Glue jar: “give books to the world”


Gluejar is an innovative approach to digital publishing that uses Crowdfunding to “unglue” in-copyright books for distribution under a creative commons license.

This is a model that ensures that creators are still financially rewarded for their efforts, while releasing a free, legal digital edition of their book that can be read and shared worldwide.

In Beta at:

For more information, go to:

Open Scholarship Community of Practice – Inaugural meeting Monday, 10 June

Friday, June 7th, 2013 | Richard White | No Comments

As previously  blogged, the Open Scholarship Community of Practice will have its first meeting on Monday 10 June. There will be audio-conference for those who can’t make it in person (see details below). The first session will focus on MOOCs – developments, challenges, opportunities.

OSCoP is a forum for anyone with an interest in openness in higher education to share experiences and ask questions about open research, open publishing, open data, open courses, open educational resources – basically put open in front of it and you can come and talk with others about it. Meetings will be every two months.

  • 10 June, 1 – 2pm, University of Otago Central Library Conference Room 3
  • Our topic will be MOOCs, developments, challenges, opportunities
  • Audio-conference: call 083044; enter PIN 136363 then press # (dial 1 before 083044 if calling from an internal line).

Tasman Declaration on Open Research

Friday, April 19th, 2013 | Richard White | 68 Comments

The Tasman Declaration came out of the Open Research Conference (mentioned previously on this blog) held in Auckland in February, representing the collective voice of the diverse group of participants, including researchers, lawyers, librarians, research infrastructure providers, technology consultants and software developers from NZ, Australia, the US and the UK. The declaration calls on Australian and New Zealand research communities, institutions, policy makers and funders to make publicly-funded research open:

Publicly funded research should be openly available to maximise return on investments into research, and to increase participation in research and its translation beyond the traditional research sector.

“Open Research” is about removing barriers for society to benefit from research, by ensuring open access to and reuse of research papers, data, materials, metadata and code, and by developing the supporting practices and policies.

In the absence of a good reason, research outputs should be made available with as few restrictions as possible and as soon as possible.

Read more about the story behind the declaration or read the declaration itself in full.

Add your voice by signing it.


Everybody’s doing it (except us)

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 | Richard White | No Comments

They’re doing it in the UK. In Australia too. And in the US, they’re going to be doing it more than they already were. I’m talking about open access publication of research.

In 2012 a public petition was made to the Whitehouse proposing that the public should have free access to the outcomes of scientific research that they have funded. Over 65000 people signed and this week the Obama administration has responded with a resounding, “Yes, we can.” While the US National Institutes of Health has had a public access policy for years (which “requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication“), the announcement this week goes much further. Any research with a budget of over $100m will be expected to be made publicly available within 12 months of original publication. “The logic behind this is plain,” says the statement, to provide access to taxpayer-funded research to innovators in industry, science and the public generally. It cites the “great success” of the NIH policy, which is to be used as a guide to other agencies now coming under this new one.

The discussion that has ensued has centred on the fact that 12 months after publication is hardly lightening fast and the level of budget threshold  (which sounds like a lot to NZers). Nevertheless, it is generally being hailed as a landmark announcement in the adoption of Open Access as the default.

A key reason for this is that the statement also “requires that agencies start to address the need to improve upon the management and sharing of scientific data produced with Federal funding.” This goes further than the UK’s Finch report and the announcements by Australia’s funding bodies in recent times.

In any case, from a NZ perspective, it is becoming clear that everybody is going OA except us – but the question is no longer if but when. While the NZ government has established NZGOAL and issued its Declaration on Open and Transparent Government, it has so far been silent on research by organisations like Otago. It can only be a matter of time before this changes, given developments around the rest of the world.

Australian Research Council shift position on open access

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 | SIMON HART | 1 Comment

Australia’s biggest research funding body the ARC is preparing to change its funding rules to mandate open access publishing for the research it funds.  The intention is to align with the new National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) policy which now requires that all researchers that it funds must add their outputs to an open-access repository within 12 months of publication.

This move is consistent with the broader Australian Government agendas of promoting digital economy and of supporting open government; as well as the direction happening in New Zealand, refer:  The benefits of this open access approach include an increased visibility of research, together with increased usage and impact, alongside an improved community awareness of research and its relevance.

Commenting on this Cathrine Harboe-Ree, (President, Council of Australian University Librarians, (CAUL) has said “it is critical that the ARC does align with the NHMRC policy in one very important way.  Unlike the approach taken recently by the Research Councils in the UK, the NHMRC has been careful not to insist that research publish in open access journals using the so called “gold” pay-to-publish approach or to pay extra to publishers to reduce embargo periods.  The repository infrastructure in Australian Universities allows us to support all forms of open access, including the deposit of peer reviewed final manuscripts (“green” open access).  There is no need for Australian funding agencies to mandate or fund the “gold” approach and indeed it may be detrimental to scholarly publication patterns and the cost of research to do so.”

It is worth noting that the repository infrastructure Cathrine mentions has also been established in New Zealand – all NZ Universities run a DSpace repository for research outputs.


Scientists say open access research inevitable in NZ (from Radio NZ)

Friday, July 27th, 2012 | Richard White | No Comments

From Morning Report, Wed 25 July: Scientists (and the PM’s science advisor Peter Gluckman) say that it is inevitable that NZ will follow recent declarations overseas that publicly funded research will become open access:

Who pays for Open Access Publishing? Video and audio discussions now on-line

Monday, June 18th, 2012 | Richard White | No Comments

Video and audio material from the Open Publishing seminar, the first in Otago’s 2012 Open Minds series held in February, is now on-line, ahead of our second session on Open Educational Resources on 28 June.

“We’re gonna be payin’ double for a while,” suggested one participant in our first Open Minds seminar, which focused on open publishing. After listening to presentations from Natalia Timiraos of open access publisher BioMed Central (Open Access Publishing – how it works, how it evolves) and from Jane Hornibrook, Public Lead of Creative Commons Aotearoa NZ  (Creative Commons licensing in open scholarship), participants grappled with the issue of who pays for open access to publications, especially with the current co-existence of traditional and open access publishing models.

Some bemoaned the fact that many open access models simply transfer cost from commercial publisher to author – meaning the public would still pay for access, just through a different system (though a new model has since been announced, as blogged below). Others considered the role that the library has to play, given that it currently pays for access to e-resources. Ultimately the general consensus was that we are in a transitional phase and we can’t see exactly what we’ll end up with. One participant argued that the transition would transform the research culture of universities because the internet is forcing us to re-think “the very fundamental question of what we are here to do…how can we now reach this objective in a more efficient, cost-effective, sustainable manner using these new technologies that we didn’t have before” (listen to the whole conversation here).

All the content is licenced CC BY-SA. Thanks to our guest speakers Natalia and Jane for allowing this re-use of their material.