Affiliate Project Grant Update: Latin America

Creativecommons.org -

This is the final installment in our five week blog post series on the Affiliate Team project grants. You’ve heard about projects in Africa, Arab World, Asia-Pacific, and Europe. Today, you’ll hear about projects from our Latin America region, including: a report on the evolution of the academic journals’ presence and dissemination in Chile, a School of Open course for librarians on copyright led by Colombia, El Salvador, and Uruguay, and a free music festival and open source website from Guatemala and Uruguay.

Chile: Promotion of Open Knowledge in the Chilean Academia: Ways to Facilitate Adoption of Creative Commons in the Academic World
by project lead Francisco Vera

In Derechos Digitales, we have been working almost 10 years on copyright and access to knowledge issues, by doing public advocacy on copyright reform and working with Creative Commons licenses to enable all kind of creators to share their works in the digital environment, through the use of these tools.
One of our stronger research lines has to do with scientific and scholarly work, how this knowledge is being disseminated, and how we can improve that process to make this information accessible to everybody interested.
Following that path, since 2008 we have been researching academic journals production and their publishing terms, along with creating legal guides to academics to get a sense of how to use CC licenses and make them able to share their work. That allowed us to publish a couple books with our findings and internal policy recommendations.
Thanks to the CC grant we were awarded, we have been able to resume that work, updating our figures from the 2008 research and taking one step further, conducting field research on the academic community about the way they publish and manage that content, and if they are aware of the CC and Open Access movements.
At this point, we have interviewed scholars from the major Chilean universities in different fields on exact and social sciences to be aware of their perceptions and needs regarding open access. In parallel, we are researching academic publications to determine how the situation has evolved from 2008 to this day, in terms of journal continuity but also in terms of how these deal with publishing formats and licensing terms.
We hope, by April this year, to have a step forward on our diagnosis of the academic dissemination environment, and with more insights of the academic world, a report that speaks on the evolution of the journals’ presence and dissemination. We also hope to have performed a couple workshops with government officers and academic community, in order to boost open access and open licensing initiatives.

Colombia, El Salvador, Uruguay: ABC of Copyright for Librarians

by project lead Maritza Sanchez

A CC grant made possible that since August 2013, three Creative Commons chapters -Colombia, El Salvador and Uruguay- are working to adapt an online course for librarians about copyright and with an eye on the Open world.
The project aims to develop the necessary open educational resources (OER) for an online course, self-taught and in Spanish, that will be available through the School of Open, and eventually in the OER projects of the chapters developing the course (i.e. Internet Activa and Artica).
Why Basic Copyright Concepts for Librarians? It is not a secret that many librarians and libraries in Latin America work with little or no knowledge about the copyright frame. We want to offer this target group and other related professionals (e.g. academic researchers, teachers, OER developers, librarian students, archivists, museum workers, all those interested on heritage conservation, etc.) the basic knowledge for their work.
We believe that this knowledge is much needed right now and will also be useful to promote CC licenses among librarians in the region.
The material in this course will be open as a self-guided course that can be tapped on demand — individually, at a user-preferred time and date. Moreover, the course can be harnessed as a group, from a collective or specific institution, to be facilitated according to the possibilities and conditions of a given community.
We are currently finalizing the legal and pedagogical review process of the last module of the course that we have titled, “ABC Copyright.” The legal review ensures the strengthening of self-learning potential of all students, while the pedagogical review is valuable to contextualize accurately and clearly each module to Latin American culture. We are also working on building a communication strategy which will be essential once the course is published at the School of Open for the dissemination to the audience of this open educational material. We have already developed the graphic concept, which we share as a preview in this post! We are at the stage of creating new graphic elements that will complement some of the most complex issues and will make their assimilation much easier.
We are working with love and energy so that very soon all those curious and interested can learn, share and supplement the online course, ABC Copyright for Librarians in Latin America!

Guatemala, Uruguay: Promoting Free Music in Central and South America
by Meryl Mohan (project lead: Renata Avila)

This project, a collaboration between CC Guatemala and Uruguay, was drafted following the suggestions of six bands who are starting to use open licenses in Guatemala. It represents a unique opportunity to reconnect and expand the open license network in the Latin American music community, consisting of an open call for free music followed by a week dedicated to festivals and concerts in multiple jurisdictions. Each country will have at least ten bands participating, and is combined with training for musicians, producers, artists, and copyright experts to explain artists’ rights, how copyright law affects music, and the power of sharing. The activities will be posted on an open source website filled with the LP of Latin American free music, photos and videos of the workshop, a free music declaration, and showcase of successful cases in Latin America and all the activities of the free music week. Since it’s open source, anyone can use it to recreate the same project in their region or country.

Professor spends sabbatical building “50 Wise Speakers” open videos

Creativecommons.org -

I recently interviewed Dr. Phil Venditti, professor of communication studies at Clover Park Technical College in Washington State (USA). Phil teaches public speaking and other oral and written communication courses. In 2010 Phil learned about the Open Course Library project and became an enthusiastic adherent. Phil developed two courses in the Open Course Library, wrote a textbook which he licensed CC BY, and has since saved his students roughly $60,000 by using open educational resources (OER).

The Open Course Library was Phil’s first exposure to OER, but it wasn’t his last. He testified to the State Legislature in favor of a bill which would have mandated that all educational materials created by state postsecondary education employees be openly licensed. As President of FACTC — the Washington Faculty Association of Community and Technical Colleges, Phil has promoted adoption of OER by college faculty members throughout his state. FACTC passed a resolution in 2012 endorsing the ideal of OER on economic, educational, and moral grounds.

Phil recently went on sabbatical and decided to interview 50 prominent speakers to gather tips on effective public speaking for his students — and for the world because all of Phil’s work and videos are openly licensed under CC BY 4.0 license. Nearly 30 hours of his videos can be browsed at Phil’s YouTube channel. Speakers included in the project are 29-time Emmy winner and “Almost Live” alum Bill Stainton, Tacoma News Tribune Executive Editor Karen Peterson, former NFL quarterback Jon Kitna, Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, and wildlife artist and conservationist Becci Crowe. To complete the project, 40 of Phil’s public speaking students and a team of editors from Clover Park’s Media Design and Production program spent more than 700 hours reviewing and editing the interviews. When it is launched online in May of this year, the project will offer a database of free, CC BY-licensed materials at cptc.edu/fifty-wise on subjects ranging from how to conquer stage fright to how to organize a presentation.

On March 20, the “50 Wise Speakers” project will be presented in a red-carpet gala at Clover Park Technical College.

Phil says OER has changed the way he thinks about teaching and learning.

“I believe that the essence of education should be sharing. Every day I ask myself, ‘How can I help connect more people to more information that might change their lives?’”

Following Phil’s lead, what will you share today?

Free Bassel Day

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#FREEBASSEL / Kennisland / CC BY-SA

As of today, CC Syria community leader Bassel Khartabil has been in prison for two years. Today, we join the worldwide open community in honoring Bassel and insisting that he be freed.

Amnesty International and Front Line Defenders have produced this excellent video about why Bassel’s story is important to our community, featuring interviews with CC co-founder Lawrence Lessig and the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Jillian York.

“Bassel could have gotten out, but he chose to stay. And that decision was very costly for him, and it was an important decision for us. It symbolized his commitment to making this democracy possible, and to continuing the work to spread that message. And we owe him for that, and we have an obligation to do as much as we can to keep the world aware of this incredible person.” – Lawrence Lessig

In honor of Free Bassel Day, our friend Niki Korth has compiled a cookbook in honor of Bassel, featuring recipes submitted by people who know Bassel or are involved with the #freebassel campaign. You can read the cookbook online or download a PDF (469 KB).

Niki is planning to release a Version 2 of the cookbook, so it’s not too late to submit a recipe.

We honor Bassel today and look forward to the day he is freed.

The global CC community: building a more open world

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Alaska’s Pavlof Volcano: NASA’s View from Space (cropped)
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / CC BY

The global CC community: building a more open world

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been featuring some of the amazing activities of our global affiliate network. Learn about a Finnish team building a CC plugin for WordPress, an open data symposium in Japan, a series of School of Open workshops in Kenya, a booksprint in Morocco, and much more. Take a tour of the CC communities in the Arab world, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.


Open educational resources aren’t just a good idea; they’re the center of a global movement that’s transforming how education works worldwide. Browse the resources from Open Education Week to learn more.

Joi Ito / CC BY

Longtime CC community leader Bassel Khartabil has been in prison in Syria since 2012. Join the worldwide open community to honor Bassel this Saturday, March 15. If you’re in the Bay Area, join us at the Wikimedia offices in San Francisco.

Don’t Look At The Sign!
smlp.co.uk / CC BY

Learn how a proposed US law would weaken public access to federally funded research.

Kristina Alexanderson

Is Getty Images’ new photo embed service a step in the right direction?

CC Salon in San Francisco: Free culture and social justice

Creativecommons.org -

CC10 Party in San Francisco / David Kindler / CC BY

Creative Commons is thrilled to announce that we will be reviving CC salons on a quarterly basis starting March 27!

Years ago, CC ran a series of CC Salon events in the Bay Area, informal events that brought together creators of all kinds to talk about how and why they choose open in their fields. CC salons continue to occur all over the world, but on March 27, CC will host a salon on social justice and open innovation right here in San Francisco.

This informal event will feature short talks from guests in local nonprofits and the free culture community, as well as lots of interesting people to network and socialize with. It’s free and open to everyone.

Thursday, March 27, 2014
6:00 – 7:30 PM Pacific time
Cafe Royale, 800 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Bart: Civic Center, Powell St.
Facebook invite


Joshua Knox, Brute Labs

Joshua Knox is co-Founder and CFO for BRUTE LABS, a non-profit out to prove that anyone can do good. BRUTEs use design and technology to create sustainable social entrepreneurship. Our small, all-volunteer team has launched 11 projects around the world and across a broad spectrum of causes; from cyclone relief in Myanmar, to clean water wells in Ghana, to a bio-diesel project with Stanford. Our open source altruism has also garnered multiple design awards from AIGA and Adobe as well as partnerships with local businesses, the city of San Jose, Google, Nike, Facebook and many more.

Niki Korth, Writer and Free Culture Activist

Niki Korth is an artist, writer, and free culture enthusiast/activist who resides in the triad of the creative arts, technological literacy, and human rights. Together with Clémence de Montgolfier, she co-founded The Big Conversation Space (TBCS), an art, research, and consulting organization based in Paris and San Francisco that acts as a participatory production platform for books, media, and games involving free speech, art, technology, politics, philosophy, and the occult. TBCS has exhibited and lectured internationally at venues including Palais Tokyo (Paris), TCB Gallery (Mellbourne, Australia), Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco), and Human Resources (Los Angeles).

Their most recent projects include Letters for Bassel and The #FreeBassel cookbook, both dedicated to creative and participatory methods of advocacy for the release of CC community member Bassel Khartabil, who has been detained in Syria for the last two years. They also have a book coming out in summer 2014 titled I Can Do Anything Badly II, which uses conversational interviews to explore the intersections of DIY and Free Culture in the arts, the internet, sociology, and design.

Korth is also an advocate for trees and sustainable urban planning, and works in marketing and operations at DeepRoot Green Infrastructure, a San Francisco–based company that provides arboriculturally-oriented products and services for the built environment.

In the spirit of McLuhan but in the age of the Internet – she believes that we all own the message, humans as much as plant life. But the medium may have a mind of its own.

Supriya Misra, TeachAIDS

Supriya Misra is a Senior Project Manager at TeachAIDS, where she helps lead the development, maintenance, and expansion of TeachAIDS products. Founded at Stanford, and recognized as an innovation that will “change the world” by MIT Technology Review, TeachAIDS is a nonprofit social venture that creates breakthrough software to solve persistent problems in HIV prevention. Used in more than 70 countries, TeachAIDS provides the most effective HIV prevention software to educators, governments, and NGOs around the world – for free.

With a background in behavioral health research and expertise in innovative applications of new technologies in preventative care, she has previously worked at HopeLab and the Institute for Brain Potential, and co-authored a handbook on the neurobiological basis for forming positive health habits. She holds an M.A. and a B.A. with Honors in Psychology, with a concentration in Neuroscience, from Stanford University.

Rachel Weidinger
, Upwell

Rachel Weidinger is the Founder and Executive Director of Upwell, a nonprofit PR firm with one client, the ocean. At Upwell, Rachel leads the development of cutting edge big listening practices. She couples this big data approach with the resiliency-increasing tactic of campaigning across a distributed network to increase online attention to ocean issues. Because of Rachel’s vision, the ocean community knows the baseline of online conversation for its issues for the first time.

Previously, Rachel was the Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications at TechSoup Global where she provided marketing vision and leadership for TechSoup Global, and the TechSoup Global Network of partners in 36 countries. She has also worked with social enterprises including NTEN, Common Knowledge, the Black Rock Arts Foundation, SF Environment, Copia, and the Xtracycle Foundation.

Rachel has a B.Phil. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Miami University’s Western College Program, and completed the coursework for a masters in Arts Policy and Administration at Ohio State University. When she’s not working to save the ocean, she makes preserves, swims in the Bay, and gardens at her tiny home in San Francisco. She is obsessed with whale sharks.

Myths and obstacles Open Educational Resources are facing

European Open EDU Policy Project -

This post is part of a project aimed at mapping myths and obstacles around Open Educational Resources, conducted by Creative Commons Poland.

Where do myths about OERs come from?

The Open Educational Resources (OER) movement has emerged to transform and democratize access to education. Governments, companies, teachers and learners around the world are making OERs and using them in various ways. But just the fact that there is growing number of projects and people making resources available to copy, remix and share freely does not guarantee a systemic change in education.

OER projects around the world face similar barriers: from limited understanding of the idea of OER by decision makers (sometimes educators as well), to PR campaigns directed against openness (1). During many workshops and trainings with teachers and textbooks authors, we found most of the arguments brought against OER to be myths. They are born from confusing OER’s with many things that they are not, and from identifying them as radically different than educational resources produced by traditional publishers.

Without efforts to raise awarness about benefits of OER, there is a great risk that pervasive critical voices (coming mainly from commercial educational publishers) will change the attitude toward OER of teachers, learners in all ages and parents of school pupils. Such criticism is widely observed in response to the growing popularity of OERs. It is worth noting that the false alarms start especially when governments start thinking about open educational resources, and invest public funding into their production and support.


Mapping the myths

To help fight these myths and misunderstandings, we started mapping them and providing model answers. We are working on a mythbusting guide that will offer simple, easy to use guidance, in a question and answer format. This can be useful for people advocating OER, as well as educators searching for practical answers for their doubts and journalists writing about OER.

We started with a survey among OER community experts and an examination of existing media reports on OERs. It’s interesting that when you take deep dive into press articles, you will find extremely varied opinions about OERs. They are either a mainstream, successful trend in education – or a way to destroy the publishing market and reduce teaching quality. It is much more insightful to ask about OER experts and teachers.


Fig. 1.  What are most typical arguments you hear against Open Educational Resources? OER community experts survey.

What do users think?

In another survey, conducted by authors of the report “An OER COUP: College Teacher and Student Perceptions of Open Educational Resources” (2), 11% of teachers and 6% of students perceived the quality of OER textbooks as being lower than the quality of traditional textbooks they had used in the past. In all cases, these users indicated technical problems or general poor text quality as reasons for giving a low rating. However, according to teachers’ definition of the problem, access to the Internet and students’ feedback and preferences were at „heart of what made the OER texts worse for these teachers”. For example, one of the teachers wrote: „Students have limited access – they want print sources [because] that is what they are used to.” The other teacher simply wrote „That it’s online.”(3)

This survey mirrors what we can easily observe during trainings for teachers and what so-called “open washing” makes even worse: a popular definition of Open Educational Resources as just free (gratis) resources online. Most of myths about OER are based on this misunderstanding. Furthermore, critique is often not specific to OERs, but to any type of content available on the Internet. For example, OER can be distributed in many formats, including print, so the argument that OER forces specific equipment investments is rather unjustified, as it applies to all digital resources.


Fig. 2. Example of OER misconception that all digital, freely available resources are open in a strict sense

In reports from Boundless (4) and EduCase (5) published in 2013, we can see significant growth of OER use in Higher Education (research at the K-12 level in this area is still limited). According to EduCase, 71% of respondents say they used freely available open educational resources (OERs) in the past year, 10% of them use OER „all the time”. Both reports covered only university students in the U.S. In other countries like Belgium, Netherlands and Norway we can observe even higher usage of OER. This is a clear effect of well-established programs for providing open digital resources for teachers, supported or even run by the government. At Belgium’s KlasCement platform, one in three teachers have registered and about 70% of Belgian teachers use it. WikiWijs from Netherlands has more than 100% per year growth of the level of remixes of open educational resources available on the platform and is expanding to higher education.

It is difficult to present a definitive report, but arguments gathered offer strong evidence of how useful and powerful OERs are. This trend will be growing as OERs are promoted by public institutions and attract users searching for resources that are not only cheaper, but also more adaptable. For these reasons, we should be prepared to answer a growing number of questions about what OERs are, and what they are not.


The perspective of authors

Many organizations wanting to create educational materials find out during negotiations with authors that most of them are ultimately willing to openly license their materials. However this often requires overcoming their personal fears about OERs. Many authors are unfamiliar with the concept of an open license and open educational resources. Even if they hear about them, Saylor.org found that “chief concerns included the loss of control of materials, commercial reproduction, and loss of traffic/ad revenue” (6).

Explanation of open licenses is a battle with false perceptions and fears regarding potential profits and losses. Authors and publishers often have preconceptions that publishing in an open model is somehow inferior to traditional publishing. And it’s not only about lowering the quality, but also about losing profits: monetary, website traffic, or the strength of an author’s brand. For efficient discussion and negotiation with educational and scientific authors, it is important to understand how the process works and how they are paid. Teachers often make a lot of resources as part of their work, while textbook authors are often paid through contracts, not based on copies sold.

It is important therefore to explain that Open Educational Resources can be produced and distributed in various models – from voluntary work (like Wikipedia) to a contracted, paid and reviewed process like California’s and Poland’s public textbook programs. Authors also tend to avoid thinking about ways of receiving more profits by taking control over their work, instead of depending on intermediaries like publishers. The new opportunities arising from open publishing are diverse and are growing each year, as more and more services and start-ups are focusing on OERs. Changes in publishing models are also a part of OER-related challenges to consider.


Criticism of Open Educational Resources has many roots. Some of them are justified and definitely require more work from the OER movement and projects involved in making OERs. More research is needed to generate clear evidence for decision makers. On the other hand, a lot of arguments against OER are based on misconceptions, which also require further explanation. We aim at mapping what problems about OER are raised by the press and the public, and how they can be practically answered. If you would like to engage and support us in doing this, feel free to write: kamil@creativecommons.pl

(1) Black PR around Polish e-Textbooks, Michał “rysiek” Woźniak, http://rys.io/en/94

(2) Bliss, TJ, Robinson, J., Hilton, J., & Wiley, D, An OER COUP: College Teacher and Student Perceptions of Open Educational Resources, Journal of Interactive Media in Education (JIME), 2013 Spring Issue, availabe online jime.open.ac.uk/article/2013-04/html

(3) ibidem.

(4) Boundless Report: Ushering in a Post-Textbook World, http://blog.boundless.com/2014/02/boundless-report-ushering-post-textbook-world/#more-1026

(5) ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology 2013, http://www.educause.edu/library/resources/ecar-study-undergraduate-students-and-information-technology-2013

(6) A Case Study in Obstacles to and Strategies for Negotiating the Relicensing of Third-Party Content, http://www.saylor.org/2013/04/a-case-study-in-obstacles-to-and-strategies-for-negotiating-the-relicensing-of-third-party-content/

Proposed U.S. law would weaken and postpone public access to publicly funded research

Creativecommons.org -

This week the US House Representatives introduced H.R. 4186, the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology Act of 2014 (FIRST Act). The stated goal of the proposed law — “to provide for investment in innovation through scientific research and development, [and] to improve the competitiveness of the United States — is worthy and well received. But part of the bill (Section 303) is detrimental to both existing and proposed public access policies in the United States.

According to SPARC:

Section 303 of the bill would undercut the ability of federal agencies to effectively implement the widely supported White House Directive on Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research and undermine the successful public access program pioneered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – recently expanded through the FY14 Omnibus Appropriations Act to include the Departments Labor, Education and Health and Human Services. Adoption of Section 303 would be a step backward from existing federal policy in the directive, and put the U.S. at a severe disadvantage among our global competitors.

The White House Directive, NIH Public Access Policy, Omnibus Appropriations Act, and the proposed Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) all contain similar provisions to ensure public access to publicly funded research after a relatively short embargo (6-12 months). These policies make sure that articles created and published as a result of federal funding are deposited in a repository for access and preservation purposes. In addition, the policies provide for a reasonable process and timeline for agencies to development a plan to comply with the public access requirements.

The FIRST Act would conflict with each of these practices. Instead, if enacted it would permit agencies that must comply with the law to:

  • Extend embargoes to federally funded research articles to up to 3 years after initial publication, thus drastically increasing the time before the public has free public access to this research. We’ve said before that the public should be granted immediate access to the content of peer-reviewed scholarly publications resulting from federally funded research. Immediate access is the ideal method to optimize the scientific and commercial utility of the information contained in the articles.
  • Fulfill access requirements by providing a link to a publisher’s site. However, this jeopardizes long-term access and preservation of publicly-funded research in the absence of a requirement that those links be permanently preserved. A better outcome would be to ensure that a copy is deposited in a federally-controlled repository.
  • Spend up to 18 additional months to develop plans to comply with the conditions of the law, thus further delaying the plans that are already being organized by federal agencies under the White House Directive and Omnibus Appropriations Act.

This bill is scheduled to be marked up in the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology tomorrow, March 13.

But there are better alternatives, both in existing policy (e.g. White House Directive), and in potential legislation (e.g. FASTR). Here’s what you can do right now:

  • Send a letter to members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee opposing Section 303 of the FIRST Act.
  • Use the SPARC action center to customize and send letters directly to your legislators. Tweet your opposition to Section 303 of the FIRST Act, or post about the bill on Facebook.
  • Write a letter to the editor or an op-ed for your local or campus newspaper. You can write directly to them or by using the SPARC legislative action center.
  • Share this post with your colleagues, labs, friends and family.

„Really Open Education” – reflections from CC policy debate

European Open EDU Policy Project -

On the 18th of February, Creative Commons organized a debate on „Really Open Education. Domestic Policies for Open Educational Resources”, hosted by Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, MEP. The meeting brought together almost 40 experts and stakeholders from a range of educational projects, national schooling systems, and national and international non-governmental organizations across Europe.

Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein opening the debate.

The debate started with a presentation of three national initiatives. Hans de Four, founder of the Belgian KlasCement, presented the project. KlasCement started as a bottom-up initiative to create a portal for sharing content among teachers. Currently, 70 000 teachers are members, and share 30 000 items, over half of which are available under a Creative Commons license. OERs on the site are downloaded 300 000 per month. de Four talked about the significance of having a bottom-up project, which is able to tap into the grassroots energy of teachers. At the same time he underlined the importance of the support of the Flemish government, which ultimately began supporting the project and is now a governmental initiative. de Four also mentioned the challenge faced by teachers when dealing with unclear copyright rules – especially the difference between which uses are allowed in the classroom, and which are allowed online. According to de Four, reforms that would clarify and standardize these rules for both online and offline education would be much appreciated by Belgian teachers.

Download the PDF file .

Robert Schuwer from the Dutch Open University presented the Wikiwijs initiative – a repository similar to KlasCement, but different in several key ways. Wikiwijs is a top-down project, launched in 2008 by the Ministry of Education.  All content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution or Attribution-Share Alike license. WIkiwijs has a peer review mechanism for ensuring quality, as well as quality marks certified by partner organizations.  Schuwer explained that the goal of Wikiwijs is not just to increase the development and use of OERs, but to support teachers in professionalization and the creation of their own teaching materials or courses. The system makes available to Dutch teachers 650 000 content building blocks and 35 000 full lessons. Schuwer ended with providing a broader policy perspective – the Dutch government has recently announced a program that will provide EUR 1 million a year for development of open education at the higher education level.

Download the PDF file .

The third speaker was Piotr Dmochowski-Lipski, director of the Polish Center for Educational Development. He presented the Polish open e-textbooks initiative (together with the educational resources repository, Scholaris). The e-textbooks project, which forms part of a larger “Digital School” initiative, will create a set of 62 publicly funded textbooks on 14 subjects by 2015. After presenting the project, Dmochowski-Lipski focused on policy issues related to the project, initially by relating to a range of European and Polish strategic documents. According to him, the project is a response to an egalitarian approach to educational matters in the Polish society, and growing belief that “What is 100% funded by public money should be free and accessible”. Dmochowski-Lipski demonstrated how open education fits into a broader public debate on copyright and funding of different forms of creativity, by presenting “pros” and “cons” raised by actors in the Polish debate. He ended by declaring commitment of the Polish government to developing OERs, coupled with a careful approach to copyright matters.

Download the PDF file .

During the fourth presentation, Teresa Nobre from Creative Commons Portugal presented the preliminary results of a study of educational exceptions and limitations, which she has been investigating as part of the “OER policies for Europe” project (the full results will be available during 2014 Open Education Week). The presentation demonstrated the fragmented landscape of user rights that allow teachers, educators and students to quote works, make compilations for educational purposes, and transform works. This fragmentation leads to uncertainty and additional costs related to rights clearance, especially in international projects. On the one hand, this demonstrates the advantage of OERs as content that provides users with certainty about allowed uses. On the other hand, it shows the importance for reform and modernization of the copyright system in Europe.

The meeting ended with a speech by Ricardo Ferreira from DG Education and Culture, who presented the European “Opening Up Education” initiative. Ferreira argued that education is not just public spending, but an important investment for society. For this reason we need to bring education into the digital age, and at a time of budget cuts, increase its cost efficiency and effectiveness. Open education is an approach that can be helpful with regard to all these issues – especially if introduced as part of a comprehensive education reform. With regard to OERs, Ferreira stressed the complementarity of OERs and traditional resources – combined with the freedom of choice by teachers – as the basic principle. Finally, he described the importance of supporting grassroots initiatives – with this goal the “Opening Up Education” portal was created as a common access point. This, coupled with an Open Access requirement included in the Erasmus+ program, will according to Ferreira provide support for the growth of OER projects in Europe.

We  hope that the event provided an opportunity for participants to learn more and discuss open education initiatives taking place in EU member states. We plan to continue this discussion, which hopefully will lead to the adoption of OER policies across Europe.

Please join us in Brussels on 18th February for debate on „Really Open Education”

European Open EDU Policy Project -


On the 18th of February, we are organizing a policy discussion about domestic policies on open education. The meeting is hosted by Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, MEP and will have the format of a working breakfast. Our guests will include OER experts from Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and Portugal, as well as representatives of the DG Education and Culture, responsible for implementing the „Opening Up Education” initative.

During the meeting we would like to discuss how to implement open education projects as part of this initiative, both at European level and in member states. We hope that best examples of domestic policies will provide inspiration for other states.

Please join us in the European Parliament in Brussels on the 18th of February, 8.15-10.00. If you plan attending the event, please RSVP by sending email to: rsvp@oerpolicy.eu or alek@creativecommons.pl

More information can be found on the page of the event.



Copyright Week: Educational Resources want to be tinkered with

European Open EDU Policy Project -

(This post is part of Copyright week, during which a range of organizations highlights key principles that should guide copyright policy – right in time for the European copyright consultations. Please also read posts published previously on the CC blog: on the public domain and on Open Access. Today’s theme is “You bought it, you own it”).

It’s ever harder to tinker with things

We live in societies, in which equipment and gadgets are ever more often „black boxes”. As users and consumers, we don’t have access to their internals – we cannot fix them, adapt them, modify. Sometimes it’s an issue of having advanced technical skills, and sometimes of owning a really strange screwdriver that will fit proprietary screws. And companies differ in their approaches – with a spectrum running between gadgets that just won’t open, and those that allow a „do it yourself” approach.

With physical objects, we understand well what owning them means, and how much control over them we have. But the same issues of ownership and control apply to symbolic goods – the digital files and content streams through which we experience our culture, education and science. In their case, it’s easy to confuse ownership with mere possibility of access and use – but without real control. And copyright is the mechanism that determines the extent of your ownership of a work.

What about digital files?

Some aspects of what you can do with digital files are determined by technology. You chose „copy”, but nothing happens the digital management system, defined by the seller, has just kicked in and limited your rights as an owner. But copyright choices made in license agreements, as well as general rules of copyright, are just as important. Even if you can copy a file, you might still be committing a crime.

True ownership of works in digital formats faces today many challenges. The shift to cloud computing, and concurrent rise of streaming services, significantly complicates the issue of our rights as users. Ever more often we access works that seem and feel as if they were really owned, but in fact are only made available to users as a service – with a very limited set of attached user rights, and with a reserved right of the content owner to cease the service at almost any moment.

How to give others the right to “tinker”?

But the opposite question can be asked – what can we do to provide users with rights, if we believe that cultural, educational or scientific works should be tinkered with, fixed, reused, recycled, copied and passed on to others?

At the technical level, all this can be done with files by virtue of their character as digital object: copying is error-free and costs practically nothing. Reuse is easy with a range of cheap or even free digital tools. The Net is an underlying infrastructure for sustainable and effective sharing. But things are more complicated at the legal level. Default copyright law makes digital content equivalent to physical objects that are meant to be carried – but lack handles; meant to be opened – but are fitted with non-standard screws. User rights are limited as they are by default reserved by rights-owners.

Open licensing, of the type that Creative Commons promotes, is a solution to this problem. For this reason, public policies need to address licensing, and not just technical or economic barriers to access to culture and knowledge. Many Open Access policies avoid licensing issues. They are still a huge step towards making culture, education or science available. But they stop short of giving us rights beyond access itself. This fact might have historic reasons, as Open Access to scientific research – as a movement – has a much longer track record than similar movements in culture or education. And in science, reuse of the research paper is not a significant stakes – one does not experiment with the scientific paper, but with formulas and materials described by it.

Educational resources want to be tinkered with

The case is very different with education, where educators work directly with content. The best of them tinker and reuse them in the process – and then have an urge to share with their peers. Similar arguments could be made with regard to culture, where what we now call a remix fit into a long tradition of artistic practise. The argument is in particular strong for public domain works – heritage that’s meant to be shared and used.

Makers, hackers and fixers teach us about the advantages of truly owning the things we have. And if you agree that we should be able to lift the hoods of our cars and fix them – then you should also care about real ownership of non-material good. This means caring about how copyright affects such ownership, and monitoring practices of commercial entities in this regard. But it also means open licensing of works – so that our education, culture and knowledeg is something that can be not just passively experienced, but tinkered with.

PLOS Announces Website Redesign

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PLOS is pleased to announce the redesign of PLOS.org, which completes phase two of our website overhaul. The new landing page now enables visitors to navigate more quickly and easily to the information they need. Highlights of the new site also include a rotating carousel of PLOS’ most recent announcements, a news feed and a featured article from our suite of journals.

Phase one of our overhaul  last year included updates to the journal websites. We are always looking to improve. Please send PLOS feedback as you navigate the new site. Comments are welcome at feedback@plos.org. Thank you for supporting PLOS and its mission to transform research communication.

The post PLOS Announces Website Redesign appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.

PLOS Welcomes CC v4.0 Licenses

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PLOS has been using the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license for almost 10 years as the default for the research that it publishes. On November 25, 2013, Creative Commons unveiled the next generation of open licenses to support the sharing of content. The new licenses are the result of an open community process with stakeholders from a wide range of domains, including research, education, and the creative arts, and PLOS is proud to have been involved in the effort to make the licenses work for researchers.

Two aspects of the Version 4.0 licenses are particularly important for researchers because they address issues that could have made reuse of published research more cumbersome. Firstly, the re-use rights for data within an article are made clearer and more consistent between different countries and regions.

Second, the licenses provide flexibility on attribution. This is important for research, and particularly for text and data mining, where a multitude of articles might be analyzed together. It doesn’t make sense to list every paper analyzed with each and every search result. It does make sense to link from each result to a page recognizing all the contributions. The new licenses still absolutely require attribution but allow all attributions to a large corpus to be collected together.

Another important aspect of the new licenses is that they combine the experience of several years of developing localized license variants into one international license, ensuring global compatibility and ease of use for all researchers, wherever they may be based.

PLOS will be publishing new articles under CC BY v4.0 beginning in mid-December for PLOS ONE and from January 1, 2014 for all other PLOS journals.

The CC BY license has long been an important part of realizing our aim, of creating the largest possible pool of accessible, re-usable and interoperable research content possible. Open Access is about more than content being free to read; it must also be free to re-use, and re-combine, not just with other articles, but with all forms of research information. The new version of the Creative Commons licenses, the global standard for web based content, is an important part of the toolkit for making that vision possible.

The post PLOS Welcomes CC v4.0 Licenses appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.

Letter to the Editor of Science, by Elizabeth Marincola

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The following ‘letter to the editor’ was submitted to Science October 4, 2013 and was published on Sciencemag.org December 5, 2013.


John Bohannon’s News story “Who’s afraid of peer review?” (special section on Communication in Science, 4 October, p. 60) incriminates many Open Access (OA) journals. Our journal, PLOS ONE, was not implicated. It rejected the fraudulent paper promptly and for the right reasons, as Bohannon acknowledges. Still, the “study” was disappointing: It was not controlled, which would have required seeking to entrap a matched set of closed-access journals, yet it claims that a source of the problem is open access. It then concludes that profitability for OA journals is driven by volume, without acknowledging that the same is true for closed-access journals.  The issues raised by Bohannon’s exercise are not about open access journals; they are about science and technical publishing and the peer review processes used throughout the industry.

In the short term, all scientific publishers have a responsibility to reinforce and strengthen pre-publication review. We must improve the efficiency of peer review and continue to perform checks that uncover conflicts of interest, identify financial disclosures, confirm author affiliations, and ensure compliance with international standards of animal and human testing.

Even with these tools, peer review will never be flawless. As Editor-in-Chief Marcia McNutt points out, it is “time-honored” and “the gold standard” (Editorial, p. 13), but that doesn’t mean our methods of evaluation can’t and shouldn’t be improved. This is the real challenge. And this is why PLOS is working to transform scientific communication by developing better measures of scientific quality both before publication (currently traditional peer review) and after publication (currently the dreaded impact factor).

To this end, PLOS is developing Article Level Metrics (ALMs) that enable the scientific community itself to confer on a research contribution its credibility, relevance, and importance, independent of the journal in which it is published. Peer review at its best is a continual process of critique and assessment.

Elizabeth Marincola

Chief Executive Officer, The Public Library of Science, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA. E-mail: emarincola@plos.org

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Council of the EU discusses OER, but is vague on details

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The Council of the European Union, comprised of Ministers of member states, debated last week on the topic „Open Educational Resources and digital learning.” The debate was held during the meeting of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council on the 25-26th of November.

The meeting was related to the Commission’s „Opening Up Education” initiative, which was launched at the end of September and in which the development of OER policies plays a key role. Yet the scope of debate at the Council meeting was broader, and didn’t seem to be well connected to the “Opening Up Education” project. The Council did not provide a written conclusion on the matter. Based on limited available information (see the minutes of the meeting, p. 10), it seems that the Council focused primarily on broad issues related to digital learning and MOOCs (which are drawing significant attention from the public as well as policy makers).

Similarly, the brief position paper prepared by the Lithuanian Presidency, titled „Presidency Discussion Paper: Open Educational resources and digital learning”, does not provide a substantial viewpoint on OER. It lists advantages and challenges, and suggests that „time is ripe for a debate at European level on the opportunities and challenges which Open Educational Resources will undoubtedly bring”.

The „Opening Up Education” communication provides a much stronger view of OER as advantageous for education in Europe. It’s good news that representatives of the Ministries of Education are discussing OERs. But if the Council meeting is treated as a sample, there is still much work needed at the national level, so that policymakers are provided with a clear sense of the benefits of open education and the role of OERs within digital learning frameworks.

(Short report from the meeting is available on the Open Education Europa portal).

Entry icon image:”Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council press conference”, CC BY, Open Education Europa


Sign up today to have Amazon donate to PLOS

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Now when you shop with Amazon, via AmazonSmile, 0.5% of eligible purchases can be donated to PLOS, at no cost to you.

PLOS will direct proceeds from this program to support authors who are unable to pay all or part of their publication fees.

Sign up today to help PLOS remove barriers to participation in Open Access publishing.

Remember: PLOS only benefits when you purchase through smile.amazon.com (not amazon.com). Initially you select “Public Library of Science” as your charitable organization and it should autoload on each visit.

The post Sign up today to have Amazon donate to PLOS appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.

Beyond Wikiwijs: OER and The Netherlands

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(This guest post is written by Lisette Kalshoven from Kennisland)

The Netherlands has been a strong OER (Open Educational Resources) country since 2008 when the report on Education and Open Educational Resources was released by the Education Council. Because of the advice given in the report, the OER platform Wikiwijs was created to help teachers navigate through OER content and create their own. This was an enormous step forward in the world of OER. However, it has not proven to be the revolution in educational resources that some had hoped.

(Graphic: „De schoolmeester” by Bernardus van Schijndel (fragment), Public Domain work from the Rijksmuseum online collection).

What the Dutch issues are

Although the platform Wikiwijs (now: www.wikiwijsleermiddelenplein.nl) gave teachers the opportunity to use, share and create (Open) Educational Resources, this is not enough to change the way we in The Netherlands produce and use educational resources. This is due to the bigger issues surrounding OER in The Netherlands:

1. Strong regulations on educational material

In the Netherlands there are strong governmental regulations on what is high enough quality material to be taught in our schools. There are standardised tests in the final years of high school and learning materials developed especially to train students for the test. It is therefore very difficult for a teacher to develop OER material that completely fits the government profile.

2. Who is paying for it?

The teachers are worried about the OER approach because they are afraid that content creation is going to be piled up on top of their regular workload. Who is going to pay for the time they spend on developing their own teaching materials? Are some much-needed hours for grading being allocated for work on OER platforms, or should teachers consider it a hobby and work on this in their free time?

3. Teachers do not understand copyright

Ignorance about copyright is abundant in society, teachers not excluded. Even if teachers create new materials they often do not have the know-how to license it so that their fellow teachers can use it legally. And if they are aware that they have copyright on the materials they create (or use), there is an Education exception in the Dutch copyright law which adds up to the confusion.

4. Wrong financial incentive

The Dutch government gives schools earmarked money to use for schoolbooks. That is why schools can’t use this money for anything else but books. Parents do not care about the pricing of schoolbooks because they do not feel like they are paying for the books themselves. Cost-saving discussions therefore will only be fruitful at a national level.

What do we have to do?

We can do a lot to entice people to make more use of OER. There is much to be gained with an awareness programme for schools throughout the country. A lot of teachers already have the intention to create OER but are not aware of the possibilities and restrictions caused by not licensing them appropriately. We need to make OER more bottom-up than top-down.

Also, a lot of ground can be gained by taking the discussion back to the national level. Though OER was a priority for the Dutch Government in the late noughties, it seems to have withered substantially with the new minister(s) of education. If we can take some of the enthusiasm for OER present at the EU level (propagated by my fellow Dutchperson Neelie Kroes) back to the national debate, maybe we can solve bigger issues such as the earmarked schoolbook money and the time allocation for teachers.

New UNESCO report on OER in Poland

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New country report on Open Educational Resources in Poland has been published by the Institute of Information Technologies in Education UNESCO (IITE). „Open Educational Resources in Poland: Challenges and Opportunities” ( PDF) is a review of projects and policies of public institutions and non-governmental organisations. The report is written by Karolina Grodecka ( e -Learning Center of AGH University of Science and Technology) and Kamil Śliwowski (Digital Center).

The study covers public (top-down) ICT and OER initiatives in public education as well as non-governmental (bottom-up) OER projects and initiatives like open education evangelism and lobbing actions. Publication focuses a lot on the story of the Polish Coalition of Open Education, a unique coalition of NGOs and public institution that has been a significant force supporting open education in Poland.

Just as important is the Digital School program, the first nationwide program that will provide, among other elements, a complete set of open school textbooks for all school levels and subjects. Both projects are characteristic of the Polish OER field and have drawn international interest over last years. Especially the Digital School program, which among its three components includes open textbook production – the smallest, but also most challenging and ontroversial component. Two years of consultations did not end the critique from commercial educational publishers, who mostly boycotted the program.

The report furthermore demonstrates another significant challenge faced by both public and non-governmental projects (besides the biggest, like the Polish Wikipedia or the very popular public domain digital library wolnelektury.pl) – they struggle to draw the interest of  teachers. Lack of public, systematic support for teachers and NGO projects that would help implement and sustain the creation and dissemination of resources is one of most important barriers for wide OER implementation.

Despite the language barrier, Poland in last years became very active in the OER area, both „importing” projects and resources from English-speaking countries (there is Polish foundation running Khan Academy translations and making their own videos) and exporting some ideas. Coalition for Open Education and Creative Commons Poland are trying to show best practices form Poland and some projects like edukacjamedialna.edu.pl are starting to create second language versions of their resources.

The report (PDF), has been published as part of a series on OER that previously included overviews of the state of OER in Brazil, China, Lithuania and Russia. The report was prepare in co-operation with authors’ affiliate institutions (AGH University of Science and Technology and Centrum Cyfrowe Projekt: Polska), and the Polish Coalition for Open Education.

State of OER Policy in Romania

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With this post we’d like to initiate a series of overviews of OER Policy developments in Europe. We are starting with a post about Romania, written by Valentina Pavel from the Association for Technology and Internet (ApTI).

To start the discussion about OER in Romania, we actually have to talk about copyright. People in general have little knowledge about copyright and licences…not to mention OER. Therefore, in Romania we need to focus on information and awareness campaigns targeted at decision-makers, educators, parents as well as pupils and students. At the same time, there is a sense of shyness and reluctance when it comes to approaching this new subject and people hardly stop to grasp and internalize its advantages. Consequently, OER is not yet perceived as a new business model and is considered as a threat to the publishers’ market.

OER without even realizing it

didactic.ro is what I would have liked to refer to as a good practice example. The website (available in Romanian) is an online teacher’s community and the biggest Romanian portal with educational resources for all K12 classes, including technical and vocational education. There are nearly half a million registered members and around 190 000 available resources. Whether there are teaching plans, exercises, extra-curricular activities, literary comments or exam notes and materials, teachers, parents and pupils have the possibility to use, share, comment and benefit from the available resources. There’s only one catch here… what’s missing in this example is for the materials to have an open licence. Although nobody minds if the materials are used, distributed and remixed, it’s not exactly legal from the copyright law perspective. Hopefully, it’s only a matter of time until we will be proud to add diddactic.ro to the list of CC wonderful case studies.

Side talk: Digital textbooks with a very light touch of OER

There is a hot debate going on about digital textbooks for 1st and 2nd grade textbooks, however the legislative proposals do not mention copyright issues. When it comes to the format of the textbooks, NGOs are trying to channel the discussions towards having open textbooks. Therefore, we have to hope for political willingness to extent the idea of OER to digital textbooks. It  would be a great opportunity for the Romanian educational system. The Ministry of Education is currently working on a web page (www.manuale.edu.ro) where all the digital textbooks are going to be freely available for download. We are waiting for more info on this and to see how this project will be implemented, what type of format is going to be used and under what licences.

The first policy breakthrough

In its strategic national governmental plan for 2013-2016, the Romanian government mentioned for the first time Open Educational Resources and the integration of IT methods for learning. The strategic plan states that the Romanian Government, together with the Ministry of Education, will ‘support innovative methods for integrating web 2.0 educational resources and open educational resources in the learning process’. At the same time, this governmental plan is backed up by the European Open Data initiative and by signing the Open Government Partnership in 2011. In conjunction to this, the National Education Law mentions a Virtual Library and an e-Learning platform. However, there are no norms as to how this law should be applied.

In short, the progress is slow, but at least there are some policy and legislative texts to fall back on and to give decision-makers a sense of direction.

A step forward

A strong civil movement is starting to take shape regarding OER and open licences in a more broader sense. There are several NGOs who usually partner up and work together in these kinds of open initiatives. The most recent example is a project on OER organized together by ApTI (The Association for Technology and Internet), Kosson, ANBPR and Soros Foundation. In the next months they are going to organize 4 workshops in 4 different cities in Romania and talk to librarians, academics and university staff about copyright issues, open licences and OER. They launched this project at the national librarian’s conference in Sibiu which took place between 10-12 October. The first conclusions are that OER could definitely find its place amongst the projects librarians are designing and implementing all over the country for their local communities.

At the same time, there are other small initiatives such as an open legal education website that wants to make the legal language more accessible and empower people with information about their rights while promoting civil engagement. Although it is still under construction, we are hoping to see the beta version of the website some time at the beginning of next year.

I am looking forward for more initiatives and results in OER as the wave of curiosity is gradually starting to build up. More information on the OER situation in Romania will soon be available in a report written by the Soros Foundation some time by the end of this year.


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The three award recipients for the Accelerating Science Award Program (ASAP)  were announced today in Washington, DC at the Open Access Week kickoff event hosted by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the World Bank. ASAP recognizes the use of scientific research, published through Open Access, that has led to innovations benefiting society. Major sponsors include the Wellcome Trust, PLOS and Google.

From left: Carlos Rossel of The World Bank, Robert Kiley of Wellcome Trust, Daniel Mietchen, Alex Kozak of Google, Nitika Pant Pai, Elizabeth Marincola of PLOS, Matt Todd, Heather Joseph of SPARC (click photo to view)







The award recipients, along with the challenges they address and their innovative approaches, include:

  • Global Collaboration to Fight Malaria (Matthew Todd, PhD):  At least one child dies of malaria every minute of every day, mainly in Africa and Asia. According to Matthew Todd, who leads the Open Source Malaria Consortium, given minimal financial incentives for pharmaceutical companies to develop new treatments and a high degree of suffering among the affected communities, a large-scale and open collaborative research model provides a solution. Todd turned publicly available data into a global effort to help identify new anti-malaria drugs.  He did this by creating an open source collaboration involving scientists, college students and others from around the world. They use open online laboratory notebooks in which their experimental data is posted each day, enabling instant sharing and the ability to build on others’ findings in almost real time. 

“This recognition may help enlist more people into the collaborative effort to fight malaria,” said Dr. Matthew Todd. “If we succeed with these efforts, the approach could be extended to fighting other diseases – such as cancer.”


  • HIV Self-Test App Empowers Patients (Nitika Pant Pai, MD, MPH, PhD, Caroline Vadnais, Roni Deli-Houssein and Sushmita Shivkumar):  To increase awareness, knowledge and access to a convenient HIV screening option, and to expedite connections to treatment in nations hardest hit by the disease, Dr. Nitika Pant Pai and medical staff at McGill University and McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, developed a smartphone application as part of a self-testing strategy that synergized the Internet, an oral fluid–based self-test and a smartphone. This integrated approach included HIV education, an online test to determine HIV risk level, instructions to self-testing and interpreting the results, and confidential linkages and resources for referrals to trained counselors. The personalized smartphone application, developed on the basis of original research published in multiple Open Access journals, helps circumvent the social visibility associated with HIV testing in a healthcare facility. The application could alleviate fears of stigma and discrimination and make HIV detection simple, non-judgmental and confidential while empowering individuals with distilled scientific knowledge.


“Being an award recipient will help shine light on the fact that open access acts like a catalyst – by allowing unrestricted knowledge sharing – it exponentiates the power of knowledge to transform and impact lives beyond borders, boundaries, languages, and regions; facilitates creation of novel innovations, improved practices and policies,”  said Dr. Nitika Pant Pai. “With our synergistic innovation (application), we created a patient desired non-judgmental, private option that empowers proactive individuals to self-educate, stage, and seek linkages for HIV.”


  • Visualizing Complex Science (Daniel Mietchen, PhD, Raphael Wimmer and Nils Dagsson Moskopp): Many aspects critical to understanding science, experiments and the natural world are hard to convey using only words and diagrams. Good quality multimedia can help make that understanding easier. Daniel Mietchen and his group created the Open Access Media Importer (OAMI), a bot that can find and download supplementary multimedia files from reusably licensed Open Access research articles deposited in PubMed Central and uploads them to Wikimedia Commons, the media  repository used by the Wikipedias and their sister projects.  To date, the bot has uploaded more than 14,000 files that are being used in more than 200 English Wikipedia articles and many more in other languages that together garner about three million monthly views.


“We want people to play around with scientific materials and to engage with scientific processes,” said Dr. Daniel Mietchen. “Scientific research should play a more public role in our society, and open licenses greatly facilitate that. We are glad that the award highlights the value of reusing, revising, remixing and redistributing Open Access materials.”

As award recipients, these individuals and teams are being honored for addressing a real-world challenge by reusing previously published Open Access research to make a difference in science, medicine, business, technology or society as a whole.  Open Access is the free, immediate online availability of articles, coupled with the rights to use these articles fully as long as the author and the original source are properly attributed.

Photos and video interviews of the winning recipients and honorable mentions can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/asaptoolkit/ .  Additional information on ASAP can be found at http://asap.plos.org/

The ASAP program sponsors share a commitment to affect policy and public understanding to support the adoption of Open Access. They include the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), Co-Action Publishing, Copernicus Publications, Creative Commons, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Doris Duke Charitable Trust, Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), eLife, Hindawi, Health Research Alliance (HRA), Howard Hughes Medical Institute, ImpactStory, Jisc, Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science, Mendeley, Microsoft Research, the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), Research Councils UK (RCUK), Research Libraries UK (RLUK), Social Science Research Network (SSRN), the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), SURF (Netherlands), the World Bank, and major sponsors Google, PLOS and the Wellcome Trust.


Professor Grant McFadden Joins PLOS Pathogens as Joint Editor in Chief

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PLOS is very pleased to announce that from October 7 2013, Professor Grant McFadden joined Professor Kasturi Haldar as joint Editor in Chief of PLOS Pathogens. Professor McFadden has been associated with PLOS Pathogens from its very beginning in 2005; he became deputy editor in October 2007.

Professor McFadden is based at the University of Florida where his work focuses on how viral pathogens interact with the host immune system.

Dr Virginia Barbour, Medicine Editorial Director for PLOS said “As Deputy Editor, Professor McFadden has been a tremendous advocate for PLOS Pathogens and has been core to developing PLOS Pathogens into the world class journal it is today. We are very pleased to now have him in this position of leadership with Professor Haldar and I Iook forward to working with him and Professor Haldar in the next stage of the journal’s development.”

Professor Haldar said “Grant functioned as a joint Editor in Chief, even as Deputy Editor, so I’m delighted we’ve formalized the situation. The Editorial Board and I would like to thank Grant for all he has done for PLOS Pathogens and look forward to his continuing leadership in the future.”

The post Professor Grant McFadden Joins PLOS Pathogens as Joint Editor in Chief appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.


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