Open Knowledge
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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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Why is Science Behind a Paywall?

Why is Science Behind a Paywall? | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Scientists’ work follows a consistent pattern. They apply for grants, perform their research, and publish the results in a journal. The process is so routine it almost seems inevitable. But what if it’s not the best way to do science? 

Although the act of publishing seems to entail sharing your research with the world, most published papers sit behind paywalls. The journals that publish them charge thousands of dollars per subscription, putting access out of reach to all but the most minted universities. Subscription costs have risen dramatically over the past generation. According to critics of the publishers, those increases are the result of the consolidation of journals by private companies who unduly profit off their market share of scientific knowledge.

When we investigated these alleged scrooges of the science world, we discovered that, for their opponents, the battle against this parasitic profiting is only one part of the scientific process that needs to be fixed. 

Advocates of “open science” argue that the current model of science, developed in the 1600s, needs to change and take full advantage of the Internet to share research and collaborate in the discovery making process. When the entire scientific community can connect instantly online, they argue, there is simply no reason for research teams to work in silos and share their findings according to the publishing schedules of journals. 

Subscriptions limit access to scientific knowledge. And when careers are made and tenures earned by publishing in prestigious journals, then sharing datasets, collaborating with other scientists, and crowdsourcing difficult problems are all disincentivized. Following 17th century practices, open science advocates insist, limits the progress of science in the 21st.

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Open energy data isn't sexy, but it's very important - Telegraph

Open energy data isn't sexy, but it's very important - Telegraph | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

The supply chain is not the sexiest subject when it comes to important technologies, but like many industries the less sexy the business the more important its relevance.

Speaking of less sexy, David Cameron alluded to the supply chain when he revealed at Davos that the UK presidency of G8 will focus on greater business transparency and the way that open data can boost the UK economy.

Big data and open data are subjects that people take very seriously and many see them as a perfect storm where they are conjoined to create a perfect storm of driving transparency and savings throughout the supply chain.

By connecting data, businesses can see a tangible benefit - reduced costs through energy savings passed down through the supply chain, reduced reputational risk and improved relations due to confidence in business continuity.

At the recent Teradata University conference in Copenhagen, a stream of presenters from Google, eBay, Tesco, Chelsea Football Club, Groupon, LinkedIn and many others outlined this in great detail.

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What toys can teach us about the future of journalism

What toys can teach us about the future of journalism | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

In recent years, data visualizations and infographics have become a common way to relay news and information - an addition or sometimes a replacement for the traditional written narrative.

The folks at The New School's PETLab, though, want to take storytelling a step further, by creating a new approach to expressing the news.

Enter Data Toys, a Knight-funded prototype, which allow people to play with information as a way to reveal the complex systems underlying news and trends. The toys also offer ways to help readers make sense of large data sets or changes in data over time.

We recently asked the Data Toys team, Colleen Macklin, John Sharp and Heather Chaplin, what kinds of toys they’re building and what the implications are for how people consume news and information.

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To Harness MOOCs, Focus on the Outcomes

To Harness MOOCs, Focus on the Outcomes | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Many states are wrestling with how to achieve the twin goals of making higher education both more affordable and accessible to their citizens. California and, more recently, Florida have been in the news as they struggle to find ways of taming the new elephant in the room…MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses). Political leaders, in apparent frustration with what they see as an intransigent academic community unwilling to control costs, see this new application of technology as the solution to concerns of access and cost. Others, including many academics, see MOOCs as an inferior intrusion into the education process that is fraught with questions of quality and effectiveness.

We have three issues here: cost, access and learning.

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California Open Access Bill Clears Committee

California Open Access Bill Clears Committee | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

A bill which would require California-funded research to be deposited in open access repositories passed the state’s Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee on May 1.

Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R-Palm Desert) introduced the bill, which was the brainchild of California Council on Science & Tech Fellow Annabelle Kleist, who works in Nestande’s office. Kleist said she contacted Heather Joseph, Executive Director of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), who put her in contact with people who could help shape the proposal.

“California’s taxpayers fund this research and they have a right to expect that the results are available and accessible. If we want California to remain at the forefront of cutting-edge discoveries and innovations, we must make sure that this information is available to those who can use and build upon this knowledge,” said Nestande. “As taxpayers, we should not have to pay to gain access to vital research that our tax dollars paid for.”

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OCWC Global Conference 2013. Presentations and Authors

LEARNING BEYOND BORDERS
"Delivering Quality Education to Your Fingertips"

Collaboration in Open Education
Presentations in this track should focus on demonstrating the impact of OER initiatives on learners, educators and institutions, including highlighting new and innovative OER projects.

Mainstreaming open educational practiceCollaborations and new directions in cross-border sharingWorkplace learning and skills development with OER


Accreditation and Assessment of OER based Learning
How can OCW expand access to education and contribute to professional development? Presentations in this track might address:

Assessment and accreditation methods for learning with OCWTools to support OER-based learningCost effectiveness and open educational practice


Expanding the reach of OER 
Presentations in this track might address issues in

Showcasing policies that expand the creation and use of OERStandards implementation and quality assuranceEnlarging the educational audience - lifelong learning through OER

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Scholarly publishing should be set free – but not a free-for-all

Scholarly publishing should be set free – but not a free-for-all | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Is the future of scientific production and scholarly publishing going to be "gold" or "green"? The choice is between the gold of money, and growth, or the green of environment and sustainability. In the case of scientific and scholarly publishing, the choice is both about mechanisms and about values.

Last year's Finch report endorsed the move towards much more openness in scientific and scholarly publishing, and away from the current regime of hugely expensive journals that ration access. Almost everyone, including most enlightened academic publishers, agreed. After all, the freest possible circulation of research findings is how science makes progress – through critique and interrogation. The freest possible circulation of ideas is also the foundation of an open society.

But how best to achieve this universally desired goal? The gold route would shift the financial burden (because academic publishing has to be paid for somehow) from journal subscribers to the authors of articles. The green route would require all universities to deposit an open-source version of articles in their institutional repositories.

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Slides, Tools and Other Resources From the School of Data Journalism 2013

Slides, Tools and Other Resources From the School of Data Journalism 2013 | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

The School of Data Journalism, Europe's biggest data journalism event, brings together around 20 panelists and instructors from Reuters, New York Times, Spiegel, Guardian, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Knight-Mozilla OpenNews and others, in a mix of discussions and hands-on sessions focusing on everything from cross-border data-driven investigative journalism, to emergency reporting and using spreadsheets, social media data, data visualisation and mapping for journalism.

In this post we will be listing links shared during this training event. The list will be updated as the sessions progress. If you have links shared during the sessions that we missed, post them in the comments section and we will update the list.

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Connected Smart Cities Network | Sharing knowledge and best practice on open data, internet of things and smart cities

Connected Smart Cities Network | Sharing knowledge and best practice on open data, internet of things and smart cities | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

The Connected Smart Cities Portfolio Network has been established to provide an open and collaborative framework for smart cities to cooperate, network and share their experiences. This is a result of the FIREBALL project, which brought together three key communities, the Living Labs, the Future Internet research community and cities. This is supported by the European Network of Living Labs and EUROCITIES so please get involved by producing content, participating in events and active networking.

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Fàtima Galan's curator insight, May 9, 2013 5:25 AM

The Open Data Initiative represents a cost for the organizations, it’s true. But the benefits are not just for the companies. The benefits are for all the innovation projects that will born based on this new environment. These organizations are included too. 

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Seeking Outstanding “Open Science” Champions of Change | The White House

Seeking Outstanding “Open Science” Champions of Change | The White House | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

On June 20, the White House will host a Champions of Change event to highlight outstanding individuals, organizations, or research projects promoting and using open scientific data and publications to accelerate progress and improve our world. The White House Champions of Change program highlights individuals, businesses, and organizations whose extraordinary stories and accomplishments positively impact our communities.

Access to scientific research can help fuel entrepreneurship, innovation, and scientific breakthroughs. Freely available data generates new ideas, builds new businesses, and generates economic growth that impacts the lives of Americans every day.

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TransparencyCamp Returns for the 2013 Edition in Washington

TransparencyCamp Returns for the 2013 Edition in Washington | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Organised by the Sunlight Foundation, TransparencyCamp is an "unconference" on open government: an event where, each year, journalists, developers, technologists, policy-makers, government officials, students, academics, wonks, and everyone in between gather to share their knowledge about how to use new technologies and policies to make the government really work for the people - and to help people work smarter with the government.

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San Francisco Mayor Signs Landmark Open Data Policy and Procedures Legislation - Techwire.net

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee last week signed into law the Citywide Coordination of Open Data Policy and Procedures legislation introduced jointly with Board of Supervisors President David Chiu.  This new landmark Open Data law establishes the position and duties of a new Chief Data Officer to be appointed by the Mayor, and orders that departmental data coordinators assist in the implementation of the Open Data Policy.  The ordinance also establishes rules and procedures for making open data available through the city’s open data web portal.

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Federal Government Spending: Less Transparency in a World of Open Data | APDU: The Association of Public Data Users

Federal Government Spending: Less Transparency in a World of Open Data | APDU: The Association of Public Data Users | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Becky Sweger joins us from the National Priorities Project, a national non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to making complex federal budget information transparent and accessible.  She’ll give us an “in-the-weeds” look at the realities of using open government data, especially for organizations who are used to getting data prepared and packaged by government agencies.  She’ll focus on her experience using the Consolidated Federal Funds report (packaged data) which was replaced by USASpending.gov (open data).   This webinar will review the trade-offs involved when switching from designed data prepared by the Census Bureau to “open” spending or administrative data.

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The SV-POW! open-access decision tree

The SV-POW! open-access decision tree | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

As part of the progressive erosion of RCUK’s initially excellent open-access policy, barrier-based publishers somehow got them to accept their “open-access decision tree“, which you can now find on page 7 of the toothless current version of the policy. The purpose of this manoeuvre by the Publishers Association is to lend an air of legitimacy to continuing to deny citizens access to the research they funded for up to 24 months after publication. It’s to the House of Lords’ enduring shamethat they swallowed this, when they must know that there is no justification for embargoes of any length.

More recently, as commentary on the Australian Research Council’s open access policy, the Australian Open Access Support Group (AOASG) published its own rather better decision tree.

But it still doesn’t go nearly far enough. So here is the SV-POW! decision tree, which we encourage you to print out and hang on your office door.

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College for all | McKinsey & Company

College for all | McKinsey & Company | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it
Open online courses are changing higher education. Traditional colleges face dangers—and opportunities. A McKinsey & Company article.

Via Fred Zimny
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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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Open Data for Climate and Health Insights | The White House

Open Data for Climate and Health Insights | The White House | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Today, in conjunction with a series of landmark steps announced by the Obama Administration to unleash troves of useful data from the vaults of government, the interagency US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) launched a new online tool that promises to accelerate research relating to climate change and human health—the Metadata Access Tool for Climate and Health, or “MATCH.”

The Administration announcements made today include an Executive Order signed by the President declaring that information is a valuable national resource and strategic asset, and a new government-wide Open Data Policy requiring that, going forward, data generated by the government shall be made available in open, machine-readable formats. The move will make troves of previously inaccessible or unmanageable data more readily available to entrepreneurs, researchers, and others who can use open data as fuel for innovation, businesses and new services and tools.

MATCH is one such tool, driven by open data, which could open the door for new scientific insights in the public health and climate science communities. It is a publicly accessible digital platform for searching and integrating metadata—standardized contextual information—extracted from more than 9,000 health, environment, and climate-science datasets held by six Federal agencies.

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Executive Order -- Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information | The White House

Executive Order -- Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information | The White House | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Via Ivan Begtin
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Free Wikipedia course offered through the School of Open - Creative Commons

Free Wikipedia course offered through the School of Open - Creative Commons | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Have you ever looked at an article on Wikipedia and thought, “this could really use some work”? With the free online course “Writing Wikipedia Articles: The Basics and Beyond,” offered through the School of Open, you have the opportunity to take the next step.

In the course, you will learn about both the technical and social underpinnings of this worldwide, volunteer-built resource, and how you can most effectively contribute to its vision to freely share knowledge. The six-week course will start its second round on 14 May (for those in the Americas) or 15 May (Asia/Australia).

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Relaunching the Open Data Catalog

Relaunching the Open Data Catalog | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Last week, the World Bank launched a much-improved version of its Open Data Catalog. We first discussed our plans for the new catalog in a blog post a few months ago, as the next step in the open data principles that we outlined last year.

What's new in the data catalog? Some of the changes are obvious. For starters, the catalog is more user-friendly. All the essential information is available in a one-page list, which you can sort by name, popularity, or date. You can access bulk downloads, APIs or query tools from the same page with a single click. And you can see all the available metadata without having to visit separate pages on various sites.

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Gamifying peer-review?

Gamifying peer-review? | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Fact is: there are lots of articles on arXiv and only about a third published traditionally (according to their statistics). Contrary to biology and medical science, where researchers are way more advanced in new publishing models (like PLoS and PeerJ, the second being almost green in flavour), in math and physics we don’t have any other option than  arXiv, which is great, the greatest in fact, the oldest, but … but only if it had a functional peer-review system attached. Then it would be perfect!

It is hard though to come with a model of peer-review for the arXiv. Or for any other green OA publication system, I take the arXiv as example only because I am most fond of. It is hard because there has to be a way to motivate the researchers to do the peer-reviews. For free. This is the main type of psychological argument against having green OA with peer-review. It is a true argument, even if peer-review is made for free in the traditional publishing model.  The difference is that the traditional publishing model is working since the 1960′s and it is now ingrained in the people minds, while any new model of peer-review, for the arXiv or any other green OA publication system, has first to win a significant portion of researchers.

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An OER COUP: College Teacher and Student Perceptions of Open Educational Resources | Bliss | Journal of Interactive Media in Education

An OER COUP: College Teacher and Student Perceptions of Open Educational Resources | Bliss | Journal of Interactive Media in Education | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Despite increased development and dissemination, there has been very little empirical research on Open Educational Resources (OER). Teachers and students involved in a large-scale OER initiative at eight community colleges across the United States were given a detailed questionnaire aimed at uncovering their perceptions of the cost, outcomes, uses and perceptions of quality of the OER used in their courses. Teachers and students alike reported significant cost savings and various pedagogical and learning impacts due to the implementation of OER in the classroom. In addition, most students and teachers perceived their OER to be at least equal in quality to traditional textbooks they had used in the past. Implications for further research are discussed.

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Free Your Metadata

Free Your Metadata | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it
Is your metadata ready for the Web?

That's what we were wondering. And probably what you are wondering, too.
What would be the best way to polish and publish your cultural heritage metadata?

Introducing Free Your Metadata

We show how to make your metadata ready for the Linked Data Cloud.

Your metadata becomes part of the Semantic Web in several easy steps:

CleaningReconciliationExtractionAccess

Don't hesitate and start to free your metadata using our screencasts.

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Big Data Will Stymie Local Government -- InformationWeek

Big Data Will Stymie Local Government -- InformationWeek | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Despite the potential of big data analysis to improve governmental decision making, state and local IT pros have less than half of the computing resources and a third of the personnel they need to capitalize on the expected surge in data over the next four years.

The resulting gap and limited overall awareness about big data are among the reasons relatively few state and local agencies are taking steps to harness and analyze big data sets, according to a study by MeriTalk, a government IT networking group. The report, sponsored by NetApp, is based on a survey of 150 state and local CIOs and IT managers.

The survey found that state and local IT pros are struggling to keep up with data demands. Just 59% of state and local agencies are analyzing the data they collect and less than half are using it to make strategic decisions. State and local agencies estimate that they have just 46% of the data storage and access, 42% of the computing power, and 35% of the personnel they need to successfully leverage big data.

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VirtualHRD's curator insight, May 1, 2013 2:56 PM

Yes, big data takes alot of humans to help analyze all of it!

GovHack Perth's curator insight, May 2, 2013 2:10 AM

The challenges IT / infrastructure in US government face with increasing awareness of open / big data. These will likely be the same challenges that we will see in Australia.

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The PI Warrior and The Bag of Gold: OA Metadata & University Accounting Practice | Gold Open Access Infrastructure

The brief is to provide a Use Case for ‘Identifying common and required transaction points where information (and sometimes money) is exchanged’. So central to the story is a workflow during which key information for the record of Open Access publication and research reporting can be generated as metadata. Relevant metadata fields are indicated in [square] brackets – and I invite others to similarly annotate according to CERIF, RIOXX and the like. An earlier version was made available to Jisc as a briefing note, ‘The Pedestrian View”, from the RepNet project, so for this blog post I thought I should spice-up what otherwise risked being another unexciting title.

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