Articles tagged with: Open Access

  • Library supports Brock researchers publishing in Frontiers journals 

    Brock University Library has signed an institutional agreement that provides a 50% discount on article processing charges for Brock researchers who choose to publish with Frontiersa major international publisher of peer-reviewed open access journals. 

    This discount is the latest demonstration of the Library’s strong commitment to investing in open access resources, reflecting its mission to enhance access to information and accelerate knowledge production. Recognizing that some Brock authors choose to publish in open access journals which charge APCs, these investments include: 

    The library also provides financial support to several open platforms such as the Directory of Open Access Journals and partnering with Scholars Portal to offer Open Journal Systems to our users for free. In addition to advancing free, immediate access to scholarly resources for all, the Library thus signals the importance of open scholarship to the Brock community and is pursuing a longer-term goal of reforming a dysfunctional scholarly publishing system.    

    Brock authors may claim the Frontiers APC discount during the article submission process by selecting ‘Brock University’ as institutional payer in the invoice section of the process. Frontiers will then verify authors’ eligibility with Brock University Library, and if confirmed, 50% of the APC will be paid by the Library upon acceptance. Researchers will receive an invoice from Frontiers for the remaining 50% of the article processing charge.  

    Questions? Contact Scholarly Communication Librarian Elizabeth Yates ~ eyates@brocku.ca 

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    Categories: Digital Scholarship Lab, Main

  • Brock University Award for Open Access

    Nominations are now open for the Brock University Award for Open Access which will recognize a member of the Brock community who is a champion of open access. Relevant qualifications could include a demonstrated record ofopenly sharing research, participating in projects or platforms advancing open access, or conducting research into open access.

    The award includes a grant of $2,500 which may be used either:

    1. to pay an article-processing charge for an open-access journal, or
    2. as a donation to support a non-profit open scholarship platform.

    Applications/nominations are due Sept. 27, 12:00 p.m. Entries will be judged by a panel including Library employees and past Open Access Award winners. The winner will be announced during an Oct. 21 event celebrating International Open Access Week.

    Questions? Contact Elizabeth Yates, Liaison and Scholarly Communication Librarian ~ eyates@brocku.ca ~ x4469

     

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  • A Day in the Life of a DSL Intern: Collaboration, Open Access and Quentin Tarantino

    Hello again, dear readers!

    I don’t know about you, but I love being busy. Don’t get me wrong, vacations are nice and there’s nothing like the feeling of taking it easy after finishing a big project or writing a monster essay, but I like to always have something to work on, and I’m always willing to take on new projects and tasks to prevent lulls in my day. Because of this, Brock has been a great place for me to work because there’s always a project to work on, a program/technology to learn, or a person to contact in the hopes of collaboration. Speaking of which, collaboration was the theme of the DSL’s podcast this week (listen here if you haven’t yet!), and as I participated in the group’s conversation about working with others and taking advantage of their knowledge to better your own, I started to think about all of the collaborating I’ve done in the last few weeks and how much I’ve been able to learn and grow through collaborative work.

    One of the first new projects I took on recently was learning how to use Open Journal Systems – an open access journal management and publishing system. As a (future) librarian, open access is a cause that’s very near and dear to my heart, and I know this is true for the DSL as well. As members of a public research institution, Brock students have access to all kinds of databases and programs to conduct research and complete assignments. What students often don’t realize is that these databases and programs can be very expensive to purchase and maintain, meaning people outside of Brock and other research institutions typically don’t have access to the same resources they do. This is why open access is so important – it combines the sophisticated and respected technologies, databases, and journals needed to conduct and report important research while still being accessible to everyone regardless of their academic affiliations (or lack thereof). Brock’s undergraduate history department publishes The General through OJS and whenever new student editors are hired, they need to be taught how to request revisions and approve articles for publishing – that’s where I come in!

    Collaborating with these members of the undergraduate history department to teach them how to use an open access software was a great learning experience. They learned how to use a system that will allow their journal to be accessible to everyone (a very cool opportunity for undergrad students – I had to do my best to hide my envy), and I learned how to effectively break down a new and foreign system into easy, teachable steps. I think this process will definitely come in handy when I start running some DSL workshops!

    Speaking of running workshops, I mentioned in my previous entry that I’ve been doing a lot of work with visualizing data in PowerBI so that I can teach a workshop on this particular program. Last week, I got my first collaborative visualization opportunity in the form of a dataset about a hockey tournament from Brock’s Centre for Sport Capacity. I won’t go into too much detail about this super-secret mission (known around the DSL as “Operation Hoops”), but I’ve really enjoyed working with the other people in this project to visualize their data in a user-friendly way through PowerBI. I’ve also been attending all of the workshops offered by the DSL and learning a lot. Since my last entry, I’ve learned the basics of the Command Line Interface, the Python programming language, and ArcGIS pro – a program that allows users to map data to help answer questions. I didn’t know a lot about programming languages going into these workshops, but I had a ton of fun learning. It all became clearer to me when I learned how to use Command Line to show how many times each of the main characters in Little Women are mentioned throughout the book. I thought this was a really cool way to show how the technology is applicable to the humanities, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of the data from the Agatha Christie study I mentioned in my previous entry. These workshops have given me more insight into what digital scholarship truly is – the opportunity to “collaborate” with technology in order to make some really interesting discoveries. In just over a month at Brock, I’ve been lucky enough to explore some pretty cool technologies, and collaborate with some pretty cool people.

    In my university experience, I’ve participated in more group projects than I can count. One of my grad school professors liked to encourage as much group work as possible, insisting that group projects are good practice for the real world. Now, as a (temporary) member of the real world, I can confirm that this is true. The only difference is that in the real world, they’re called working groups. There are lots of working groups here at Brock, all of them working towards various initiatives to ensure that every student has the best library experience possible. As part of my placement, I’ve been involved with a working group whose goal is to improve Brock’s institutional repository. There’s a lot of amazing research being done at Brock, and it is essential for researchers to be able to publish their findings to a reliable, user friendly platform. Meeting with the other members of this group felt a lot like a group project at school – goals and best approaches were discussed, the work load was divvied up, and roles were assigned. My role was to reach out to librarians at other schools to get a sense of how their repository platforms perform and how their users interact with it. Interviewing complete strangers over the phone was a new (and I’ll admit, slightly nerve wracking) experience for me. The last (and first ever) phone interview I did was when I interviewed for this placement four months ago. But, as with any group project, I did my part and I learned along the way. I’m officially two for two on phone interviews! Our work is far from over, but I can say that participating in this working group has been a great exercise in collaboration so far, because I’ve learned how to collaborate effectively with people both inside and outside of my workplace in order to achieve a goal.

    I know that by this point you’re probably thinking, “gosh Erin, it sounds like all you do is work super hard! Don’t you have any fun at Brock?”, and to that I say of course! The work I do requires a lot of data analysis, so a big part of my job involves finding data to work with. Since my last entry, I’ve played around with data about the contestants on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (who wins, who goes home, who gets the coveted first impression rose) and The Avengers (names, aliases, how many times they’ve died and come back to life). My favourite dataset to work with though was one that kept track of every curse word and death in each of seven Quentin Tarantino films – and how long into the movie these curse words and deaths occur. His movies are a little gratuitous for my taste, but even I have to admit that there’s something very amusing about constructing a graph full of curse words. It was a learning experience as well, as I can definitively answer which of his films is the most profane (Pulp Fiction, with a whopping 469 curse words) and which was the most graphic (Kill Bill: Vol. 1, with 63 on-screen deaths). Who says data can’t be fun?

    My blog series is posted bi-weekly, so be sure to check back on February 22nd for more on my internship journey!

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    Categories: Digital Scholarship Lab, Main

  • Business graduate student wins Brock Library OpenCon Scholarship

    The chance to hear from a compelling advocate for open educational resources has propelled graduate student Fares Belkhiria into using and advocating for OER in his own teaching and research.

    Belkhiria, a second-year student at Goodman School of Business for Master of Science in Management, attended last December’s Library-CPI presentation featuring Rajiv Jhangiani, one of Canada’s leading advocates for greater access and affordability of teaching and learning materials. The event piqued Belkhiria’s interest in OER  and he continues to correspond with Jhangiani about these issues. His enthusiasm and record of involvement with “open” made Belkhiria’s application for the Brock University Library OpenCon Scholarship a stand out.

    Belkhiria, who also works as a graduate teaching assistant and guest lecturer within Goodman’s MBA International Program, will attend OpenCon – an international conference focusing on open education, open access and open data – in Toronto Nov. 2-4.

    The Library offers this scholarship to support professional development for Brock graduate students and to reflect its commitment to transforming the mechanisms of scholarly communication.

     

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  • Equity advocate wins Brock University Award for Open Access

    A strong record of advocacy for openly sharing knowledge has resulted in Dolana Mogadime, Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Studies, winning the Brock University Award for Open Access. 

    Mogadime has contributed to enhanced knowledge production and exchange via several open access academic and professional communities of practice. Most noteworthy are her Equity Matters blogs through the Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences as well as her dedicated work as Editor-in-Chief of the open access publication Brock Education: a Journal of Educational Research. Mogadime continues to champion open access knowledge exchange on several fronts:  on campus at Brock University, national and internationally.  Her contributions have made difference to both academic and professional learning communities. 

    The award comes with a $2,500 grant which Dolana intends to apply to an open access book project. 

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  • Who is the Internet’s Own Boy?

    Aaron Swartz was a young man who, in his own words, wanted to save the world. Instead, and unfortunately, on January 11, 2013, at the age of twenty-six, Aaron Swartz hung himself. News of his death travelled quickly and for many people, his death was a step back in the movement towards open information.

    Swartz was an extremely intelligent individual. He was reading novels by the time he was in kindergarten and by 14 he was working as a computer programmer / software developer.  Swartz was instrumental in developing licensing for freely sharing material and was a developer of the popular social-networking news site “Reddit”.  As Swartz’s career progressed, he grew to hate corporations and working in corporate life surrounded by rules. Swartz eventually decided that he no longer wanted to work with computers and became passionate about advocating for freedom of information rights.  Swartz did not believe people should have to pay to use software or access information. He became famous for using his internet account at MIT to hack JSTOR and download millions of academic journal articles. Swartz believed there was no wrong in his actions, nor did he see his actions as criminal and therefore declined a plea bargain. Instead he faced charges of wire fraud, and 11 violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Swartz was strongly opposed to the idea of accessing information as “stealing”:

    “Stealing is wrong. But downloading isn’t stealing. If I shoplift an album from my local record store, no one else can buy it. But when I download a song, no one loses it and another person gets it. There’s no ethical problem. The evidence that downloading hurts sales is weak, but even if downloading did hurt sales, that doesn’t make it unethical. Libraries, video rental places, and used book stores
    (none of which pay the artist) hurt sales too. Is it unethical to use them? (2004)”

    In 2008, Swartz co-authored and posted an article titled “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto”, which was to be used as evidence at his trial to prove his intention of distributing all of the articles he downloaded from JSTOR:

    “Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations… Providing scientific articles to those at elite universities in the First World, but not to children in the Global South? It’s outrageous and unacceptable…We can fight back. Those with access to these resources—students, librarians, scientists—you have been given a privilege. You get to feed at this banquet of knowledge while the rest of the world is locked out. But you need not—indeed, morally, you cannot—keep this privilege for yourselves. You have a duty to share it with the world.”

    Swartz died before his trial began. His life as a genius who stood up for freedom and fairness has been immortalized in the film The Internet’s Own Boy. Please join us for a free screening of the Internet’s Own Boy on Wednesday, October 24th from 10am-12pm in TH253.  Tim Ribaric, Acting Head, Map Data GIS Library / Digital Scholarship Lab, will discuss the importance of the work Aaron Swartz was doing and how his activism is relevant for today’s libraries in the context of open source data.

    (Quotes from Aaron Swartz’s Blog: http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog)

    Blog post by Alicia Floyd.

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  • Paywall: The Business of Scholarship

    On September 5th, 2018 the documentary film Paywall: The Business of Scholarship made its global premiere. For those who are not entirely familiar with the world of academic publishing, this film provides an enlightening background on the process researchers take to publish articles and how members of the public then access that information. The film draws attention to restricted access to knowledge, specifically scientific journal publications.  Many students, researchers, and industry professionals cannot afford to pay the exorbitant prices charged by subscription journal publishers. This has been described as “holding scientific knowledge to ransom”.

    The movie educates viewers on the 35-40% profit margins made by publishing giants. These profits are significantly higher than corporate giants such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Walmart. Further, the fact that much of the research owned by publishing giants has been publicly funded is also brought to light. Governments are funding research that is then held by companies such as Elsevier who charge tax payers to access that same information that their tax dollars originally paid for.

    The practice of charging individuals to access journal articles is especially detrimental to health professionals, doctors, researchers, and even patients who cannot access information that could have a significant impact on medicine. The practice of charging for information also leads to a prejudicial dissemination of knowledge. For universities and medical professionals in countries where the funds are not as readily available as they may be in the United States, their studies and more importantly, their treatment of patients is critically impacted by their inability to access paywalled medical information. Often times, individuals are paying for articles that prove not to contain the information they were looking for to begin with and in countries where there are no budgets for such expenditures, it is not possible for them to waste money on articles that they can’t be certain contain beneficial information.

    Paywall: The Business of Scholarship clearly highlights the negative effects of article paywalls and provides a background on how the lack of access to knowledge has sprung the OA movement to “democratize information.” Open access promotes inclusivity and efficiency and the ideas that “scholarship must be open in order for scholarship to happen” and “scholarship is a conversation and the only way to have a conversation is to know what everyone is saying.”

    To learn more about Paywall’s and Open Access, the James A. Gibson Library will be screening the documentary on October 23rd, 9-11 am, Library Classroom B.

    Film quotation source: https://paywallthemovie.com/

    Blog post by Alicia Floyd.

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  • Open Access Week – October 22-28

    The Theme of the 2018 International Open Access Week is “Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge”.  As Brock University Library staff were planning for OA Week, the question arose; “What is this theme trying to get across … what does it mean?”

    Nick Shockey, Director of Programs & Engagement, SPARC describes the theme as follows: “This year’s theme reflects a scholarly system in transition. While governments, funders, universities, publishers, and scholars are increasingly adopting open policies and practices, how these are actually implemented is still in flux. As open becomes the default, all stakeholders must be intentional about designing these new, open systems to ensure that they are inclusive, equitable, and truly serve the needs of a diverse global community.”

    A key concept in this year’s theme is equity.  By definition equity is “the quality of being fair and reasonable in a way that gives equal treatment to everyone.” (Collins Dictionary, 2018) It is reasonable and perhaps ethical to say that everyone, especially individuals in an academic environment should have access to knowledge.  Moves toward open knowledge are gaining momentum, such as incentives for researchers to share their work openly and awareness surrounding the importance and benefits of publishing in an open format is growing. However, much work still needs to be done. Universities are still paying publishing giants exorbitant fees to provide students, faculty and staff access to thousands of paywalled journals. Shockey raises some interesting questions in his blog; “How do we ensure sustainability models used for open access are not exclusionary? What are inequities that open systems can recreate or reinforce? Whose voices are prioritized? Who is excluded? How does what counts as scholarship perpetuate bias? What are areas where openness might not be appropriate?” Advocates and supporters of Open Access are actively addressing these concerns through ongoing conversations and initiatives to continuously increase inclusive, accessible scholarship.

    Brock University is taking steps to support and promote Open Access. Learn more about Open Access, O.A. platforms and scholarly communication at Brock University.  For more information on International Open Access week visit: www.openaccessweek.org.

    Blog post by Alicia Floyd.

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  • Open Access Week, 2018

    Brock Library will celebrate International Open Access Week – Oct. 22-28 – with events highlighting the need to develop systems of sharing research which are open, inclusive and equitable.

    Please join us as we explore and celebrate the importance of open access to scholarship:

    Monday Oct. 22
    Open Access Fact or Fiction Prize Wheel — 10:30-11:30 am, Library Learning Commons: come spin the wheel and win a prize!

    Tuesday Oct. 23

    Movie screening & discussion (popcorn will be provided):
    Paywall: The Business of Scholarship — multi-faceted exploration of the high financial and social costs of scholarly publishing
    9-11 am, Library Classroom B

    Wednesday Oct. 24

    Movie screening & discussion (popcorn will be provided):
    The Internet’s Own Boy — The story of programming prodigy and open activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of 26
    10am-12pm, TH253

    Thursday Oct. 25

    Webinar: Exploring Open Educational Resources — 12-1 pm, ST1126

    Friday Oct. 26

    Open Access Fact or Fiction Prize Wheel – 10:30-11:30 am, Library Learning Commons: come spin the wheel and win a prize!

    We will also celebrate Open Access Week by announcing the winner of the Brock University Award for Open Access and the Brock Library OpenCon Scholarship. And be sure to check out our displays and information about open access in Library and Learning Commons display cases.

    For more information, contact Elizabeth Yates, Liaison and Scholarly Communication Librarian, at eyates@brocku.ca

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  • Publish, Don’t Perish: Tips for Evaluating Journals

    Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

    Library Workshop July 3, 2-3 pm, TH253 – EVERYONE IS WELCOME.

    So, you want to make sure you publish your research in a “good” journal? Join Scholarly Communication Librarian Elizabeth Yates and Library employees for a presentation highlighting strategies for evaluating the quality and relevance of academic journals. Participants will hear suggestions for maximizing the reach of their research via open access publishing and will learn tips for avoiding predatory publications.

    Register

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