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Open Knowledge
All around Open Knowledge: Open Data, Open Government, Open Access, Open Science, Open Education, etc
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Building the Digital Public Library of America

Building the Digital Public Library of America | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

The Digital Public Library of America will launch on April 18 after two and a half years of careful planning and preparation. The project known as DPLA is the first national effort that seeks to aggregate existing records in state and regional digital libraries so that they are searchable from a single portal. Up until now, the documents that tell the story of our nation’s history and cultural heritage have largely been siloed in state and local libraries, museums, and archives. Some institutions have the ability to digitize those valuable materials and put them online, but strained budgets mean that most do not.

The project’s funding will also allow it to work with local communities to digitize their cultural-heritage—preserving them for the future and bringing them online as part of our first national digital library.

DPLA will bring together access to a diverse host of materials that were once stored on a patchwork of different websites, or not online at all, including newspapers, photographs, letters, newsreels, oral histories, manuscripts, books and public records. This could be a game changer for academic researchers and historians, who will be able to see more apparent connections between various local histories, perhaps for the first time. Students, teachers and amateur historians will be able to peruse DPLA’s rich exhibits and learn about their own history and genealogy. And local communities will see their history preserved rather than lost to the deterioration of time.
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OpenGov Voices: The Open Data Ecosystem Thrives in Philadelphia

OpenGov Voices: The Open Data Ecosystem Thrives in Philadelphia | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the guest blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of the Sunlight Foundation or any employee thereof. Sunlight Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information within the guest blog.

Pam Selle is a News Apps Developer and Community Evangelist forAxisPhilly, a nonprofit investigative news organization that prioritizes work in the public interest. She is a resident of Philadelphia, speaks at national and regional technical events, and blogs at thewebivore.com. Follow her at @pamasaur.

Philadelphia is known as a leader in the open government movement – the city lays claim to the second Chief Data Officer in the country (Sunlight OpenGov Champion Mark Headd), is a two-time Code for America host city, is home to an active Code for America Brigade and has social good hackathons at least every month, sometimes every week. There’s a strong interest in creating applications to inform and empower citizens with apps such as Lobbying.ph, PhillySNAP and Baldwin using public data for their respective purposes.

 In February, the city released the AVI calculator, an online app that helps residents determine real estate taxes under a new policy that went into effect. The city also made the data powering the calculator available as an API. This allowed AxisPhilly, an independent, nonprofit news organization, use the AVI calculator API and transform it from just informational to a discussion tool.

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luiy's curator insight, April 7, 2013 12:44 PM

The website appsforphilly.org, which lists open source projects in Philadelphia, lists these two projects side by side. So how did a city government and a news organization end up next to each other on this list of open source projects? What’s the story behind Philadelphia making a web app and releasing the data to enable tools like AxisPhilly’s? For one, both projects are open source and allow for  code-sharing. You can access the code for both theCity of Philadelphia’s AVI project and AxisPhilly’s map project template on GitHub. AxisPhilly’s project also leverages the property parcels open data set.

 

AxisPhilly and organizations like it seek to encourage and leverage open data to spur discussion and inform citizens. Rather than focus on the rapid 24/7 news cycle, AxisPhilly digs deeper into urban infrastructure -- exploring data to understand deep causes for issues that impact life in Philadelphia. Because of strong relationships with the city and other public organizations, AxisPhilly is also able to encourage the development of open data sets largely through its stewardship of the region’s open data repository, Open Data Philly.

 

As the City of Philadelphia embraces the open data philosophy by sharing information through the calculator, our map is making it easier for individuals to know how much their houses are worth. Instead of looking at one point value, AxisPhilly’s map aggregates city data so that a reader can explore the neighborhoods of Philadelphia and their property tax changes.

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Using Open Source GIS tools for spatial data - QGIS, GDAL and Python | OpenShift by Red Hat

Using Open Source GIS tools for spatial data - QGIS, GDAL and Python | OpenShift by Red Hat | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it
Now that we have all this great data let's talk about how to look at and process it. The typical GIS analyst will use a desktop application to get started with their data, do analysis, and make PDF or printed maps. The best and most active cross-platform FOSS GIS desktop software is QGIS. With QGIS you can look at all the shapefiles we downloaded and do processing on them. We will use QGIS throughout this blog series.
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Daily Maverick - Open data platforms: a tool to revolutionise governance

Daily Maverick - Open data platforms: a tool to revolutionise governance | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it
Having returned from speaking at a conference hosted by the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on the issue of constituency feedback, I have re-learnt that important lesson: citizens always know better than the government or the market what works for them. 

The question is whether our political elites are prepared to listen. Watching the public debates about our escapades in the Central African Republic to the continuing saga of shame in the Marikana Commission and further shocking examples of continuing police brutality; from the excessive expenditure on consultants and websites to wasteful use of public funds on the homes of elected office bearers to entertainment and security of state officials; we see all too often these genuine grievances of citizens reduced to the neo-liberal forces, a hostile white media and even stranger, counter-revolutionary forces masquerading as NGOs.

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On Data Science with Open Data | Open Data Institute

On Data Science with Open Data | Open Data Institute | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

In a previous blog post I offered up two interpretations of the term 'data science'. These amounted to 1) 'the science of data' and 2) 'doing science with data'. If you read the earlier post you'll probably detect my mild irritation with the term when coupled with the second of these interpretations. Perhaps it's the redundancy, or maybe the implication that plain 'science' is somehow devoid of data. It may be both.

However, irritation aside, there is no doubt that the commoditisation of high performance/distributed computing and data analysis tools are creating new avenues for scientific enquiry where data volumes may previously have been a barrier. Couple this with the increasing wealth and volume of open data available to researchers and we have unprecedented opportunities to 'do science with data'.

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Interview with Ross Mounce on open data and open access

In the next Journal of Ecology podcast I interview Ross Mounce, of the University of Bath, on open data and open access. Ross is an advocate for open data and open access, and a Panton Fellow with the Open Knowledge Foundation, in which he promotes open data and access.  This interview took place in person in London on 21 December, 2012.

Follow this link to the BES podcast series on Souncloud, or use the Soundcloud widget below.  Souncloud has apps available for many mobile devices - check those out too.

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For Libraries, MOOCs Bring Uncertainty and Opportunity - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education

For Libraries, MOOCs Bring Uncertainty and Opportunity - Wired Campus - The Chronicle of Higher Education | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

A lot of the discussion about massive open online courses has revolved around students and professors. What role can academic librarians play in the phenomenon, and what extra responsibilities do MOOCs create for them?

At a conference held here at the University of Pennsylvania last week, librarians talked about the chances and challenges that open online courses throw their way. The conference, “MOOCs and Libraries: Massive Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge?,”was organized by OCLC, a library cooperative that runs the WorldCat online catalog and provides other services and library-related research.

Lynne O’Brien, director of academic technology and instructional services at Duke University, said the “rapid uptake” of MOOCs had taken many people by surprise. As she put it, “These courses don’t seem to fit anything of the model that we have for how to do online education well.” She’s been hearing from instructors that “the process of preparing courses for this environment made them rethink” how they teach their on-campus courses. “Faculty have said it’s a huge amount of work but that it’s also a wonderful opportunity,” she said.

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Will Obama’s new $100m brain mapping project be open access? | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog

Will Obama’s new $100m brain mapping project be open access? | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

On Tuesday President Obama unveiled a new $100 million research initiative to map the human brain.

The BRAIN (Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) initiative will “accelerate the development and application of new technologies that will enable researchers to produce dynamic pictures of the brain that show how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought”.

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The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics: Taylor & Francis Open Access Survey: Critique

The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics: Taylor & Francis Open Access Survey: Critique | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Taylor & Francis have just released early results of a survey of 14,700 of their authors on opinions relating to open access. 

Kudos to Taylor & Francis for releasing early results before they complete analysis. Following are some thoughts which I will update a bit at a time, through a series of posts which I will link to from here, in line with T&F's plans to release analysis through a series of press releases. 

Attitudes and values concerning research communication
Attitudes and values regarding dissemination and licenses

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Uses Cases and Requirements for the Open Data Directory – Draft Open for Comments

Quality rich information and content references is a need when you are dealing with innovative environments such as Open Data, where sharing and reusing are necessary routines in order to advance, and to give Open Data initiatives the visibility and recognition they need.

Although only a few years ago it was nearly impossible to find information and examples of Open Government Data initiatives and their components, there are currently a growing and varied number of Open Data resources all over the Web.

Given the increasing number of Open Data-related activities all around the world, and the social, economic or cultural diversity within the different countries, no single person or organization could grasp the whole scope of such a huge amount of information.

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Half an Hour: Everything You Thought You Knew About MOOCs Could Be Wrong

Half an Hour: Everything You Thought You Knew About MOOCs Could Be Wrong | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Michael: it’s a bit like asking whether a poem is a good vehicle for communication. The answer is: sometimes. The xMOOCs are sonnets, and the cMOOCs are haiku, and they have very different characteristics.


Via Kim Flintoff
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‘PeerJ PrePrints’ - a new Preprint Server for the Biological and Medical Sciences

‘PeerJ PrePrints’ - a new Preprint Server for the Biological and Medical Sciences | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Today, April 3rd 2013, we are very pleased to announce the launch of ‘PeerJ PrePrints’ an entirely new ‘preprint server’ for the Biological and Medical Sciences. With the launch of PeerJ PrePrints, the publication ecosystem of PeerJ is now complete. 

There is a ‘long form’ guest blog post at Scientific American describing more of the background to this launch, but of course we wanted to note this milestone with an announcement here.

For an academic article, publication in a peer reviewed journal is simply the end point in what has typically been a lengthy process of drafts, comments from colleagues, and revisions. The physical sciences have, for a long time, circulated these drafts (or ‘preprints’) amongst their colleagues in a community-wide practice which culminated in the creation of the successfularXiv preprint server (similar examples in other fields include the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN), and Research Papers in Economics (RePEc)). However, despite the apparent benefits of rapid dissemination and early feedback, preprint servers have not taken off in the Biological or Medical sciences. Although there have been several experiments, for example byNature Preceedings or the BMJ’s NetPrints.org (both of which have been closed down), the biological and medical fields have so far failed to embrace preprints in the same way that their physical sciences colleagues have done.

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Global Roads Open Access Data Set (gROADS), v1: Global Roads | SEDAC

Global Roads Open Access Data Set (gROADS), v1: Global Roads | SEDAC | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

The Global Roads Open Access Data Set, Version 1 (gROADSv1) was developed under the auspices of the CODATA Global Roads Data Development Task Group. The data set combines the best available roads data by country into a global roads coverage, using the UN Spatial Data Infrastructure Transport (UNSDI-T) version 2 as a common data model. All country road networks have been joined topologically at the borders, and many countries have been edited for internal topology. Source data for each country are provided in the documentation, and users are encouraged to refer to the readme file for use constraints that apply to a small number of countries. Because the data are compiled from multiple sources, the date range for road network representations ranges from the 1980s to 2010 depending on the country (most countries have no confirmed date), and spatial accuracy varies. The baseline global data set was compiled by the Information Technology Outreach Services (ITOS) of the University of Georgia. Updated data for 27 countries and 6 smaller geographic entities were assembled by Columbia University's Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), with a focus largely on developing countries with the poorest data coverage.

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SOCIAL POLIS | European Social Innovation Research

Social Polis is an open social platform for dialogue between scientific and policy communities as well as civil society organizations and networks on priorities for research on Cities and Social Cohesion. It is a forum for debates on economy, polity, society, culture and ethics across the city as a whole and in a variety of ‘urban’ life spheres. It provides for joint workshops and conferences at which research agendas and modes for future joint research will be developed. Social Polis will make four substantive contributions to research on urban dynamics in Europe:

a focussed, critical state of the art in research on cities and social cohesion;a research agenda for the 7th Framework Programme;establishment of a social platform uniting the research and stakeholders communities in furthering urban studies and research;the production of educational resources for analysing the challenges of urban cohesion.

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Open Government Partnership - Updates - GovLoop - Knowledge Network for Government

Open Government Partnership - Updates - GovLoop - Knowledge Network for Government | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

NEW on the #OGP blog | Civil Society Coordinator Newsletter for March 2013. http://blog.opengovpartnership.org/2013/04/civil-society-n ;

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NC DataJam

NC DataJam | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

What is Data Palooza?

Data Palooza is a regional open-data competition that connects local innovators and entrepreneurs to relevant, clean data drawn from federal, state, and local resources to develop applications and solutions that catalyze positive community and economic impact.

Previous Data Palooza events have taken place in Washington, DC, using open data to spark innovation in the fields of health, education, and energy.

 

By hosting the first-ever regional Data Palooza, the Triangle will be recognized as a center for open data, collaboration, and entrepreneurial innovation, furthering our goal to make our region a top five entrepreneurial community in the country.

 

When is it?

Data Palooza is a two-part event, beginning with a competition in April.

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Open Education Around the World – A 2013 Open Education Week Summary - Creative Commons

Open Education Around the World – A 2013 Open Education Week Summary - Creative Commons | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Creative Commons congratulates all those who participated in the second annual Open Education Week March 11-15, 2013. It’s impressive to see how global open education has become with contributors from over 30 different countries showcasing their work and more than 20,000 people from over 130 countries visiting the Open Education Week websiteduring the week. Open Education Week featured over 60 webinars open to participation from anyone and numerous local events and workshops around the world.

We thought we’d highlight a few Creative Commons global affiliate events from Open Education Week and share a list of urls for Open Education Week webinar recordings the Open Courseware Consortium has published.

The Creative Commons China Mainland team successfully held an Open Education Forum on the afternoon of March 16th at Renmin University of China, Beijing. One highlight of this salon worth special attention is the Toyhouse team from Tsinghua University led by Prof. Benjamin Koo, and their recent project eXtreme Learning Process (XLP). This team is a inspiring example of innovative learning, and a user of CC licenses and OER.

Tobias Schonwetter, Creative Commons regional coordinator for Africa gave an Open Education for Africa presentation explaining why Creative Commons is so important for Open Educational Resources.

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The Four Lessons I Learned by Taking a MOOC

The Four Lessons I Learned by Taking a MOOC | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Very few people who enroll in MOOCs (massive open online courses) tell us about the experience. I just took one and learned these lessons:

 

Lesson One: Professors need to start phasing out in-class lecturing now.

 

Lesson Two: For students taking a MOOC, self-motivation and self-discipline are even more important.

 

Lesson Three: MOOC students ought to think more carefully about what courses to take, and what they want to get out of them.

 

Lesson Four: Policymakers should stop subsidizing universities and start subsidizing education.

 

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Schoolcuts.org: Open Data and Civil Discourse

Schoolcuts.org: Open Data and Civil Discourse | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Last week, Chicago Public Schools announced that it was closing 61 schools due to budget constraints. Even before the list was announced, the plan to shut down schools was and still is generating lots of heated debate.

CPS has released data on each school, but it isn’t always organized in a way that makes it easy for parents to see what is going on at the school. To find out information on the school utilization, you would first visit a separate 19 page PDF file to see how CPS determines utilization. You then have to download an excel file and search through it to find the school you are interested in. This is a particularly thorny problem for parents and community members who care deeply about their schools as community anchors.

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Is the time right for a preprint server for life science? | Mendeley Blog

Is the time right for a preprint server for life science? | Mendeley Blog | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Academics in physics, economics, or math often think that life scientists (like myself) are weird because life science doesn’t have a preprint server. Life science is a fast-paced discipline, but there’s no place where the latest research can be found, discussed, and where the primacy of results can be established. There’s a lot of value in life science research (the reproducible subset, that is) but instead of staking your claim to a finding shortly after you get the data, many researchers feel like they have to write a polished paper, submit it to a prestigious journal, and wait nerve-wracking months to years for the process of review, rejection, resubmission to finally make their results available to a subset of others in their field.As submission-to-publication times grow, fears of someone else getting there first grow and there are often accusations of “anonymous” reviewers asking for more experiments, just to delay the publication of a paper from a competing lab. What can be done about this? As frustrating as these problems are, it’s worth remembering that they’re relatively recent in origin. Pre-publication peer review as a critical part of the publication has only become standard in the last half of the 20th century. As Jason Hoyt notes in a post at Scientific American, Watson & Crick’s paper in Nature wasn’t peer reviewed.

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Taylor & Francis Group: Open Access Survey March 2013

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The Internet Archive Joins the OpenGLAM Network | OpenGLAM

The Internet Archive Joins the OpenGLAM Network | OpenGLAM | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

We are very pleased to announce that the Internet Archive has joined the OpenGLAM Network.

The Internet Archive has been one of the leading lights in the movement to get more freely available copies of public domain works online. It has also been pioneering the attempt to archive the internet, keeping a record of millions of pages for future generations.

We’re looking forward to collaborating with the Internet Archive around the development of our tools for digital scholarship and crowdsourced data enrichment as well as working with them to surface more of the wonderful works found in their vast libraries through projects like The Public Domain Review.

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SilviaArano's curator insight, April 5, 2013 12:05 AM

OpenGlam es una red integrada por galerías de arte (G), bibliotecas (L), archivos (A) y museos (M) para formentar la publicación de contenidos y datos de dominio público en abierto. La colaboración con Internet Archive tiene la finalidad de desarrollar herramientas para la investigación en el entorno digital, así como también el enriquecimiento de los datos publicados en forma abierta. 

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Introducing Scientific Data Updates : Scientific Data

Today, Nature Publishing Group formally announced its new data publication, Scientific Data.  This publication platform is currently under development, and we hope to release our first call for submissions this fall and begin publishing content in the spring of 2014.

Scientific Data Updates, our blog, will host news and information about Scientific Data as we lead up to launch.  Bookmark this page, sign-up for e-alerts, or follow us on your favourite social media channel so that you will not miss any important announcements.

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That's Great!: Models of Sustainability for OER

That's Great!: Models of Sustainability for OER | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

All OER have a life cycle: creation, publishing, repeated revision and reuse, senescence, death. Much effort and many resources have been expended on the creation and publishing of OER. The actual value of such resources, however, depends largely on the extent to which repeated revision and reuse can be sustained before the inevitable onset of senescence and death. The issue of sustainability is largely one of resources, and is a topic of considerable interest in the field of open education.

Wiley (2007) defined sustainability as "an open educational resource project’s ongoing ability to meet its goals." In considering the issue of how sustainability may be achieved, Wiley identified three models that he characterized as follows: 

 The MIT model: "highly centralised and tightly coordinated in terms of organisation and the provision of services, relying almost exclusively on paid employees"The USU model: "hybrid of centralisation and decentralisation of both organisation and services, and work is distributed across some employed staff and a number of volunteers"The Rice model: "almost fully decentralised and volunteers provide almost all services"

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open-access-survey-march2013.pdf

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