Open Access Week 2016 – take action

Monday, October 24th, 2016 | Richard White | No Comments

The theme for this year’s Open Access Week is “Open in Action.” has published a list (where you can even tick boxes and submit a form to put your commitment to yourself in writing) of things you can do:

  • Start a conversation about Open Access during a research group meeting, journal club, or staff meeting.
  • Send at least one manuscript to an open-access journal within the next year.
  • Deposit at least one of my articles into an open-access repository during Open Access Week and encourage colleagues to do the same.
  • Use the SPARC author addendum on my next publication to reserve rights to make a copy of my work publicly accessible.
  • Contribute to a conversation on campus about institutional support for Open Access.
  • Sign the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment and commit to not using journal-based metrics in evaluation.
  • Sign up for Impactstory to explore the online impact of your research and get an ORCID.

(Text from the bullet points used under a a CC-BY licence from

How to tell a ‘good’ Open Access journal

Sunday, September 18th, 2016 | Richard White | No Comments

Interested in an OA journal but not sure of its quality?

Erstwhile Otago colleague, now of the University of Canterbury, Anton Angelo has published a useful checklist to help determine the quality of an OA journal. Note that this is not to check the journal’s contribution to the discipline but rather its publishing and editorial practices.

(Copyright nerd note: I could just copy Anton’s post here, as he uses a CC BY licence, but linking to his page is good ‘internet etiquette’ in that he will see the use of his material if you go to his site.)

Otago staff to have their say on OA

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015 | Richard White | No Comments

We’ve just launched an Open Acess publishing survey. There has been plenty of illuminating international research in recent times that tells us what researchers think about open access. But in many other countries governments or funders are encouraging or mandating open access to the research they fund, whereas the context in New Zealand is quite different. This survey will give us a good sense of the extent to which Otago researchers are engaging with OA, their attitudes towards it and what support they need. Our results will be shared with the University community, including the University Research Committee.
A direct email has been sent to research staff with a personalised link but if you didn’t receive one you can follow the link below. Other people are welcome to do the survey too: you can identify yourself as an ‘other’ so we can filter our results.

Take the Otago Open Access Publishing Survey

Being open (Wed 21 & Fri 23 Oct, 1pm, #OAweek)

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 | Richard White | No Comments

Note: the two sessions will be basically the same thing offered in different locations. You don’t need to come to both, though you are welcome to do so.

open access lock

‘Open lock’ CC BY-NC-ND, JISC

The nature of scholarship is changing, as are the ways in which you can engage with your research community and beyond. As part of Otago’s Open Access Week events, these sessions will consist of a series of quick fire topics on the theme of ‘being open.’ Those who come along can chose topics they’re interested in, including but not limited to:

  • creative commons
  • open educational resources (OERs)
  • hosting your own journal
  • data management (e.g. Figshare)
  • ORCID unique researcher identifiers
  • Otago University Research Archive (OUR Archive, our institutional research repository), and
  • Academic Networking sites (e.g. ResearchGate,, etc.

The quick-fire topics will serve as an invitation to attendees to engage in an open discussion where they can ask questions, share experiences or even get hands-on support. You don’t know a thing about ORCID but you know you want one? Do you apply creative commons licences to your work and want to share your experiences?  These sessions will be of use to all students/academics/researchers keen to engage in conversations around open access, the pros and cons and making the most of the various tools available.

When: 1 – 2pm Wednesday 21 October 2015
Where: Science Library Seminar Room (far-right corner from the entrance, see floorplan)

When: 1 – 2pm Friday 23 October 2015
Where: Hunter Centre G30a (ground floor, to the right inside the main entrance)

Open Access. What is it and why should I care? – plus OA baking! (1pm, Mon 19 October, #OAweek)

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 | Richard White | No Comments


Image CC BY,

Why are governments, funders and institutions around the world mandating or encouraging Open Access? What does it mean for my discipline? My department? Me, as an individual researcher or teacher?

Our opening event for OA Week offers an introduction to OA, its demonstrable benefits to the scholarly pursuit and the challenges it presents. This session will provide a broad overview of current developments in OA and examine what the future might hold.

We’ll also be launching a survey of Otago staff, which asks about practices in and attitudes towards OA publishing.

Come along and share your experiences or bring your questions.

As an added bonus there will be open access baking. You’ll have to come find out what that is!

When: 1 – 2pm Monday 19 October 2015
Where: Central Library Conference Room 3 (1st floor East end, see floorplan)
Online: join virtually via Connect

How to do Guerilla GLAM

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 | Sarah G | No Comments

Open Access Week (19-25 October) is fast approaching and we have a number of events in store – one I’m keen to tell you about now is a webinar we have planned entitled, “How to do Guerilla GLAM”.

Subhashish PanigrahiOur speaker, Subhashish Panigrahi @subhapa, from the  Centre for Internet and Society’s Access To Knowledge programme will be tuning in via the interwebs from India to share his vision, case studies of Guerilla GLAM initiatives in India, as well as touching on the creation of documentaries, learning resources and promotional material from acquired content.

  • GLAM = Galleries Libraries Archives and Museums
  • Guerilla Glam = “getting the most out from cultural institutions where collaboration and long term engagement has high cost and time implications.”

Subha believes “this presentation will be useful for those who can mobilize a small team of volunteers equipped with digital camera, access to local cultural institutions and some level of expertise of curating data.” Read more about Subha and the abstract for his talk below.

Details of the event

How to do Guerilla GLAM / Subhashish Panigrahi @subhapa
Tuesday 20 October, 3.00pm NZDT
Conference Room 3, 1st floor University of Otago Central Library, 65 Albany Street, Dunedin
Or join us via Adobe Connect. [Please ensure you are logged in before 3pm and have read the participant notes on screen]

We will be recording this session and Subha has given permission for us to make the recording and his slides available here on the blog. We encourage participants to ask questions via the chat facility in Adobe Connect, or to tweet questions using #OAWeek #AOASG.



Building partnership with galleries, libraries, archives and museums (collectively known as GLAM institutions) is a great way of funneling the cultural content acquisition and bringing open access to such valuable data. But it is not that easy given the complications each country has in terms of formal agreement, organizational framework, etc. This presentation will detail about the learning curve of institutional partnership building, leveraging personal contacts in small scale GLAM projects and bringing in several indie-projects to cut implication cost, and execute low-cost models.

During this presentation I will present two case studies of contrasting nature: India’s first GLAM project at the National Crafts Museum, New Delhi, and various small-scale collaborative projects. Where the first one would have learning from the six months long project, the second one will draw inspirations from many initiatives that have really no cost or low cost implication and less implementation time involved.

At times, institutional collaborations become liabilities and labor intensive with low Return on Investment. Training staff and implementing GLAM projects are not always easy and retaining contributors is a challenge. Alternatively Guerrilla GLAM could be thought of when having a Wikimedian-in-Residence is not feasible. This presentation will be useful for those who can mobilize a small team of volunteers equipped with digital camera, access to local cultural institutions and some level of expertise of curating data.

Making documentaries and building narratives based on acquired content to creating learning resources and promotional materials will be another aspect of this presentation. Building partnerships with many federal or private institutions also needs sustained long-term engagement and volunteer time is not always enough to devote for a long term GLAM project. This presentation will detail about going the guerrilla way to acquire data from GLAM institutions. This will involve low cost models, leveraging various factors, and getting the most out from cultural institutions where collaboration and long term engagement has high cost and time implications.

About Subhashish

Subhashish Panigrahi is an India based educator, author, blogger, Wikimedian, language activist and free knowledge evangelist. Earlier with Wikimedia Foundation’s India Program and currently at the Centre for Internet and Society‘s Access To Knowledge program, Panigrahi works on building partnership with universities, language research and GLAM (Gallery, Library, Archive and Museums) organizations for bringing more scholarly and encyclopedic content under free licenses, designing outreach programs for South Asian language Wikipedia/Wikimedia projects and communities.

The other hats he wears are as the Editor for Global Voices Odia, Community Moderator of, and Ambassador for India in OpenGLAM Local, Juror of 2015 American Alliance of Museum Muse Awards, and member of OER 2016 Standing Committee. He has presented in various Indian and international conferences on the free knowledge, GLAM and Open Access movement. Panigrahi has authored of “Rising Voices: Indigenous language Digital Activism” in Digital Activism in Asia Reader and was winner of the 2015 People’s Choice Award. Subhashish is available on Twitter at @subhapa and over email at psubhashishatgmaildotcom for more discussion.

Fancy printing your own Homo Naledi bones?

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015 | Richard White | No Comments

You can, thanks to the researchers behind the most-talked about fossil discovery in recent times releasing research-quality 3D scans on MorphoSource. Any student in the world (whose school or organisation has access to the right printing technology) can hold the bones in their hands.

John Hawkes, a core scientist in the Rising Star Expedition team behind the research, has hailed their work as “a triumph for open access and education”:

The open access philosophy has driven our work on Homo naledi from the beginning. Instead of keeping these discoveries veiled behind locked doors, we have tried to bring them to the public in ways that will drive greater curiosity and engagement with science…

Not only the public benefits from scientific open access; science itself benefits. Showing the process of science in action, we create better tools for educators to equip students with the scientific method.

As we train a new generation of scientists, we must give them the tools to build collaborations and work with massive data. By sharing data openly, we build a worldwide community of practice as we attempt to understand this and other future discoveries.

The ConversationRead Hawkes’ full editorial post.

More than half of research published by top five publishers

Friday, July 24th, 2015 | Richard White | No Comments

An analysis of 45 million research documents has found that the top five most prolific publishers account for more than 50% of all papers published in 2013. The digital era precipitated a massive shift from a proliferation of research publishers to an oligopoly of a small handful. This influence is particularly evident in the social sciences (where the share is more like 70%) and less so in the humanities (20%); the Natural and Medical Sciences lie around the half-way point largely because of the independence of the major scholarly socities.

The paper concludes that this massive increase in influence has been largely responsible for the massive rises in profits of these publsihers, without a concomitant increase in added value to what has been described as ‘the most profitiable obsolete technology in history.’

It also concludes that only the academic community – having sold off its intellectual capital at an amazing rate (see image at the bottom of this post) – has the ability to reverse this the ‘acaedmic spring’ of the open access / open science movements.

Read The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in the Digital Era in full (and open access) at PLoS ONE.

journal.pone.0127502.g002Number of journals changing from small to big publishers, and big to small publishers per year of change in the Natural and Medical Sciences and Social Sciences & Humanities | CC BY Larivière et al (2015) | doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0127502.g002

Open Access publishing in the UK

Friday, February 13th, 2015 | Richard White | No Comments

Open access to research is the theme for the month of Febraruy on NZCommons, the home for discussion of all things copyright and open access in New Zealand. The following are some highlights of a post of on open access publishing in the UK by Cambridge academic Dr Rupert Gatti (originally published on The Guardian).

Read the full article

While academia is in the midst of a general funding crisis, multinational publishing houses are making vast profits from disseminating publicly funded research. New Open Access publishing models provide cost-efficient methods for disseminating research findings, eradicate excess profits by publishers and massively widen the readership of scholarly works…

…Our model is now well-honed and successfully spreading knowledge around the world: our books are currently averaging around 500 views per month, which is more than most printed academic books see in an entire lifetime. They are accessed by people in over 180 countries (most academic books are only available in Western university libraries), with large numbers coming from the developing world…

…There’s no reason why there shouldn’t be a creditable Open Access book publisher in every university around the world, but it is going to require a collective shift in the academic mind-set…