Improving the Value of Transport Research using Advanced Web Tools to Improve Research Dissemination :
“This paper aims to measure the impact of a thematic digital research repository on spreading new knowledge research into the professional transport community using user survey findings for the SORT (Social Research in Transport) Clearinghouse (www.sortclearinghouse.info) website and a review of previous research.
Research dissemination, the circulation of research findings, has been identified as the easiest way to distribute new knowledge and thematic research clearinghouses such as SORT have been seen as a means to „reinvigorate professional values‟ by providing quick access to quality research whilst also maintaining copyright protections to authors and publishers. SORT was developed out of the concern that social research findings in transport were not reaching the wider non-academic professional community. Some 1,777 separate users from 69 countries accessed the site on 3,282 visits in the first 11 months of 2009 for an average visit length of 5 minutes.
The user survey of SORT identified that policy/practitioners and consultants were the primary users of the web site (66%) with academics (27%). Most site users apply the research content accessed from SORT for „conceptual‟ applications (i.e. to keep informed). A very high share of users cite research evidence in their own published work (27% of academics) supporting previous research suggesting that research clearinghouses add much value to authors, journal editors and publishers. „Instrumental‟ use of research (to implement a transport plan, policy or service) represented a minority of uses (20% on average) nevertheless this is considered quite a reasonable outcome from a targeted dissemination approach. Some 40% of policy/practitioners used the research from SORT for „instrumental‟ purposes and this group represents half of the user base suggesting a strong real world application of the
research content in SORT. Support for this conclusion is provided from user ratings of the importance
of SORT to user occupational activities. Overall 56% of all users (65% of professional/practitioners)
considered SORT essential/very essential to their work.
Overall the findings provide some strong support for the view that thematic research clearinghouses might have an important role to play in bridging the gap between quality academic research published in research journals and professional practitioners planning and operating transport systems.”
URL : http://www.civil.ist.utl.pt/wctr12_lisboa/WCTR_General/documents/01342.pdf
Access to peer-reviewed literature is often restricted to a limited segment of the target audience. Barriers are in place to prevent open access of information. In the applied research science of aquaculture, these barriers have slowed progress and innovation. Here, I present a case study of how the internet and hobbyists are transforming both access and flow of information from closed circles to open dialogue within the field of marine ornamental fish rearing.
This open approach is leading to innovation a rate remarkably faster and at a lower costs than could have been accomplished by traditional methods. Aquaculture societies, aquarium professionals, hobbyists, and scientists pursuing the captive production of species should embrace this movement. Whether production is for profit, conservation, or pure enjoyment, the free flow of information provides exciting new opportunities.
URL : http://www.bioflux.com.ro/docs/2010.3.269-272.pdf
Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property :
“At the end of the twentieth century, intellectual property rights collided with everyday life. Expansive copyright laws and digital rights management technologies sought to shut down new forms of copying and remixing made possible by the Internet. International laws expanding patent rights threatened the lives of millions of people around the world living with HIV/AIDS by limiting their access to cheap generic medicines. For decades, governments have tightened the grip of intellectual property law at the bidding of information industries; but recently, groups have emerged around the world to challenge this wave of enclosure with a new counter-politics of “access to knowledge” or “A2K.” They include software programmers who took to the streets to defeat software patents in Europe, AIDS activists who forced multinational pharmaceutical companies to permit copies of their medicines to be sold in poor countries, subsistence farmers defending their rights to food security or access to agricultural biotechnology, and college students who created a new “free culture” movement to defend the digital commons. Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property maps this emerging field of activism as a series of historical moments, strategies, and concepts. It gathers some of the most important thinkers and advocates in the field to make the stakes and strategies at play in this new domain visible and the terms of intellectual property law intelligible in their political implications around the world.”
URL : http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=12589
Free Technology Academy : a Joint Venture of Free Software and OER :
“The decision to publish educational materials openly and under free licenses brings up the challenge of doing it in a sustainable way. Some lessons can be learned from the business models for production, maintenance and distribution of Free and Open Source Software. The
Free Technology Academy (FTA) has taken on these challenges and has implemented some of these models. We briefly review the FTA educational programme, methodologies and organisation, and see to which extent these models are proving successful in the case of the FTA.”
URL : http://openaccess.uoc.edu/webapps/o2/handle/10609/4850
Faculty and Student Perspectives Toward Open Courseware, and Open Access Publishing: Some Comparisons Between European and North American Populations :
“Instructor and student beliefs, attitudes and intentions toward contributing to local open courseware (OCW) sites have been investigated through campus-wide surveys at Universidad Politecnica de Valencia and the University of Michigan. In addition, at the University of Michigan, faculty have been queried about their participation in open access (OA) publishing. We compare the instructor and student data concerning OCW between the two institutions, and introduce the investigation of open access publishing in relation to open courseware publishing”
URL : http://openaccess.uoc.edu/webapps/o2/handle/10609/5261
An analysis of open access schorlarly communication Tanzanian public universities :
“The aim of this study was to investigate factors affecting the adoption of open access in research activities within Tanzanian public universities in order to device mechanisms of enhancing the use of this mode of scholarly communication. The study adopted the UTAUT model to formulate an open access research model comprising of six constructs and five moderators for guidance of this investigation. A triangulation approach for data gathering was adopted. In the first instance, a semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 398 respondents selected using the stratified random sampling from a population of 1088 university researchers from six public universities in Tanzania. The interview involving 63 policy makers and structured records review were also conducted to complement the questionnaire survey. The descriptive and binary logistic regression statistics of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) were used for data analysis. The study established that majority of the policy makers (90.5%) and researchers (72.1%) were aware of open access. Attitude, awareness, effort expectancy, and performance expectancy were established as the key determinants for researchers’ behavioural intention of open access usage while age, awareness, behavioural intention, facilitating conditions and social influence were found to significantly affect researchers’ actual usage of open access. It was concluded that researchers’ and policy makers’ general perceptions about open access were very positive signifying the acceptance of this mode of scholarly communication in the study area. Current poor research conditions and researchers’ low Internet self-efficacy such as inadequate information search and online publishing skills were cited as the main hindrances for researchers to use open access in scholarly communication. The study recommends institutionalisation of open access publishing in Tanzanian public universities and other similar research institutions so as to improve the dissemination of research output emanating from such institutions. Six areas for further research to establish more insights regarding the feasibility for open access development in the country are also recommended.”
URL : http://uir.unisa.ac.za/dspace/handle/10500/3684
The Historical and Legal Underpinnings of Access to Public Documents :
“Identifying and limiting access to public documents in a world of instant transmission has created new problems for government and citizens alike. This article reviews
the historical uses and value of public documents in order to aid those responsible for describing which government documents can be confidently migrated to digital form.”
URL : http://www.aallnet.org/products/pub_llj_v102n04/2010-35.pdf