Author: Sara Morais

Who governs science? The guardian’s science section, occams corner, discusses the recent retraction of two papers on stem-cell research. According to the author of the article, Stephen Curry, this event marks the weaknesses of the self-regulatory process of peer review, which needs to be addressed by all scientists. Read the article in full here.

Laura Hazard Owen has covered recent protests of Amazons actions against book publisher bonnier in Germany. According to the article on Gigaom, more than 1100 German, Austrian and Swiss authors have a letter of protest to the company. Amazon has been delaying Bonnier book shipments (as a result of keeping fewer Bonnier titles in stock). Read the report here.

Sampo Viiri of the Finnish Institute in London blogged about Wikimania, the annual event of the Wikimedia movement which took place from the 8-10th of August in London. The event, a festival-congress-hybrid, included over 200 speakers in 8 simultaneous spaces inside the Barbican Centre, with fringe events and hackathons running during the event and preceding it. The full report is available here.

On a blogspot titled “Musings about Librarianship” an article describes how academic libraries might change when open access publishing becomes the norm. The piece predicts a larger change as was the case in the print-to-digital shift and questions whether or not the shift to open access is inevitable. Read in full here.

Jon Tennant has posted an article to the Open Access Button blog with thoughts on for-profit publishers, open access and academic culture. The OA enthusiast calls paywalls the “failure of publishers” to do the one job they were assigned to do. Read his critical piece here.

Proud2Know posted a small piece on 7 institutional benefits to implementing open access. The points were shared this summer on a joint SPARC Europe LIBER workshop in Riga as part of programme management work done for SPARC Europe. Check them out here.

Firstly, a notification for the upcoming Open Access Week: The Right To Research Coalition has announced the Generation Open Grants for the 2014 international Open Access Week in October. Applications are still open and will close in a couple of days on August 18th at midnight Pacific Daylight Time (GMT – 7:00). Details are available here

Liat Clark has posted an article on WIRED magazine about how ‘Google Science’ could transform academic publishing. According to the article, WIRED UK has received documents revealing plans to release a platform, which brings together existing platforms like Google Docs, Google Plus etc. to create an OA model of scientific publishing. Read the whole story here. has published a report on open access publishing from a developing country’s perspective. The paper by Jennifer I. Papin–Ramcharan and Richard A. Dawe, both teaching at the University of the West Indies presents experiences with open access publishing in Trinidad and Tobago. View the abstract and download the report here or view it on the web via the peer reviewed journal firstmonday.

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This week, there has been a lot of discussion around a recent report released by the Research Information Network, which relates the number of citations to an articles download performance. Paul Jump of Times Higher Education has written a summary of the study, which analyzed over 2000 articles on the hybrid science journal Nature Communications. However, Phil Davis of  The Scholarly Kitchen wonders whether Open Access is a “Cause or Effect” in that calculation.

Another debate has been picked up by The Guardian about whether the UK government should favor “gold” or “green” Open Access policies – the former making access freely available via the journal they are published in, the latter through a freely accessible university repository. Read the article in full here, and a short distinction of gold and green here, where Peter Suber tries to abolish harmful myths of open access publishing.

The EFF has published an article on the importance of the fight for open access, following the persecution of Colombian student Diego Gomez, who – like Aaron Swartz – has taken up the fight against closed knowledge databases and has to fear longterm imprisonment for breaking laws against piracy. Read about the very real political consequences of closed knowledge here.


Who hasn’t felt frustrated by not being able to access a piece of research online because of paywalls? The Open Access Button started their work in documenting paywalls late last year and have already tracked and mapped over 8300 paywalls since then. This week their launch coordinator Chealsye Bowley wrote a guest article for BioMedCentral, explaining what it is they do and how Open Access Button has progressed since their early beginnings. Read the full piece here. An introduction to BioMedCentral can be found here.

The International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers published a set of open access licenses. According to the site “The licences on this page have been designed to provide easy to use, ready-made terms and conditions which publishers can adopt and/or adapt to the needs of their users.” Andrés Guadamuz was not so sure and took a look himself. Here’s what he found.

According to a headline of ITNEWS for australian business “Academics Get Personal Over Big Data”. The article explains how scholars are reacting to the big data movement and how data de-identification needs to be upgraded to protect academic research.

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Last weekend was the 20th anniversary of cognitive scientist Steven Harnad publishing what he called “A Subversive Proposal”. This open letter posted on a mailing list called upon all researchers to make their published papers freely available online. “Today the Subversive Proposal is viewed as one of the seminal texts of the open access movement” writes Richard Poynder on his blog Open and Shut. He got to ask Harnard nine questions, which the research answered here.

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This week’s list of links starts with an entry posted on the Many Possibilities blog. The blog is maintained by Steve Song, Founder of Village Telco, a social enterprise that builds low-cost WiFi mesh VoIP technologies to deliver affordable voice and Internet in underserviced areas. His newest entry, titled “The Morality of Openness”, deals with the language of openness and uses three contemporary books to illustrate, how “Openness” is possibly not the right word to frame the movement that everyone seems to be passionately discussing.

In an attempt to cut through the relentless TED Talk-like optimism of ed tech marketing, this year at the HASTAC conference in Peru Sava Saheli Singh and Tim Maughan presented a series of fictional case studies on the future of technology in education. Within their presentation, they point to the fact that technologies are here, and available, however, they are not evenly distributed. View the case studies on

On the New York Review of Books, Steve Coll applies himself to reviewing Brad Stone’s book “The Everything Store. Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” (ironically, the link on the nybooks site, just like here, leads to The book tells the story of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Coll, with Stone, takes a critical look on the omnipotence that is Amazon. Read the full review here.

Endre Dányi and Joe Deville have recently taken part in a workshop on Experiments in Knowledge Production. The event brought together a number of OA publishing initiatives to examine the challenges of OA publishing and how these are faced in practice. On the Blog of the Centre for the Study of Invention & Social Process in Goldsmith, they have published their reflections on the workshop.

The Swiss National Science Foundation has interviewed the historian Monica Dommann on copyright logics and her new book on the history of copyright. Read what she has to say about debates on copyright and what that has to do with freedom and equality here.

The Guardian is doing a round of Self-Publishing Q&As today. Join in between 1pm and 2.30pm and ask all you ever wanted to know about self-publishing. The panelists include Daniel Cooke of New Generation Publishing, Craig Pennington – editor-in-chief of the independent music magazine Bido Lito!, and several others.

Also in The Guardian, Ian Sample, Science editor, explains how secrecy over academic journal publishing contracts can veil the fact that many institutions are paying too much for journals.The article is just another in the last couple of months that criticize Elsevier’s paywalls.

The Indian non-profit Pratham Books, which publishes children’s books in local languages, has posted an article on self-publishing as an Indian tradition. In the article, Mahan Hazarika explains the benefits self-publishing has specifically for India, and how India measures up with other countries when it comes to publishing strategies.

HASTAC has extended an invite to participate in the Making Learning Connected MOOC. Sign ups are now open for the second Summer Learning Party, where participants will be encouraged to “hack thy writing”.

In a world where an ever increasing amount of data is generated and collected, those publishing the data must pay greater attention to putting the data into context, to increase its usability and impact – claims Alicia Asin, the co-founder and CEO of hardware provider Libelium, as expressed in a recent blog post on Gigaom. Asin explains “while it is true that we have access to more information than ever before, we are not experts on every subject. Thus, it is very difficult to digest it. My concern is that over-information is the new way of hiding information. If we demand context and facts instead of dumb numbers, the biggest legacy of the internet of things will be a world that is more transparent and democratic.“

Kevin Shively has recently reviewed LinkedIn’s publishing options and was surprised at how well the post performed. Read his full article on how data can help plan your posts on Simplymeasured.

Five hundred million tweets are broadcast worldwide every day on Twitter and there has been many discussions within the scientific community on how all this information can be used in social sciences, when it is only minimally trackable and disappears within the depth of cyberspace after a while. According to Scientific American, this is about to change. The microblogging platform has declared that it will make all its content – dating back to 2006 – freely available for scientific research. Melinda Wenner Moyer has written a small short piece on the impact the Tweets might have on scientific research. The article implies a positive outcome for Academia – Brian Keegan of Northeastern University, however, believes otherwise. In his commentary on the Scientific American article, he states that only six institutes will receive access, which would mean that over 99,5% of interested researchers will be denied a pass to the huge data set. He proposes other models for open data, which he believes to contain more usability than the model Twitter is proposing.

According to Wired Magazine, the UK was ranked first in two recent studies of worldwide open data policies.The UK government has also pushed for reforms of copyright and as of yesterday the proposals are law. In light of that new revised copyright law, Peter Murray-Rust will release a content-mining software on Wednesday in Vienna. The details are in his statement from the 1st of June.

In an interview with ScienceOpen, Peter Suber argues that senior faculty members should do more to support younger scholars who are interested in publishing research in open access journals.

Stanford is offering a course on Open Knowledge this September. According to the website, the course will be a global conversation on openness that cuts across borders, cultures, disciplines, and professions.

OpenCon2014, The Student and Early Researcher Conference on Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data, will be held November 15 – 17 in Washington, D.C.

The GC-CUNY has recently created a new open access repository called Academic WorksJill Cirasella has taken a look at it and posted a short review.

Joanna Wild and Rowan Wilson recently published an article on the Impact of Social Sciences blog about the Creative Commons licensing framework. As there has been confusion about what the licenses mean for academic publishing in the past, their article deciphers the details of a CC BY license, which allows for remixing, tweaking and redistributing, as long as the author is credited. The article also goes into details on other CC licensing, which makes it a helpful overview of the distinctions between licenses and what each means for the readers and users as well as the authors.

 discusses the fundamentalism that pervades discussions around open access policies and business models in a blog post on scholarlykitchen. In his article he discusses open access models, asks for more rationality in the OA-debate and warns of policy mandates that potentially discourage innovation.

Tom Olijhoek posted an article in the Open Access Working Group Blog of the Open Knowledge Foundation. His article exhibits the pros and cons of open access publishing and gives a good overview to the state of open access publishing right now. He then argues for fully implemented open access and lays open how different the costs for publishing are depending on the publishers. He ends the article with a call for action and has opened a joined spreadsheet which is supposed to lay open all charges by publishers.

In a post on Eva Amsen looks at the meaning and history of open peer review. Her defining article includes a timeline and benefits of open peer review and is part of a series on the principles of the f1000 research community.

Evgeny Morozov criticizes Google in a recent article on the “right to be forgotten” debate. Google’s Eric Schmidt recently answered the “right to be forgotten” claims with his own, saying that people also had a “right to know”. Morozov, however,believes the “right to know” translates into a “right to profit from your personal information”. Read the full article here.

When working with new digital media and the internet, one always presumes free and open means just that – easily accessible information, equally available to those that use the technologies. The reality, of course, is different. In the past weeks, there have been discussions evolving around the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), which released a statement to introduce new rules that would allow ISPs to charge companies a premium rate for content, or an Internet “fast lane”. This would mean that certain companies with a larger financial backdrop can pay to have their sites working faster, while non-profit internet sites would neccessarily be slower and less accessible. This obviously sparked a heated conversation on net neutrality. The concept of net neutrality was originally introduced by Tim Wu, 41, a law professor at Columbia University, and it basically states that “The cable and telephone companies that control important parts of the plumbing of the Internet shouldn’t restrict how the rest of us use it.”

Jeff Sommer spoke to Mr. Wu for a New York times article, in which he tries to find out what exactly net neutrality might mean in future. The full article is available here.

Last Monday the FCC chairman Tom Wheeler responded to the waves of criticism and revised the proposal, as Roger Yu stated on USA Today. The other FCC commissioners will vote on the revised proposal tomorrow.

The meeting should be eventful, as grassroot activists have called upon the public to join them at the FCC headquarters to enforce their claim on netneutrality. Marguerite Reardon did a write-up for Cnet on the protesters side after interviewing Becky Bond, political director at CREDO. The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has also called upon the public to take action to defend net neutrality.

The digital humanities, once seen as the glorious savior to humanist scholarship has lately been receiving the old side-eye from the very people once so euphoric about its existence. Carl Straumsheim released a post on insidehighered today, adding to the chorus of remarks that digital humanities might not be a safe harbour for humanists after all. The article highlights and summarizes DH critique.

In the midst of all this critique, however, Terry Heick posts an article to teachthought titled “Why We Need The Humanities in a Google World”. Defining the humanities as“the study of ourselves through our collective human expression”, Heick goes on to explain the impact humanities could (and should) have on the digital and makes a plea for contextualization and less fragmentation.

Twitter and LinkedIn recently introduced language targeting. The feature is aimed at advertisers and thoroughly explained here. However, as suggested by Lucy Hitz on the simplymeasured blog, there are alternative ways language targeting can be useful than the ones suggested. In her article she invites users to share new ideas for language targeting use in the comments.

Though the findings have not been pretty, theres been a very positive step forwards with data being released on what universities pay in journal fees. PLos Open synthesised the findings. Eccentricities were revealed such as UCL having to pay six times as much to Elsevier as Exeter.

This year, the Open Access Week will turn 7 and founders are already reaching out for participators and supporters of the open access movement to play a part in the October event. Open Access Week is an invaluable chance to connect the global momentum toward open sharing with the advancement of policy changes on the local level. Universities, colleges, research institutes, funding agencies, libraries, and think tanks have used Open Access Week as a platform to host faculty votes on campus open-access policies, to issue reports on the societal and economic benefits of Open Access, to commit new funds in support of open-access publication, and more. sign up at for access to all the support and resources you need, and to connect with the worldwide OA Week community.

In the light of this event, OAButton have started working on a 2.0 version of their project, which is said to release in time for Open Access Week in October. They are currently campaigning to get the  £20,000 of funding needed to get ahead with the project.

The Open Knowledge Foundation, too, is calling for volunteers to join in on working on the Festival Event in July in Berlin.

But not all is well in open access world and Digiday has released an article on how big viral publishers stack up against each other. Using social media, therefore is not necessarily the best option in getting traffic for catchy content. Read the full article here.

On University World News the solution seems to be to stop publishing altogether. Brianne Kent discusses the current publishing culture and opts for a future in archiving. Open Access Archiving. Read all about it here.

In the ever-changing digital world, it is not surprising that words are constantly created to describe new processes online. #platisher has been one of those words for a while, which makes this weeks link collection to be all about this mixture of publisher and platform.

This week starts off with Porter Anderson contemplating on the “Mystery of the Hybrid”. In his article on thoughtcatalog, Anderson discusses whether or not self-publishing seems to be the way to publish in future and if traditional publishing will soon be history.

Brands and prominent users like comedian Rainn Wilson are complaining about Facebook’s algorithm changes and how that forces them to pay money to reach their fans and followers. Mathew Ingram talks about what happens when companies can decide what is signal and what is noise. Read the full article on GigaOM.

In another article, Ingram also describes how non-profits and advocacy groups are expanding their ability to produce their own journalism in much the same way that brands and advertisers have been, calling them “almost journalists” – a term media-watcher Dan Gillmor introduced to describe agency-driven information curation. Read the full article here.

Karen McGray addressed the problem of separating content from form online. Inviting other users to comment she opened a discussion with questions of what that actually meant and asked for thoughts, examples, stories. Read the whole discussion here.

On Digiday, Ricardo Bilton writes about publishers welcoming a new era of visibility. The Media Rating Council in the US has now set a standard for something they call “viewability”, content, in this case advertising, is only “viewable” if at least 50% of it is seen for one second or more. What this means for the publishing world? Find out here.

Elsevier has released a statement on charging for open access papers. In the article they address the unnecessary payments that customers have had to make in the past and respond to allegations by building a new open access platform which will be available from summer 2014.

Neil Selwyn of Monash University in Melbourne has posted an essay on how the internet has changed education. He describes the internet as an educational tool and discusses how we should understand the potential gains and losses of what is being advanced when using it as such.

There has been a ChatLiteracy discussion on “navigating the complexities of open access” going on since Monday. It will continue with sessions exploring different experiences with open access today and tomorrow from 12.00 to 14.00 (GMT). Join in here.

Michelle Sidler has written a paper on how the Open Science movement has been successful in transforming disciplines traditionally associated with science. She connects the ‘three cultures’ of science with each other and demands open knowledge platforms that serve to include academic disciplines into these cultures that do not self-identify as science. Read all about it here.

The University of Waikato has become the first university in New Zealand to approve a mandate around open access to academics’ publications. Under the guidelines, academic staff can disseminate their research as widely as possible, bringing research results out from behind the subscription paywall to be accessed by all. Here are all the details.

The following update on what has been happening in the OpenAccess universe is mostly taken from the openaccessbutton blog.

Kevin Smith, Scholarly Communications Officer at Duke University, reviewed Dr. Erin McKiernan‘s talk from SPARC 2014, saying that, “After listening to her expression of such a heartfelt commitment … I began to realize that, in reality, OA is the only choice.”

Hebrew Studies is now open access with content after 1990 being made available through the Free Library platform.

Dr. Peter Murray-Rust blogged “Elsevier are still charging THOUSANDS of pounds for CC-BY articles.”Murray-Rust found that many open access CC-BY articles were labeled as “All rights reserved” and users would be charged hefty sums for permission to reprint the articles.

Dominque Babini discussed open access initiatives in the Global South.

MIT celebrates the fifth anniversary of their Faculty Open Access Policy. Readers regularly download MIT authored articles from DSpace@MIT. 38% of the access is from the United States, with heavy use from China, India, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Republic of Korea, Japan, and France, in that order.

PLOS clarified part of their new data sharing policy.

The National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS, Japan) and IOP Publishing are have announced that Science and Technology of Advanced Materials (STAM) has adopted the Creative Commons license (CC-BY 3.0) for all articles published in the journal.

Times Higher Education reviewed PeerJ’s first year of the $99 open access model.

The American Sociology Association Council has voted to launch a new open access journal called Sociology Open with their publishing partner SAGE. The news has been met with an interesting discussion and criticism about the partnership and the possible “cloning” of the open access sociology journal Sociological Science.

Google’s anti-copyright stance is just a way to de-valuate content. That’s bad for artists and bad for consumers, says Kurt Sutter in a critical article published in slate magazine.