The Book of MPub : “The Book of MPub cu…

The Book of MPub :
“The Book of MPub curates research and critical thinking from students in the Master of Publishing program at Simon Fraser University. In doing so, it makes a contribution to a collective discourse on innovative technologies in publishing—epublishing, new business models, and crowd sourcing and social media. The Book of MPub furthers discussion in three formats: blog, ebook and the classic, ever-evocative print form. The experimental process is itself research, and both documentation of the insights gained and the final product are comprehensive resources for the publishing industry at large.”

Data Sharing, Latency Variables and the …

Data Sharing, Latency Variables and the Science Commons :
“Over the past decade, the rapidly decreasing cost of computer storage and the increasing prevalence of high-speed Internet connections have fundamentally altered the way in which scientific research is conducted. Led by scientists in disciplines such as genomics, the rapid sharing of data sets and cross-institutional collaboration promise to increase scientific efficiency and output dramatically. As a result, an increasing number of public “commons” of scientific data are being created: aggregations intended to be used and accessed by researchers worldwide. Yet, the sharing of scientific data presents legal, ethical and practical challenges that must be overcome before such science commons can be deployed and utilized to their greatest potential. These challenges include determining the appropriate level of intellectual property protection for data within the commons, balancing the publication priority interests of data generators and data users, ensuring a viable economic model for publishers and other intermediaries and achieving the public benefits sought by funding agencies.
In this paper, I analyze scientific data sharing within the framework offered by organizational theory, expanding existing analytical approaches with a new tool termed “latency analysis.” I place latency analysis within the larger Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework, as well as more recent variations of that framework. Latency analysis exploits two key variables that characterize all information commons: the rate at which information enters the commons (its knowledge latency) and the rate at which the knowledge in the commons becomes be freely utilizable (its rights latency). With these two variables in mind, one proceeds to a three-step analytical methodology that consists of (1) determining the stakeholder communities relevant to the information commons, (2) determining the policy objectives that are relevant to each stakeholder group, and (3) mediating among the differing positions of the stakeholder groups through adjustments to the latency variables of the commons.
I apply latency analysis to two well-known narratives of commons formation in the sciences: the field of genomics, which developed unique modes of rapid data sharing during the Human Genome Project and continues to influence data sharing practices in the biological sciences today; and the more generalized case of open access publishing requirements imposed on publishers by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and various research universities. In each of these cases, policy designers have used timing mechanisms to achieve policy outcomes. That is, by regulating the speed at which information is released into a commons, and then by imposing time-based restrictions on its use, policy designers have addressed the concerns of multiple stakeholders and established information commons that operate effectively and equitably. I conclude that the use of latency variables in commons policy design can, in general, reduce negotiation transaction costs, achieve efficient and equitable results for all stakeholders, and thereby facilitate the formation of socially-valuable commons of scientific information.”

Copyright and Open Access for Academic W…

Copyright and Open Access for Academic Works :
“In a recent paper, Prof. Steven Shavell (see Shavell, 2009) has argued strongly in favor of eliminating copyright from academic works. Based upon solid economic arguments, Shavell analyses the pros and cons of removal of copyright and in its place to have a pure open access system, in which authors (or more likely their employers) would provide the funds that keep journals in business. In this paper we explore some of the arguments in Shavell’s paper, above all the way in which the distribution of the sources of journal revenue would be altered, and the feasible effects upon the quality of journal content. We propose a slight modification to a pure open access system which may provide for the best of both the copyright and open access worlds.”

Economic and Social Returns on Investment in Open Archiving Publicly Funded Research Outputs

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) provided support for a feasibility study, to outline one possible approach to measuring the impacts of the proposed US Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) on returns to public investment in R&D. The aim is to define and scope the data collection requirements and further model developments necessary for a more robust estimate of the likely impacts of the proposed FRPAA open archiving mandate.

Preliminary modeling suggests that over a transitional period of 30 years from implementation, the potential incremental benefits of the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be worth between 4 and 24 times the costs. Perhaps two-thirds of these benefits would accrue within the US, with the remainder spilling over to other countries. Hence, the US national benefits arising from the proposed FRPAA archiving mandate might be of the order of 16 times the costs.

Exploring sensitivities in the model we find that the benefits exceed the costs over a wide range of  values. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine any plausible values for the input data and model parameters that would lead to a fundamentally different answer.

These preliminary estimates are based on the information available to us at the time of writing. They are released in conjunction with an online model, which enables others to explore their own preferred values for the various parameters.


Who owns our work? : “Much turmoil in t…

Who owns our work? :
“Much turmoil in the scholarly-communication ecosystem appears to revolve around simple ownership of intellectual property. Unpacking that notion, however, produces a fascinating tangle of stakeholders, desires, products and struggles. Some products of the research process, especially novel ones, are difficult to fit into legal concepts of ownership. As collaborative research burgeons, traditional ownership and authorship criteria are stretched to their limits and beyond, with many contributors still feeling short of due credit. The desire for access and impact brings institutions and grant funders into the formerly exclusive relationship between authors and publishers. Librarians, stripped of first-sale rights by electronic licensing, wonder about both access and long-term preservation. Emerging solutions to many of these difficulties threaten to cut publishers out of the picture altogether, perhaps a welcome change to those stakeholders who find publishers’ behavior to block progress.”

Open Access Week: Library Strategies for…

Open Access Week: Library Strategies for Advancing Change :
“Over the past several years, libraries have strategically brought to bear the power of a global awareness event we call “Open Access Week” to advance real, policy-driven scholarly communication change on campus. Initiated by students and marked by just a few dozen campuses in 2007, Open Access Week has evolved into a truly global phenomenon thanks to the ongoing leadership of the library community. Not simply an awareness-raising exercise, librarians have made Open Access Week a platform for advancing specific policy changes on researchsharing and dissemination, including institution-wide commitments to open access. In anticipation of Open Access Week 2010 (October 18–24) and beginning to formulate local strategies, SPARC has invited two leading participants from 2009 to share in the following two articles how the event helped them to advance open access to research.”

The role of the research library in an e…

The role of the research library in an emerging global public sphere :
“Presents a vision of a potential future global public sphere, why it is needed and signs of emergence, and the role of the research library in this global public sphere, as provider of a distributed knowledge commons, preserver of scholarly information, and source of specialized expertise. Key short-term transitional steps are covered, particularly transition to a fully open access scholarly publishing system”