Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Open Access position with UNESCO

Colleagues, there is an Open Access consultancy post now available at UNESCO in Paris. See announcement below:

Dear Open Access colleagues,

The overarching objective of UNESCO is to build inclusive knowledge societies and we have identified Open Access (OA) to scientific information as a key implementation strategy. Our programme is highlighted here.

We are urgently looking to engage a highly skilled and experienced Open Access expert as a temporary consultant to advance our 2010 - 2011 Workplan. A Brief Terms of Reference (TOR) is provided below and the Extended TOR will be provided on request.

We would greatly appreciate it if you could please recommend possible candidates including their e-mail address or (mobile) phone number, and if you could forward this message to your OA networks.

We look forward to hearing from you, please reply all.

Abel Caine (a.caine@unesco.org)

ICT in Education, Science and Culture Section
Information Society Division
Communication and Information (CI) Sector


The UNESCO Communication and Information (CI) Sector is looking to urgently engage a temporary consultant with high levels of skills and experience in the area of Open Access (OA) to scientific information.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

An ethical issue for research authors

Here is a powerful comment on the recent announcement by a number of publishers to make their publications free for a limited period to readers in areas suffering from natural disasters. Dr Neil Pakenham Walsh (co-Director of the Global Health Information Network and the respected coordinator of the Health Information for All Network – HIFA2015) welcomes the move, but also queries the ethical reasons for restricting access to essential information. He refers to health information, but the argument can be extended to research publications and data necessary for overcoming all global problems – in climate change, agriculture, clean energy developments and so on.

This is not the problem of publishers who have a right to run their businesses on a fair commercial basis, but it is the problem of researchers themselves - those that without financial reward provide the information for the publishers. Authors should recognise that they have an ethical as well as a self-advancing reason for making their research knowledge available free to all. They should ask themselves whether their research findings are important to other researchers around the world for the advancement of science. If the answer is ‘Yes’, they can instantly remedy the situation (without cost, and while continuing to publish in their chosen journal, whether open access or not) by archiving a copy of their refereed and accepted article in an open access repository. See OASIS for all information related to open access and how it works for the research community.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Neil Pakenham-Walsh"
To: "HIFA2015 - Healthcare Information For All by 2015"

Sent: Saturday, September 11, 2010 1:00 PM
Subject: [HIFA2015] Forward: [DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB ] Full-text material for

> Dear HIFA2015 colleagues,

The message below is forwarded from the email forum [DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB ]. I think this move by restricted-access journals - to open access for a few weeks in response to major disasters - is welcome. *But* it also raises interesting moral and ethical questions about the status quo: the world's scholarly journals and other knowledge
resource continue to be mainly restricted-access, while the silent and ongoing disaster continues: tens of thousands of people dying unnecessarily each day in developing countries - while policymakers, healthcare providers, and citizens lack access to the information they need to support policymaking, health care, and the capacity to make vital decisions for themselves and their loved ones.

Best wishes,

> HIFA2015 profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the coordinator of the HIFA2015
> campaign and co-director of the Global Healthcare Information Network. He
> started his career as a hospital doctor in the UK, and has clinical
> experience in rural Ecuador and Peru. For the last 20 years he has been
> committed to improving the availability of healthcare information for
> health workers in developing countries. He has worked with the World
> Health Organization, the Wellcome Trust, Medicine Digest and INASP
> (International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications).
> www.hifa2015.org neil.pakenham-walsh AT ghi-net.org

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Portuguese-speakers have an OA Blog

Professor Helio Kuramoto, working until recently with IBICT in Brazil, maintains a valuable Open Access Blog, see here. Kuramoto has been instrumental in working towards an OA mandate in Brazil and in introducing and distributing software packages for setting up Institutional Repositories in the country.

A comprehensive introductory Powerpoint presentation on the benefits and mechanisms of introducing OA is provided in a link from the blog, see 'Ciencia abierta Un desafio regional'.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Good advice from Mozambique

“We are always getting information about Mozambique from outside. Why can’t people have information about Mozambique from Mozambique?” asked Aissa Mitha Issak, Librarian at the Universidade Pedag√≥gica and EIFL Open Access Coordinator. “The lack of visibility for African research is frustrating”. She was speaking at the recent IFLA Gothenburg conference, at which she received the Henning Mankell Conference Grant, 2010. On the advice of Iryna Kutchma, EIFL OA-programme manager, a shared repository has been set up, linking several organisations. Aissa described the shared Mozambique Institutional Repository, launched at the end of 2009 and now holding 2,234 items of research, including theses and journal articles.

Advice for others starting up a repository? “Just do it!”, says Aissa. “Our first approach in 2006 was to make a formal proposal to university management. This strategy didn’t work, because they needed to see the repository to understand its value”. The potential is now recognised and a committee has even been established to re-evaluate students’ work. Identifying IR champions to help advocate to university management and faculty is also an important factor for success.

Congratulations to all in Mozambique who have worked to achieve this valuable resource. And congratulations to EIFL for their continuing support and advice. Link here for the full report.