Thursday, June 12, 2014

Resources of interest for January 2015 class

For the benefit of students already considering their options for next year, this is a post where I'll post some resources that come up that might be interesting to think about for the 2015 class.

June 2014

Bravo to India for setting a new world standard for open access policy

Open Data Burkina
Bouchout Declaration on Open Biodiversity Knowledge Management 

OpenFDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tim Berners-Lee calls for Internet Bill of Rights

This is great timing, as it flows directly from our conversation last night! According to CBC News, World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee is calling for an Internet Bill of Rights.


CBC News (2014). Web founder Tim Berners-Lee calls for internet bill of rights. Retrieved March 12, 2014 from

Thanks to Albert Lessiwe for the alert.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

U.S. open access policy lobbying latest: the FIRST Act

This may be relevant to students working in the area of open access policy. Thanks to the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition for the alert!

Full text of the message sent to the SPARC Open Access Forum:

Late yesterday in the U.S. Congress, Representatives Bucshon (R-IN) and Smith (R-TX) introduced H.R. 4186, the "Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Act." Section 303 of this bill includes language that would severely undercut the implementation of strong public access policies for both articles and data in the United States and set a damaging precedent.

ACT NOW: Send a letter to members of the House Science Committee using our legislative action platform (for US-based supporters)

Specifically, Section 303 would:

 - Establish a minimum allowed embargo period of 24 months and allow its further extension up to 36 months;

 - Sanction simply linking to full text of articles on publishers' websites, without ensuring that federal agencies retain a copy of the text of the articles reporting on their funded research; and,

 - Delay implementation of public access policies by a minimum of an additional 18 months by requiring federal agencies to repeat the planning process required by the White House Directive on Public Access.

We cannot allow Section 303 to become law and double—or even triple—the delay imposed on those who need access to cutting-edge research through federal public access policies.  If you live in the United States, please help in this effort by sending a letter to members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee urging them to oppose Section 303.  Legislators must hear from Americans across the U.S. who support Open Access that this legislation will be damaging to universities, scholars and researchers, students, entrepreneurs, and the general public.

Click here to send a letter to members of the House Science Committee using our legislative action platform

Thank you for your support.  You can visit our informational page on Section 303 of the FIRST Act on the SPARC website for details on the bill and bookmark it for the latest updates as this concerning legislation is debated in the U.S. Congress.

Nick Shockey
On behalf of the SPARC team

For more details see:

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Two creative ideas to address tough poverty issues

The mind unleashed (2014). Swiss To Pay Basic Income 2,500 Francs Per Month To Every Adult. Retrieved March 9, 2014 from
Shank, J. (2014). Utah is on track to end homeless by 2014 with this one simple idea. NationSwell. Retrieved March 9, 2014 from
(The simple idea: end homelessness by giving every homeless person an apartment, no strings attached.