Articles tagged with: Open Access

  • 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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  • Library Open Access Publishing Fund open for applications

    The Library Open Access Publishing Fund, an educational opportunity designed to encourage interest in open access publishing, is now accepting applications for 2018-19.

    The fund assists Brock University faculty, librarians, staff, and students in paying article processing charges levied by some open access publishers. Grants will be awarded up to a maximum of $1,500 CDN.

    Please carefully review the fund’s Terms and Conditions before applying.

    Questions? Contact Scholarly Communication Librarian Elizabeth Yates at eyates@brocku.ca or X4469.

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  • Nicola Simmons wins Brock University Award for Open Access

    Nicola Simmons, Assistant Professor of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education, has won the first Brock University Award for Open Access.

    Simmons’ dedication to freely sharing the scholarship of teaching and learning includes publishing and reviewing for open access journals as well as scholarly blogging and creating the publicly accessible Annotated Literature Database for education research.

    The adjudication committee — Collections Librarian Ian Gibson, Nicole Nolan, Associate University Librarian, Research and Elizabeth Yates, Liaison/Scholarly Communication Librarian — were impressed by the high calibre of award submissions. “The breadth of Nicola’s dedication to open access made her a standout,” Yates says in a Brock News story on the award.

    “Not only is she actively publishing and reviewing for open access journals, but she is also openly engaging with the teaching and learning community via scholarly blogs and websites.”

    The award, announced during International Open Access Week, includes a grant of $2,500, which Simmons has donated to support the open access peer-reviewed Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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  • Open access: let’s talk about costs

    Image of dollar bill

    Most researchers support the principle of open access: that knowledge is a public good and should be freely shared. However, sharing freely does not always mean there are no costs involved. Publishing is expensive: funds are needed to pay for staff  who produce and edit academic books and journals and for technology and infrastructure such as websites, publishing software and servers.

    So if a journal is free to read, who pays for its publishing costs?

    There are many business models for open access journals, including advertising sales, subsidies from disciplinary societies or institutions, institutional publisher memberships and collaborative journal purchasing.  The model which attracts the most attention, however, is the use of article processing charges: journals charge authors a fee for each article they publish. These fees vary widely, ranging from a couple of hundred to several thousand dollars. About one-third of open access journals charge APCs, including journals published by major commercial firms including Elsevier, Wiley, Taylor and Francis, and SpringerNature.

    Article processing charges (APCs) are seen as a major barrier to open access. Researchers, particularly those who do not receive grant funding, may struggle to pay these fees. Some institutions offer grant programs to assist with APCs, but find it impossible to meet the full costs of APCs for all of their researchers.

    Brock’s Library Open Access Publishing Fund was established in 2011 as an educational initiative, aimed at raising awareness of open access and helping Brock researchers who choose to publish in journals which charge APCs. Since then, the fund has distributed 27 grants of up to $2,500 each to cover APCs for Brock researchers. The Library recently collected metrics, including citations, which demonstrate the impressive reach of these open access articles.

    While publishing in an open access journal is one route to open access, it’s important to note that researchers can freely share their work – for free – via online archives, such as the Brock Digital Repository. These archives are free to use and their contents are indexed n Google Scholar, making Brock scholars’ work available to everyone around the globe.

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