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Traditional Knowledge and the Commons: The Open Movement, Listening, and Learning

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CC licenses and public domain tools help individuals, organisations, and public institutions better disseminate digital resources and data, breaking down the typical barriers associated with traditional “all rights reserved” copyright. At the same time, CC licenses can’t do everything for everyone. First, the licenses operate in the sphere of copyright and similar rights. They do not attempt to license, say, personality rights, trademark, or patent rights. Also, the CC community recognizes that voluntary licensing schemes will never be a comprehensive solution for access to and reuse of knowledge and creativity around the world. This is one reason why CC works on international copyright reform issues, including the protection and expansion of user rights.

Another dimension of openness that could be better understood from the perspective of the “open” community is the sharing of cultural works related to indigenous communities. This has been talked about with terms such as “traditional knowledge”. Traditional knowledge consists of a wide range of skills, cultural works, and practices that have been sustained and developed over generations by indigenous communities around the world. These communities hold entitlement over this knowledge as well as responsibility for the preservation of their knowledge, but haven’t always had the autonomy to decide what can be done with their knowledge. International and national instruments have attempted to codify the value of traditional knowledge and rights of indigenous peoples, but the place of such knowledge within conventional intellectual property structures remains  deeply contested and uncertain.

These issues and more were brought up at the 2018 Creative Commons Global Summit as well, and has since started an important conversation within the CC community. I’m an attorney and doctoral candidate at UC-Berkeley Law, and over the summer I worked as a research fellow for Creative Commons to conduct an investigation into the current issues regarding traditional knowledge and its intersection with the open movement. A draft of the paper is complete, and we welcome your thoughts and suggestions to it.

In addition, we’ll be hosting a session on the topic on Thursday, September 27 at 3:00p at the 5th Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest in Washington, D.C.

The tension between traditional knowledge protection and IP frameworks is exacerbated by digital technologies that have made the creation, dissemination, appropriation and remixing of knowledge and cultural artifacts easier than ever before. Indigenous communities’ preservation efforts and control over traditional knowledge sometimes also seem to conflict with the ‘open’ ecosystem, which consists of organizations, communities, and individuals supporting open and free culture, open licensing and access to knowledge. This is because traditional knowledge is often perceived as being part of the public domain by default, when it is not. 

There is a colonial history of this perception. The doctrine of discovery, which was used to legitimize and expand colonization, held the assumption that indigenous peoples were “uncivilized,” and hence could not own property like European settlers. Therefore, the land and knowledge of indigenous peoples were seen as part of the commons, open for ‘discovery’ and appropriation. Another oft repeated concern that traditional community representatives have voiced at global venues like WIPO is the misuse and appropriation of their knowledge. Appropriation refers not just to taking something of value to a community, but also reaping economic benefit from it. For these reasons, the public domain may be perceived as detrimental to the interests of indigenous communities. It’s important to recognize this because it affects how these communities might perceive open and free culture movements.

Copyright law in particular is based on a number of assumptions that are sometimes at odds with the protection of indigenous knowledge. For instance, sometimes it can be difficult to identify an author of a cultural work because “ownership” might vest in a community, is sometimes continually being invented, or might be passed from generation to generation. The categories of copyright law may not encompass the kinds of expressions found in traditional knowledge. For example, a dance could be manifested in several ways and may have a sequential unique style over several performances. One sequence might be removed and placed in a western song or performance. Not only would there be no protection for this disparate piece, any social or spiritual meaning that might be attached to that dance would also be lost. Furthermore, some traditions are conveyed and preserved orally, and this might not be ‘fixed’ in a tangible form to receive conventional copyright protection.

This perceived disconnect with copyright law in particular puts Creative Commons in a challenging position with regards to indigenous knowledge. On the one hand, Creative Commons strives to make knowledge and information as widely and freely accessible as possible. It seeks to empower individuals who want to define the terms of access to their works. On the other hand, Creative Commons must grapple with ownership structures of traditional knowledge, its position within copyright law, and the terms of access of different kinds of traditional knowledge online. The CC licenses were never meant to be applied to content that is not meant to be shared broadly — so to the extent such content is not intended to be shared broadly or if open licenses do not adequately meet the needs of these communities for reasons described above, then it makes sense not to expect acceptance or use of open licenses as currently available.

Despite these challenges, digital technologies also represent an opportunity to help resolve some of the tensions between IP structures and traditional knowledge and have been used by indigenous communities. Projects like Mukurtu and Local Contexts help preserve and label traditional works while giving indigenous communities autonomy to set the terms for sharing. Local Contexts also provides guidance to indigenous communities about controlling access and preservation of their knowledge. There are flexibilities within CC licenses that could be used in empowering ways by communities that want to make their works open. The conversation needs to involve more communities, policymakers and scholars and the Creative Commons team is exploring the possibilities of working with other projects and involving indigenous communities more closely to understand the role CC licenses could play in the protection and dissemination of traditional knowledge.

The post Traditional Knowledge and the Commons: The Open Movement, Listening, and Learning appeared first on Creative Commons.

Opening up to new perspectives: an interview with Aileen Fyfe

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Peer Review Week 2018 is all about diversity. To look at the changing scholarly landscape, we interviewed science publishing historian, Aileen Fyfe, who draws on her experience working in the archives of the Royal Society to explain how diversifying the pool of experts involved in the peer review process can further advance the scientific record.  

How diverse is the peer review process at the moment?

Until more people start publishing their data on both their community of authors and reviewers it’s difficult to tell. There’s certainly concerns about the geopolitical balance, whether the global north is doing much more of the refereeing, whereas the global south is doing a lot of authoring, and not so much refereeing. So that’s a large scale problem. There are certainly suspicions about women’s involvements, whether women are underrepresented as reviewers and editorial board members. The stats that we have so far do suggest that that’s true. But we still don’t know very much about other forms of diversity.

One of the points that I’d like to make about diversity in peer review is that there is always going to be some limit on how diverse peer review can be, because peer review by its nature doesn’t let just anyone do it. So we select as peer reviewers people who have got some form of shared expertise, some certain standards of training and education, and some form of research credentials, which nowadays generally means having published a couple of papers. So, there’s already a limit on exactly how diverse the pool can be, there are going to be some people who are not going to be invited to do this. And for peer review to work we wouldn’t want to lose that. But the interesting question becomes, within those limits, within the pool of people who have the appropriate level of education and professional research training are there any other reasons why diversity should be restricted. Nowadays we would probably say no to that, we wouldn’t think that religion or gender, geographical location or socioeconomic status should have anything to do with it. But those things have all often historically been tied up.

Over the years we’ve extended our understanding of who can be involved in peer review, but we don’t want to lose the sense of recognising what good science looks like. But, on the other other hand, there is room for a lot within that.

What happens when the peer review process isn’t diverse?

An immediate worry is that the process wouldn’t be fair if, for instance, decisions about global science were routinely being made by a handful of elite researchers in a handful of elite institutions. And we know that everyone carries implicit biases against people who are not like them—which is a particular worry in those fields of research that currently use single blind review systems.

But, you’ve also got the worry that with any group of similar minded people who share an understanding of what good science looks like, you’ve got a tendency to commit towards intellectual conservatism. Will they recognise the innovation, the speculative approach that turns out to be really fruitful? Because if you’re looking for stuff that is familiar and solid and rigorous and good, maybe you’ll miss something that’s exciting and novel, so there’s also that kind of aspect of diversity.

This intellectual diversity is slightly different from the social economic, gender, class, ethnicity that we talk about today. And nowadays we try to separate those things, and reckon hopefully we can have intellectual diversity and also have diversity of types of people.

We want to try and ensure that the people doing the editorial and reviewing work, aren’t being too prone to groupthink if you will, that they won’t be dismissing new approaches, new ideas, because they don’t look like the ones that they are familiar with, so there’s a worry that the scientific content could suffer if all the people doing the reviewing all comes from the same institution or from the same sub-field of a discipline.

What can we do to support diversity in the peer review process and scientific discourse in general?

One of the things that does seem to work is talking about it! When I look at the change in statistics for the Royal Society’s journals over the last 30 years, it’s quite clear that something has happened…, in terms of who is writing for the Royal Society and reviewing for the Royal Society, that has changed a lot since the 1980s early 1990s and I think it’s changed much more recently than that, and you have to ask why. And the only reason that I can see is that that organisation has started talking a lot about diversity, it has started gathering the statistics, and it’s started wondering what it can do better. And it looks as if that works. In terms of the number of editors, this is still rather male only, but the editorial boards, the publicly visible aspect, is getting better; and diversity among reviewers themselves is also getting better, it’s now similar to the number of authors in terms of gender. The proportion of women who are reviewers is similar to the proportion of women who are authors, which seems like a reasonable place to be.

So, talking about it, asking questions, getting people to publish their stats.  

I think that that raising awareness thing, which is becoming more common, does seem to be focusing people’s minds, even if it’s just focusing editors’ minds… on who are they going to choose. And that’s the first step towards making some sort of progress, so they don’t automatically go to whatever the equivalent of an old boys club is right now…. And this could be your institutional network, the people you know and went to graduate school with, it could be that kind of group, and ideally you want something more diverse than that. And if you got the editors thinking about that, then that’s got to be a good first step.  

About Aileen Fyfe

Aileen is a professor of history at the University of St. Andrews where she researches the history of scholarly communications. She currently leads a research project based at the Royal Society investigating the history of the world’s oldest scientific journal, Philosophical Transactions.

 

Featured image: Figure 1, PONE 0197280

 

With the European Parliament vote on the copyright directive, the internet lost – for now

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© European Union 2018 – European Parliament, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Today the European Parliament voted 438-226 (with 39 abstentions) to approve drastic changes to copyright law that, if ultimately enacted, would negatively affect creativity, freedom of expression, research, and sharing across the EU.

The Parliament voted in favor of almost all provisions that extend more rights to the establishment copyright industries while failing to protect users and new creators online.

The Parliament voted in favor of Article 13, which will essentially force online platforms to install expensive content filters to police user uploads and remove content if there’s any whiff of unauthorized sharing of copyrighted materials. The rule covers all types of content, from music to video to images. If platforms don’t take action, they assume liability for what their uses publish online. Upload filters will limit freedom of expression, as the technologies can’t tell the difference between copyright infringement and permitted uses of copyrighted works, such as memes shared as parody, or the incidental capture of an advertisement in the background of a selfie.

They approved Article 11, which provides extra copyright-like rights to press publishers. Article 11 would force news aggregators to pay publishers for linking to their stories. The rule covers links and snippet over a single word. The Parliament’s vote also included giveaways to other groups, such as a new right for sporting event producers to lock down the sharing of fan photography and short videos at sporting events.

The Parliament refused to make much needed changes to the text that would help ensure that Europe can remain a relevant player for research and innovation. It approved only a limited copyright exception for text and data mining that restricts its use only for approved non-profit research organisations, instead of providing a blanket exception supported by libraries, research organisations, and the EU startup community that would make “the right to read is the right to mine.” As a result, investment and innovation in this space will move to outside of Europe where there’s a more conducive legal environment for text and data mining, such as the United States.

Not only does the plan approved by the Parliament fail to produce benefits for its intended frame, the digital single market, it also does almost nothing to protect user rights, improve the ability to share remixes and other user-generated content (UGC), or protect the public domain. The commonsense amendments in support of UGC, freedom of panorama, and calling for support of the public domain were all voted down.

Ryan Merkley, CEO of Creative Commons, appeared on BBC Radio this afternoon for an interview on the copyright directive vote. He reiterated that artists should be able to receive fair and appropriate compensation for their work, and that Creative Commons was formed in order to provide alternative choices for creators in how they share creativity online. But he said that most of the provisions passed in today’s EU Parliament vote only benefited major rights holders like TV networks or music labels:

If you’re a regular person or an independent artist who needs the internet for your every day life or for work or for fun, if you’re somebody who reads articles online or makes your own music or has an idea for a startup, or you’re a scientist who wants to cure a disease, you lose in this proposal. The EU is a less good place to make your art, to make your music, or to drive innovation or discovery.

What’s next?

Now the Parliament enters into closed-door three-way negotiations with the Council of the European Union (the EU Member State governments) and the European Commission (the EU executive body which proposed the original text of the copyright directive). These three bodies will work to reconcile their versions of the directive text, and the final text will again be voted on in the European Parliament probably early in 2019.

The European Parliament was given the chance to fix copyright for 500 million Europeans, and signal to the world that progressive changes to law can empower new creators and champion creativity and the open web. Instead, they chose to side with the most powerful corporate rights holders whose sole objective is to minimize the impact brought about by digital technologies and the internet on their legacy business models.

The fight for the future of the internet is far from over. While today’s Parliament vote was a major setback, it’s up to all of us to continue to organize and advocate for the free and open web we want and need, in the EU and beyond.

The post With the European Parliament vote on the copyright directive, the internet lost – for now appeared first on Creative Commons.

Spanish Translation of 4.0 now available (La traducción al castellano de la versión 4.0 de las licencias está ahora disponible)

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Se Oye Libre Radio by @creativecommons Colombia @monequerias @julianitaquetal y su invitada especial @pepebrrs director #iff Creative Commons Instagram CC licenses reach 1/2 billion more creators and users!

After more than three years and many rounds of consultation with legal experts throughout Latin America and Europe, including Spain, Creative Commons is proud to announce the release of the Spanish language translation of the CC 4.0 license suite. This process included standardizing legal terms across multiple Spanish speaking-countries with differing legal systems, and involved the active participation of dozens of community members from different countries. Check out the CC Attribution license (CC BY) in Spanish.

Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the world, with approximately 447 million native speakers and an estimated 570 million total speakers worldwide. It is also one of the most geographically widespread languages, reaching a vast number of countries that recognize Spanish as an official language. This brings the total number of people who are able to understand our 4.0 licenses in their first language to more than 2.2 billion.

Spanish speaking communities have been active ever since the launch of Creative Commons in 2001 and some of the oldest chapters were formed in Latin America and Spain. Under the new structure of the CC Global Network, we’re seeing an increase in the number of Spanish-speaking chapters. As more chapters are formed to promote the licenses and the communities that depend on them for sharing, we expect that the Spanish license suite will help more institutions, creators and artists in these countries embrace CC licensing.

We would like to thank the incredible leadership of María Juliana Soto (CC Colombia) and Ignasi Labastida (CC Spain) in drafting the first versions of the translation, and the work of several contributors around the CC Community, including: María Paz Canales (CC Chile); Claudia Cristiani (CC El Salvador); Evelin Heidel (a.k.a. Scann, CC Argentina), as well as the support of CC Staff to bring this forward.

¡Felicitaciones por el trabajo realizado, equipo!

En Español: La traducción al castellano de la versión 4.0 de las licencias está ahora disponible
¡Las licencias CC ahora alcanzan a medio billón más de usuarios y creadores!

Luego de más de tres años y varias rondas de consulta con expertos legales a lo largo de América Latina y España, Creative Commons se enorgullece en anunciar el lanzamiento de la traducción al español de las licencias CC 4.0. Este proceso incluyó estandarizar el conjunto de las licencias a lo largo de múltiples países hispano-parlantes, con la participación activa de decenas de miembros de la comunidad de varios países. Pueden ver la licencia CC Atribución (CC BY) en español.

El español es la segunda lengua más hablada en el mundo, con alrededor de 442 millones de hablantes nativos y un estimado de 570 millones de hablantes en el mundo. También es uno de los idiomas más difundidos geográficamente, alcanzando un gran número de países que lo reconocen como su idioma oficial. Esto lleva a que más de 2.2 billones de personas puedan entender nuestras licencias 4.0 en su idioma materno.

Las comunidades hispano-parlantes han estado muy activas desde el lanzamiento de Creative Commons en 2001. Algunos de los capítulos más antiguos fueron formados en América Latina y España. Bajo la nueva estructura de la Red Global de CC, estamos viendo un incremento de capítulos hispano-parlantes. A medida que se forman más capítulos para promover las licencias y las comunidades que dependen de ellas para compartir, esperamos que las licencias en español ayudarán a más instituciones, creadores y artistas a adoptar CC en estos países.

Nos gustaría agradecer el increíble liderazgo de María Juliana Soto (CC Colombia) e Ignasi Labastida (CC Spain) en armar los primeros borradores de la traducción, y el trabajo de varios colaboradores en la comunidad de CC: María Paz Canales (CC Chile); Claudia Cristiani (CC El Salvador); Evelin Heidel (a.k.a. Scann, CC Argentina), así como el apoyo del staff de CC para completar esta tarea.

¡Felicitaciones por el trabajo realizado, equipo!

The post Spanish Translation of 4.0 now available (La traducción al castellano de la versión 4.0 de las licencias está ahora disponible) appeared first on Creative Commons.

It’s Peer Review Week!!!

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Peer Review Week is a global event celebrating the essential role that peer review plays in how we evaluate and communicate most scholarly research. Our aim is to spark discussion and collaboration between researchers and publishers who want to improve scholarly communication. For that, there’s no better jumping off point than this year’s topic: diversity.

How diverse is it? The scholarly landscape

While the demand for STEM degrees is on the rise around the world, we still see a relatively small percentage of published papers out of countries in Africa and Latin America. Even more troubling, are the increasingly common stories of unsafe working conditions, lack of resources, and perceptual biases keeping women out of many higher academic fields.

A study published by eLife found the percentage of female authors, reviewers, and editors in STEM publishing falls far below 50% and predicts these percentages, 37%, 28% and 26% respectively, would not achieve parity with male counterparts until 2042 if currents trends of growth continue. In some fields, the difference in representation is even more staggering. For example, a review of 435 Mathematical journals published in PLOS ONE found the median number of editorships held by women to be only 7.6%. Fifty-one journals had no women on their editorial boards at all.

According to the eLife study, both women and men show an inclination to appoint reviewers of the same gender, limiting possibilities for women on a journal with an editorial board comprised of mostly men and perpetuating the imbalance of representation. Another study in PLOS ONE found similar results, as well as evidence of preference for other shared background characteristics such as country or institution.

If a journal’s peer review process is only as diverse as the network of editors who oversee it, we must diversify our editorial boards.

The role of publishers

Publishers, as stewards for scientific research, have a responsibility to raise all voices of the community. To do that, we must offer the tools and opportunities for researchers from all backgrounds to participate in the scholarly discussion.

The first thing we can do is to actively seek an even mix of expertise, affiliation, nationality, and gender to represent the editorial board and journal staff. We also need to start stepping outside our comfort zones, ask ourselves whether our tried and true models really work for everyone or if they have hidden barriers for certain groups. Some great advice for publishers and organizations is available here and here.

Starting the conversation

Peer review and how to make it better is the focus of many organizations that just last month penned an Open Letter to the community regarding transparent peer review. Through posted and signed reviews, we’re taking steps to further our understanding of peer review and to open up opportunities for critical conversations about peer review best practices.

Later this week, we’ll be posting an interview with Aileen Fyfe, science publishing historian, who will talk about the importance of unique voices to advance scientific literature.  The EveryONE blog also has an additional perspective, as well as a collection of papers on gender inequality in peer review.

In the meantime, we invite you to raise your own voice and share your experiences with the hashtags #PeerReviewWeek18 and #PeerRevDiversityInclusion.

It’s now or never: EU copyright must protect access to knowledge and the commons

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We’re coming up on a crucial decision on changes to copyright in the European Union that will govern how creativity is accessed and shared for years to come. On 12 September the European Parliament will vote on the draft Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.

If you’re in the EU, go to https://saveyourinternet.eu/ and tell your MEPs to stop the harmful Article 13 upload filters and support a balanced copyright reform

MEPs should vote against Article 13 upload filters, which would scan all content uploaded to online platforms for any copyrighted works and prevent those works from going online if a match is discovered. It will limit freedom of expression, as the required upload filters won’t be able to tell the difference between copyright infringement and permitted uses of copyrighted works under limitations and exceptions. It puts into jeopardy the sharing of video remixes, memes, parody, and code, even works that incorporate openly licensed content.

MEPs should vote against Article 11, the unnecessary and counterproductive press publishers right that would require anyone using snippets of journalistic content to first get a license or pay a fee to the publisher for its use online.

MEPs should support amendments that expand Article 4, the copyright exception for education, and Article 3, the exception for text and data mining, which needs to be broadened so that the “right to read is the right to mine.” There’s also some last minute amendments that should be supported, such as the exception that would improve the ability to share remixes and other user-generated content, as well as an exception to enable the commonsense practice of being able to take and share photographs of works of art in public spaces, called “freedom of panorama.”

Even though the Parliament’s Legal Affairs committee approved some of the most harmful measures on the docket back in June, the 5 July plenary vote opened up the debate on the directive to the full Parliament. Hundreds of thousands of people made their voices heard, urging for a better and more progressive copyright that will stop the backward proposals like the content filters suggested by Article 13.  

Much of the copyright directive has been narrowly tailored to serve the interests of the most powerful rights holders from the entertainment and publishing sectors. These powerful actors wish to prevent any deviation from their bottom line profits by the revolutionary changes brought about by digital technologies and the internet.

These voices do not represent the incredible diversity of creativity online. On the internet, everyone is a creator, and we want to share knowledge, artistic and political expression, photos and home movies, news, and even code with others in the global commons, on platforms from Wikipedia to YouTube to open access journals to online learning websites. We need progressive policies that support this type of sharing and access if we want to achieve our vision of universal access to research and education and full participation in culture to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity.

Now is the time for Europe to secure progressive rules on copyright that will truly protect all creators and users, not just special interests. MEPs need to listen to the countless voices that represent the future of creativity, innovation, and online sharing.

Tell them now before it’s too late.

The post It’s now or never: EU copyright must protect access to knowledge and the commons appeared first on Creative Commons.

Open Access Publishing Forges Ahead in Europe

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A group of national funders, joined by the European Commission and the European Research Council, have announced plans to make Open Access publishing mandatory for recipients of their agencies’ research funding. Marc Schitlz, the President of Science Europe, has authored an article that outlines the path forward for their agencies. PLOS shares in the coalition’s dedication to disseminate scholarly work as rapidly and widely as possible. Because of its potential for impact on our communities, we’ve posted below an advance version of an article that will soon publish simultaneously in PLOS Biology, PLOS Medicine, and Frontiers in Neuroscience.

_______________________________________________________________________

Science Without Publication Paywalls: cOAlition S for the Realisation of Full and Immediate Open Access

Marc Schiltz1*

1 President, Science Europe, Brussels, Belgium

* Marc.Schiltz@fnr.lu

In this Perspective, a group of national funders, joined by the European Commission and the European Research Council, announce plans to make Open Access publishing mandatory for recipients of their agencies’ research funding.

Open Access is Foundational to the Scientific Enterprise

Universality is a fundamental principle of science (the term ‘science’ as used here includes the humanities): only results that can be discussed, challenged, and, where appropriate, tested and reproduced by others qualify as scientific. Science, as an institution of organised criticism, can therefore only function properly if research results are made openly available to the community so that they can be submitted to the test and scrutiny of other researchers. Furthermore, new research builds on established results from previous research. The chain, whereby new scientific discoveries are built on previously established results, can only work optimally if all research results are made openly available to the scientific community.

Publication paywalls are withholding a substantial amount of research results from a large fraction of the scientific community and from society as a whole. This constitutes an absolute anomaly, which hinders the scientific enterprise in its very foundations and hampers its uptake by society. Monetising the access to new and existing research results is profoundly at odds with the ethos of science [1]. There is no longer any justification for this state of affairs to prevail and the subscription-based model of scientific publishing, including its so-called ‘hybrid’ variants, should therefore be terminated. In the 21st century, science publishers should provide a service to help researchers disseminate their results. They may be paid fair value for the services they are providing, but no science should be locked behind paywalls!

A Decisive Step Towards the Realisation of Full Open Access Needs to be Taken Now

Researchers and research funders have a collective duty of care for the science system as a whole. The 2003 Berlin Declaration [2] was a strong manifestation of the science community (researchers and research funders united) to regain ownership of the rules governing the dissemination of scientific information. Science Europe established principles for the transition to Open Access in 2013 [3] but wider overall progress has been slow. In 2016, the EU Ministers of science and innovation, assembled in the Competitiveness Council, resolved that all European scientific publications should be immediately accessible by 2020.

As major public funders of research in Europe, we have a duty of care for the good functioning of the science system (of which we are part), as well as a fiduciary responsibility for the proper usage of the public funds that we are entrusted with. As university and library negotiation teams in several countries (e.g. Germany, France, Sweden) [4,5] are struggling to reach agreements with large publishing houses, we feel that a decisive move towards the realisation of Open Access and the complete elimination of publication paywalls in science should be taken now. The appointment of the Open Access Envoy by the European Commission has accelerated this process.

Hence, driven by our duty of care for the proper functioning of the science system, we have developed Plan S whereby research funders will mandate that access to research publications that are generated through research grants that they allocate, must be fully and immediately open and cannot be monetised in any way (Box 1).

 

Box 1. Plan S. Accelerating the transition to full and immediate Open Access to scientific publications.

 

The key principle is as follows:

 

“After 1 January 2020 scientific publications on the results from research funded by public grants provided by national and European research councils and funding bodies, must be published in compliant Open Access Journals or on compliant Open Access Platforms.”

 

In addition:

–                Authors retain copyright of their publication with no restrictions. All publications must be published under an open license, preferably the Creative Commons Attribution Licence CC BY. In all cases, the license applied should fulfil the requirements defined by the Berlin declaration;

–                The Funders will ensure jointly the establishment of robust criteria and requirements for the services that compliant high quality Open Access journals and Open Access platforms must provide;

–                In case such high quality Open Access journals or platforms do not yet exist, the Funders will in a coordinated way provide incentives to establish these and support them when appropriate; support will also be provided for Open Access infrastructures where necessary;

–                Where applicable, Open Access publication fees are covered by Funders or universities, not by individual researchers; it is acknowledged that all scientists should be able to publish their work Open Access even if their institutions have limited means;

–                When Open Access publication fees are applied, their funding is standardised and capped (across Europe);

–                Funders will ask universities, research organisations, and libraries to align their policies and strategies, notably to ensure transparency;

–                The above principles shall apply to all types of scholarly publications, but it is understood that the timeline to achieve Open Access for monographs and books may be longer than 1 January 2020;

–                The importance of open archives and repositories for hosting research outputs is acknowledged because of their long-term archiving function and their potential for editorial innovation;

–                The ‘hybrid’ model of publishing is not compliant with the above principles;

–                The Funders will monitor compliance and will sanction non-compliance.

Further Considerations

We recognise that researchers need to be given a maximum of freedom to choose the proper venue for publishing their results and that in some jurisdictions this freedom may be covered by a legal or constitutional protection. However, our collective duty of care is for the science system as a whole, and researchers must realise that they are doing a gross disservice to the institution of science if they continue to report their outcomes in publications that will be locked behind paywalls.

We also understand that researchers may be driven to do so by a misdirected reward system which puts emphasis on the wrong indicators (e.g. journal impact factor). We therefore commit to fundamentally revise the incentive and reward system of science, using the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) [6] as a starting point.

The subscription-based model of scientific publishing emerged at a certain point in the history of science, when research papers needed extensive typesetting, layout design, printing, and when hardcopies of journals needed to be distributed throughout the world. While moving from print to digital, the publishing process still needs services, but the distribution channels have been completely transformed. There is no valid reason to maintain any kind of subscription-based business model for scientific publishing in the digital world, where Open Access dissemination is maximising the impact, visibility, and efficiency of the whole research process. Publishers should provide services that help scientists to review, edit, disseminate, and interlink their work and they may charge fair value for these services in a transparent way. The minimal standards for services expected from publishers are laid down on page 6 of the 2015 ‘Science Europe Principles on Open Access Publisher Services’ [3].

Obviously, our call for immediate Open Access is not compatible with any type of embargo period.

We acknowledge that ‘transformative’ type of agreements, where subscription fees are offset against publication fees, may contribute to accelerate the transition to full Open Access. Therefore, it is acceptable that, during a transition period that should be as short as possible, individual funders may continue to tolerate publications in ‘hybrid’ journals that are covered by such a ‘transformative’ type of agreement. There should be complete transparency in such agreements and their terms and conditions should be fully and publicly disclosed.

We are aware that there may be attempts to misuse the Open Access model of publishing by publishers that provide poor or non-existent editorial services (e.g. the so-called ‘predatory’ publishers). We will therefore support initiatives that establish robust quality criteria for Open Access publishing, such as the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) (https://doaj.org) and the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) (https://www.doabooks.org).

We note that for monographs and books the transition to Open Access may be longer than 1 January 2020, but as short as possible and respecting the targets already set by the individual research funders.

cOAlition S: Building an Alliance of Funders and Stakeholders

Plan S states the fundamental principles for future Open Access publishing. Science Europe, funders, the European Research Council and the European Commission will work together to clarify and publish implementation details. The plan does not advocate any particular Open Access business model, although it is clear that some of the current models are not compliant. We therefore invite publishers to switch to publication models that comply with these principles.

Plan S was initiated by the Open Access Envoy of the European Commission and further developed by the President of Science Europe and by a group of Heads of national funding organisations. It also drew on substantial input from the Scientific Council of the European Research Council.

Today, a group of national funders initiate the alliance cOAlition S (http://scieur.org/coalition-s) to take action towards the implementation of Plan S, and are joined by the European Commission and the European Research Council.

We invite other funding agencies and research councils, as well as stakeholders (notably researchers, universities, libraries, and publishers) to join cOAlition S and thereby contribute to the swift realisation of our vision of science without publication paywalls.

 

References

  1. Merton RK. The Normative Structure of Science. In: Merton RK. The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1973.
  2. Max Planck Society. Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities. 22 Oct 2003. Available from: https://openaccess.mpg.de/Berlin-Declaration. Cited 29 Aug 2018.
  3. Science Europe. Science Europe Principles on Open Access to Research Publications. Apr 2013 (updated May 2015). Available from: http://scieur.org/opennew. Cited 29 Aug 2018.
  4. Kwon D. Universities in Germany and Sweden Lose Access to Elsevier Journals. The Scientist. 19 Jul 2018. Available from: https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/universities-in-germany-and-sweden-lose-access-to-elsevier-journals–64522. Cited 31 Aug 2018.
  5. Kwon D. French Universities Cancel Subscriptions to Springer Journals. The Scientist. 31 Mar 2018. Available from: https://www.the-scientist.com/daily-news/french-universities-cancel-subscriptions-to-springer-journals-29882. Cited 31 Aug 2018.
  6. San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). DORA Roadmap: A two-year strategic plan for advancing global research assessment reform at the institutional, national, and funder level. 27 Jun 2018. Available from: https://sfdora.org/2018/06/27/dora-roadmap-a-two-year-strategic-plan-for-advancing-global-research-assessment-reform-at-the-institutional-national-and-funder-level/. Cited 29 Aug 2018.

 

 

Transparency, credit, and peer review

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Yesterday I signed an open letter on behalf of all PLOS journals, alongside 20 other editors representing over 100 publications, to commit to offering transparent peer review options.

Support for publication of reviewer reports has been mounting as part of a greater effort to inform the discussion on peer review practice. Our joint commitment to transparent peer review comes on the heels of a meeting we attended earlier this year organized by HHMI, The Wellcome Trust and ASAPbio. Funders, editors, and publishers came together and agreed that elevating the visibility of peer review is paramount for informed scholarly discussion and early career development. Context for the initiatives is provided today in a Nature commentary.

We are excited to be working alongside so many other journals eager to bring posted reviews to our communities and to help change the way in which we talk about and understand peer review.

How it works

Our approach is to let authors and reviewers decide what level of transparency is right for them on a case by case basis. Authors will choose whether to make the peer review history public at the end of the assessment process for their manuscript. Reviewers will decide whether to reveal their identities or remain anonymous. We encourage authors and reviewers to experiment with the new options.

What’s in it for researchers?

Transparent peer review is a critical first step towards elevating peer review reports as recognized scholarly outputs.

We plan to post peer reviews with a DOI so that it can be cited in the contributor’s CV or referenced as the foundation for further discussion of the work. This is especially critical for early career researchers to be able to demonstrate their varied contributions to their field.

We hope that deeper insight into peer review will strengthen understanding of the scientific record and help future generations of researchers learn about the assessment process.

Ready for change

Before making our decision, we asked our communities what they thought of transparent peer review and surveyed the feedback from other journals that have already implemented or experimented with different forms of transparent review.

In a 2017 survey of our reviewers, 87% of participants said they would be fine with posted reviews. Of the remaining 13%, many indicated that they felt this decision should be left up to the authors, a concern that we’ve taken into account by allowing authors to decide whether they want to publish their peer reviews or not (according to another survey, 45% of them do).

Other journals who offer to post anonymous reviews, including Nature Communications, eLife, and The EMBO Journal, saw little to no difference in reviewer participation rates after implementing similar policies.

We’ll share what we learn

While transparent peer review isn’t a new concept, it hasn’t yet been widely adopted. With over 23,000 research articles published each year in the PLOS family of journals, there is an opportunity for us to affect meaningful change in the way scholarly communities in all disciplines learn about and understand peer review.

We are excited to offer transparent peer review to our contributors. As we move forward, we’ll be analyzing our processes, gathering data, and listening to feedback from our contributors in order to report back to the community.

 

Save the date: CC Global Summit is happening May 9-11 in Lisbon!

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Drumroll, please…. after two successful years in Toronto, Canada, the 2019 Global Summit will be held in Lisbon, Portugal May 9-11 2019. Please save the date!

Since 2015, the CC Summit has nearly doubled in size. We’ve lined up two great venues to host this international event. Workshops, talks, planning sessions, and small group sessions will be held in Museu do Oriente, a vibrant new museum in a refurbished industrial building on the Alcântara Waterfront. Our keynotes and our Friday night party will be held at Cineteatro Capitólio, a major Art Deco cultural landmark that recently reopened its doors. The event will be co-hosted by CC and CC Portugal, and we owe tremendous gratitude to the CC Portugal team for their insight and assistance. We also want to congratulate and thank Teresa Nobre and Timothy Vollmer, our Program Committee Chairs, for stepping up to lead our community planning.

We’ve grown the CC Global Summit every year as hundreds of leading activists, advocates, librarians, educators, lawyers, technologists, and more have joined us for discussion and debate, workshops and planning, talks and community building. It’s a can’t-miss event for anyone interested in the global movement for the commons.

Last year’s stream and keynotes from leading global activists:

Information on programming and how you can get involved coming soon. For updates, subscribe to our Summit mailing list or join us on Slack.

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PLOS Update

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In 2009, we launched PLOS Currents as an experimental platform for rapid communication of non-standard publications. A few communities embraced the experiment enthusiastically from the start, and the contributions of researchers who volunteered as editors and reviewers was fantastic. Over the years, we have seen important applications, for example, in small communities collaborating on rare diseases research in PLOS Currents Huntington Disease, and in rapid communication of preliminary results in the context of disease outbreaks in PLOS Currents Outbreaks. In particular, there was a surge of submissions during the 2014 Ebola outbreak and the 2015-2016 Zika virus outbreak.

However, in recent years the technology supporting this platform has aged rapidly, the user experience has been subpar, and submissions have substantially decreased. We have undertaken a thorough review to understand these concerns, and to evaluate whether PLOS Currents was still meeting our original aims – and the needs of its communities. Our conclusion: it does not. Much has changed in the years since Currents’ launch and we think there are now better ways of serving the original aims. We have therefore made the difficult announcement to cease its publication.

From today, PLOS Currents will no longer accept new submissions. Authors who currently have a submission under review have been contacted with details on their options going forward. All PLOS Currents content will remain available, citable, indexed in PubMed and permanently archived on the PLOS Currents site and publicly archived in PubMed Central.

In assessing how PLOS Currents measured against its original vision we learned three major lessons and a new path forward:

  1. Despite the flexibility of the format and invitations to submit wide-ranging research (e.g., negative results, single experiments, research in progress, protocols, datasets, etc.), the majority of submissions to PLOS Currents were traditional research articles
  2. The platform which underlies PLOS Currents has not evolved as rapidly with the needs of the community it was meant to serve.
  3. A common thread has been the desire to publish rapidly, which was particularly obvious in the case of PLOS Currents Disasters and PLOS Currents Outbreaks. However, since PLOS Currents was launched new publishing tools have emerged that can facilitate the rapid sharing of work.

We have partnered with like-minded organizations to provide more adapted and specialized solutions. Today we offer the option for rapid dissemination across all of our journals through our recent partnership with the preprint server bioRxiv.  We have also partner with other platforms that specialize in specific content types such as protocols.io, an open access repository for laboratory protocols, with customized features for protocols publication, execution, adaptation, and discussion. Through a series of preferred repositories that host specialist dataset and our close collaboration with Dryad and figshare, PLOS champions the sharing of data sets according to the FAIR principles.

We continue to seek partnerships to facilitate the dissemination of research outputs that do not conform to the traditional research article mold. Meanwhile, PLOS ONE has reinforced its commitment to continue to publish negative results and replication and confirmation studies.

To bring together all these features, we have built PLOS Channels, which integrate content from all PLOS titles, the wider literature, preprint servers, blogs, and the other content platforms types described above. Channel Editors curate this content to create a highly-valuable community resource, developed and maintained by communities for communities. By extending beyond a single title or platform for original content, we believe that Channels are well suited to build on the initial objectives of PLOS Currents.

For example, last year, we launched a Disease Forecasting & Surveillance Channel to which one of the Editors of PLOS Currents Outbreaks and a member of our Currents review board already contribute. In May, as the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo worsened, we rapidly launched an Ebola Channel to serve responders. When the WHO announced the end of the outbreak, we paused activity on the Channel but stand ready to activate it, or another channel, as researchers and clinicians mobilize to fight outbreaks as they occur. These are only two examples of the potential we see for Channels to support specific communities.

The initial objectives of PLOS Currents remain vibrantly alive at PLOS and we are enormously grateful to all the PLOS Currents Editors and Reviewers, past and present, who have made this experiment possible. We will continue to work with these communities to find new ways to facilitate communication of research that fit their specific needs.

A warm welcome to three new staff members: Alden Page, Steven Bellamy, and Jami Vass

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Please join CC in extending a warm welcome to three new members of the CC team! On our Product team, Alden Page and Steven Bellamy have joined us as Front End Engineer and Back End Engineer, respectively. On the fundraising and development team, we’re welcoming Jami Vass as Director of Development.

Alden Page is a backend software developer on CC’s Product team and strives to build the infrastructure that will power a rich ecosystem of applications on top of the digital commons, beginning with CC Search.

Prior to joining Creative Commons, Alden developed and operated a real-time market risk management system used by equity derivatives traders at Deutsche Bank. He also has experience contributing to free software, and worked in the ad-tech industry. Alden currently lives in New York City and enjoys cycling in his free time.

Steven Bellamy has over 15 years experience with developing interfaces for the web and architecting JavaScript solutions.

Previously, he worked on enterprise level applications for various startups, the Department of Defense, and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB). Steven currently lives in Alexandria VA, where he spends much of his time listening to jazz.

 

 

Jami Vass is excited to join the Creative Commons team as Director of Development, where she will lead global fundraising efforts to support CC’s mission. Jami brings over 17 years of diverse fundraising experience to CC.

Formerly, she led development efforts in the Southeast US at the ASPCA. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology and a Masters Certificate in Nonprofit Management. When Jami is not fundraising, she plays the piano or spends time with her horses.

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Creative Commons awarded $800,000 from Arcadia to support discovery and collaboration in the global commons

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Creative Commons is pleased to announce an award of new funding in the amount of $800,000 over two years from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, in support of CC Search, a Creative Commons technology project designed to maximize discovery and use of openly licensed content in the Commons. Arcadia supports charities and scholarly institutions to preserve cultural heritage, protect the environment, and promote open access. Since 2002, Arcadia has awarded more than $500 million in grants to projects around the world.

The digital commons — made up of over 1.4 billion CC licensed, public domain, and other openly licensed works — is massive, distributed, and growing. The Commons extends well beyond photos and video to include a myriad of content types — from open educational resources (OER) and scientific research to 3D models; from video games to VR landscapes. There is no larger compendium of shared human knowledge and creativity, available to everyone to reuse under simple, permissive terms. Despite the tremendous growth of the Commons and the widespread use of CC licenses, there is no simple user-friendly way to maximize discovery, use, and engagement with all of that content.

CC Search — together with the Commons Metadata Library and the Commons API — will form the Commons Collaborative Archive and Library, a suite of tools for discovery and collaboration. CC aims through the development of this suite of tools to make the global commons of openly licensed content more searchable, usable, and resilient, and to provide essential infrastructure for collaborative online communities. The project elements will feature an index of every openly licensed and public domain work on the web (the Library); an API allowing developers to query the metadata library and to develop services and integrations for content in the Commons; and CC Search, a search engine that harnesses the power of open repositories and allows users to search across a variety of open content through a single interface.

Creative Commons is deeply appreciative of Arcadia’s generous support of this work. Arcadia has previously supported Creative Commons with an award for development of an academic suite of legal tools that work in combination with CC licenses to enable and accelerate Open Access publication and expansion of the commons. We are pleased to build on that work to expand and enhance the discoverability of open resources.

For more information, contact Eric Steuer, Director of Content and Community, at eric@creativecommons.org.

Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, supports charities and scholarly institutions to preserve cultural heritage, protect the environment, and promote open access. Since 2002, Arcadia has awarded more than $500 million in grants to projects around the world.

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Flipping the Switch on a Revitalized CC Network

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I’m excited to share an update on the implementation of the CC Global Network Strategy, and to move forward on an important next step that will, for the first time, put the Network in the hands of the Network: the first meeting of Chapter representatives to the Global Network Council.

We started this process together in 2015, at the Global Summit hosted by CC Korea, in Seoul, South Korea. Many leaders in our community wanted to revitalize our network and help it grow, and it was soon after I had joined CC with a mandate from the Board of Directors to put community back at the center of our work.

The previous affiliate structure was top-down, where each affiliate was selected by CC HQ, and only those with a memorandum of understanding with HQ were permitted to join. The affiliates had only the rights granted by MOU, and their workplans were approved by HQ. While much good work was done, there was a desire from the community to do more, and work more collaboratively. Together, we initiated a community-driven process to evaluate, evolve, and invigorate the network.

A small group of community leaders — both new and longstanding contributors from around the world — formed a strategy committee, chaired by myself and Alek Tarkowski from CC Poland. We designed a global consultation and collaborative design process to create a new network. We commissioned independent research, and a committee of affiliates and community members explored new models and ways of engagement and governance. They reviewed hundreds of comments, and drafted a new strategy, a new charter, and a new code of conduct.

The model, built around a structure of Chapters and a Global Council, was designed by the network, and the members are being approved by the network, for the first time in our history. We decoupled the local teams from institutions to allow leading individuals to join and remain connected no matter where they went. We built clear processes, so that anyone who shared our values and had done work to contribute to the Commons could join. We also added a layer of governance that allows the network to lead the network, with partnership and support from the global organization.

To support these new Chapters, we built a network website to drive engagement and support a connected, active community. CC hired new staff to support local communities and develop a strong global ecosystem. We made our Global Summit an annual event to give us more opportunities to organize and connect. We provided financial support to local projects.

The network decided that each of its members must be endorsed or vouched by two other community members who know them personally and who know their work. It has been quite meaningful to me to be asked to vouch for community members, to share my endorsements of their accomplishments, and to read the statements others write about their colleagues to extoll their virtues and achievements over the years. We have a lot to celebrate, and much more to do.

This is a major shift, and I respect that it comes with some adjustment, especially for longtime affiliates. Change can be difficult and frustrating, and I’m grateful to each of you for working together to make it work.

Today, the new Global Network is growing rapidly, with a dozen formally-established chapters, over 252 individual members and 19 institutional members in 62 countries, and more coming online every day. We are more decentralized, collaborative, and community-led than ever before. I’m proud of the work we’ve done together, and inspired by the energy and passion for the CC community.

What’s Next?

With many Chapters now established, and many more to come, it’s time to hold the first meeting of the Global Network Council. The meeting will take place in late September or early October. We’ll canvass Chapters on the ideal times and provide lots of advance notice.

If you are in a community that hasn’t set up its Chapter yet, now is the time. Our staff are here to help — it’s a simple process of connecting with the members in your country, hosting an online meeting, and selecting a public lead and a representative to the Global Network Council. For some Chapters, there will be more structure needed, and for others it will be less formal. We’ve produced a guide to help you through the process, and there’s a #network-support channel in the CC Slack to get help from your peers.

Thank you again for all your energy and passion for Creative Commons’ community. In particular, I want to thank the network strategy group, the transition team, and the Interim Membership Council, who have all given their time to help establish the new Network. I also want to single out Claudio Ruiz, Simeon Oriko, Rob Myers, Diane Peters, Sarah Pearson, and George Hari Popescu for their work as staff to support this new strategy.

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CC Certificates courses, OER, and multiple ways to get involved!

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Photo by Lillian Rigling, CC BY 4.0

On July 16, the first four Creative Commons Certificate courses began. Two cohorts of 25 librarians and two cohorts of 25 educators joined us from Bangladesh, Canada, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, and the US. Immediately apparent in this group is the diverse experience, impressive expertise, and personal interest participants bring to the courses. Participants have already begun working on assignments and volunteering openly licensed resources they’ve created. We are compiling a list of the participant-shared Open Educational Resources (OER) which we will share at the end of the courses.

As an instructor, I’m humbled and delighted by the chance to learn from so many new colleagues. I look forward to seeing the number of CC-certified, commons experts increase, and the network of “open” advocates grow. We also recognize that the CC Certificate course is not yet available to many people who would like access to it. We aim to increase course accessibility through a scholarship program, language translations, building instructor capacity, and other improvements. We will be working on all of these efforts over the next year.

In the short term, here are some immediate ways you can get involved.

  1. We offer the CC Certificate content to everyone as OER, under the CC BY license, in downloadable, editable file formats on our website. We invite you to reuse and remix the content! Please let us know what content is useful to you and/or how you use it by emailing jennryn@creativecommons.org. Understanding how our shared content is useful to you helps us further advance a culture of sharing and engagement.
  2. We are piloting work with Hypothes.is, a non-profit organization that enables anyone to annotate resources online, to make it simple for everyone to publicly add comments to the CC Certificate content. Join CC Certificate participants in this public forum for annotation of Certificate content. CC will monitor these public annotations to learn how we can make improvements to future iterations of the CC Certificate. Your feedback in this global conversation will help strengthen the course. Get involved on the CC Certificate Resources page, or annotate content directly.
  3. While the CC Certificate is currently sold out for 2018, we will open 2019 course registration in the fall and look forward to sharing additional updates with you as our 2018 courses progress. For example, we will share compiled lists of CC licensed resources and projects participants generate, and invite you to use them for your own learning and advocacy efforts. Follow #cccert on Twitter, join our newsletter and check out our CC Certificate website for updates.

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All the news that’s fit to share: Melody Kramer on CC and the power of media

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By ZMcCune (WMF) [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], from Wikimedia CommonsMelody Kramer is a media expert with a special gift for uplifting open knowledge and demonstrating the power of the Commons. Previously, she held roles in public media and government and currently works as the Senior Audience Development Manager at Wikimedia. A prolific content producer and media mover and shaker, Kramer is also the Reese News Lab Fellow at the UNC School of Media and Journalism, where she’s completing research to better understand the needs of journalists across North Carolina. She writes a weekly column on the future of news for the Poynter Institute and devoted that column to CC and its necessary role in journalism in 2016.

Melody also runs an email newsletter about creative and magical projects and tweets brilliantly @mkramer.

You wrote in Poynter in March 2016 that “it’s time for news organizations to embrace Creative Commons.” With the events of the past few years and the increasing awareness of so-called “fake” news, do you still feel that way? What’s changed since you wrote that article? What can newsrooms do to leverage the power of Open?
I point to ProPublica as an organization that leverages Creative Commons licensing in an incredibly strategic and smart way. ProPublica is an organization that deeply cares about the impact of their journalism, and they want their journalism to reach the widest audience possible — even if that means that other organizations publish their material under the CC license. But ProPublica also requires organizations to add a snippet of Javascript so that they can track metrics, and also has a list of requirements (none particularly taxing) that ensure reprints are on the up-and-up. In short, this helps fulfill ProPublica’s mission, gives them audiences they might otherwise not have, and does all of this leveraging the power of free and open licensing.

I do not think Creative Commons licensing is right for every news organization or every story published – there are different revenue strategies for every news organization. But for enterprise stories that will deliver a large impact, I think it makes sense to examine whether following ProPublica’s lead makes sense — particularly if showing greater impact can lead to greater funding. (And the uptick in misinformation and disinformation makes getting good, enterprise journalism out to audiences all the more important.)

Publishers should be allowed to determine their own revenue strategy and the way in which others can use their work. Josh Stearns once outlined 52 different revenue strategies for news organizations and many of them (but not all) benefit from having their content freely available to the public.

In your role as Senior Audience Development Manager at Wikimedia, you work to better communicate free and open access to knowledge around the world. How can open movements better communicate our message? How can we leverage our collective power?
It’s a tricky message to convey, and I’m grateful that we’re part of a larger ecosystem of organizations that think deeply about how to talk about this stuff. I really like tools like Choose a License which basically give people the information that they need in a really easy-to-understand way. I’m a big believer in thinking through:

What does someone need to know?
When do they need to know it?
Why?
What’s too much information?

I also look outside of the open ecosystem for really good examples of explaining tough concepts. For example, Khan Academy takes tough academic concepts and creates very easy-to-understand, short videos. I think about their videos a lot.

The hidden labor (particularly by women) in Open is a major issue for the movement. You have a prolific output as a writer and culture maker on the web. How do you balance your personal projects and interests with the work you do for Wikimedia? How do you value your labor in the Commons and make the choice to share? Not to put too fine a point on it, but where do you find the time?
It’s really, really hard. I really love writing and it’s both a passion and a discipline for me — so it is relaxing and enjoyable for me. But I’m also a relatively new mom, and have cut back a bit recently because I don’t always want to be in front of a screen; I want to focus my full attention on my son when I’m not working. In my writing, I try to abide by the philosophy of “good enough.” It would take me a very, very long time to write something perfect that I would be perfectly content and happy about, so I don’t do that. I write “good enough” which gets the point across, but maybe isn’t the most eloquent way of putting something (for the writing I do in my personal time.) And I’ve also started saying no more. I may Skype into something that I previously would attend in person. I might do a phone call or a Hangout instead of something more taxing. Balance is something I’m constantly striving towards (which doesn’t sound very balanced.) It helps that I live in a small town in the South, where a lot of people get off screens to make music and enjoy each other’s company.

What are some CC things you love? What gets you psyched about working on the web these days?
I really find myself missing the old days of the web, when you would stumble down a random rabbit hole and learn about topics like bicycle repair or cheesemaking or advanced math. There were so many syllabi online in those days, and they really helped me with my own coursework (and with just learning material on my own.) I’m always happy to see when professors still put their syllabi online with a CC license. (Example.) It really helps spread knowledge and make it accessible.

What’s psyching me about working on the web these days is how many people seem to be returning to the wild quirky 90s days of the web. I love blogs. I love single purpose sites. They’re increasingly hard to find due to search engines – but I return again and again to sites like Metafilter which surface all sorts of links I wouldn’t otherwise see.

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We’ve Redesigned the CC License “Legal Code” Pages

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Last week, we launched a redesign of Creative Commons’ various license (aka “legal code”) pages. See one for yourself. In this post, I’ll spell out what the changes are and why we made them.

The most obvious change we made is updating the overall look of the pages so that they resemble the rest of the Creative Commons website, which was redesigned back in September 2016, as well as the CC license “deed” pages (e.g. the CC BY 4.0 deed), which were redesigned in 2017. We’d always intended to pull the design of the license/legal code pages up in line with the deeds, but the deeds took precedence, since they are the most frequently viewed pages on our website. I’m happy to say that we’ve finished the project with this latest design update.

The new design The retired design

Along with this look-and-feel overhaul, we wanted to ensure that the license/legal code pages were more mobile-friendly. The previous design was released well over a decade ago, before the typical web user was likely to be viewing CC licenses in a mobile display. We noticed that reading the text of a CC license was difficult on many types of mobile devices, and it was important to us to fix this. Text and images in the new design automatically adjust to better fit the type of experience you are using to view the license.

We also added a brand new feature–one we liked so much that in tandem with the license page overhaul, we ended up extending it to the deed pages as well. This is the translation menu pulldown tool, also known as the “language switcher.” Previously, to see the content of a license or deed page in another of its translated languages, you would hit a link at the top of the page (“Official translations of this license are available in other languages”) or scroll to get to the very bottom of the page where you would then see a list of the other available languages, each one linked to the corresponding translated page. This worked fine, but we wanted to improve the experience of getting to a new translation. The new translation menu tool sits right at the top right of the license and deed pages and enables you to easily identify which languages the page has been translated into, and more quickly select the one you’d like to view. We also kept the list of translated languages at the bottom of these pages intact, in order to accommodate those who are used to identifying and viewing translations that way.

The new translation menu tool (aka the “language switcher”)

Additionally, we made a handful of smaller changes that are intended to help people better use the licenses. First, the new design includes the website header that is used across the rest of creativecommons.org. The old license design did not include this, making it somewhat difficult for a person who landed on the license page via a search result or a link from an external site to understand where exactly on the web they were. By adding the website header to the license pages, we hope to do a better job contextualizing for people that the license is part of a much larger system, and to give them a much more direct path to learning about Creative Commons generally and getting involved with the CC community.

Lastly, we made two more tweaks focused on improving the experience of using the licenses. There have long been two pieces of text that precede the actual terms of a Creative Commons license on the license pages–a disclaimer at the top followed by a brief list of considerations (the part entitled “Using Creative Commons Public Licenses”). This content is extremely important, but we realized that in the previous design of the pages, it could be tough to differentiate between it and the license terms that follow. In the new design, the disclaimer appears in italics, while the considerations are presented in a truncated style–the first few lines of each of the two considerations appear above a small button that enables you to expand these sections to read more.

We’re excited about these changes and hope that the public finds them useful. A big thank-you to Diane Peters and Sarah Hinchliff Pearson, CC’s general counsel and senior counsel, respectively, for all their help in getting our list of changes into shape. Also a huge thanks to the folks at Affinity Bridge, the web development and design firm who helped us take our ideas for these revised pages and make them live.

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Se årets State of the Commons rapport: Nu 1,4 mia. CC-værker

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Traditionen tro har det globale Creative Commons netværk for nyligt udgivet den årlige rapport State of Commons, som giver en status på væksten i verdens voksende fælled af åbne materialer samt de millioner af mennesker som skaber og bruger dem.

Således kan man nu se State of the Commons 2017 online, som foruden en række flotte datavisualiseringer, der bl.a. forklarer at der nu findes over 1,4 milliarder åbne værker på nettet – fotos, videoer, tekster, musikstykker mv. – men derudover også fremhæver hovedpunkter fra Creative Commons bevægelsens aktiviteter i det forgangne år.

Eksempelvis kan det nævnes at året bød på den hidtil største konference for organisationen og netværket (Creative Commons Global Summit i Toronto), og at et helt nyt program for Creative Commons certificeringer blev lanceret. Det kan også fremhæves at en helt ny CC-søgemaskine, CC Search, blev skudt igang og at netværksstrukturen for det globale community af lokalafdelinger (som vi i Creative Commons Danmark er en del af) blev komplet reformeret og optimeret.

Sidst, men ikke mindst, sætter rapporten også fokus på Creative Commons-netværket øgede aktivitet på aktivistfronten idet der blev gjort en stor indsats for at opponere dels mod TPP-handelsaftalen samt dele af EU’s nye ophavsrettighedsreform.

Dyk ned i State of the Commons 2017 og læs meget mere.

Copyrights & Open Access in Education – conference in Bulgaria

European Open EDU Policy Project -

On June 18th a round table on in Education took place in Sofia under the initiative of DIGITAL REPUBLIC and have provided a platform for discussion on the current issues on European scale. The event was part of the official calendar of the European Parliament Bureau Bulgaria and has been performed in the perspective of the Bulgarian Presidency of EU, that ends in July. The participants in the Round Table represented the variety of stakeholders in Bulgaria and Europe – research/academia (prof. George Dimitrov, prof. Mariyana Lazarova), interested not-for-profit organizations (Lisette Kalshoven, Alek Tarkowski, Natalia Mileszyk), projects (Georgi Simeonov, Claudia Iordache) as well representatives of Bulgarian institutions ( Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications).

The event has provided floor for the discussion on the most current trends/issues in the educational sphere on regional and European scale. The ongoing controversial Copyright Reform in EU was discussed in perspective of education/educational exceptions, especially in the perspective of the effective Bulgarian Copyright Law. A consensus was achieved between the participants for future steps towards better understanding and actions for DIGITAL REPUBLIC and the representatives of Ministry of Education will join efforts towards the achievement of better educational copyright exception in Bulgaria. Another accent of the event was the discussion on open access and open educational resources in Europe in Bulgaria. Again, it was concluded that future efforts in this direction are necessary to be taken in Bulgaria. For this aim, DIGITAL REPUBLIC and OpenAIRE Bulgaria will join their forces.

 

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How to develop Open Education in Poland? Workshop at the University of Gdańsk

European Open EDU Policy Project -

On June 13 a group of Polish non-governmental organizations, researchers and librarians working in the field of open education met in order to discuss on recommendations for better public policies for open education. The aim of the meeting was also to network with people and institutions who are interested in developing open education in Poland.

The framework of our discussion was based on three areas:

  • formal education (primary and secondary schools),
  • academic education (including research and Open Access)
  • non-formal education entities that can complement school education, create materials for use in schools, run parallel educational activities, trainings for teachers, management staff, etc.

An important part of our discussion was an analysis of how the Cape Town Declaration +10 years model, which defines new directions for Open Education policies, fits in the Polish context. We’ve focused on the reality of academic digital repositories, using the example of MOST Knowledge  repository of Gdańsk University of Technology). We also discussed the involvement of university libraries in promoting openness among students, research associates and lecturers.

It was also an opportunity for us to exchange opinions and insights about the Polish national open textbooks platform “E-podręczniki”. One of the most important conclusions of this discussion was that open educational resources cannot be limited only to digital resources.

This meeting was the first step in developing recommendations in the areas selected by us. Centrum Cyfrowe in cooperation of The Faculty of Pedagogy of the University of Gdańsk is planning now subsequent stages of work.

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