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!

New Award: ASAP

A new award has just been announced: the Accelerating Science Award Program (ASAP)
“The Accelerating Science Award Program (ASAP) recognizes individuals who have used, applied, or remixed scientific research — published through Open Access — to make a difference in science, medicine, business, technology or society as a whole.”
-Three top awards of $30,000 each
-A trip to Washington, D.C., to be honored at Open Access Week in October, 2013
-Inclusion in a portfolio book distributed online and in print around the world
The main sponsors of this new award include PLOS, Google, and the Wellcome Trust.
Deadline for this year’s nominations is June 15, 2013.
For Program Rules and Nomination forms see this page.

New Formats for Journals

With rapidly advancing Internet technologies we are no longer bound by the traditional formats of print scholarly journals – and all of their associated inefficiencies that extend the time to publication. Indeed, with the fast pace of research in many cutting-edge areas of science we can no longer afford the lag times of several months to publication.
Two innovative new models of journal publishing have recently launched that take advantage of the current technology environment and challenge traditional journal formats and peer-review workflows:
F1000 Research – is a new open access life sciences journal that offers immediate publication of all scientifically sound papers. The main time savings occurs in the peer-review process: peer-review occurs post-publication and is entirely transparent. The naming of referees in transparent peer-review processes can also encourage fair and honest reviews. A recent press release from F1000 reports that in the first months since its launch in January 2013 the average time to publication has been one week.
PeerJ – is another new open access journal in the areas of biological and medical sciences that launched early in 2013. It also does not restrict publishing to research with perceived “impact” or “novelty” but instead on “an objective determination of scientific and methodological soundness”. The main innovation of PeerJ is on the economics side. Authors may purchase one-time memberships that will allow them to publish repeatedly in PeerJ without having to pay each time. There are various levels of membership, but the basic level has a one-time cost of $99 and permits one publication a year. PeerJ also asks every member to provide one peer-review each year.
In the electronic age we are no longer bound by page restrictions, there is no need to accept only the most “influential” articles (a practice that is highly subjective anyway), and we do not need to delay publication until the next designated date on the calendar that an issue is supposed to come out. Science will progress much more rapidly when we remove historical and artificial barriers to publishing – and make the results of publicly-funded research more accessible and reusable.

Open Access Workshop: Tues Mar 26, 2013

In case you haven’t yet heard…
We will be holding a workshop Tuesday March 26, 2013 on open access! It is the last session in the Library Workshop Series for Scientists and Engineers (but all are welcome!).
Drop by to learn more about author’s rights and discover how to make your publications more accessible to readers. We will be discussing open access journals and repositories and many of the great tools listed on the Open Access LibGuide.
No registration required.
Delta Lab (2B04 Engineering Building)
Tuesday March 26, 2013

Big OA news from the White House

Today the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced a new directive to federal agencies to develop open-access policies within the next six months.
Here is the text from the brief press release:
The Obama Administration is committed to the proposition that citizens deserve easy access to the results of scientific research their tax dollars have paid for. That’s why, in a policy memorandum released today, OSTP Director John Holdren has directed Federal agencies with more than $100M in R&D expenditures to develop plans to make the published results of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication and requiring researchers to better account for and manage the digital data resulting from federally funded scientific research. OSTP has been looking into this issue for some time, soliciting broad public input on multiple occasions and convening an interagency working group to develop a policy. The final policy reflects substantial inputs from scientists and scientific organizations, publishers, members of Congress, and other members of the public—over 65 thousand of whom recently signed a We the People petition asking for expanded public access to the results of taxpayer-funded research.
To see the new policy memorandum, please visit:
To see Dr. Holdren’s response to the We the People petition, please visit: