Open Access in Action: ASAP Award Winners

Accelerating Impact

“View exceptional real-world applications of Open Access research. Video features six teams of scientists whose innovative reuse of existing research enabled important advances in medical treatment and detection, ecology and science education. These examples demonstrate how the reuse of Open Access research can accelerate scientific progress and benefit society as a whole. Includes comments from Open Access advocates from publishing, academia and industry and features finalists, winners and sponsors from the Accelerating Science Awards Program (ASAP).”

Guide to Making Your Publications OA

I have done two in-person workshops on this topic in the last year and thought that a brief little guide to the main resources would be helpful.

Sooo, here it is:

Making your publications open access: Resources to assist researchers and librarians

From the introduction:

“It has now been more than a decade since the Budapest Open Access Initiative coined the term open access (OA) and united a movement to free scholarly literature from access barriers. Incredible progress has been made in this time with the launching of thousands of OA journals, open repositories, and mandates from institutions, funders, and various levels of government in countries around the world. The momentum only seems to be increasing in recent years. OA is now considered to be inevitable, with one prediction estimating that it will be the dominant model for scholarly literature in the next decade.1

This guide is intended to be a practical tool to help busy researchers, and the librarians who support them, make the transition to OA. The focus herein is on freely available online resources that will assist in making research publications OA; the closely associated, and rapidly growing, area of research data is beyond the scope of this column.”

Access the full article HERE.

I also maintain a tab on the online guide for the workshop series HERE.

Upcoming Consultation on Tri-Agency OA Policy


It looks like the long awaited harmonized Tri-Agency Open Access Policy is imminent. This brief announcement was posted on the NSERC website recently:

Upcoming Consultation on the Draft Tri-Agency Open Access Policy

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), and NSERC are developing a harmonized policy on access to research publications. From October 15 to December 13, 2013, NSERC and SSHRC will consult with a wide range of stakeholders in the research community on the draft consultation document, Tri-Agency Open Access Policy. The harmonized draft policy is modeled after the  CIHR Open Access Policy, which remains unchanged and continues to be mandatory. For more information, please contact

Hat tip to Ian for alerting me to this exciting news!

New Reports Highlight Fast Growth of OA

Three new reports recently prepared for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation show that Open Access is growing at a rate faster than previously thought.

From the news release: “…around 50% of papers published in 2011 are now available online for free. This is nearly twice the level estimated in previous studies and confirms the global shift towards open access to research findings.”

The reports were prepared by Science-Metrix, an independent research evaluation firm based in Montreal.

Download the reports HERE.

CFP: Interrogating Access Conference

The “Call for Papers” (CFP) for this interesting conference just came through on one of my listservs yesterday. It sounds like a unique event intended to bring together “a range of stakeholders in scholarship” to discuss the changing landscape of scholarly communication in Canada.

Text from the email:


Interrogating Access:  Current and Future Directions for Scholarly Research and Communications in Canada

Friday, February 14–Sunday, February 16, 2014
Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, ON

The scholarly enterprise is experiencing the impact of the digital revolution simultaneous with shifting paradigms of institutional, governmental and other supports to research brought on by a worldwide financial crisis and the current rise of neoliberalism. How are these forces affecting the scholarly ecosystem in Canada? What should those engaged in scholarship — researchers, librarians, post-secondary administrators, academic publishers, and funding agencies — anticipate for the future of scholarship in Canada? When access to resources, funding, employment, and dissemination are all in a state of flux, how should our scholarly support systems be restructured or re-visioned for the future?

Interrogating Access: Current and Future Directions for Scholarly Research and Communications in Canada is a conference designed to bring together a range of stakeholders in scholarship, particularly those working in the social sciences and humanities. Academic researchers and librarians, university and college administrators, scholarly editors and publishers, and representatives from funding agencies and scholarly associations are all invited to attend and participate to advance our mutual knowledge and understanding about current and future directions of the pursuit, support, and communication of Canadian scholarship.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Scholarly Communication of the Modern Language Association and author of Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy (2011), will give the keynote address, providing context for the Canadian debate. Roundtables will focus on the issues of intellectual property, open access and the rise of digital initiatives in the humanities and social sciences.

We seek paper proposals from Canadian stakeholders in the scholarly enterprise on topics such as:

• the research enterprise and financial supports for the scholar (e.g. research and dissemination)
• the strengths and weaknesses of the Canadian research infrastructure (e.g. vetting and acquisition practices associated with libraries and archives; library collaborations and consortia; data collection, integrity and access provided by government, public and private entities; long- term preservation; independent versus partnered research)
• scholarly communications and academic capital (e.g. forms of measuring success and their strengths/limitations [metrics and altmetrics]; differentiated credit for outputs across fields; career advancement and scholarly outputs)
• scholarly publishing and dissemination (e.g. analysis of business models; external funding; paid and volunteer labour; acquisition, marketing, production, distribution, and discovery; contexts of publication [scholarly societies, scholar-led supported by libraries, or formal publishers]; consortia opportunities)
• peer review (e.g. established and alternative models [management and timing of the review process in the research lifecycle, blinded or open]; reliance on a gift economy of labour; credit for peer-reviewed vs. non-peer-reviewed publications)
• intellectual property (e.g. copyright and the researcher/creator, the publisher, the instructor, the librarian, the student; Access Copyright, commercial databases and alternative business models for providing access; data mining; open access)
• electronic publishing (e.g. relationship between print and electronic publishing models and reading practices; costs/challenges of conversion & archiving; licensing versus ownership; the ‘death’ of the monograph; publishing and academic status of electronic forms of scholarship such as blogs, websites, apps, etc.; the culture of free and open access and its effects on the dissemination of scholarship)
•new directions and initiatives

Please send proposals of 250-350 words, accompanied by a brief bio, by August 1, 2013 to:

Lisa Quinn, Wilfrid Laurier University Press (

This conference is co-sponsored by Wilfrid Laurier University (with support of the Office of Research Services) and York University.

Organizers: Lisa Quinn, Acquisitions Editor, Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Janet Friskney, Research Officer, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, York University
Andrea Kosavic, Digital Initiatives Librarian, York University

G8 Endorses OA

Today, the G8 Science Ministers released a Statement that strongly endorses open access to the results of scientific research – both data and publications.
An excerpt:

We recognise that effective global scientific research and public understanding of science and commercial innovation by enterprises is supported by free and rapid public access to published, publicly funded research. The generation, sharing and exploitation of scientific knowledge are integral to the creation of wealth and the enhancement of our quality of life. We recognise that G8 nations have an important opportunity and responsibility to promote policies that increase access to the results of publicly funded research results to spur scientific discovery, enable better international collaboration and coordination of research, enhance the engagement of society and help support economic prosperity.

OA & the Unanticipated Reader

Often researchers underestimate the potential reach of their publications.
They might assume that only a select few close colleagues and students in the same particular subdiscipline of research will be interested in the paper. They will also likely assume that those individuals will have access to their articles through their library subscriptions.
When they make these kinds of assumptions they can potentially cripple the impact of their research.
A great many researchers in poorer countries or institutions can’t afford the expensive journal subscriptions that their wealthier colleagues take for granted. And the general public, anywhere, is usually cut out of the conversation entirely.
Watch this new video below to see the potential impact your research could have if you made it openly accessible to the unanticipated reader…

Kevin Smith of Duke University relates a similar story of an “unexpected reader”:

Faculty & OA at the UofS

This past November (2012) I invited all faculty members at the UofS to complete a short online survey on their publishing activities and opinions – specifically with reference to the growing importance of the open access movement.
One of the main objectives of this research study was to determine the current and emerging scholarly communications needs of researchers at the UofS; and how the University Library might support them in this area.
Preliminary analysis of the results indicates that there is already high awareness of, and support for, open access. The greatest need however, is in education and support for author rights issues such as negotiating copyright transfer agreements with publishers.
I will be presenting these results in a poster this week at the 2013 Canadian Library Association conference in Winnipeg (poster abstracts).
Interested in knowing more? You can download a pdf copy of my poster HERE.
D.Dawson CLA 2013 Poster.jpg

Another OA Endorsement from CAUT

In the most recent CAUT Bulletin (May 2013) the president of CAUT, Wayne Peters, writes a strong endorsement of open access in his President’s Column: Open access publishing serves the public good.
From the first paragraph:
“Access to the results of academic scholarship and research is in a crisis today due in part to the proliferation of expensive, for-profit, scholarly journals. Most library budgets can no longer maintain extensive collections of periodicals, let alone acquire new ones. Consequently, the realm of accessible knowledge has declined as the work of the academy succumbs to commercial interests.”
CAUT’s policy on scholarly communications is here. This was first adopted in 2004 and recently re-approved (April 2013).

A Big Day for Open Data!

Today in the U.S. …
“President Obama signed an Executive Order directing his administration to take historic steps to make government-held data more accessible to the public and to entrepreneurs and others as fuel for innovation and economic growth.”
Accessible data is open and machine-readable. This allows entrepreneurs to more easily incorporate the data into new and innovative technologies. Let the app coding begin!