helped more than 2,300 articles receive media coverage in high-profile outlets including The New York Times, the BBC, National Geographic, Scientific American and The Washington Post. How do we do it? For starters, our press team sends out on average one press release per day, garnering the attention of the 1200 journalists on our press list, plus members of the media who haven’t heard of us yet.

But for us to make sure your research gets the recognition it deserves from other researchers, potential funders, and policy makers, our dedicated media team also leverages a robust network of partnerships to connect science and the media.

Science for non-scientists

Though all PLOS research is Open and accessible to everyone, many readers depend on journalists to distill complex scientific concepts for broader consumption. An important link in the transformation of Research Article to NY Times cover story are Science Media Centers (SMCs) which work with journalists to get the public access to the best scientific evidence and expertise.

Through SMCs, journalists can find “sources” or vetted experts in a given field to help add context to the research they’re reporting on. Some SMCs, such as SciLine, also offer fact sheets summarizing popular topics that have been reviewed and verified by experts.

We have been working with SMCs in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Germany for over a year, for example by providing information that helps SMCs spread the word about PLOS work even further. In Europe, we also collaborate with the European Science Media Hub, part of the European Parliament, whose work helps facilitate the transfer of knowledge and training between the European Parliament, the scientific community, and the media.

Our partnership with these organizations is also helping us to shape best practice for communicating research, especially for new scholarly outputs like preprints.

Leveraging your network and your expertise

Perhaps the best place to seek promotion and recognition for your work is your own institution. Already, we work with top-tier institutions such as MIT, Harvard University, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, the National Institutes of Health and more to help them promote the amazing research being done by their affiliated PLOS authors. We’re hoping to expand this program further, but even without formal partnership, we encourage all authors to contact their institution’s press office when their research is accepted for publication – your colleagues’ networks can be a huge asset to your career.

For authors who are keen to be hands-on in disseminating research, we also recommend contacting our partner Science Trends. This free platform allows authors to write their own “self-directed press release” in under 500 words which is then published on Science Trends and on social media to an audience of 500,000 followers. You can find more information on our website.

We’re dedicated to providing the best experience for our authors, pre and post-publication. We’ll continue innovating and promoting your work and we want you to feel empowered to do so as well. Check out our media toolkit for tips on publicizing your work, speaking to the media, and stepping up your social media game. Of course, our media relations team, Beth Baker and Charlotte Bhaskar, are always happy to help – contact them at onepress@plos.org.

 

Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley named as Harvard Berkman Klein Center affiliate

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We’re happy to announce that Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley has been named as a Harvard Berkman Klein Center affiliate for the 2019-2020 academic year. His research and writing will focus on models for sustainability and growth that support the digital commons, and will explore communities working in the gallery, library, archive, and museum space; those working in, and advocating for, access to knowledge and education; and individual artists and content creators.

The Berkman Klein fellowship program aims to “create a protocol, a culture, a spirit that puts the emphasis on being open, being kind, being good listeners, being engaged, being willing to learn from one another.” The program is made up of a diverse community of members working across an array of university, government, private, and nonprofit institutions. For more information about the program and for the full list of new and returning fellows, affiliates, and faculty associates, visit the center’s website.

Additionally, CC community member Julia Reda, Member of European Parliament with a focus on Digital Rights, will be joining the Berkman Klein Center this year as a fellow. With a joint project at Berkman and the MIT Media Lab, Julia will advance research on how to modernize the academic publishing system to enhance equitable access to knowledge.

Please join us in congratulating Ryan and Julia!

The post Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley named as Harvard Berkman Klein Center affiliate appeared first on Creative Commons.

Open Education Links from Around the World #8

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Today’s set of links opens an article describing artificial intelligence in the service of good, We will also learn how management techniques from the world of business can be used in education and how state subsidies affect the shape of open education. Finally, very good news: On May 28, 2019, UNESCO member state representatives took an important step for open education by adopting the 2019 UNESCO OER Recommendation.

  1. How does artificial intelligence help young people get out of homelessness?
  2. Can agile be successful in education?h
  3. Opportunities and challenges of state-financed Open Educational Resources. The Norwegian model – a way to more inclusion?
  4. UNESCO OER Recommendation has been adopted.

Progress Soars on Official Translations of 4.0 and CC0!

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Creative Commons welcomes progress on official language translations of both 4.0 and CC0 due to our dedicated network of volunteers and a commitment by the European Commission (EC) to ensure the legal code for each is available in all official languages of the European Union. We expect a significant increase in the number of official translations to 36 languages total and the number of users who can read them to more than 3 billion in the next 3-5 months. With the European Commission’s decision to adopt CC BY 4.0 International and CC0 for all content and data it produces comes a firm commitment to collaborate with Creative Commons and its community to complete the remaining official translations of 4.0 and CC0 so that all 24 official languages of the EU are completed.

As of 2019, CC’s community has produced official translations of 4.0 in 23 languages (including English), and as of June 2019 has published CC0 in 13 languages (also including English). These numbers on their own own reflect an impressive and sizeable effort by our community, thanks also in part to travel grants from the Ford Foundation to bring together volunteer translators, and funding by others. As of June 2019, the total number of users able to access and understand the 4.0 licenses and CC0 in their first language totaled approximately 2.25 billion.

The assistance of the EC in developing first drafts of these legal documents is made possible through its impressive translation team. That team is working with CC’s translation processes to ensure drafts are reviewed publicly and that all interested members of the CC community in countries where those languages are officially recognized have the opportunity and are encouraged to contribute to the review and editing of drafts.

Additionally, CC is seeing a number of other complicated and sometimes multi-jurisdictional translations cross the finish line through the hard work of our community. Just last week, the official translation of CC0 into Spanish was completed and published, and shortly we will push live 4.0 translations of Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Czech, Korean and Slovene.

This push doesn’t end with these excellent efforts by our community, however. CC remains committed to ensuring that everyone understands the 4.0 licenses and CC0 in their language of choice, however widespread (or not) the language. So it was with delight that only a few weeks ago, UNESCO adopted its 2019 UNESCO OER Recommendation that, as amended at its recent meeting with the support and input of Creative Commons, recommends member states support the linguistic translation of open licenses, which includes CC BY and CC0. While not yet formally adopted, it is expected to be accepted later this year by the UNESCO General Conference. Once in place, Creative Commons will work to secure funding to expand its translation work for 4.0 and CC0 into languages that may not be as predominantly used as those already translated, but that are equally important to ensuring that users of Open Educational Resources (OER) and CC-licensed works everywhere, especially in remote, rural, migratory and other similarly underserved communities, are able to understand the license terms in their language of choice.

We thank the CC community and the European Commission for its dedication of resources, especially the efforts of Pedro Malaquias. We look forward to ongoing work with our community and funders to make full access to CC licenses and legal tools for everyone a reality.

Please contribute your input on pending translation drafts of 4.0 licenses and CC0, which are available for public comment through June 21, 2019.

Bulgarian (4.0 and CC0)
Croatian (CC0)
Czech (CC0)
Danish (4.0)
Estonian (4.0 and CC0)
Greek (CC0)
Hungarian (4.0 and CC0)
Irish (4.0 and CC0)
Maltese (4.0 and CC0)
Romanian (4.0 and CC0)

The post Progress Soars on Official Translations of 4.0 and CC0! appeared first on Creative Commons.

Welcome the Official Spanish Language Translation of CC0! (¡Les damos la bienvenida a la traducción oficial de CC al idioma castellano!)

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The official Spanish language translation of the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0) is now available. This means almost 500 million users of CC0 will be able to read and understand the terms of CC0 in their first language.

First started in 2013, this multi-jurisdictional, collaborative translation effort has involved dedicated individuals from more than a half-dozen countries on two continents. The translation represents a significant accomplishment by members of the CC Spanish-speaking community, who worked to unify and bridge differences in terminology and drafting conventions across the many countries where Spanish is recognized as an official language.

More details about the CC0 translation process are available on the Creative Commons wiki, where you can also find information about the Spanish translation process for the 4.0 licenses and their publication last September.

A special thank you to the following individuals who contributed invaluably to this successful multi-year endeavor, and especially Scann and Txopi who assisted with the final reviews and proofing:

Beatriz Busaniche (Argentina)
Carolina Botero (Colombia)
María Paz Canales (Chile)
Alberto Cerda (Chile)
Claudia Cristiani (El Salvador)
Marianne Diaz (Venezuela)
Evelin Heidel (Scann) (Argentina)
Juan Carlos Lara (Chile)
Luisa Guzmán (Colombia)
Ignasi Labastida (Spain)
Claudio Ortiz (El Salvador)
Claudio Ruiz (Chile)
Marko Txopitea (Txopi) (Spain)

¡Felicitaciones a todos!

¡Les damos la bienvenida a la traducción oficial de CC al idioma castellano!

La traducción oficial al castellano de la Dedicación al Dominio Público de Creative Commons (CC0) está ahora disponible. Esto significa que más de 500 millones de usuarios de la CC0 podrán ahora leer y entender los términos de la CC0 en su lengua materna.

Con sus inicios en el 2013, este esfuerzo de traducción multi-jurisdiccional y colaborativa ha involucrado personas dedicadas provenientes de más de una media docena de países en dos continentes. La traducción representa un logro significativo para los miembros de la comunidad hispanoparlante de CC, que trabajaron para unificar y tender un puente en las diferencias en la terminología y en las convenciones de redacción a lo largo de los diferentes países donde el castellano es reconocido como lengua oficial.

Más detalles sobre el proceso de traducción de la CC0 están disponibles en la wiki [en] de Creative Commons, donde también se puede encontrar información sobre el proceso de traducción al castellano para la versión 4.0 de las licencias y su publicación en septiembre pasado.

Gracias especiales a las siguientes personas que contribuyeron de manera invaluable a esta exitosa empresa multianual, y especialmente a Scann y a Txopi que asistieron con las revisiones y pruebas finales:

Beatriz Busaniche (Argentina)
Carolina Botero (Colombia)
María Paz Canales (Chile)
Alberto Cerda (Chile)
Claudia Cristiani (El Salvador)
Marianne Diaz (Venezuela)
Evelin Heidel (Scann) (Argentina)
Juan Carlos Lara (Chile)
Luisa Guzmán (Colombia)
Ignasi Labastida (Spain)
Claudio Ortiz (El Salvador)
Claudio Ruiz (Chile)
Marko Txopitea (Txopi) (Spain)

The post Welcome the Official Spanish Language Translation of CC0! (¡Les damos la bienvenida a la traducción oficial de CC al idioma castellano!) appeared first on Creative Commons.

The origins of avian flight, thermostat battles heating up, and other PLOS research making headlines in May!

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New research from PLOS Computational Biology uses robots, reconstructed model dinosaur feathered forelimbs, and juvenile ostriches to simulate the first potential avian flight stroke in dinosaurs. This study shows that running on the ground naturally stimulates a flapping motion in feathered forelimbs, and suggests that this flap may be the origin of avian flight.

Author Zhao explains: “Our work shows that the motion of flapping feathered wings was developed passively and naturally as the dinosaur ran on the ground…although this flapping motion could not lift the dinosaur into the air at that time, the motion of flapping wings may have developed earlier than gliding.”

See videos of the robots and young ostriches strutting their stuff, and read more on CNN and Gizmodo.

http://blogs.plos.org/plos/files/2019/06/journal.pcbi_.1006846.s008.mp4

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A new study from PLOS ONE found that that in a test room set to temperatures ranging from 16.19 C/61.14 F -32.57 C/90.63 F, female study participants performed best on math and verbal tests at the higher end of the temperature range, while male participants performed most strongly on the same tests at lower temperatures. This is the first experimental research supporting anecdotal and survey responses indicating women tend to prefer warmer room temperatures than men, by showing that temperatures can affect both comfort and performance.

Authors Kajackaite and Chang summarize: “In a large laboratory experiment, over 500 individuals performed a set of cognitive tasks at randomly manipulated indoor temperatures. Consistent with their preferences for temperature, for both math and verbal tasks, women perform better at higher temperatures while men perform better at lower temperatures.”

Check out more of this hot topic as featured on the Guardian, the New York Times, Fox 5 News (with a video featuring author Tom Chang), and the Atlantic.

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Along a similar vein(!), new research from PLOS Medicine shows that the medical care received by heart failure patients in the UK may have important gaps around diagnoses, insufficient follow-up after hospitalisation, and improperly-prescribed dosages, among other issues; these problems significantly affected women and older people.  

Read more on the Daily Mail and the Telegraph.

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A 2016 mass die-off of puffins and other seabirds in the Bering Sea is reported in a new PLOS ONE study by Timothy Jones of the citizen science program COASST at University of Washington, Lauren Divine from the Aleut Community of St Paul Island Ecosystem Conservation Office, and colleagues. Up to 8,500 puffins and auklets may have died in this event, which appeared to be due to starvation; the authors suggest that climate shifts may have resulted in a lack of prey. Read more about this story on Vice, Discover Magazine, and Scientific American.

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Finally, in lighter news, a new study from PLOS ONE showed that wolves behave more prosocially towards their fellow pack mates than do pack dogs during a touchscreen-based task that allowed individual animals to provide food to others–though the study did not look at the behavior of pet dogs.

Author Rachel Dale notes: “This study shows that domestication did not necessarily make dogs more prosocial. Rather, it seems that tolerance and generosity towards group members help to produce high levels of cooperation, as seen in wolves.”

Check out further coverage on PBS News and Motherboard by Vice.

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Image captions and credits

  1. Seven-rigid-body system of Caudipteryx. The simplified rigid body system illustrates the mechanism of moving parts, main body, wings, legs, neck and head, and the tail of the Caudipteryx. The masses of all parts are represented by lumped mass points and the muscles at the joints are replaced with springs (As damping coefficient does not significantly affect the natural frequency, we simplified the joints which are composed of tendons, muscles, ligaments and soft tissues as purely elastic springs with no damping). Different effective masses of these seven primary modes of the simplified Caudipteryx show different possibilities to be excited. (Talori et al, 2019,  PLOS Computational Biology)
  2. Video: Observation on the juvenile ostrich. The forced vibrations of the wings of the young ostriches are easily found when they run on the ground. (Talori et al, 2019,  PLOS Computational Biology)
  3. Carcasses of tufted puffins, October 2016. (Aleut Community of St Paul Island Ecosystem Conservation Office)
  4. Touchscreen test (Dale et al., 2019, PLOS ONE)

 

New Canadian Report Offers Balanced Recommendations for Progressive Copyright Reform

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The Maple Leaf Forever by Dennis Jarvis, CC BY-SA 2.0

Earlier this week the Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) released a report with 36 recommendations on the statutory review of Canadian copyright law. The report caps a year-long study, including a public consultation and committee hearings that included a variety of stakeholders.

The document makes progressive recommendations that support a more balanced copyright regime. Michael Geist provides an overview, including the following key findings that, if pursued, could fortify and expand user rights under the Canadian copyright system:

  • expansion of fair dealing by making the current list of fair dealing purposes illustrative rather than exhaustive (by using more open ended legislative language like “such as”),
  • rejection of new limits on educational fair dealing with further study in three years,
  • retention of existing Internet safe harbour rules,
  • rejection of the FairPlay site blocking proposal with insistence that any blocking include court oversight,
  • expansion of the anti-circumvention rules by permitting circumvention of digital locks for purposes that are lawful (ie. permit circumvention to exercise fair dealing rights),
  • extend the term of copyright only if ratifying the USCMA and include a registration requirement for the additional 20 years,
  • implement a new informational analysis (also known as text and data mining) exception,
  • further study of statutory damages for all copyright collectives along with greater transparency,
  • adoption of an open licence rather than the abolition of crown copyright (i.e., putting the works directly into the public domain).

The INDU report is a breath of fresh air for copyright policy making, especially considering the recent adoption of the backward-looking reform in the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which included the provision that will require nearly all for-profit web platforms to get a license for every user upload or otherwise install content filters and censor content, lest they be held liable for infringement.

Creative Commons and Creative Commons Canada provided input into the consultation on the copyright reform in Canada. In May 2018 we submitted comments to INDU. First, we said the Canadian copyright term should stay where it is; there is no reason to consider any further extension of copyright. Second, we urged the government to protect and strengthen limitations and exceptions to copyright, as these important measures ensure balance in our legal framework. Third, we advocated for Canada to maintain and maintain and improve its existing safe harbour protections with regard to intermediary liability and copyright, noting that a healthy commons requires a healthy ecosystem of platforms and infrastructure for sharing. Finally, we urged the government to continue to support policy efforts to ensure open access to publicly funded resources, including clarifying that we have a right to use and re-use works produced by our government.

Additionally, in October 2018 Creative Commons Canada appeared before the Committee to provide testimony and answer questions on recommended changes to copyright that would promote creativity and expand the commons. In addition to the issues mentioned above, CC Canada touched on other areas for copyright intervention, including permitting creators to reclaim control of copyright in their works 25 years after assignment, protecting fair dealing, especially for education, expanding user rights to kickstart cutting-edge research related to machine learning and artificial intelligence by ensuring that “the right to read is the right to mine, and reforming the Crown Copyright regime to ensure that all Canadians have the right to access and re-use government produced works.

We’re happy to see many of these points included in the recommendations released this week, including the resistance to extend copyright term, the protection and possible expansion of limitations and exceptions like fair dealing, the ability for authors to reclaim their rights, and the recommendation to include a copyright exemption for text and data mining.

On a related note, the Committee was right to put an end to the idea floated last year by Bell and a group of Canadian telecommunications companies to create an “Internet Piracy Review Agency.” Even though the Canadian telecommunications regulator denied this application in October last year, the INDU Committee reinforced the ruling by stating that “it is for the courts to adjudicate whether a given use constitutes copyright infringement and to issue orders in consequence.”

The Canadian report offers a glimmer of hope that copyright policy can be furthered in such a way to promote creativity and innovation, while at the same time protecting crucial user rights. This is contrasted with the final outcome of the European copyright directive, which reflects a disturbing path toward increasing control of the web to benefit only powerful rights holders at the expense of the rights of users and the public interest.

The post New Canadian Report Offers Balanced Recommendations for Progressive Copyright Reform appeared first on Creative Commons.

Looking Good: Tips for creating your PLOS figures graphics

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Enhance your research with tips and tools from the experts on the PLOS Production Team. This post is part of our new Format for Success series where we’ll share advice for generating figures and graphics that make submitting a breeze. Stay tuned for more. 

We know that preparing graphics files can be one of the most challenging parts of submitting your hard work to a publisher, when you would rather be observing in the field, experimenting in the lab, or conversing with the community. Like you, we want your research to shine and be noticed by your peers, adding to the scientific discourse and fostering collaboration in and across disciplines.

To help you create the best images possible and ensure a smooth article production experience, we’ve put together our top tips, distilled to a few major areas, for assessing your graphics files during submission:

  • Consider raster images vs vector imagesRaster images are made of pixels. A pixel is a single point or the smallest single element in a display device. Vector images are mathematical calculations from one point to another that form lines and shapes, which adjust to fit a monitor display and zoom.

Our journal article pages use raster graphics for in-article figure display, the lightbox figure viewer, and carousel thumbnails.  Raster graphics are easier to create, store, and transfer across platforms, but limit resolution to 600 dpi. Alternatively, vector graphics are only available in the article PDF accessed online, but will result in a more detailed image at high zoom.

  • Choose a resolution between 300 and 600 dpi – Effective resolutions below 300 dpi (dots/pixels per inch) often result in a blurry, jagged or pixelated image that is not optimal to publish, and resolutions above 600 dpi frequently must be resized or rescaled. We are required by the PLOS publishing platform, and community indexes like PubMed Central, to ensure content adheres to these resolutions.
  • Combine multi-panel images – Often, it’s useful to exhibit a Part A, Part B, and Part C, all within one figure image. To create a multi-paneled figure from individual images, we suggest using a presentation program like PowerPoint, Word or GIMP to arrange your panels, create labels, and scale or size your figures. Multi-paneled figures need to fit into a single page or be broken apart into separate figures in order to publish clearly and accurately.
  • Flatten image layers – Unflattened images can incorporate alpha channels, which include a transparent layer potentially containing “junk”, “artifacts”. Sometimes, an unflattened image can also render a figure into a complete black or white rectangle, obscuring all your content. We recommend that you flatten your graphics to combine all the layers into a single background layer, so we can ensure the quality of the output equals your intent.
  • Compress file size with LZW compression – Data compression helps to reduce file size and also decreases time required to download and upload content. With compressed files, we can help you reduce the size of your article PDF, improving a researcher’s ability to access your work and send it to colleagues.

Using PACE

To help you assess your figure images, PLOS also offers authors a free, web-based imaging review tool, PACE, that evaluates figures against our platform requirements and fixes the most-common image issues, detailing any changes made, or informs the user what outstanding issues may exist.  PACE compiles two, online review options in the form of typeset page mockups to give users an idea of how the uploaded image would appear in the final article. To use PACE, simply register with your email address: https://pacev2.apexcovantage.com.

Similar to undertaking a scientific protocol, PLOS’s production team follows specific rules to ensure that the accepted content is correctly transformed to XML and PDF in order to publish accurately in our journal sites and syndication targets. In short, graphic images must generally conform to the following:

  • File format – TIFF or EPS
  • Dimensions – Width: 789 – 2250 pixels (at 300 dpi). Height maximum: 2625 pixels (at 300 dpi).
  • Resolution – 300 – 600 dpi
  • File size – 10MB or under
  • Figure files naming – Fig1.tif, Fig2.eps, and so on. Match file name to caption label and citation.
  • Caption – Place within the manuscript as simple text, not within the figure file

We’ve posted additional graphics recommendations, as well as instructions for exporting graphics from specialized software, here: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/figures.

We hope these suggestions make figure preparation even easier so you can spend more time advancing your field and we can publish your work faster than ever.  We encourage you to email us at figures@plos.org with further questions.

UNESCO OER Recommendation: One Step Closer to Adoption

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Photo by Ryan Merkley. CC BY 4.0

The global open education community works collectively to create a world in which everyone has universal access to effective open education resources (OER) and meaningful learning opportunities as defined by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4 (SDG4): Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. UNESCO continues to work with national governments to help them better support open education (content, practices, policy) in their countries. CC is an active leader and contributor to this work, alongside our many partners.

On May 28, 2019, UNESCO member state representatives took an important step for open education by adopting the 2019 UNESCO OER Recommendation, providing unanimous approval to bring it to the next General Assembly. UNESCO has a strong history in open education, having coined the term OER in 2002, passed the 2012 Paris OER Declaration, and co-hosted (with Slovenia) the 2017 OER Global Congress.

Member states and observer organizations, including CC, provided multiple edits including: improved OER and open license definitions; calling on member states to support the linguistic translation of open licenses; adopting high standards for privacy in OER, platforms, and services; and a call to facilitate open procurement. The final text of the document, with all of the approved edits, will now be created by UNESCO and will be published (TBD) prior to the UNESCO 40th General Conference in November. We expect the OER Recommendation to be approved and adopted by UNESCO member states at that time.

This new UNESCO OER Recommendation presents an historic opportunity for Creative Commons (CC) and others in the open education community to work with national governments to help them understand and implement model open education recommendations in their countries. CC and our international chapters will actively support national governments as they leverage this opportunity to meet the SDG4 goals.

Photo by Ryan Merkley CC BY 4.0

CC sent Diane Peters (General Counsel) and Ryan Merkley (CEO) to the meeting to work with delegates and provide expert advice, and we are pleased with the outcome. CC, the UNESCO OER Chairs, IFLA, Education International, and OEC were among the non-governmental organizations who made multiple contributions to and collaborated on the draft OER Recommendation.

Thank you to everyone who was involved in this long process of drafting the document, revising and improving it, and educating each nation’s UNESCO delegates. Special thanks goes to:

  • Trudi Van Wyk (Chair) and Zeynep Varoglu (UNESCO Secretariat) who were present for every line-by-line edit, carefully reviewed each proposal to understand its purpose and impact, and gracefully guided UNESCO member states to a consensus “yes” vote.
  • The Slovenian Delegation who hosted the Second World OER Congress and worked on this OER Recommendation tirelessly for the past two years.
  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for their ongoing support of open education at UNESCO and around the world.

We will share more information as it becomes available via our blog, social media, and the CC Open Education Platform.

The post UNESCO OER Recommendation: One Step Closer to Adoption appeared first on Creative Commons.

Looking forward and back: Five years at Creative Commons

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This month, I’ll mark five years as CEO at Creative Commons. That makes me the longest-serving CEO in the organization’s history, and it’s also the longest I’ve served with the same job title. Every day I get to work with some of the brightest, most dedicated staff and community members in the open movement. Anniversaries are a good time to reflect, and as we all arrive home from our annual CC Summit in Lisbon, I wanted to share a few reflections on where we’ve come from, and where we’re headed.

TL;DR – In the last five years we’ve rebuilt CC from the ground up, with a more solid financial foundation; a revitalized multi-year strategy and plan to focus on a vibrant, usable commons powered by collaboration and gratitude; and a renewed and growing network. We’ve developed and launched new projects and programs like CC Search and the CC Certificate program, and through it all, played a vital role in defending, advancing, and stewarding the commons.


We produced this video, entitled “Remix,” not long after I started at CC to share our new strategy.

Some key facts. In the last five years, we’ve:

  • Articulated a new vision for CC, with a 5-year strategy to bring it to life, that focuses on a “vibrant, usable commons, powered by collaboration and gratitude”
  • Developed and launched CC Search, now indexing over 300M images, working closely with partners like the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum, and Flickr
  • Redesigned the entire Creative Commons Global Network from the ground up, from codes of conduct to community prioritization and collaboration, with a goal of being more open, accountable, and community-led. The new network is nearly 3x larger than the previous affiliate community.
  • Established “The Big Open,” a platform to acknowledge the interconnected nature of the many communities we work in, including Mozillians, Wikipedians, Open Education, Open Science and academia, Open Government, and Open Data
  • Co-created the CC Certificate with community experts and advisors, and certified over 250 people from all over the world to be practitioners and advocates
  • Authored the State of the Commons report, published every year since 2015 to demonstrate the size and reach of the Commons online, today at over 1.4B works (with the next report out in mere days)  
  • Hosted the largest and broad-reaching community-led CC Summits ever, in Seoul, Toronto, Toronto (again), and Lisbon
  • Raised over $26M from foundations, corporations, thousands of individual donors, and dedicated event sponsors, to support our work and community around the world
  • Worked with institutions around the world to help expand and protect the commons, from the New York Met, to Flickr, to Medium, to MIT’s edX platform. In each case, we’ve been there to teach, advise, support, and advocate on behalf of CC users, open knowledge, and shared creativity
  • Built a more diverse team at Creative Commons, with a majority of both leadership and staff who are women, and a global staff that better represent the communities and cultures we serve, and the geographies in which we work

The all-new CC Search

We’ve had some difficult moments too. In 2015, CC was forced to make a round of difficult layoffs in order to stabilize our budget and program. We recovered, but those kinds of changes are painful for everyone. In 2017, we learned that CC community member and friend Bassel Khartabil had been murdered by the regime in Syria. Many of us joined together with his family and friends to create a fellowship in his name, and I’m proud to see that Majd Al-Shahibi will speak at this year’s summit as the inaugural Bassel Khartabil Fellowship recipient.

This can be a lonely and unforgiving job. People treat you like a character — like the Office of the CEO — not like a person who has feelings, hopes, and doubts. And no doubt I have made mistakes. Like many in a role like this, I constantly replay how things worked out, and wonder how I might have done them differently in a different context. I think it’s normal for leaders to do that, and I’d worry about anyone who says they regret nothing, or would never change a past decision. Most of the leaders I admire obsess about doing the right thing, both before and after the fact, but also recognize that we almost always have to do something — hopefully the right thing, or at least the best thing for the moment we’re in, with the information we have. Still, within these difficult moments lies the knowledge that everything we do moves us towards a more equitable world.

None of this work would be possible without the team of talented humans who make up the CC team. I am full of gratitude for their daily energy, excellence, and commitment to the work we do. CC is also quite fortunate to have a strong Board of Directors who have provided mentorship, advice and counsel, and helpful criticism and support. I especially want to acknowledge our former board chair Paul Brest, whose board term ended last year, and who taught me a great deal about leadership, management, and strategic planning (and logic models). Finally, I want to thank my wife Kelsey, who was an active leader in the CC movement long before I came along, and who continues to support my work as an advisor and partner.

Creative Commons Global Summit by Sebastiaan ter Burg.

What’s next?

Creative Commons’ 20th anniversary is just around the corner (Jan 15, 2021), and it deserves a celebration worthy of the organization’s reach and impact. We’ve already started planning, and we hope to create a celebration that looks as far forward as it does back.

CC Search is taking off, and we’ll soon be adding more content types like open textbooks and audio. We’re also working on enhanced search tools that will enable new types of discovery and re-use.

The CC Certificate continues to grow and sell out with each cohort. We’ll be opening up a round of scholarships to improve accessibility for anyone who wants to take the course (though all the content is also CC BY, allowing anyone to read, copy, and remix it). We’re also expanding the content to serve additional communities, like the GLAM sector.

And this year, for the first time in CC’s history, the Global Network will lead and govern itself, set priorities and drive community growth and development. That’s a profound change, and a collaborative result that I’m  certain will have an incredible impact.

There’s so much more to do, so many important ways we can help. “Pick big fights with your enemies, not small fights with your friends,” has been a favorite phrase of mine, and today there remain so many vital fights to have on behalf of shared knowledge and free culture. And CC has so many good friends to fight them with. I’m deeply grateful for those collaborations.

I look forward to doing this work for many years to come, with all of you in The Big Open.

The post Looking forward and back: Five years at Creative Commons appeared first on Creative Commons.

PLOS welcomes the revised Plan S guidelines

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As a fully Open Access publisher entirely ready to support cOAlition S-funded authors, we have always been in a position to give our support to this bold initiative, and entirely agree that the driving principles and overall objective of Plan S have not been lessened or changed. cOAlition S has clearly listened to constructive suggestions from the community, and there is now enhanced scope for continued community dialogue, alongside the forward momentum. There are a number of revisions which we recognize will make the transition easier for the community, and which clarify or acknowledge other important factors, such as:

  • Diversity of models underpinning OA – The clarification that neither Plan S nor OA insists on the APC/publication fee model is a key refinement. While this has been a dominant model of OA publishing (including ours) in the Global North, it is absolutely necessary for any OA policies, plans, or mandates to be clear that OA is the outcome for research, not a single or specific business model;
  • Commitment to research assessment based on intrinsic merit – PLOS is an active member of DORA and appreciates the emphasis on changing the reward and incentive system of research. The OA movement has always operated closely with movements to improve the culture of research, and so we welcome this acknowledgement;
  • Preprints and peer review – PLOS advocates the posting of preprints to accelerate sharing of knowledge and welcomes cOalition S’s  “strong encouragement” for the early sharing of research through preprints while acknowledging that preprint posting alone is not a route to Plan S compliance. The value of high quality peer review as a “significant addition of value to scholarly communication” as emphasized in the Plan S Rationale is recognized at PLOS and was a driver in our move to offer published peer review, giving authors and reviewers more choices about how they publish and claim credit for their work.

The timeline shift for Plan S implementation to 2021 will be helpful to gain even more community support for the initiative. But we (along with many other publishers) remind the community that PLOS is already 100% Plan S compliant, and our suite of seven journals is available immediately for your cOAlition S-funded work  in most scholarly disciplines relevant to Plan S.

PLOS was founded on the principle that scholarly knowledge is a public good. We welcome the bold move of funders aligned behind the fundamental principle that no scholarly publication should be locked behind a paywall.

Meet CC’s 2019 Google Summer of Code students

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This year, CC is participating in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) as a mentoring organization after a six year break from the program. We are excited to be hosting five phenomenal students (representing three continents) who will be working on CC tech projects full-time over the summer. Here they are!

Ahmad Bilal, credit: Usman C., CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Ahmad Bilal

I am Ahmad Bilal, a Computer Science undergrad from UET Lahore, who likes computers, problems and using the former to solve the later. I am always excited about Open Source, and currently focused on Node.js, Serverless, GraphQL, Cloud, Gatsby.js with React.js and WordPress. I like organizing meetups, conferences and meeting new people. I view working in GSoC with Creative Commons, one of the biggest opportunities of my life. Cats are my weakness, and I am a sucker for well-engineered cars.

Ahmad will be taking ownership of the CC WordPress plugin, which simplifies the process of applying CC licenses to content created using the popular WordPress blogging platform. He will be updating it to use the latest WordPress best practices, resolving open issues, and adding new features like integrating with CC Search. Ahmad’s mentor is our Core Systems Manager Timid Robot Zehta, backed up by Hugo Solar.

You can follow the progress of this project through the GitHub repo or on the #cc-dev-wordpress channel on our Slack community.

Dhruv Bhanushali, credit: Arpit Gupta, CC BY

Dhruv Bhanushali

I am Dhruv Bhanushali, a Mumbai-based software developer recently graduated from IIT Roorkee. I started programming as a hobby some five years ago and, having found my calling, am now am pursuing a career in the field. I have worked on a lot of institute-level projects and am excited to expand the reach of my code to a global scale with CC through GSoC. Apart from development, I am a huge music fan and keep my curated collection of music with me at all times. I also love to binge watch TV shows and movies, especially indie art films.

Dhruv will be working on an original project, CC Vocabulary, which is a collection of UI components that make it easy to develop Creative Commons apps and services while ensuring a cohesive experience and appearance across CC projects. These components will be able to be used in sites built using modern JavaScript frameworks (specifically Vue.js) as well as simpler websites built using WordPress. CC’s Web Developer Hugo Solar serves as primary mentor, with backup from Sophine Clachar.

You can follow the progress of this project through the GitHub repo or on the #gsoc-cc-vocabulary channel on our Slack community.

María Belén Guaranda Cabezas, CC BY-NC-SA

María Belén Guaranda Cabezas

Hello! My name is María, and I am an undergraduate Computer Science student from ESPOL, in Ecuador. I have worked for the past 2 years as a research assistant. I have worked in projects including computer vision, the estimation of socio-economic indexes through CDRs analysis, and a machine learning model with sensors data. During my spare time, I like to watch animes and reading. I love sports! Specially soccer. I am also committed to environmental causes, and I am a huge fan of cats and dogs (I have 4 and 1 respectively).

María will be working on producing visualizations of the data associated with more than 300 million works we have indexed in the CC Catalog (which powers CC Search) and how that data is interconnected. These visualizations will enable users to understand how much CC-licensed content is available on the internet, which websites host the most content, which CC licenses are used the most, and much more. She will be mentored by our Data Engineer Sophine Clachar with backup from Breno Ferreira.

You can follow the progress of this project through the GitHub repo or on the #gsoc-cc-catalog-viz channel on our Slack community.

Ari Madian, credit: Ellen Madian, CC0

Ari Madian

I am an 18 year old, Seattle based, mostly self taught, Computer Science student. I originally started programming by tinkering with Python, and eventually moved into C# and the .NET framework, as well as JS and some web development. I like Chai and Rooibos teas, volunteering at my local food bank, and some occasional PC gaming, among other things. I’m now working with Creative Commons on Google Summer of Code!

Ari will be working on creating a modern human-centered version of our CC license chooser tool, which is long overdue for an update. His work will focus on design and usability as well as code. CC’s Front End Engineer Breno Ferreira is the primary mentor for this project with support from Alden Page.

You can follow the progress of this project through the GitHub repo or on the #gsoc-license-chooser channel on our Slack community.

Mayank Nader, credit: Rohit Motwani, CC BY

Mayank Nader

I am Mayank Nader, a sophomore Computer Science student from India. Currently, my main area of interest is Python scripting, JavaScript development, backend, and API development. I also like to experiment with bash scripting and ricing and configuring my Linux setup. Apart from that, I like listening to music and watching movies, documentaries, and tv shows. I am very much inspired by Open Source and try to contribute whenever I can.

Mayank will be working on building a cross-platform browser plugin that allows users to search CC-licensed works directly from the browser and enable reuse of those works by providing easy image attribution tools. Users will be able to find content to use without having to switch to a new website. Mayank will be mentored by CC’s Software Engineer Alden Page with support from Timid Robot Zehta.

You can follow the progress of this project through the GitHub repo or on the #gsoc-browser-ext channel on our Slack community.

You can visit the Creative Commons organization page on Google Summer of Code site to see longer descriptions of the projects. We welcome community input and feedback – you are the users of all these products and we’d love for you to be involved. So don’t hesitate to join the project Slack channel or talk to us on GitHub or our other community forums.

The post Meet CC’s 2019 Google Summer of Code students appeared first on Creative Commons.

Open Education Links from Around the World #7

European Open EDU Policy Project -

  1. UNESCO has published a very interesting report “Understanding the Impact of OER: Achievements and Challenges” which aims to critically review the growth of OER and its potential impact on education systems around the world.
  2. Find out the new issue of The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (www.irrodl.org) with many interesting articles on MOOCs and open education and especially interesting investigation on the degree to which different variables, like demographics and motivation, affect the completion of a MOOC!
  3. An interesting conference “Open Science Fair” will take place on September 16-18 in Porto, Portugal. The conference aims to critically showcase the elements required for the transition to Open Science: e-infrastructures and services, policies as guidance for good practices, research flows and new types of activities. You can still participate in the preparation of interesting conference workshop  – Open Discussion: A tale of two ‘opens’? Intersections between Open Science and Open Education
  4. Very interesting article about how Finland is winning the war on fake news describing an anti-fake news initiative launched by Finland’s government in 2014  aimed at teaching residents, students, journalists, and politicians how to counter false information designed to sow division.

What does it mean to have a shared culture? A wrapup from this year’s CC Global Summit

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Another year, another incredible Creative Commons Global Summit! This year, nearly 400 Creative Commoners gathered in Lisbon, Portugal to lift their voices in support of the Commons as advocates, activists, creators, and community members dedicated to a more open and sharing world.

It’s all about Community

The Global Summit was designed by the community, for the community to inspire action and events for this group of participants from around the world. Each one of the over 130 sessions was chosen by our volunteer program committee, proposed by CC chapters and organizations from around the world. From Portugal to Tanzania to New Zealand, our presenters came from hundreds of local contexts, sharing stories, data, projects, and ideas at the beautiful Museu do Oriente, our main venue.

Photo by Sebastiaan ter Burg CC BY

#ccsummit grand opening: great talks, food, wine, wonderful crowd and music (of course). #Lisbon @creativecommons pic.twitter.com/DuFho3Tism

— Tribe of Noise (@tribeofnoise) May 9, 2019

That’s @BerkeleyLaw JSD student Mehtab Khan leading a standing-room only session at the Creative Commons Global Summit here in Lisbon. Go Bears! @creativecommons @ccglobalsummit #ccsummit https://t.co/S3lvovzhGh

— Molly Van Houweling (@mollysvh) May 9, 2019

At night, we welcomed participants to Capitolio, where we heard from five community keynotes and two invited keynotes. Diversity, equity, and inclusion were themes throughout – Natalia Mileczyk invoked a quote from Shirley Chisholm, “When they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”

Fortunately, there were chairs at many tables at the CC Summit.

Photo by Sebastiaan ter Burg CC BY “Now is the time for Genuine Change:” Global Summit Keynotes

Our five community keynotes came from three continents and a variety of disciplines. From Majd al-Shihabi’s work on decolonizing archives in Palestine to Sophie Bloeman’s Commons Network project, the five keynotes demonstrated their expertise and passion for the values of the Commons.

#CCsummit Is what we archive as diverse as reality? @majdal pic.twitter.com/APtYCwMi49

— Christian Friedrich (@friedelitis) May 9, 2019

Kelsey Merkley @bella_velo on the need to reclaim the feminist history of the open source movement @creativecommons @ccglobalsummit #ccsummit #ccsummit2019 https://t.co/0A9vU8aM4H #OpeningNight pic.twitter.com/ZmhCdVLHmG

— QUT IP & Innovation (@QUT_IP) May 10, 2019

Now @nmileszyk at #CCSummit talking about getting involved, even if you don't choose the 'playing field'. pic.twitter.com/84DlWNxD5a

— ˗ˏˋ Doug Belshaw ˎˊ˗ (@dajbelshaw) May 9, 2019

Our invited keynotes, Adele Vrana and Siko Bouterse from “Whose Knowledge” and James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins of the Duke Center for the Study of the Public Domain spoke as well, with narratives of colonization, inclusivity on the open web, the public domain, and… comic books.

Photo by Sebastiaan ter Burg CC BY Photo by Iñigo Sanchez, CC BY-NC-SA

Keynote at the CC Summit tonight — speakers acknowledged the appropriation of music throughout history. This of course, is remix. It has been when with us all along. We have to come to terms with it. We also need to embrace and encourage it. #ccsummit

— Kent McGuire (@ckmcguire) May 9, 2019

Photo by Sebastiaan ter Burg, CC BY The Creative Commons Network

The Summit also marked the first meeting of the expanded Creative Commons Global Network, re-launched in 2016. The Global Network is three times larger than before and now comprises 37 chapters, 368 individual members, and 43 institutional members, many of whom attended this year’s Summit.

At this year’s Newbie Breakfast, dozens of new Summit attendees gathered on the first day of the Summit to create a welcoming space for new participants.

Great session with the Chapter Leads and Global Network Council Members at #ccsummit – thinking about priorities and concrete steps. pic.twitter.com/X5fwqWdtSV

— Lisette Kalshoven (@LNKalshoven) May 10, 2019

CC Chapter Leads meeting. Photo by Sebastiaan ter Burg, CC BY A nuanced view of “open”

What does it mean to be “open?” From questions of indigenous knowledge to CC business models to the implications of Artificial Intelligence, Summit participants asked the hard questions in nearly every session.

The intersection of language communities, language documentation, traditional knowledge, and open movement is very important and super interesting. I’m glad to see that the language documentation and archiving perspective is represented at the #ccsummit by @ELARarchive. https://t.co/G3E1DYl1fh

— Felix Rau (@fxru) May 9, 2019

Hessel van Oorschot and Marko Roca of @tribeofnoise showcase re:REC (https://t.co/erYKRy14g7) public domain music contest while shedding light on the business model of @creativecommons licensed music. #ccsummit2019 #CCsummit pic.twitter.com/6Vd3K3HqxL

— O Foundation (OFDN) #AfricaDay (@ofdnorg) May 10, 2019

One particularly interesting panel focused on artists’ relationships to copyright, with a number of Portuguese artists discussing their work, including Summit graphic designer João Pombeiro. The panel featured a special guest appearance from Steve Kurtz of the Critical Art Ensemble via video call. They questioned the need for artists to exert strong power over their intellectual property and discussed the difficulties of making ethical art in 2019.

Photo by Iñigo Sanchez CC BY-NC-SA Copyright reform: What’s Next?

On the heels of the difficult loss in the European Union, much of the CC Summit was spent planning for the future of copyright around the globe. Many sessions, including a meeting of the copyright reform platform, touched on the challenges and opportunities confronting the movement in 2019 and beyond.

The CC community continued to explore ways to engage in productive copyright reform. We heard from experts from around the globe who shared their strategies and experiences in copyright law reform advocacy in the “How to Win the © Wars” session. CC allies also shared their work going on at WIPO, especially related to the agenda in support of expanding crucial limitations and exceptions to copyright for education, research, and libraries. Paul Keller from Communia shared lessons learned from the long and winding road of the EU copyright directive, and pushed for Creative Commons to actively contribute as the directive is implemented into the national laws of the member states over the next two years. And a diverse group of advocates met to lay out thematic areas and rough project plans for the copyright reform platform over the coming months.

Photo by Iñigo Sanchez, CC BY-NC-SA Gratitude

Thank you to all presenters, volunteers, participants, and staff who made this event a success. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Photo by Sebastiaan ter Burg, CC BY

Thank you also to our sponsors Private Internet Access, MHz Foundation, Mozilla, Re:Create, Flickr, Lumen Learning, and UPTEC.

Get involved

We invite you to join us on Slack in the #cc-summit channel or social media @creativecommons to connect with the community, learn more about next year’s summit, or our work in search and discoverability, open access, open education, and more. View photos from the event by Sebastiaan ter Burg and Iñigo Sanchez on CC’s Flickr page.

The post What does it mean to have a shared culture? A wrapup from this year’s CC Global Summit appeared first on Creative Commons.

Depositing and reporting of reagents: Accelerating open and reproducible science.

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The following blog was written by Angela Abitua (ORCiD ID: 0000-0002-8059-4050) and Joanne Kamens (ORCiD ID: 0000-0002-7000-1477) from Addgene. PLOS is excited to support reagent repositories such as Addgene as yet another step to improve scientific reproducibility. Open access to research findings and the underlying methods, materials and data, and issues surrounding reproducibility, replication, and research waste will be discussed this June 2-5 at the 6th World Conference on Research Integrity in Hong Kong, where PLOS ONE’s Senior Editor, Renee Hoch, will present a talk on data availability and image integrity.

Without materials and data, there is no research. Barriers to scientific progress can result from something as basic as not having access to reliable, validated information for research materials. That barrier is raised further when scientists cannot obtain samples or data in a timely fashion. Data and material repositories are breaking down these barriers. As a publisher, PLOS is supporting better, more open science by recommending repositories and encouraging use of standardized, unique identifiers for materials.

Centralized depositing of materials advances science in so many ways. It saves authors the time and burden of shipping requested materials. Researchers who request from repositories save time by not having to recreate reagents or wait months or years to receive samples. Many scientists have been on the receiving end of a request that was filled by an incorrect or degraded sample, which further delays research. Repositories like the ones recommended by PLOS handle the logistics of material requests, letting the scientists focus on what’s important: doing research.

For example, repositories make it possible for researchers to get access to different cell lines (American Type Culture Collection, Coriell Institute), plant materials (Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center), organisms (Bloomington Drosophila Stock Center, Caenorhabditis Genetics Center, European Xenopus Resource Centre, Jackson Laboratory), plasmids (Addgene, DNASU, PlasmID) and many other biological materials. Moreover, many of these repositories provide web-based databases that are easy to search and provide openly available information about each material.

For reagent reporting, many repositories also support unique and persistent identification of reagents. Identifiers like Research Resource Identifiers (RRIDs) make it easy for authors to cite materials and improves reporting through standardized identification and a permanent link to information about each reagent. For example, each Drosophila strain at the Bloomington Fly stock Center is assigned a fly stock RRID. For mice, the Mutant Mouse Resource and Research Centers (MMRRC) provides a mouse RRID for mutant mouse strains. For plasmids, Addgene will automatically register a plasmid RRID upon deposit.

Depositing increases materials transparency and reproducibility

Addgene currently contains over 70,000 unique plasmids and has distributed over 1,000,000 plasmids worldwide since 2004. At Addgene, depositing plasmids is free and straightforward, with the added bonus that it provides quality control measures that contribute to improved reproducibility. Addgene performs full plasmid sequencing and each plasmid is assigned a unique RRID identifier, along with a plasmid webpage that provides sequence data, cloning information, and associated protocols. This ensures researchers have detailed information about each plasmid reagent. Moreover, each Addgene plasmid page provides an Articles Citing this Plasmid section which allows researchers to learn how the plasmid was used and validated by different labs.

Recognition and credit for depositing authors

Depositing materials at the time of publication also provides benefits to both authors and publishers. Depositing authors gain recognition and are cited whenever requestors use the published materials in their own research articles. In fact, data from Addgene supports that depositing published plasmids in Addgene’s repository increases their use and results in increased article citations. Deposition at the point of publication also ensures timely distribution of materials. Finally, the information linked to each deposited reagent serves as reliable open data for the materials reported in the publication, simplifying the manuscript-writing process. Overall, PLOS’s support of reagent repositories, follows the publisher’s steps in improving data availability and protocol sharing and is a welcome addition for improving materials access and scientific reproducibility.

New sharing practices will change science for the better

By encouraging authors to deposit materials at the time of publication, journals will help accelerate research through timely distribution and accurate identification of reagents. Biological repositories exist to serve the scientific community. Take Addgene’s involvement in the explosive advancement of CRISPR research. Since 2012, over 8,400 CRISPR plasmids have been deposited and Addgene has distributed over 144,000 CRISPR plasmids worldwide, enabling researchers to share, modify, and improve this game-changing molecular tool. It is a prime example of the positive impact that biological repositories are making on research.

Thanks to PLOS’s updated recommendations, the importance of depositing and sharing reagents is finally getting some much-needed recognition. If the positive outcomes of PLOS’s data availability and protocol sharing policies is any indication of what’s in store for open material sharing, the future of science looks bright: speedier, more transparent, and more reproducible research.

PLOS Journals Now OPEN for Published Peer Review

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Starting today, ALL PLOS journals will offer authors the option to publish their peer review history alongside their accepted manuscript! We’ve been excited to make this announcement, and make major strides towards a more open publication process, since last fall when we signed ASAPbio’s open letter committing to transparent peer review options.

What will it look like?

Our philosophy going into this project has been to open up the peer review process in a way that gives authors and reviewers more choices about how they publish and claim credit for their work.

As before, our peer review process defaults to single-blind, although reviewers have the option to sign their names to their reviews if they wish. What we’ve added to our process is an option at acceptance for authors to decide whether to publish the full peer review history alongside their work. This package includes the editor’s full decision letter, complete with reviewer comments and authors’ responses for each revision of the manuscript. Peer review history will have its own DOI enabling reviewers to take credit and earn citations for their contributions. If the reviewers have chosen to sign their reviews, their name will also appear on the published reviews but they can also chose to remain anonymous.

All manuscripts submitted after May 22, 2019 will be eligible for this option if accepted at a PLOS Journal. Here’s a look at the variations of open our opt-in model provides:

 

A major step for PLOS, and scholarly communication

The peer review history reveals crucial perspectives and decisions that supply additional context for readers and researchers. Because of the potential benefits, we’re making this option available now on all seven PLOS journals.

Other journals that have experimented with published peer review models have shown that the quality of feedback provided is at least as good as other models – we think it has the potential to be even better through increased accountability and transparency. We’re building off the foundations and lessons learned by these examples and are confident our model can offer authors more choices to make their research and the publishing process open, and showcase the rigorous review of their work.

Through the scale of our publishing output across all seven PLOS journals, we see this as an opportunity to make a significant change in the scholarly communication landscape and lay the foundation for a more open view of the manuscript handling process from start to finish.

Open beyond Open Access

While the benefits of transparency are numerous, we see published peer review as a crucial first step towards solving two fundamental problems: reviewer credit and public understanding of the peer review process. So far, Open Access has made it possible for research to reach a global community of readers but we have not yet demonstrated the work that goes on behind the scenes to validate scientific claims.

Publishing peer review history is a means of enriching the scientific record by giving context to evaluation and publication decisions. We hope this is also an important step toward elevating peer reviews to scholarly outputs in their own right that reviewers can take credit for.

In conjunction with the work it describes, peer review history can also be a source of material for educating students and the general public about peer review. Our content is also machine readable, paving the way for deeper analysis and discussion by the community.

Looking ahead

We’ve developed this option in consultation with our editors who are dedicated to improving our journals, and we also committed to reporting back our findings. As we learn more about how published peer review shapes author and reviewer choices, and reader experience, we’ll continue to update you on what we find.

 

PLOS Receives Meritorious Achievement Award from the Council of Science Editors

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We are honored, and humbled, to receive the 2019 CSE Award for Meritorious Achievement. The honor is bestowed upon individuals or institutions that highlight the goals of CSE, particularly those that improve scientific communication through the pursuit of high standards in all activities connected with editing.

Kerry Kroffe, PLOS’ Director of Editorial Services, accepted the award on our behalf earlier this month at CSE’s annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio.

Photo courtesy of Matt Reese Productions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Past winners include Annette Flanagin, EQUATOR Network, Ana Marušić, MD, PhD, Amy Brand and ORCID.

We’re heading to NetSci 2019!

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Note: PLOS is excited to sponsor the Open NetSci Hackathon and support NetSci 2019.

We can’t wait to see you at NetSci 2019! We’re gearing up for the hackathon (May 25-26) and conference (May 27-31), and want to help you make the most of your NetSci experience. Get ready to meet PLOS staff, tell us the latest research you’re reading, and submit your manuscript to our PLOS ONE Science of Stories call for papers.

Open NetSci Hackathon

Join us for NetSci’s inaugural hackathon. This year’s theme is open code and data, and our CC BY content is made for this! The hackathon will also feature keynote speaker Cassidy Sugimoto and experts on site to help with projects.  

Anyone registered for the NetSci 2019 School and Satellites can join, free of charge, and groups and individual participants are welcome. Learn how to sign up and get involved here.

Chat with us and #shareyourcode
  • Throughout the hackathon and the conference we want you to tweet about any papers, code bases or open code projects using the hashtag #shareyourcode and tagging @PLOSChannels. We’ll feature select works in the PLOS Complexity Channel, curated by Channel Editors including NetSci’s very own Laurent Hébert-Dufresne.
  • At the NetSci conference, PLOS ONE editor Deanne Dunbar will be attending NetSci and will be taking part in the “Chat with the Editors” panel.
  • If you’re a PLOS ONE Academic Editor, we’ll be holding a meet up May 30– email us to attend!
Submit to our call

There’s still time to submit your research to the PLOS ONE Science of Stories call for papers! The call and upcoming Collection include research with diverse perspectives from the humanities and the sciences to:

  • Explore the nature of narrative and narrative thinking in texts and other media.
  • Propose methods to extract stories from datasets and vice versa.
  • Analyze how narratives are transformed and how they cooperate or compete with each other as they move through time and space.
  • Communicate data-rich narratives to the public.

Guest Editors handling submissions are Peter Dodds, Mirta Galesic , Matthew Jockers and Mohit Iyyer. To learn more about our Editors’ perspectives and the call check out their recent blog post. The call is open until June 14.

We look forward to seeing you at NetSci 2019 and wish everyone a great conference!

Open Education Links from Around the World #6

European Open EDU Policy Project -

  1. How to create a truly open and accessible textbook? In the Accessibility Toolkit, you will find everything you need to achieve this goal. And it can be even easier since recent update of the Accessibility Toolkit. Here you can find an excerpt from this publication with recommendations about color contrast.
  2. The competition is a universal method that increases the activity of users and creators. To encourage Africans to be active creators of Wikipedia, the photo contest “Wiki loves Africa” ​​was invented.
  3. CC Search is here with over 300 million images! CC Search searches images across 19 collections pulled from open APIs and the Common Crawl dataset, including cultural works from museums, graphic designs and artworks, photos from Flickr, and an initial set of CC0 3D designs from Thingiverse. Now we can are all invited to share with CC team our feedback and help to develop this tool.
  4. Open Education Working Group starts its new project – Open Education Policy Lab. The aim is to support Higher Education Institutions and Consortia in co-creating Open Education Policies. They use a policy-making toolkit and co-creation methodology to build capacities across a wide range of stakeholders to enable them with the skills needed to actively participate in the different stages of policymaking.

Sharing my travel pictures under Creative Commons

GoOpen.no -

I am merely a hobby photographer that every now and then end up being in the right place at the right time, catching a sunset or a great view of an elephant, a mountain or a lake.

Inspired by the new CC search and the magical sharing community at the #ccsummit I am releasing 95 of my travel pictures under CC-BY 4.0.

Cool kid in Nairobi

Over the last few years, I have been travelling in a few countries, and my collection of pictures reflects this. You will find pictures from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Paris, Rome. Most pictures are still from my home country Norway.

All pictures are available on Github and SmugMug.

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