British Library Digitalisation Strategy

The British Library has published its Digitisation Strategy 2008-2011 and in the document it focuses on a continued commitment to produce a critical mass of digitised content. They write in the

We aim to help researchers advance knowledge by becoming a leading player in digitisation. We will produce a critical mass of digitised content, reflecting the breadth and depth of our collection. We will provide a compelling user experience that facilitates innovative methods of research and meets 21st century requirements for interacting with content.

Over the next 3 years we will build on our existing digitisation programme. Current projects include the digitisation of:

  • 20 million pages of 19th century literature [approximately 80,000 books];
  • 1 million pages of historic newspapers in addition to the 3m already digitised;
  • 4,000 hours of Archival Sound Recordings in addition to the 4,000 hours already digitised;
  • 100,000 pages of Greek manuscripts.

The British Library has been very active in digitalisation and in it’s attempts to make sure that the public knows the value and importance of this work. Even though I tend to have a sceptical approach to feelgood documents such as these the British Library have proven themselves to be great open access activists.

Two New OA Books (+1)

This has been a busy week for books on Open Access. On Wednesday I blogged about the book Understanding Open Access in the Academic Environment: A Guide for Authors by Kylie Pappalardo. Today Open Access News wrote about two more new Open Access books:

E. Canessa and M. Zennaro at the Science Dissemination Unit of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste have put together an edited book Science Dissemination using Open Access.

From today’s announcement:

The book is a compendium of selected literature on Open Access, both on the technical and organizational levels, and was written in an effort to guide the scientific community on the requirements of Open Access, and the plethora of low-cost solutions available. The book also aims to encourage decision makers in academia and research centers to adopt institutional and regional Open Access Journals and Archives to make their own scientific results public and fully searchable on the Internet. Discussions on open publishing via Academic Webcasting are also included.

The other book is a 144 pp. collection of articles on OA by 38 authors, edited by Barbara Malina entitled Open Access Opportunities and Challenges: A Handbook, the German UNESCO Commission, July 2008. This is an English translation of Open Access: Chancen und Herausforderungen – ein Handbuch (2007).

Open Access Guide

The Oak Law project has produced an Open Access guide.

The book Understanding Open Access in the Academic Environment: A Guide for Authors by Kylie Pappalardo (with the assistance of Professor Brian Fitzgerald, Professor Anne Fitzgerald, Scott Kiel-Chisholm, Jenny Georgiades and Anthony Austin) aims to provide practical guidance for academic authors interested in making their work more openly accessible to readers and other researchers.

The guide provides authors with an overview of the concept of and rationale for open access to research outputs and how they may be involved in its implementation and with what effect. In doing so it considers the central role of copyright law and publishing agreements in structuring an open access framework as well as the increasing involvement of funders and academic institutions.

The guide also explains different methods available to authors for making their outputs openly accessible, such as publishing in an open access journal or depositing work into an open access repository. Importantly, the guide addresses how open access goals can affect an author’s relationship with their commercial publisher and provides guidance on how to negotiate a proper allocation of copyright interests between an author and publisher. A Copyright Toolkit is provided to further assist authors in managing their copyright.

The work is licensed under an Australian Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
2.5 License


8th International Conference on Human Choice and Computers
Social Dimensions of ICT Policy

University of Pretoria
25-26 September 2008

Thursday 25 September

9:00 – 9:30 Opening session
Welcome speeches by conference organizers at the University of Pretoria

9:30 – 10:30 Plenary session: keynote speech
Communication, Information and ICT Policy: Towards enabling research frameworks, Robin Mansell

10:30 – 11:00 coffee break

11:00 – 12:30 Plenary session: Issues of governance of the information society
• 15 Years of Ways of Internet Governance: towards a new agenda for action, Jacques Berleur
• Free and Open Source Software in low-income countries: emergent properties? (panel): Gianluca Miscione (chair), Dorothy K. Gordon, Kevin Johnston

12:30 – 14:00 lunch break

14:00 – 15:30 Track 1: Harnessing the empowering capacity of ICT
• Government policies for ICT diffusion and the governance of grassroots movements, Magda Hercheui
• Egyptian women artisans: ICTs are not the entry to modern markets, Leila Hassanin
• Digital divides and the role of policy and regulation: a qualitative study of Greece, Panayiota Tsatsou

Track 2: National information systems infrastructures
• Institutional strategies towards improving health information systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, Solomon B. Bishaw
• Technology, globalization and governance: research perspectives and prospects, Diego Navarra and Tony Cornford
• Globalization and national security issues for the state: implications for national ICT policies, Jackie Phahlamohlaka

15:30 – 16:00 coffee break

16:00 – 17:30 Track 1: ICT and development in Africa
• Examining trust in mobile banking transactions: the case of M-PESA in Kenya, Olga Morawczynski and Gianluca Miscione
• Next generation ICT policy in South Africa: towards a human development-based ICT policy, Walter Brown and Irwin Brown
• Challenges of ICT policy for rural communities: a case study from South Africa, Mpostol Jeremia Mashinini

Track 2: ICT in education
• A human environmentalist approach to diffusion in ICT policies, Elaine Byrne and Lizette Weilbach
• ICT and socio-economic development: a university’s engagement in a rural community in Yola, Nigeria, Jainaba M.L. Kah and Muhammadou M.O. Kah
• Lessons from a dropped ICT curriculum design project: a retrospective view, Roohollah Honarvar

Friday 26 September

9:00 – 10:00 Plenary session: keynote speech Dorothy Gordon

10:00 – 10:30 coffee break

10:30 – 11:30 Plenary session: panel on the policy implications of a UK mega-programme in the health sector
Evaluating ‘Connecting for Health’: policy implications of a UK mega-programme, Kathy McGrath (chair) Jane Hendy, Ela Klekun, Leslie Willcocks, Terry Young

11:30 – 12:30 Plenary session: panel on ICT and women’s empowerment
Gender research in Africa into ICTs for empowerment (GRACE), Ineke Buskens and Anne Webb (co-chairs), Gertrudes Macueve, Ibou Sane

12:30 – 14:00 lunch break

14:00 – 16:00 Track 1: European Union and national ICT policies
• Empowerment through ICT: a critical discourse analysis of the Egyptian ICT policy, Bernd Carsten Stahl
• American and African geospatial myths: the argumentative structure of spatial data infrastructure initiatives, Yola Georgiadou and Vincent Homburg
• ICT policy as a governable domain: the case of Greece and the European Commission, Ioanna Chini
• National variations of the information society: evidence from the Greek case, Dimitris Boucas

Track 2: Challenging two fundamental institutions of modernity: IPR and measurement
• Social networks within filtered ICT networks: internet usage within Iran, Farid Shirazi
• No-IPR model as solution to reuse and understanding of information systems, Kai K. Kimppa
• Measuring ICT for development, Anouk Mukherjee
• Open Access and Action Research, Mathias Klang

16:00 – 16:30 coffee break

16:30 – 17:30 Closing plenary session: Discussion of emerging issues on ICT policy research, Chrisanthi Avgerou (chair)

Scholarly Communication (NCSC 2008)

On my way down to Lund to attend the Fourth Nordic Conference on Scholarly Communication. for me the highlights of the first day will be

Open Scholarship: Synergies between Open Access and Open Education
Melissa Hagemann, OSI

Access, Usage and Citation Metrics: What Function for Digital Libraries and Repositories in Research Evaluation?
Chris Armbruster, Research Network 1989 and Max Planck Digital Library

Judging Merit – The Value of Publications
Ingegerd Rabow, Lunds Universitet

And naturally the opportunity to speak to lots of people with the same interests.

Parallel Production Sucks

Despite being totally aware of the consequences I am now stuck (again) with the job of writing several things in parallel. In the next two weeks I need to finish my open access report for Lund, two book chapters and a licensing booklet. The actual content is not the problem – what is the problem is despite all efforts to the contrary deadlines have a tendency to expand and contract to finally collect themselves in nasty little clusters that force the whole writing process into an attempt to beat text from the dead mind of the writer.

So how does this happen and can it be avoided? To answer the last question first: Of course it can be avoided. The simple trick is to only do one thing at a time. The cost of this approach will be to radically diminish my writing output. So this does not feel like an option.

The first question (why?) is more complex. It can be attributed to bad planning but this is only part of the truth. For many years I would explain my deadline stress with the words bad planning but I have come to realize that this is not the whole truth. No matter how good my planning is life has a way of throwing small surprises (not all pleasant) dates change, new tasks are assigned and often unrealistic work loads lead to delays.

The results of these insights should maybe be to attempt to change – but how can you change the unforeseen? How much planning must be included for that which you cannot know? And in the end isn’t it all a waste of time? After all:

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans – John Lennon

New book: Wikiworld

The works on the causes and effects on the “new openness” are coming in fast. My most recent find is Juha Suoranta & Tere Vadén (University of Tampere, Finland) who have published an open access book entitled Wikiworld – Political Economy and the Promise of Participatory Media:

In the digital world of learning there is a progressive transformation from the institutionalized and individualized forms of learning to open learning and collaboration. The book provides a view on the use of new technologies and learning practices in furthering socially just futures, while at the same time paying critical attention to the constants, or “unmoved movers” of the information society development; the West and Capitalism. The essential issue in the Wikiworld is one of freedom ­ levels and kinds of freedom. Our message is clear: we write for the radical openness of education for all.

It sounds interesting and  I will download it as soon as I get to a better connection. Right now I am on a train surfing via mobile not the best thing for downloading books… its online here.

Moan, moan, moan

Still no broadband at home and the next two weeks are going to be supremely hectic. Today I returned from Norway and gave a lecture, tomorrow I am off to Gävle to interview librarians and discuss Open Access. On Wednesday I am interviewing in Göteborg on Thursday I am going to Halmstad to interview and on Friday I am lecturing in Göteborg.

The next week is a presentation at a Stockholm lecture, Tuesday is a meeting in Lund, Wednesday is Umeå. Thursday & Friday are lecturing in Göteborg. All the while I will be working on a report, a book chapter, and completing a short book.

That makes 2676 kilometers mainly on trains and the first leaves in six hours. Its time to switch of and go to bed.

Top misleading open access myths

Biomedcentral has a list of top misleading Open Access myths

In the evidence presented to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Inquiry into Scientific Publications, many dubious arguments have been used by traditional publishers to attack the new Open Access publishing model.

Myth 1: The cost of providing Open Access will reduce the availability of funding for research

Myth 2: Access is not a problem – virtually all UK researchers have the access they need

Myth 3 :The public can get any article they want from the public library via interlibrary loan

Myth 4: Patients would be confused if they were to have free access to the peer-reviewed medical literature on the web

Myth 5: It is not fair that industry will benefit from Open Access

Myth 6: Open Access threatens scientific integrity due to a conflict of interest resulting from charging authors

Myth 7: Poor countries already have free access to the biomedical literature

Myth 8: Traditionally published content is more accessible than Open Access content as it is available in printed form

Myth 9: A high quality journal such as Nature would need to charge authors £10,000-£30,000 in order to move to an Open Access model

Myth 10: Publishers need to make huge profits in order to fund innovation

Myth 11: Publishers need to take copyright to protect the integrity of scientific articles