Sunday, May 29, 2011

Advocacy strategies for open access to agricultural research

Many thanks to students in my LIBR 559K class this spring (the open access class) for a great discussion on advocacy strategies for open access to the agricultural literature. Following is a summary of the discussion, posted with permission of the class, which will be cross-posted to the course blog.

Advocacy strategies for open access to the agricultural literature - summary of class discussion

Tension between public good and agribusiness - talking points

  • taxpayer funding
  • impacts everyone - whole world - we all eat (are food consumers)
  • food security / avoiding starvation and famine
  • food safety
  • how much funding to research on turf & lawn as compared to food? what's more important?
  • linkages with health and environmental science
  • counter to disinformation (e.g. pesticides)
  • agribusiness - tie conditions to subsidies?

Agriculture as a public good - possible alliances

  • small / family farms
  • rural populations
  • organic farmers
  • farmers' market customers

Strategies for talking with agricultural researchers

  • medicine has prestige and lots of OA / good role model
  • can the farmers who might benefit from this research access your articles?
  • adapting information to local conditions (an argument for re-use?)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why scholarship should never be a commodity!

Presentation, graduate panel, Western Canada Speaker Series, Simon Fraser University Wednesday May 18, 2011. Moderator: Rick Gruneau.

Why scholarship should never be a commodity
! (Or, transformative change for scholarly communication for communication scholars). For a version of this presentation which includes a bit of explanation of what I am talking about, download the presentation-of-a-presentation from my SLAIS LIBR 559L course blog.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Housekeeping: e-mail glitch?

Thanks to Pamela for reporting what appears to be a glitch with the e-mail for IJPE - the September 30, 2010 Dramatic Growth was sent out today. My understanding is that there have been some serious issues with blogger lately - at least I am able to post, unlike others - my best guess is that this might have happened as google staff worked to fix these problems. Apologies for the confusion, and please let me know when things like this happen, at hgmorris at sfu dot ca

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Access Copyright: NOT a member

May 16 update: please see the May 3, 2011 Canadian Association of University Teachers Copyright Guidelines for a really good explanation of our rights in Canada under fair dealing, and kudos for covering the fact that an increasing portion of academic work is now fully open access - downloable from

Original post

Access Copyright is a copyright collective in Canada that has recently proposed a tariff that phenomenally outrageous, including price increases that are more than tenfold the previous negotiated agreement (which was already far too generous), but also includes reporting requirements that are onerous and completely incompatible with both privacy and academic freedom, as well as the ludicrous proposition that linking to an item is considered a copy. As a prolific writer, presenter, and occasional photographer who (like a great many people) prefers to share work openly, it is my wish to make it known that Access Copyright does NOT represent this creator! I have created an Access Copyright: NOT a member facebook page for anyone who would like to join me in making this clarification. Vendors and publishers are more than welcome. For that matter, why not prominently post an Access Copyright non-membership notice on your website?

This insanity is not limited to Canada, it seems, as is clear from this post, A nightmare scenario for higher education, from scholarly communication@duke.

What an awesome opportunity for open access advocates!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Open access: small victory over procrastination

Just posted a study published in Research Strategies in 1997, Information Literacy Skills: an exploratory focus group study of student perceptions. Why the delay? When I published the study, copyright was held by Research Strategies. The journal was subsequently bought by Elsevier, which has a green OA policy - for the author's own copy - but finding the author's copy for a 1997 article is not exactly easy. Neither was finding an author's agreement; a few years ago, I contacted Elsevier and asked them for a copy of the contract, but it turns out that they don't have one either. So now after a few more years of procrastinating I have finally posted the publishers' PDF - I am teaching scholarly communication and open access after all, and ought to be as good an example as I can - on the assumption that if no one has a contract, none exists. It would be helpful if IR managers and publishers alike would clarify permission in such circumstances - keep the author's self-archiving rights for the author's own work without embargo, but allow use of the publisher's PDF after say 3 years? Anyhow this study is now more widely available, having been posted in the SFU IR, UBC cIRcle, E-LIS, Mendeley, and, with links from Facebook and Twitter. Alas, I am not on any information literacy listservs. SWORD people - are you looking after all of these venues and more? A single upload could sure accomplish more dissemination with less keystrokes.