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Attention Earth Sciences: PLOS ONE wants YOUR Preprint

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Dedicated team of Editorial Board Members are now actively seeking manuscripts in the Earth Sciences from preprint servers EarthArXiv and ESSoar.

Preprint servers offer a myriad of benefits to authors who are excited to share their work with the community as soon as possible, so we’ve offered our authors the ease of automatically posting their life science submissions on bioRxiv. But PLOS ONE is a community of many different voices and we want to help promote preprints in all disciplines. This includes providing authors with more reasons to post a preprint – on top of the advantages that posting a preprint already offer such as faster dissemination and allowing for input from the whole community. We’re therefore delighted to announce the introduction of a new program to invite submissions of posted preprint manuscripts specifically in the Earth and Space sciences. Our aim is to support authors posting their papers with a fast and efficient peer review process and journal publication of their work.

Introducing PLOS ONE Preprint Editors

Going forward, we’ve tasked a small group of PLOS ONE Editorial Board members with reviewing and inviting preprint submissions from EarthArXiv and ESSOAr that they feel would be a good fit for the journal. This group will be led by Section Editors Guy Schumann (Bristol University, UK) and Juan Añel (University of Vigo, Spain) along with dedicated Preprint Editors, Xialoe Sun (Stockholm University, Sweden) and Julien Bouchez (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, France).

As part of this program, submissions invited through preprint servers will receive special attention from the staff editors which may include extra promotion on social media. Climate change papers may also be recommended to the “Responding to Climate Change” Channel, of which Juan Añel is also an editor.

“As a preprint editor one can have a substantial positive impact and contribute a potentially very high added-value to the scientific community of a particular research field.”

  • Guy Schumann, Section Editor PLOS ONE

We are truly excited to place this program in the hands of these individuals who’ve proven their dedication to their communities and eagerness to advance scholarly outputs for scientific communication in the Earth and Space sciences.

Why we choose preprints

Recruiting research from preprint servers is nothing new in academic publishing, other journals like PLOS Genetics and eLife already do so. Preprints represent huge opportunities for improvement on slow publication times. When it comes to critical issues like climate change and others, getting results out sooner can have a dramatic impact on our ability to advance science and foster early collaboration and debate on new research results.

“For me, a main advantage of preprints is that they can help to advance science faster, with public exposure of what is going on, what is cutting-edge”

  • Juan Añel, Section Editor PLOS ONE

I’ve never posted a preprint before, should I?

Yes! The benefits are endless. Preprints are an easy way to generate exposure for your research before you even decide where to submit (ESSOAr also accepts uploads of conference posters and other materials). When you post a preprint, you have immediate and unlimited reach allowing you stake the first claim on your methods and results, and even get early feedback from your community. Sounds great, right? Preprints are also beneficial for early career researchers who need discoverable, citable content that speaks to their academic contributions and can help advance their careers.

“Particularly for young scientists, who are the major driving force for science today and need a… good publication record to look for their next job, preprints would be a very [good] choice for them to publicize their findings in a timely way and “decorate” their CV”.

  • Xiaole Sun, Preprint Editor PLOS ONE

We encourage you to join us in our support of preprints, not just in the earth sciences but across all disciplines. Preprints are already one of the fastest growing research outputs, and we can all do our part to making it an even more successful outlet for new communities that are just beginning to explore its potential.

 

EU’s proposed link tax would [still] harm Creative Commons licensors

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Chains by Christina McCarty, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In September the European Parliament voted to approve drastic changes to copyright law that would negatively affect creativity, freedom of expression, research, and sharing across the EU. Now the Parliament and Council (representing the Member State governments) are engaged in closed-door negotiations, and their task over the coming months is to come up with a reconciled version of the directive text, which will again be voted on in the European Parliament next year.

Article 11: The wrong solution to a real problem

A major provision that will be discussed is Article 11, the new “press publisher’s right” (also known as the link tax). Both the Parliament and Council have already approved versions of this unnecessary and counterproductive “publisher’s right,” which would require news aggregators that wish to index or incorporate links and snippets of journalistic content to first get a license or pay a fee to the publisher for their use online.

The Parliament’s version of Article 11 says Member States must adopt the new right so press publishers “may obtain fair and proportionate remuneration for the digital use of their press publications by information society service providers.”

Article 11 is ill-suited to address the challenges in supporting quality journalism, and it will further decrease competition and innovation in news delivery. Spain and Germany have already experimented with similar versions of this rule, and neither resulted in increased revenues for publishers. Instead, it likely decreased the visibility (and by extension, revenues) of published content—exactly the opposite of what was intended. Just last week a coalition of small- and medium-sized publishers sent a letter to the trilogue negotiators outlining how they will be harmed if Article 11 is adopted.

Collateral damage: those that want to share under CC

Not only is a link tax bad for business, it would undermine the intention of authors who wish to share without additional strings attached, such as creators who want to share works under open licenses. This could be especially harmful to Creative Commons licensors if it means that remuneration must be granted notwithstanding the terms of the CC license. This interpretation is not far-flung. As IGEL wrote last week,

“the Parliament’s proposal makes it clear that press publishers should receive financial compensation from search engine providers in particular when they display links to publishers’ websites. Member States, however, could now come up with the idea that this goal could be achieved most effectively if publishers could not waive their right to remuneration. Only the amount of the remuneration claim would then still be negotiable, but not its assertion.”

As we’ve said before, such a right “directly conflicts with publishers who wish to share freely and openly using Creative Commons licenses. Forcing publishers who use CC to accept additional unwaivable rights to receive payment violates the letter and spirit of Creative Commons licensing and denies publishers the freedom to conduct business and share content as they wish.”

When an author applies a Creative Commons licenses to their work, they grant to the public a worldwide, royalty-free license to use the work under certain terms. The license text specifically states, “To the extent possible, the Licensor waives any right to collect royalties from You for the exercise of the Licensed Rights, whether directly or through a collecting society under any voluntary or waivable statutory or compulsory licensing scheme.”

For example, the Spanish news site eldiario.es releases all of their content online for free under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. By doing so, they are granting to the public a worldwide, royalty-free license to use the work under certain terms. Other news publishers in Europe using CC licenses that could also find themselves swept up under this new provision include La Stampa, 20 Minutos, and openDemocracy. These outlets have made a conscious decision to share their works for free under Creative Commons licenses without having to jump through additional hoops of charging aggregators or search engines for displaying links and snippets to their stories. If Article 11 would be deemed an unwaivable right, would it prevent these news publishers from using CC altogether since the license would conflict with the legal requirement?   

We firmly believe the author’s right to choose to share, or to seek compensation for all or some uses of their works. At the same time, the EU copyright directive must find a solution that also honors those authors who choose to share with few or no restrictions.

What can be done?

Article 11 should be deleted. Publishers already benefit greatly from the copyrights they have in their content, and don’t need an additional exclusive right to protect or exploit those rights. It’s clear that an additional right for press publishers will not support quality journalism, increase the diversity of media content, or grow the digital single market. Instead, it will negatively affect access to information and the ability for publishers to share using the platforms, technologies, and terms beneficial to them.

For years academics and public interest advocates have advocated for an easier and more effective way to promote the aims of quality journalism and the ability of press publishers to sustain their efforts without a new press publishers right. This approach was presented in the Parliament by former JURI Rapporteur Comodini, and that would rely on a presumption that publishers are the rights holders, thus making it easier for these entities “to conclude licences and to seek application of the measures, procedures and remedies.” The Parliament’s own research even recommended such an approach. This framing, which draws from Directive 2004/48/EC on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, already provides a robust legal framework for the protection of content without the negative aspects of introducing a new right.

If including some version of Article 11 is unavoidable, the Council version should be prioritised, since it already includes some protections for works under open licenses, or in the public domain. For instance, the previous Council text includes the following provision: “When a work or other subject-matter is incorporated in a press publication on the basis of a non-exclusive licence, the rights […] may not be invoked to prohibit the use by other authorised users [or] works or other subject-matter whose protection has expired.” In addition, the Council text only permits a 1 year term of protection, as opposed to the 5 year term offered by the Parliament version.

So far, the direction of the EU copyright directive reflects a disturbing path toward increasing control of the web to benefit only powerful rights holders at the expense of the open internet, freedom of expression, and the rights of users and the public interest in the digital environment. In the current negotiations, the Parliament and Council should not double down and punish Creative Commons licensors and others who want to share broadly with the world. These authors and creators have made a deliberate choice to use CC legal tools so that others may benefit. Their contributions to the commons should be respected and protected.

Authors:

Timothy Vollmer is Senior Public Policy Manager at Creative Commons. 

Dr. Till Kreutzer is a lawyer,  journalist, and Creative Commons Global Network Council Representative for CC Germany. He leads the Initiative Against An Ancillary Copyright For Press Publishers (“Initiative gegen ein Leistungsschutzrecht”, or IGEL).

The post EU’s proposed link tax would [still] harm Creative Commons licensors appeared first on Creative Commons.

CC Working with Flickr to Protect the Commons

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Flickr is one of the most important platforms to host and share CC licensed works on the web, and over 400 million of the photos there are CC licensed – representing over a quarter of all CC licensed works on the web. When Flickr was acquired by online photography service SmugMug last year, we were excited to see that a family-owned values-driven company had purchased it.

When I visited the SmugMug offices, I met a group of people with a deep passion for photography communities and a love for Flickr. They were also worried about its future after many years of neglect and a lack of a viable business model. They were committed to getting the service back on track — doing all the necessary back-end engineering, fixing things that users hated like Yahoo! login, and protecting and expanding the Commons.

For the first time in a long time, I was optimistic about Flickr and its future. I still am.

Today, Flickr announced that they will be limiting the number of photos in their free accounts to 1,000 images, and offering an extended Pro service for $49.99 a year. Users have 3 months to consider their options. Many users are concerned such a limit on free account capacity might cause millions of CC images to be deleted from the Commons. A lot of people have reached out to us directly and asked what we can do. I’m confident that together we can find solutions, if we assume goodwill and bring our collective creativity to the problem.

Creative Commons is working closely with Flickr and its parent company SmugMug to find ways to protect and preserve the Commons, and ultimately help it grow and thrive. We want to ensure that when users share their works that they are available online in perpetuity and that they have a great experience.

At the same time, I think it’s fair to say that the business models that have powered the web for so long are fundamentally broken. Storage and bandwidth for hundreds of millions (if not billions) of photos is very expensive. We’ve all benefited from Flickr’s services for so long, and I’m hopeful we will find a way forward together.

I’m glad that Flickr hasn’t turned to surveillance capitalism as the business model for its own sustainability plan – but that does mean they’ll have to explore other options. No one wants to see works from the Commons deleted, and we’ll be the first ones to step forward to help if that ever were to happen.

I have confidence in Don and Ben and the SmugMug and Flickr teams: they want to do right for the Commons, and they understand how deeply CC and the photo Commons is integrated into the goodwill that Flickr has retained over all these years. We welcome your ideas on how we can help Flickr support the Commons, and hope we’ll be able to share something with you soon.

The post CC Working with Flickr to Protect the Commons appeared first on Creative Commons.

Towards minimal reporting standards for life scientists

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A group of journal editors and experts in reproducibility and transparent reporting are putting together a  framework for minimal reporting standards in the life sciences. Part of this group, PLOS Executive Editor Veronique Kiermer shares a joint announcement.

Transparency in reporting benefits scientific communication on many levels. While specific needs and expectations vary across fields, the effective use of research findings relies on the availability of core information about research materials, data, and analysis. These are the underlying principles that led to the design of the TOP guidelines, which outline a framework that over 1,000 journals and publishers have elected to follow.

In September 2017, the second major TOP guidelines workshop hosted by the Center for Open Science led to a position paper suggesting a standardized approach for reporting, provisionally entitled the TOP Statement.

Based on discussions at that meeting and at the 2017 Peer Review Congress, in December 2017 we convened a working group of journal editors and experts to support this overall effort by developing a minimal set of reporting standards for research in the life sciences. This framework could both inform the TOP statement and serve in other contexts where better reporting can improve reproducibility.

In this “minimal standards” working group, we aim to draw from the collective experience of journals implementing a range of different approaches designed to enhance reporting and reproducibility (e.g. STAR Methods), existing life science checklists (e.g. the Nature Research reporting summary), and results of recent meta-research studying the efficacy of such interventions (e.g. Macleod et al. 2017; Han et al. 2017); to devise a set of minimal expectations that journals could agree to ask their authors to meet.

An advantage of aligning on minimal standards is consistency in policies and expectations across journals, which is beneficial for authors as they prepare papers for publication and for reviewers as they assess them. We also hope that other major stakeholders engaged in the research cycle, including institutional review bodies and funders, will see the value of agreeing on this type of reporting standard as a minimal expectation, as broad-based endorsement from an early stage in the research life cycle would provide important support for overall adoption and implementation.

The working group will provide three key deliverables:

  •       A “minimal standards” framework setting out minimal expectations across four core areas of materials (including data and code), design, analysis and reporting (MDAR)
  •       A “minimal standards” checklist intended to operationalize the framework by serving as an implementation tool to aid authors in complying with journal policies, and editors and reviewers in assessing reporting and compliance with policies
  •       An “elaboration” document or user guide providing context for the “minimal standards” framework and checklist

While all three outputs are intended to provide tools to help journals, researchers and other stakeholders with adoption of the minimal standards framework, we do not intend to be prescriptive about the precise mechanism of implementation and we anticipate that in many cases they will be used as a yardstick within the context of an existing reporting system. Nevertheless, we hope these tools will provide a consolidated view to help raise reporting standards across the life sciences.

We anticipate completing draft versions of these tools by spring 2019.  We also hope to work with a wider group of journals, as well as funders, institutions, and researchers to gather feedback and seek consensus towards defining and applying these minimal standards.  As part of this feedback stage, we will conduct a “community pilot” involving interested journals to test application of the tools we provide within the context of their procedures and community. Editors or publishers who are interested in participating are encouraged to contact Veronique Kiermer and Sowmya Swaminathan for more information.

In the current working group, we have focused our efforts on life science papers because of extensive previous activity in this field in devising reporting standards for research and publication.  However, once the life science guidelines are in place we hope that we and others will be able to extend this effort to other areas of science and devise similar tools for other fields.  Ultimately, we believe that a shared understanding of expectations and clear information about experimental and analytical procedures have the potential to benefit many different areas of research as we all work towards greater transparency and the support that it provides for the progress of science.

We are posting this notification across multiple venues to maximize communication and outreach, to give as many people as possible an opportunity to influence our thinking.  We welcome comments and suggestions within the context of any of these posts or in other venues.  If you have additional questions about our work, would like to be informed of progress, or would like to volunteer to provide input, please contact Veronique Kiermer and Sowmya Swaminathan.

On behalf of the “minimal standards” working group:

Karen Chambers (Wiley)

Andy Collings (eLife)

Chris Graf (Wiley)

Veronique Kiermer (Public Library of Science; vkiermer@plos.org)

David Mellor (Center for Open Science)

Malcolm Macleod (University of Edinburgh)

Sowmya Swaminathan (Nature Research/Springer Nature; s.swaminathan@us.nature.com)

Deborah Sweet (Cell Press/Elsevier)

Valda Vinson (Science/AAAS)

 

Cooperation changes everything – Open Education Policy Forum

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Cooperation changes everything – that was the motto of our Third Open Education Policy Forum, which took place on 15-16 October in Warsaw, Poland. Our yearly event brought together, like in the previous years, 50 XX open education advocates from across Europe. Our goal is to create a meeting at which those of us in the open education community, who focus on policymaking and advocacy, can come together to meet each other, share experiences, be mutually inspired and make plans for collaborations.

A new name broadens the scope of our approach

This year, we decided to change the name of our event, from the previously used Open Educational Resources Policy Forum. OER-related policies still remain incredibly important and are usually the foundation of other policy efforts. Yet we believe that open education activism should be based on a broader policy vision. In our own work, we believe that resources, skills and practices, infrastructure and technology, and accreditation are equally important.

Cape Town Declaration: thinking about new directions

To this end, we built the concept of the Forum around the 10 new directions for Open Education, developed as part of the Cape Town Open Education Declaration Process. We kicked off the Forum with conversations about the 10 directions, and also asked the question: what directions are missing, what would you add? We believe that the vision and model of Open Education needs to be a living thing, which adapts to the changing needs of educators and learners.

http://www.capetowndeclaration.org/cpt10/

This broad perspective was visible during the Open Break, our public event, taking part in the evening of the first day of the Forum. For this part of the Forum, we used a TedX-style format in order to present, in a short time, a wide range of issues related to Open Education. Some of the talks concerned core Open Education policy issues: Nicole Allen from SPARC talked about her experience with open advocacy, and Øivind Høines from NDLA presented the state of OER policy in Norway. Ola Czetwertyńska from our team presented the Open Education Cooperative, our content co-creation project for teachers. Agnieszka Bilska presented the Polish Superbelfrzy initiative, a community of innovative educators with a strong ethos of working in the open. But we also wanted to show how Open Education connects with other innovative approaches to education. Marek Mansell from the Slovak Python User Group talked about transforming education with the micro:bit computing toolkit, and Ola Bernatowicz, an elementary school student from the Kids Code Fun initiative, talked about her experiences with coding. Alex Grech gave us an overview of the new technological frontiers of Open Education, by presenting how blockchain can change accreditation in education.

Nicole: https://youtu.be/2-W1t8f3urg

Oivind: https://youtu.be/ZPRHqojErGU

Ola https://youtu.be/Vo3_6LOnBHQ

Agnieszka https://youtu.be/27hg7Rt2rmY

Marek: https://youtu.be/cM5DdhZD9aY

Bernatowicz: https://youtu.be/_AXHnbU3l2M

Alex: https://youtu.be/Wc1oyBmSY7w

Policy meets practice

In Poland, we have been exploring how Open Education advocacy can receive broader support and greater awareness from the education community. We believe that open education practices are the solution to this: only by experiencing open approaches themselves can educators understand the importance of system-level change towards open. This year, we connected the Forum to the final meeting of the pilot round of SpołEd, or the Open Education Collective. The project invited a dozen Polish math teachers for an intensive course in content co-creation. In 2019, we will continue to explore how policy can succesfully meet practice.

This perspective was also important during Open Education Policy Co-Creation workshop which was lead by Javiera Atenas (Open Education Working Group) and Fabio Nascimbeni (UNIR). The aim of this workshop was to facilitating strategies for policymakers and other stakeholders to design Open Education Policies by using an open education policy-making toolkit (adapted from a policy design methodology developed by the UK policy lab). The methodology of the workshop provoke to  think about open education policies in broader perspective.

 

UNESCO policy process – top-down support for our activities

During the Forum, Gašper Hrastelj from the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO presented an overview of the ongoing drafting process for UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources. The process, with its long time frame, creates an important framework for conducting Open Education advocacy – by creating an opportunity to discuss policies with policymakers and stakeholders in relation to a drafting process conducted by an important and recognized global institution.

Taken together, the UNESCO process and the Cape Town Declaration create a frame that can create a synergy between grassroots and top-down approaches. We believe that Open Education policymaking should be structured between these two processes.

Importance of connectors

During the Forum, we often discussed how Open Education needs to be framed in the broader context of other open movements (for example Open Access or Open Data), as well as other policy efforts, issues and movements (for example a focus on eduational equity or digital skills and education).

It became clear to us, that our participants play the important role of connectors – by connecting together varied communities, local, national and global perspectives, different policy and legislative processes. We appreciated a lot a strong presence of American activists, thanks to whom we can connect activism in Europe and the United States. We firmly believe that connectors are a crucial element of our global community – and even more strongly, after this year’s experience – see the Forum as an opportunity for such connectors to meet.

Open Education Policy Network

The Forum is for us one element of a broader strategy to build an Open Education Policy Network in Europe. The Network has two goals: to create a European community of Open Education activists and policymakers, and to support development of Open Education policies across the continent.

To this end, we conducted during the Forum a workshop, together with the OER World Map team, that concerned mapping Open Education policies in Europe. We see this as a first step towards establishing such network, and an effort that can be shared among activists in Europe. We hope that in 2019 we will develop a foundation for such a Europe-wide network, that will bring closer activists working on Open Education policies.

See you next time, in 2019

While our Forum is a unique event dedicated to Open Education policies, we see our meeting in the context of several other important events that shape together the calendar for Open Education activism. Open Education Leadership Summit, organized in December 2018, is a crucial event that aims to achieve similar goals to ours, but at a global level. And we are already preparing for next year: the OER19 conference, which will take place in Galway, Ireland, in April, and the CC Summit in Lisbon, Portugal in May.

In early 2019, we will start preparing the Fourth Open Education Policy Forum, which we are planning for October 2019. If you are working on Open Education policies and interested in joining this event, please get in touch with Alek Tarkowski – we would love to meet you next year in Warsaw.

https://www.openeducationleadershipsummit.com/

Manuscripts Selected For Live-streamed Preprint Journal Club Event

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We are teaming up with PREreview during Open Access week to bring together scientists from around the world to discuss and review an actual preprint…live-streamed! We have now selected a manuscript for each discipline and finalized the moderators. Read the original blog here. Details about how you can register are at the bottom of the page.

Neuroscience – Monday, October 22, 9am PDT / 12pm EDT / 5pm GMT+1

 Bioinformatics – Tuesday, October 23, 9am PDT / 12pm EDT / 5pm GMT+1

Ecology – Wednesday, October 24, 9am PDT / 12pm EDT / 5pm GMT+1

REGISTER NOW to join us and invite others to come along. You can choose to join any (or all) of the subject areas listed above. We are using the video conference software Zoom, which is free to download. Please register and we will send you the information on how to join the calls.

Get ready to spend one hour with your fellow colleagues diving straight into the preprint and resurfacing with constructive feedback for the authors. This is a great opportunity to share your expertise with your peers from all over the world, learn about preprints, build your network, and get credit for your feedback.

Gathering Steam: Preprints, Librarian Outreach, and Actions for Change

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Note: This post was written by Robin Champieux, Research Engagement and Open Science Librarian at OHSU.  Robin is the co-founder of the Metrics Toolkit and Awesome Foundation Libraries Chapter.  Her work and research is focused on enabling the creation, reproducibility, accessibility, and impact of digital scientific materials.

Librarians, are you talking about preprints? A preprint is a complete scientific article posted on a public server before peer review.  Preprints speed dissemination and encourage early feedback.  But, this post isn’t about defining preprints and their value.  It’s October, I’m a scholarly communication librarian, so I’ve been panicking–I mean thinking–about what do for Open Access Week.  This year, I’m focusing my outreach efforts on preprints and I want to tell you why.

I am passionate about open science and realizing its benefits, but I am just as passionate about supporting student, faculty, and institutional success.  These goals, which are increasingly aligned, require a deep understanding of the scholarly communication and research landscape and right now preprints are a center of conversation in this space1.  Funders like the NIH and Helmsley Charitable Trust are encouraging researchers to share and cite preprints, and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is even requiring it:

“To encourage rapid dissemination of results, any publications related to this funded work must be submitted to a preprint server, such as bioRxiv, before the first submission to a journal.”2 

Journals are accepting manuscripts previously posted as preprints, inviting submissions from preprint servers, and linking to preprint versions of papers under consideration3.  The number of published preprints is rising4 and stakeholders are responding with support and concern5.

Researchers have to navigate this context and make decisions about how to share their work:  librarians can contribute to their success and affect change by responding to this need. In my experience, most researchers encounter and experiment with innovations in scholarly communication via specific points of choice or pressure. Librarian led outreach related to preprints can lead to conversations that catalyze a deeper interest in scholarly communication issues and changes. Collectively and over time these small and personal experiments and the discussions that surround them (including critical ones) help shift the needle towards openness.

I also believe in a definition of and critical approach to open science (and librarianship) that acknowledges how history, inequality, and privilege influence our scholarly communication practices and priorities.  Author and NYU Scholarly Communication Librarian April Hathcock advocates for flipping the script on how we view open:

“Rather than looking at it as a means of getting mainstream scholarship out to the margins, instead I want us to see it as a way of getting scholarship from marginalized communities into our mainstream discourse.”6

Preprints sit within a larger and evolving discussion about how scholarship is communicated and endorsed. I am excited about initiatives, like PREreview, that communities are developing around preprints to address issues of inclusion and representation in peer review.  From this perspective, preprints are a tool for democratizing “access to [and participation in] science on a global scale”7.  As librarians, we can support these projects and invent new ones that leverage preprints to take up April’s challenge.

So, what can you do to raise the volume on the “power of the preprint” and address the reasons why some researchers are reluctant to share them?:

  1. Do a deep dive on the preprints landscape.  ASAPbio’s preprint info center is a great starting place.
  2. Connect with your institution’s preprint champions and ask them about their motivations.
  3. Use your preprint and institutional knowledge to launch an engagement and demystification campaign.  Low bandwidth? Keep it simple by promoting existing events and reusing the work of others.
  4. Start a discussion with organizations on your campus working to address inequities and increase diversity in science about this year’s Open Access Week theme and the role preprints might play.
  5. Model the shift to open!  Share your own scholarship on LISSA, e-LIS and other preprint servers.

 

Congratulations to the Graduates of our July 2018 Certificate Courses!

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From July 16-September 23, Creative Commons hosted two Educator Certificate courses and two Librarian Certificate Courses. Participants from Bangladesh, Canada, China, Great Britain, Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, and the US engaged in rigorous readings, assignments, discussions and quizzes. See examples of the assignments that participants participants’ assignments they’ve publicly shared under CC licenses. With the course now complete, we are thrilled to announce 83 new graduates.

The CC Certificate provides an in-depth study of Creative Commons licenses and open practices, uniquely developing participants’ open licensing proficiency and understanding of the broader context for open advocacy. The training content targets copyright law, CC legal tools, as well as the values and good practices of working in the global, shared commons. The CC Certificate is currently offered as a 10-week online course to educators and academic librarians. In 2019, Creative Commons will expand offerings to include 1-week boot camps, a Certificate instructor training, scholarships, and initial translations of the Certificate into multiple languages.

Interested in taking the CC Certificate, yourself? Visit our Certificate website at the end of this month for updates! We will share new updates and open registration for 2019 courses by 31 October.

Also, stay tuned for an updated list of our Certificate graduates by the end of the year. CC kicked off five new Educator and Librarian courses with 125 participants from 14 countries on 1 October and we look forward to welcoming more Certificate graduates at the end of these courses.

We are inspired by our 83 recent graduates, and filled with gratitude for their amazing work. We congratulate them on successful completion of the Certificate, and look forward to their future open efforts!

The post Congratulations to the Graduates of our July 2018 Certificate Courses! appeared first on Creative Commons.

Failures: Key to success in science

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This post was collaboratively written by PLOS staff (Ines Alvarez-Garcia, Phil Mills, Leonie Mueck and Iratxe Puebla)

Note: Join us Monday, October 15 at the Cambridge Festival of Ideas for a free interactive discussion with panelists from CamAWISE, University of Cambridge, the Sanger Institute, and Cambridge University Press to talk about how we can shift perceptions on failure and success in scientific careers.

Most scientists are fortunate to have a job that they love and feel passionate about, but a ‘successful’ career in research can be among the hardest career paths to pursue – dragons hide in almost every corner. In spite of many hours of effort and meticulous protocols, experiments fail and careful measurements yield unexpected results that one’s hypotheses cannot explain. There is also the risk that the same or related results are suddenly published by another group. These events are often regarded as failures in a research environment, but are they really failures? Could they actually hold the key to success in science?

There is scope to redefine what failure and success mean in science, and there are signs that the recipe for having a successful research career is changing. Being ‘scooped’ by a ‘competitor’ actually provides confirmation for your results, so shouldn’t that be viewed as support for the validity of your findings? Disseminating results fast in all of their forms, positive or negative – for example, as preprints – can also contribute significantly to the advancement of science; sharing all scholarly outputs allows others to build on the findings and prevents duplication of efforts.

Researchers are often constrained by a metric-based evaluation system that doesn’t reflect all the nuances, interactions and efforts that contribute to research endeavours. But some institutions and funders have started looking at their assessment framework afresh with a view to encouraging a more responsible use of metrics in the context of researcher assessment. At the same time, studies have consistently shown that there’s a lack of diversity in many scientific disciplines. In today’s landscape, where we have more options to travel and share information than ever before, we should move towards a place where diversity and collaboration are both sought and rewarded.

We will tackle all these questions and many more in the Cambridge Festival of Ideas event, “Failures: Key to success in science”. We’ll host an interactive discussion to engage the public and bring forward recommendations for the research communities on how we can better celebrate efforts and discoveries that do not currently fit the mould of a ‘successful’ research career. Our five panellists will help us explore the topic from their different perspectives:

Stephen Eglen, a reader in Computational Neuroscience (University of Cambridge)

Fiona Hutton, a publisher (Open access journals, Cambridge University Press)

Tapoka Mkandawire, a PhD candidate (Sanger Institute, Cambridge)

Arthur Smith, Acting Joint Deputy Head of Scholarly Communication (University of Cambridge)

Cathy Sorbara, Co-chair of CamAWiSE (Cambridge Association for Women in Science and Engineering)

If you’re in the Cambridge area, why not join us and participate in the debate, which will take place on Monday 15th October at Anglia Ruskin University, Lord Ashcroft Building Room 002. Book your free ticket here. Can’t attend? We’ll be live tweeting during the event. Check us out at #RethinkFailure. The Festival of Ideas hashtag is #cfi2018. We’ll also recap the entire day in a follow-up blog.

 

What’s next with WIPO’s ill-advised broadcast treaty?

Creativecommons.org -

Broadcast Tower by Alex, BY-NC-ND 2.0

Six years ago we wrote a blog post titled WIPO’s Broadcasting Treaty: Still Harmful, Still Unnecessary. At the time, the proposed treaty – which would grant to broadcasters a separate, exclusive copyright-like right in the signals that they transmit, separate from any copyrights in the content of the transmissions – had already been on WIPO’s docket for several years. It’s still on the table today, and now some countries are calling for actions to finalise the agreement.

The broadcasting treaty is still harmful and still unnecessary.

The current text contains many of the same damaging provisions, such as long term of protection (possibly 50 years) and little to no support for limitations and exceptions to the right which could provide needed protections for activities such as news reporting, quotation, education, personal use, and archiving.  

But the dealbreaker for CC is the fact that the treaty would essentially invalidate the permissions that users of Creative Commons grant when they share their creativity under open licenses, and instead gift new and unwarranted rights to broadcasting organizations that have added little or no value to the underlying work being transmitted. This is because the rights provided to broadcasters in the treaty would apply separately from copyright, thus permitting them to restrict how the content is shared even if the creator of the video or audio content has already released it under a Creative Commons license, or if it’s already in the public domain.

This week CC CEO Ryan Merkley presented at a seminar in Geneva hosted by Knowledge Ecology International. The event examined the broadcast treaty in relation to access to culture.  

Below is an excerpt from Ryan’s talk. You can watch the entire event online (Ryan’s remarks begin at 2:05:50).

Journalists, documentary filmmakers, podcast creators and others are using CC licenses to share their works broadly, and some of this media are used by traditional broadcasters too. These creators who choose to share their works and enable some permissive uses expect their works to be broadly accessible to the public under the terms of the CC license they chose. And they should be applauded for sharing works under permissive terms so their audiences can view and use them.

All Creative Commons licensors permit their works to be used for at least non-commercial purposes. When an author applies a CC license to her work, she grants to the public a worldwide, royalty-free license to use the work under certain terms. And many authors simply want to share their creativity freely under open terms to benefit the public good. For example, educators and scholarly researchers create and share works primarily to advance education and to contribute to their field of study—not necessarily for financial remuneration.

CC has pushed back on other policy changes in the realm of IP that would downplay or break how the CC licenses work, or enclose works that should be in the public domain. I remain concerned that the current draft would have a number of negative impacts, because it grants rights that reach overtop of those of creators.

The broadcasters argue that their investment should give them this right. But this shouldn’t be the test. The same argument could be used to give Museums rights over the works on their walls (which of course they want, and which at least one museum in Germany has successfully argued for in their courts), Movie theatres a right over the light particles that pass from the projector to the screen, or Booksellers the right over the books they put on their shelves, or even the trucking company that moves the books from the warehouse to the bookstore. Promoting and delivering content should not convey rights over the content itself — whether we call it the signal or not.

One alarming element in the proposal gives rights over the broadcast signal of works that are in the public domain or openly licensed.

In no cases should the treaty give broadcasters post fixation rights in works that are in the public domain, or openly licensed. It violates the spirit and wording of Creative Commons licensing, and creators who wish to have their works travel freely without additional strings attached. Broadcasters don’t own the content, and have no rights to the content of public domain and Creative Commons licensed works.

Works in the public domain should be free of these copyright-like restrictions, as we’ve argued in other areas – such as the notion that digital reproductions of works in the public domain should also be in the public domain (and not give rise to new copyrights).

Supporters of the broadcast treaty have failed to make a compelling, evidence-based case for a separate right, to identify the specific causes and resolutions for harm, and to show likely positive impacts of the treaty. However, there is significant risk that granting this new broadcasting right will limit access to information and culture.

Broadcasters already have legal remedies available to them to combat signal theft, and copyright law covers infringement in the underlying content.

WIPO should halt the proceedings of the broadcast treaty. With each passing year, it looks more and more like a solution in search of a problem.

The post What’s next with WIPO’s ill-advised broadcast treaty? appeared first on Creative Commons.

We are seeking a new Director of Engineering

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Photo by WOCinTech Chat / CC BY

A couple of weeks ago, I stepped into the role of Director of Product and Research. We are now in the middle of our second sprint for CC search (see results from the last one here) and seeking a new Director of Engineering. Paola Villarreal, our current Director of Product Engineering, will be leaving us in December for a new opportunity. While we are sad to see her leave, we are excited to shape and launch a new phase for Creative Commons that aligns our vision and strategy for product with real world user needs.

The new Director of Engineering will work closely with me, the Director of Product and Research, to lead the technical design, development and implementation of CC’s products and services. Right now that primarily means CC search and its supporting parts (the CC catalog and API), and in the future that may mean new product ideas resulting from user research and pending alignment with our new product vision and strategy (read more about current usability prototypes and research here).

The Director of Engineering will also work closely with our newly formed Tools and Product team, which consists of the following fantastic people:

Sophine Clachar (Data Engineer building the CC catalog that fuels CC search), Alden Page (Software Engineer that is working on all things backend to CC search, in particular making the CC catalog accessible via an API), Steven Bellamy (Front-end Engineer that is making CC search elegant and usable for real people), Diane Peters (General Counsel that makes sure CC is legally covered across all its tools and product offerings), Sarah Pearson (Senior Counsel that also serves as product counsel for CC search), and myself. A Core Systems Manager will also be joining our team next week.

You will be stepping into a role with a lot of moving parts, but with lots of support and excitement from your peers. We look forward to your application! 

Job Opportunity: Director of Engineering

 

The post We are seeking a new Director of Engineering appeared first on Creative Commons.

Creative Commons Danmark bliver et nationalt chapter

CC Danmark -

Creative Commons Danmark bliver et nationalt chapter under Creative Commons 

Mandag d. 1. oktober 2018 blev Creative Commons Danmark til et såkaldt chapter; en national afdeling.

CC Danmark

En national afdeling af Creative Commons, kaldes internt for et chapter, hvorfor man vil kunne finde vores afdeling omtalt og nævnt som CC Denmark, The Danish chapter of Creative Commons og lignende. På dansk og i daglig tale vil vi oftest benytte CC Danmark eller Creative Commons Danmark.

Et chapter kan ifølge betingelserne i Creative Commons global network strategy dannes af de medlemmer, der måtte være af CCGN (Creative Commons Global Network). Se beskrivelse for oprettelse af en national afdeling her.

Til mødet deltog de nuværende fire danske CC Medlemmer Rikke Falkenberg Kofoed, grundlægger af firmaet Leg med IT, Martin von Haller Grønbærk, it-advokat, nuværende og mangeårig Legal Lead for CC Danmark, Christian Villum, nuværende og mangeårig Public Lead for CC Danmark, forlægger, producent og projektleder ved Dansk Design Center, samt Peter Leth, lærer og uddannelsesrådgiver for CC Danmark.

Vi har på mødet valgt at fordele opgaverne på følgende vis:

Chapter lead: Peter Leth
Repræsentant til det globale netværksråd: Christian Villum
Uddannelsesrådgiver: Rikke Falkenberg Kofoed
Juridisk og særlig rådgiver: Martin von Haller Grønbæk

Referatet fra mødet kan læses her.

Live-streamed Preprint Journal Clubs!!!

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Note: This post was written in collaboration with the PREreview team (Monica Granados, Samantha Hindle, Daniela Saderi)

We are teaming up with PREreview during Open Access week to bring together scientists from around the world to discuss and review an actual preprint…live-streamed!

PREreview helps scientists receive acknowledgement for their time spent reviewing others’ work. We are proud to collaborate with them to shine a spotlight on our shared goals: to encourage more scientists to post feedback on preprints, and to provide credit for their contributions to peer review. PREreview’s aim is to promote the discussion of preprints at journal clubs by providing resources and a platform where these discussions can be shared, and to ensure reviews are citable by assigning a digital object identifier (DOI) for each preprint review.

In the spirit of Open Access week, together we decided to leverage today’s technology to make these journal clubs more accessible to a diverse group of scientists by running them entirely online!

Want to participate? Read on for more details.

What is a preprint and how can it enhance your research?

Preprints are open access scientific manuscripts that have not yet been through editorial peer review. Because they are shared freely online while undergoing more formal peer review in a journal, they accelerate the communication of knowledge, thereby increasing the impact and reach of scientific discovery. Backed by many funders, journals, and institutions, preprints have become a legitimate part of research dissemination. To learn more about how preprints can help you and your science move forward, visit PLOS’ preprint resource page and ASAPbio.org.

One of the many advantages of preprinting is the potential for authors to receive immediate feedback from the rest of the scientific community and improve their article before formal publication in a journal. In a sense, it’s similar to the feedback one might receive after a talk or a poster presentation at a scientific meeting, except that it makes the process easier and more inclusive because anyone with internet connection around the world could comment on your work.

Here’s the plan – Join us and become part of the discussion!

WHAT

We will facilitate three interactive preprint journal club events that will be live-streamed via videoconference in which anyone can participate remotely. The focus will be on neuroscience, bioinformatics and ecology. Each online journal club will be hosted by two facilitators with experience in mediating video calls, as well as subject matter experts. They will guide participants through a constructive discussion of the preprint and collate feedback into a review report. These PREreviews will receive a DOI and will be shared online with the community as citable and discoverable objects. For more information about the format of PREreview online preprint journal clubs, check out PREreview’s information doc or email contact@prereview.org.

WHO

You! We encourage all interested researchers to be part of the discussion and offer their expertise. Of course, anyone who wants to see the power of preprints in action is also welcome. All you need is an internet connection or phone-in capabilities to join.

WHEN

Neuroscience: Monday, October 22, 9am PDT / 12pm EDT / 5pm GMT+1

Joining as a subject matter expert: Dr. Tim Mosca, Jefferson University

Bioinformatics: Tuesday, October 23, 9am PDT / 12pm EDT / 5pm GMT+1

Joining as a subject matter expert:   Dr. Shannon McWeeney and Dr. Ted Laderas,

Oregon Health and Science University

Ecology: Wednesday, October 24, 9am PDT / 12pm EDT / 5pm GMT+1

Joining as a subject matter expert:  Dr.Timothée Poisot,

Université de Montréal

HOW: REGISTER NOW to join us and invite others to come along. You can choose to join any (or all) of the subject areas listed above, and we will follow up with call-in details and specifics about the preprint that will be discussed closer to the event. Not sure if you can join yet? Sign up anyway to receive updates on the events and decide later.

WHERE: The video conference software Zoom, which is free to download. Please register and we will send you the information on how to join the calls.

Get ready to spend one hour with your fellow colleagues diving straight into the preprint and resurfacing with constructive feedback for the authors. This is a great opportunity to share your expertise with your peers from all over the world, learn about preprints, build your network, and get credit for your feedback.

Latvian 4.0 and Basque 4.0 and CC0 translations now available

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Creative Commons is proud to announce the release of the official translations of the Latvian 4.0 licenses and Basque 4.0 licenses, as well as the Basque CC0 translation.

After one and a half years and many rounds of consultation, the Latvian 4.0 translation is now published on the Creative Commons site and will benefit almost 2 million native speakers. We would like to thank Toms Ceļmillers and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia for their dedicated efforts in coordinating this translation.

Thanks to an ambitious team, the Basque 4.0 and CC0 translations took only about six months of production. The translation team was comprised of Marko Txopitea, Gotzon Egia, and Ignasi Labastida i Juan. There are around 750,000 native Basque speakers in the world and almost 2 million passive speakers.

With the Spanish (Castellano) translation of 4.0 recently published and the Catalan translation underway, the CC licenses will be officially translated into three of the most frequently spoken languages in Spain.

If you are interested in helping with CC’s translation work, please join our Translation Working Group on Slack, where you can stay informed about materials that need to be translated and/or suggest new materials for the community to translate.

The post Latvian 4.0 and Basque 4.0 and CC0 translations now available appeared first on Creative Commons.

CC submits proposed Amicus Brief to 9th Circuit on Proper Interpretation of BY-NC-SA 4.0

Creativecommons.org -

Photo copier by David Hall, CC BY 2.0

Creative Commons (CC) has asked a U.S. appeals court for permission to file an amicus brief in a lawsuit brought by Great Minds against Office Depot, to aid the court in its proper interpretation of the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

This case involves a dispute between Great Minds, the creator of educational materials paid for with public funding and licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license, and Office Depot, a commercial copyshop hired to make copies of those materials by public school districts. Great Minds claims here, and in an almost identical lawsuit brought against FedEx Office, that the schools cannot hire outside help to make the copies they need to use the materials for their non commercial purposes in the classroom. Notably, Great Minds explicitly did not object to the idea of a school board employee going to an Office Depot and using a self-serve copier (where copies are sold to customers at a profit). It was only when they engaged an Office Depot employee to make the copies that GM objected.

In the litigation against Office Depot, the district court in California ruled in favor of Office Depot, just as the New York district court and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in FedEx Office’s favor. The California court agreed that so long as a copyshop is acting at the request of a non commercial actor, here the school district, the shop can make the copies and charge for and receive a profit to do so, without violating the license. This is because the copyshop is not acting on its own accord but as a delegate of school district, just as a paid employee of the school might when making copies for use in her classroom.

The brief we request be accepted reinforces what is already the established legal precedent established by the FedEx Office case in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in the United States (spanning New York, Connecticut, and Vermont), as well as the law in the district court in California that Great Minds is now appealing.

CC supports the decision of the California court, which found Great Minds’ lawsuit was an attempt to re-argue the same facts in a different court – a previous lawsuit it had filed, appealed, and lost in the 2nd Circuit against FedEx Office. (See the court order requiring Great Minds to pay Office Depot’s attorney fees for having done so). As both the 2nd Circuit concluded in a case involving FedEx Office [pdf] and the district court concluded in California [pdf], a bona fide non-commercial user may engage contractors to exercise the licensed rights on their behalf and at their direction, irrespective of whether the contractor is itself a non-commercial actor. Notably, in the course of all of its litigation, Great Minds has never objected to the idea of a school board employee going to an Office Depot and using a self-serve copier (where copies are sold to customers at a profit). Its concern has been limited to the nearly identical circumstance a school district employee paying an Office Depot employee to make the copies instead. Were Great Minds’ theory to prevail, it would require every re-user to own the means for reproducing NC-licensed works and avoid using any for-profit actor in doing so, a result that our licenses never intended.

This is not a change from how our licenses have always worked. This does not mean, for example, that a commercial copyshop can independently make copies of NC-licensed textbooks and turn around and sell them. Nor does it mean a teacher can sell an NC-licensed textbook to her neighbor that she previously received from her school district to use in the classroom. In those cases, both the copyshop and the teacher are bound by the NC restriction because they are acting on their own and thus are licensees, in their own right, and the NC restriction would almost certainly be violated.

The filing and acceptance of amicus briefs is standard practice in U.S. appellate courts. Unfortunately, Great Minds has opposed our request on grounds that CC’s interpretation of the very licenses that we wrote and steward will not be of assistance to the Court. Filing such an opposition is rare, and CC has filed a short reply in response.

The outcomes of this case against Office Depot and the prior case against FedEx Office demonstrate the strength of the CC licenses, and we look forward to a successful conclusion in the 9th Circuit.

Finally, we want to thank Andy Gass and his team of lawyers at Latham & Watkins for their expertise and valuable insights in connection with both lawsuits.

The post CC submits proposed Amicus Brief to 9th Circuit on Proper Interpretation of BY-NC-SA 4.0 appeared first on Creative Commons.

New NAFTA Would Harm Canadian Copyright Reform and Shrink the Public Domain

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Late yesterday the U.S., Canada, and Mexico reached an agreement on a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The agreement (now rebranded as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or “USMCA”) obligates Canada to increase its copyright term by an additional 20 years if the deal is passed.

Canada currently observes the minimum term of copyright as required by the Berne Convention, which is life of the author plus 50 years. USMCA requires all signatories to agree to a term of at least life of the author plus 70 years.

The extension of already-lengthy copyright terms will discourage new creativity in Canada. It will further prevent Canadians from accessing and using the rich pool of resources in the public domain, which means they can be used free of any copyright protections. Creativity always builds upon the past, and the public domain is our shared cultural commons used to create new works of art and science. Like a sedimentary rock, the “Commons” in Creative Commons starts with the public domain. Fulfilling our mission of protecting and expanding the public domain is why we’ve developed tools to better mark and dedicate content to the public domain. We continue to advocate for changes to copyright policy that promote a robust and accessible public domain.

During the opaque renegotiation of NAFTA, we urged negotiators to ensure that the copyright provisions in the agreement should not be expanded to create new (and likely more onerous) copyright rules. We worked with international groups to release the Washington Principles on Copyright Balance in Trade Agreements to restate the obvious fact that further copyright term extensions make no sense: “there is no evidence to suggest that the private benefits of copyright term extensions ever outweigh the costs to the public.”

The end of copyright protection in a work allows for the production of new works. That is why term length is a balance to be struck — and one which Canada has handled well. Ian Fleming’s literary character James Bond, for example, entered the public domain in Canada on January 1, 2015. This allowed Canadian authors David Nickle and Madeline Ashby to produce License Expired, an anthology of unauthorized 007 stories for ChiZine Publications.

The introduction of the life +70 year copyright term is particularly damaging for Canada, which is in the middle of a national copyright reform process. Before these negotiations took place, an increase in copyright term was not  on the agenda for the Canadian reform. Last year, Canadian ministers responsible for the copyright review indicated some support of the public domain, stating that an updated law “should ensure […] that users benefit from a public domain.” In our submission to the public consultation, we wrote:

We believe that Canada has been right to push back against any extension of copyright term or expansion of the scope. The copyright term of life of the author + 50 years is already far too long. Extremely long copyright terms prevent works from entering the public domain, where they may be used by anyone — including CC licensors — without restriction as the raw material for additional creative works.

If the USMCA is adopted, it will clearly violate the direction of the Canadian copyright reform, which decided to leave the existing term as is.

The USMCA text shows the powerful hand of U.S. copyright interests. A copyright term extension was floated in earlier versions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and Creative Commons joined with dozens of other organisations to push back on it then. After President Trump withdrew the United States from the TPP last year, many of the most damaging intellectual property provisions were suspended, including any call for a copyright term extension. But USMCA shows a swing back in the other direction, almost surely a result of U.S. pressure to ratchet up copyright protection and enforcement measures.  

There are countless competing interests in a massive new trade agreement like the USMCA, and this concern is only one. But from a copyright perspective, it is discouraging to see the inclusion of yet another ill-advised term extension, especially at a time when Canada is actively debating a more progressive future for its own copyright law.

There is no reason for any more copyright term extensions, which would harm the commons and are contrary to the policies and values supported by the Creative Commons community.

The post New NAFTA Would Harm Canadian Copyright Reform and Shrink the Public Domain appeared first on Creative Commons.

Board statement on harassment, openness, and CC community

Creativecommons.org -

Creative Commons is firmly committed to a workplace, community, and culture of mutual respect, free of harassment. We take all allegations of harassment and misconduct very seriously. We care deeply about the pain and anguish that is felt by victims of harassment, even many years after the fact.

CC has recently become aware that former intern and employee, Billy Meinke, has published an open letter to the Board of Directors about his experience working at CC from 2012-2013. Mr. Meinke also blogged in 2017 about his experiences. In response to that post last year, the Board carefully reviewed all the facts and processes related to Mr. Meinke’s 2014 complaint to ensure the matter had been handled appropriately and fairly. We were confident that Mr. Meinke’s claims were promptly and thoroughly investigated when first reported, that CC’s response was appropriate, and that all processes and procedures were properly followed.

We take our role as a leading organization in the open community very seriously. Our strategy, policies, content, and code are all shared in an open community. These are our values, and our commitment is to be as open as we can in all of our work, because we believe it builds healthy, collaborative communities. However, sharing anything related to such sensitive matters must always be done with proper respect for the privacy and safety of the individuals involved. In light of Mr. Meinke’s decision to make his allegations public last year, we wanted to make it clear to the community that CC responds quickly to such claims and that harassment has no place in our workplace or community. We also wanted to ensure that our policies — which are overseen by the Audit Committee of the Board — are well-communicated to our employees and the public. At the time, CC shared as much detail as we felt we could in response to Mr. Meinke’s public post.

The Board has continued confidence in our leadership and staff for their response to these matters, and their efforts to ensure a positive and safe work environment for CC staff and community. Our policies apply to all staff, board members and officers, and to community members who participate in our global network and public events. These policies are designed to prevent harassment, protect victims, respond to complaints, and ensure the fair and prompt resolution of all allegations. Our policies are available for public review on our website, and are also aggregated on our public policies page.

Any member of the public may submit complaints about misconduct via email to the CC Audit Committee at audit@creativecommons.org. Complaints received by the Committee at that address are promptly handled in accordance with our policies and procedures.

Sincerely,

Creative Commons Board of Directors (Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, Chair)

The post Board statement on harassment, openness, and CC community appeared first on Creative Commons.

Findings from the Discovery phase of CC usability

Creativecommons.org -

In January, Creative Commons kicked off an exciting new initiative called CC usability with two primary goals:

  1. To update the experience of CC licensing and discovery to reflect the realities of how people are sharing in 2018
  2. To anticipate and design for the future of digital content sharing

In the next two sections, I provide background on the initiative and the process we used to conduct the research. If you’re short on time, you can skip all of it and go directly to the findings. You can also peruse this slide deck for a quick visual summary.

I’m also pleased to announce that in order to further this work, I have stepped into a new role at CC. As the Director of Product and Research, I will lead the strategy, design, and implementation of CC’s product vision for CC Search and related products. Our work will be driven by a research-based approach, which you can learn more about below.

Background

“Relevance to the real world is what separates innovation from invention. Understanding why and how people do what they do today is essential to making new concepts fit into their lives tomorrow.”

— Erika Hall, Director of Strategy at Mule Design, Just Enough Research

The driving motivation behind this initiative is relevance. CC was founded in 2001 and launched its first licenses in 2002, and in the 16 years since, the landscape of the internet has changed a great deal. The CC licenses have been versioned several times over to adapt to international copyright laws and trade agreements, and we’ve developed some new tools (Public Domain Mark, CC0). Lots of programs have been founded and re-founded, driving growth of a global commons of 1.4 billion works, fostering collaboration across an international network of advocates and practitioners, and shifting norms and policies within governments and educational institutions.

But one thing that has not changed in the past decade or so that I’ve been with Creative Commons is how to actually CC license a work. Or for that matter, how to figure out which license is right for you. Or how to add license information so that your computer can detect it. And really, the following things have not changed much either: How to find licensed works. How to attribute authors. How to know whether your application of a CC license is even the right call, since your work may very well fall into the nebulous land of “emerging media and technology” that didn’t exist 16, ten or even a few years ago.

All of this is to say that while the internet and platform technologies for sharing content have changed pretty drastically — the trend towards a few major companies monopolizing content sharing and distribution, machine algorithms determining the content you consume, mobile becoming ubiquitous, media emerging that didn’t exist before like 3D printing and virtual reality — the technicalities and user experience of CC licensing and discovery have remained largely the same, raising the question of CC’s relevance in the internet of 2018.

Is CC still relevant? CC’s tools are used in many different fields, so there’s no one answer on how to be relevant, but in all fields we know the landscape has changed. The way content is created and shared has changed, and even the number and composition of the communities who do the creating and sharing has changed.

I’m happy to report that after six months of user research, I do think CC is still relevant, namely because 80+ people told us as much, and we did not just speak with the choir.

The catch? In order to remain relevant, CC will have to evolve.

Human-Centered Design

“Human-centered design is all about starting with people and building deep empathy; generating lots of possible ideas; building and testing prototypes with the people you’re designing for; and eventually putting new solutions out into the world to improve lives.”

— IDEO.org

We adapted human-centered design principles to conduct our research. HCD is a philosophy and set of tools that have permeated all aspects of user experience and product design today. The specific term — human-centered design — was popularized by IDEO, the design consulting firm, which became known for its multidisciplinary approach to solving real world problems. HCD consists of three phases: discovery, design, and development. Discovery is research, including ongoing background research and reading, but most importantly, talking directly to the people who you are designing for, which in our case are the actual users and creators of digital content.

From February through July, we conducted a total of 81 interviews, in addition to pulling 36 interviews from relevant publications (CC Talks With, Humans of the Commons, Made with Creative Commons). We interviewed super, expert, and future users and creators of all kinds of media, including images, text, data, audio, 3D designs, games, virtual and augmented reality assets. We defined super users as those creators or users who have been using CC for years. We considered expert users people at the forefront of their fields, like academics and company founders, who think a lot about how CC and their subject matter intersect. And we wanted future users that were both professionals in fields like photography who don’t currently use CC but could, and those who have yet to enter a profession because they are too young, like Generation Z (yes, there is a generation after the oft talked about Millennials!). We talked to each person for roughly an hour about their motivations, behaviors, problems, and ideal outcomes for sharing content online, with and without CC licensing.

Then we aggregated, analyzed, and synthesized everything people said in all 117 interviews.

Findings

“An Insight is both an opportunity and a problem statement — two things with tension, two things where you can’t readily have both. For example, share stuff for free but also make money.”

~ Tom De Blasis, Design Strategy Consultant at (tbd) collective

Working closely with two experienced design consultants, we pulled patterns from the data, ultimately extracting nine key insights pertaining specifically to the sharing of images and longform texts (we tabled the domains of data and emerging media/tech for a later date). Insights fell loosely into three categories:

  • i) insights pertaining to CC’s current tools,
  • ii) insights pertaining to the core experience of sharing content, and
  • iii) insights about futures CC might help build.

The following nine insights are a direct result of many people voicing the same needs and concerns across 117 interviews. To preserve the privacy of our interviewees, we will not share the full interviews, but anonymous quotes are included in the slide deck.

The nine insights are:

  1. People understand that CC stands for free content sharing, but the nuances of the specific licenses are lost on them — including experts and longtime CC users.
  2. People are motivated to license their work under CC, but have a hard time figuring out how to do it.
  3. People are motivated to give credit to other people, but they find attribution complicated and a hassle.
  4. People like seeing how their work is used, where it goes, and who it touches, but have no easy way to find this out. This insight incorporated the following two insights:
    • People care that the work they share resonates with people, especially personally, but can only know this if they are told directly by the person it resonated with.
    • People want their work to have real world or social impact, but their sense about what these impacts are are vague. However, people can identify some real or potential outcomes from sharing their work that they enjoy.   
  5. People are often first introduced to CC when they have completed a work, but at that point they are more interested in getting the work out there than thinking through a whole new system for sharing.  
  6. People want to share and find good work, but find it difficult to navigate the abundance of content and information online.
  7. People like the efficiency of sharing via centralized platforms, but are frustrated by the lack of control and ownership over their work, and increasing devaluation of individual creativity.  
  8. People aren’t driven to create for the money, but money is always a good outcome. People like sharing freely, but if someone is making a lot of money off their work, they want to be fairly compensated.
  9. People have a desire to create work that is lasting and meaningful, that eventually has a life of its own, but don’t know what to do with a work beyond publishing it.

Insights 1-3 pertain to CC’s current tools; insights 4-6 pertain to the core experience of sharing content, and insights 7-9 are about futures CC might help build.

Some of these insights may seem obvious. If so, then we did our job by bringing what was obvious to the forefront, but this time backed by data and not conjecture. Other insights are less obvious, such as the one about introducing the concept of CC too late in the process of creation. These are the kinds of insights we relish, and we dug into all insights by developing specific design challenges and generating potential solutions to meet them.

This occurred in a design workshop with CC staff from legal, product, development, and communications. Over the course of 2.5 days, we generated 250+ ideas, heat mapped them to find common issues and approaches, fleshed out the most viable ideas, and decided on nine interventions to bring forward into the Design phase. They are not the only things we’ll ever do, but they are experiments we want to try to see if they can meaningfully address the needs we have identified.

The nine interventions are:

1) New step-through process / Redo language + pathway

Prototype a new pathway and educational tool that clearly communicates the licenses and leads the creator to the appropriate license for her needs. (Insights addressed: 1, 2)

2) Publish a “How To Guide” for where to find your work

Develop and publish a guide to finding where your CC-licensed work was used online, e.g. via reverse image search. (Insights addressed: 4)

3) Button for contact

Prototype an easy way for a user to get in touch with a creator and/or vice versa that ties to a CC license or tool. This could be done in a number of ways, including a button that is chosen from a new CC chooser, a deed + platform solution that connects users to creators, or a separate “contact me” button. (Insights addressed: 4)

4) Archiving

Prototype a few concepts that provide creators with the choice of archiving a version of their works when CC licensing. This could be an archive we provide as a service, tied to a new chooser tool, a separate web page for preserving your work, and also in partnership with an organization like the Internet Archive. (Insights addressed: 7, 9)

5) Reward & Delight — infuse through all prototypes, esp #1

Use this as a framework for all prototypes we develop. In addition, prototype a small, fun idea that gives reward and delight to users, e.g. a graphic CC mascot overlaid to help users navigate the licensing process. (Insights addressed: All)

6) “Polaroid” watermark

Prototype a CC branded watermark that lives outside the image that can be added on download from CC search, as part of “no click attribution.” (Insights addressed: 3, 4)

7) No click attribution

Prototype a tool that removes all friction for users providing correct attribution. This could play out in a number of ways, including having attribution and related information attach upon download of an image (0 click attribution) in CC search, an attribution filter/plugin service that bulk links attribution, or a credit that is automatically added by a platform or related service. (Insights addressed: 3)

8) Narrow use case search

Prototype in CC search a way to search for specific materials to use for specific types of projects, starting with the most popular use cases, e.g. CC music for videos or podcasts. (Insights addressed: 6)

9) Obtain a unique ID to track your work

Prototype a CC unique ID registry that links to the CC catalog and provides information about each CC work through the ID, e.g. CC/12345 would display information such as author, number of shares, etc. (Insights addressed: 3, 4, 6)

What’s next

These nine interventions will be developed or prototyped over the next 3-6 months (pending alignment with CC’s overall product strategy given my new role). Ready prototypes, including those built related to CC Search, will be demo-ed and tested at the Mozilla Festival and Nonprofit Software Development Summit in October and November. Following the design phase, CC will reassess prototypes along user feedback and against new organizational objectives to decide which to phase into development. It’s important to note that some of these ideas might not work out, and might not solve the problems they seek to address. That’s part of the iterative process of human-centered design. Separately, CC will evaluate findings from usability research that did not make it to the design phase as part of its other organizational objectives.

The question of CC’s relevance to various user groups, particularly mainstream creators, is ongoing. We will bring forward a plan to engage more deeply in that work in the next phase of the initiative in 2019, and will engage the community in that discussion at the CC Global Summit in Lisbon next May.

Get involved

If there’s one thing you can do now, it’s to join the #cc-usability channel over at the Creative Commons Slack (https://slack-signup.creativecommons.org) and say — Hi! I’m interested in providing feedback on CC search and usability prototypes as you roll them out — or something to that effect. I’d just like to get to know you and where you’re coming from, like we got to know the 81 people we talked to earlier this year.

You can also follow me (@janedaily) on Twitter, where I’ll post updates and conferences I’ll be at.

If you’re a developer, or versed in the ways of developers, you can follow our progress on each prototype at CC’s public Github repos. We have one specifically for intervention #4 (Archiving) at https://github.com/creativecommons/cc-archive, and will be posting the rest as part of other repos at https://github.com/creativecommons.

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Power to the Preprint: An Update

Plos -

Earlier this year, we partnered with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to provide authors the opportunity to post their manuscripts as a preprint on bioRxiv through our submission system. In July, we started to implement a new feature linking PLOS articles to their matching bioRxiv preprint—regardless of whether they were submitted through the PLOS integration. This means any article published in a PLOS journal will be linked to its bioRxiv preprint, if posted, and adds on to the existing links from bioRxiv preprints to their journal publications.

What’s the benefit? For starters, it ensures that the early impact of the preprint is visible alongside the publication and enables the reader to learn the paper’s history. Forming these links shows more of the vital history of a research work, with a public life that started as a preprint, was shared online, and continued through peer review to journal publication. By linking papers with their preprints, we hope to make an important part of the paper’s life cycle accessible to our readers.

We actively support preprints as a vital part of the scientific literature. Preprints enable authors to get results out early, gain feedback on their manuscript from a wider community, accrue citations and time stamp their work. Preprints are indexed in Crossref and Google Scholar so they form a documented part of the ‘research story’ for the journal publications that may follow them. In the future we’ll work toward forming links with more preprint servers to ensure this feature is utilized across servers and scientific disciplines.

Our preprint service is free of charge and automated. All you have to do is opt-in when submitting your paper. The feature includes creation of a Preprint PDF from the author’s submission files (optional), screening checks and a seamless deposit to bioRxiv to make this process as easy as possible. Authors can focus on their journal submission, knowing their results will soon be available online as they work through the review process.

Note: PLOS Medicine continues to permit authors to post preprints of their research, but given the particular issues related to research in human health, does not currently offer transfer of submitted manuscripts to bioRxiv.

Big changes for CC Search beta: updates released today!

Creativecommons.org -

Today, we’ve released a significant update to our working beta of the CC Search product. We launched the project in February 2017 to provide a new “front door” to the Commons with the ultimate goal to find and index all 1.4 billion+ CC licensed works on the web. Since then, our newly formed tech team – myself, Alden Page, Sophine Clachar, and Steven Bellamy – have been working to move this project toward its next iteration, which I am proud to share today.

More providers, better metadata

This is a work in progress — it has great new features, and also has a few bugs, which we’re working on as we go (you can leave feedback here or file issues at Github). This iteration of CC Search integrates access to more than 10 million images across 13 content providers. The data was obtained by processing 36 months of web crawl data from the Common Crawl corpus (an open repository of web crawl data maintained by the Common Crawl Foundation).

The full list of providers:

Provider Domain # CC Licensed Works Animal Diversity Web https://animaldiversity.org/ 14,839 Behance https://www.behance.net/ 5,245,785 Deviantart https://www.deviantart.com/ 206,506 Digitalt Museum https://digitaltmuseum.org/ 88,970 Encyclopedia of Life http://eol.org/ 547,488 Flickr https://www.flickr.com/ 426,214 Flora-On http://flora-on.pt/ 26,498 Geograph UK http://www.geograph.org.uk/ 1,018,560 IHA Holiday Ads http://www.iha.com/ 2,058,272 McCord Museum http://www.musee-mccord.qc.ca/en/ 108,800 The Metropolitan Museum of Art https://www.metmuseum.org/ 96,260 Museums Victoria https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/ 64,719 Science Museum – UK https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/ 14,280

In addition, the new release contains several new features, including AI image tags generated from our collaborator, Clarifai. Clarifai is a best in class image classification software that provides tagging support and visual recognition. Clarifai’s API was integrated in the process-flow as a means to automatically generate tags for the new and existing images. This means that CC search has machine generated tags, user-defined tags, and platform-defined tags that were obtained from the web crawl data. Collectively, these will enhance the user’s search experience and improve the quality of the results. Currently, 10.3 million images have their respective Clarifai tags and the outstanding images will be integrated on an ongoing basis. Thank you to Clarifai for their support.

A New Look


The new design allows users to search by category, see popular images, and search more accurately across a wide range of content.

Users can also now share content and create public lists of images without an account using an anonymous authentication scheme. Shares.cc is a new a link shortening system that makes it easy to share cool stuff you find on our platform to social media – users can share both images and lists, no login required. In addition, the new platform provides the ability to filter by provider, license, creator, tag (including those generated by Clarifai), or title.

(Please note: If you made private lists in the previous system, they will not carry over to this release. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused. If there is a list you would like us to recover, please email us at info@creativecommons.org.)

With gratitude

CC Search is made possible by a number of institutional and individual sponsors. Specifically, we would like to thank Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, Mozilla, and the Brin Wojcicki Foundation for their support. With the generous support of our funders, Creative Commons is able to significantly advance its work in pursuit of a more open and sharing world that illuminates the Commons and recognizes the major potential of transformative human knowledge.

Full release notes available here.

 

The post Big changes for CC Search beta: updates released today! appeared first on Creative Commons.

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