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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Open access: The true cost of science publishing

Open access: The true cost of science publishing | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Michael Eisen doesn't hold back when invited to vent. “It's still ludicrous how much it costs to publish research — let alone what we pay,” he declares. The biggest travesty, he says, is that the scientific community carries out peer review — a major part of scholarly publishing — for free, yet subscription-journal publishers charge billions of dollars per year, all told, for scientists to read the final product. “It's a ridiculous transaction,” he says.

 

Eisen, a molecular biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, argues that scientists can get much better value by publishing in open-access journals, which make articles free for everyone to read and which recoup their costs by charging authors or funders. Among the best-known examples are journals published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), which Eisen co-founded in 2000. “The costs of research publishing can be much lower than people think,” agrees Peter Binfield, co-founder of one of the newest open-access journals, PeerJ, and formerly a publisher at PLoS.


But publishers of subscription journals insist that such views are misguided — born of a failure to appreciate the value they add to the papers they publish, and to the research community as a whole. They say that their commercial operations are in fact quite efficient, so that if a switch to open-access publishing led scientists to drive down fees by choosing cheaper journals, it would undermine important values such as editorial quality.

These charges and counter-charges have been volleyed back and forth since the open-access idea emerged in the 1990s, but because the industry's finances are largely mysterious, evidence to back up either side has been lacking. Although journal list prices have been rising faster than inflation, the prices that campus libraries actually pay to buy journals are generally hidden by the non-disclosure agreements that they sign. And the true costs that publishers incur to produce their journals are not widely known.

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OKCon - Open Knowledge Conference 2013

OKCon - Open Knowledge Conference 2013 | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

The world’s leading open data and open knowledge event, OKCon is the latest in an annual series run since 2005. Last year’s installment in Helsinki had more than 1000 participants from over 50 countries and was the largest event of its kind to date. Previous speakers have included inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Hans Rosling of Gapminder, Brewster Kahle of the Internet Archive, Ellen Miller of the Sunlight Foundation and other major figures in the open knowledge community.


Located in Geneva, a major site for the United Nations and many other international institutions, this year’s event will focus on coordinating and strengthening public policy around the world to support a truly global and interconnected ecosystem of open data.

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How Can Agencies Climb the 8 Rungs of Citizen Participation? - GovLoop - Knowledge Network for Government

How Can Agencies Climb the 8 Rungs of Citizen Participation? - GovLoop - Knowledge Network for Government | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Earlier this month I shared some thoughts on 5 ways to improve citizen engagement. After writing that post and all the great conversation, I decided to take a step back and reflect back on the levels of citizen engagement. I was reminded of some literature I had read by Sherry Arnstein on the various “rungs” of citizen engagement. Arnstein published the theory in 1969, and although the way that government engages with citizens has drastically changed due to changes in technology, Arnstein’s “Eight Rungs on a Ladder of Citizen Participation,” are still applicable today, and fascinating to consider.

 

Below is an image showing the eight rungs of citizen participation. At the bottom, Arnstein describes therapy and manipulation as forms on non-participation, followed by informing, consultation, placation, as “degree of tokenism” and finally, partnership, delegated power, citizen control as “degree of citizen power.”

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Data Publication/ data citation

Data Publication/ data citation | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

There are substantial amounts of data collected by marine scientific investigators that are not deposited in existing data centres or archive sites. The longer data sets remain isolated within investigators� laboratories, the more likely that the data sets will be lost to the community for long-term use . This is a widely recognized problem, but one which has not seen concerted community action to find solutions, in spite of the fact that many funding agencies are now mandating that the data be made publicly available if the research was supported by public funds. The rapid evolution of the high speed internet and the availability of large digital storage capacities have enabled the transfer and storage of comprehensive data sets. Tools for integration and management of disparate data sets are rapidly becoming available. Why then, are the majority of data collected by researchers still inaccessible? Impediments to data submission stem, in part, from the lack of suitable mechanisms to make it easy for an individual to submit datasets and metadata to a data centre or repository, and the lack of knowledge about the existence of appropriate data centres. Moreover, large, multi-PI projects often have little or no data management support to facilitate the organization and aggregation of the data sets, and the subsequent transfer of data from the individual laboratories into accessible databases. Those relatively tractable issues, however, are arguably less a hurdle to data accessibility than the fundamental lack of incentives for researchers to provide their data for general use in the research community.

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World Development Indicators: six changes for 2013

World Development Indicators: six changes for 2013 | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

If you've ever visited the World Bank's main data website (data.worldbank.org) you've probably used data from World Development Indicators (WDI). It’s a curated collection of comparable, relevant, international development data and statistics, constructed from some of the best sources around the world. And it’s part of the backbone of the Bank's Open Data Initiative - with over 900 indicators for 200 economies, many of them going back to 1960. It’s available as a book for free download or for sale, as a database, in mobile apps, through an API for software developers, and - if you’re so inclined - as a big old bulk download file.

 

But let’s get to the point: this year we’ve reviewed our dissemination strategy for the WDI, and decided to make some improvements. Our aim is to find the best way to put data on development into the hands of policy makers, specialists, students, and the public everywhere.

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European Commission sets up working group with governmental data portals | Joinup

European Commission sets up working group with governmental data portals | Joinup | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

The European Commission invites metadata experts who directly or indirectly work for a governmental data portal to participate in a Working Group that will define a common model for exchanging information about data sets between data portals in Europe.

There are a growing number of governmental data portals in Europe but currently there is no consensus on how to exchange information about datasets listed on these portals. As a consequence businesses and citizens face difficulties in finding and re-using public sector information, in particular if the datasets are in another Member State where language barriers may apply and the structure of government is unfamiliar. In its communication on Open Data of December 12 2011, the European Commission states that the availability of the information in a machine-readable format as well as a thin layer of commonly agreed metadata could facilitate data cross-reference and interoperability and therefore considerably enhance its value for reuse.

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Can OpenCourseWare widen Europe's science and technology skills-base?

Can OpenCourseWare widen Europe's science and technology skills-base? | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Technology is fundamentally reshaping how we work, socialise and communicate, but too few European students are opting to study the subjects that will give them the skills to work in our innovation-led economy. This is a particular problem for women, minorities and other non-traditional student groups.

STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects are declining in popularity at a rapid rate across all European countries, signalling a macro-crisis for future economic competitiveness and more personal micro-crisis among Europe's engineering and technology universities.

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Why PDFs are not open data

Why PDFs are not open data | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

The US non-profit journalism group Pro Publica has written a number of good stories recently about drug company payments to doctors.  They used the data that some US states force the drug companies to release.  They have a new story explaining why this isn’t as easy as it sounds, since there was no requirement that the data be released in any useful form.

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12 Fresh Ideas for Transforming the Places We Live With Open Data

12 Fresh Ideas for Transforming the Places We Live With Open Data | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

This year, the Knight News Challenge has been soliciting project proposals that would open up and leverage government data anywhere at the national, state and local levels (in the U.S. and abroad). As of last week, 886 projects are vying for a share of the $5 million in funding, all in response to this question: "How can we make the places we live more awesome through data and technology?"

Amid all of the submissions are some familiar innovations we've already encountered at Atlantic Cities, formerly as nascent ideas now competing for a chance to scale up: our favorite guerrillawayfinding campaign from Raleigh, North Carolina; Code for America's playful StreetMix web app; the San Francisco-based Urban Prototyping Festival; and a community-driventransportation planning project based on the kind of data analytics we wrote about here.

But that's barely scratching the surface of all the proposals that Knight has corralled. We've put together a list of 12 ideas from the competition that are new to us and that we think would be worth developing (and we've included the applicants' description of their programs). Through Friday, you can comment on (or "applaud") any of the submissions as applicants continue to refine their proposals. On the 29th, Knight plans to announce a set of semifinalists, who will be invited to complete more detailed proposals. The final winners (there's no predetermined number of them) will then be announced in June.

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“We are entering an era of open science” says EU Vice President Neelie Kroes at launch of new global Research Data Alliance | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog

“We are entering an era of open science” says EU Vice President Neelie Kroes at launch of new global Research Data Alliance | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda,gave a talk earlier this week renewing the EU’s strong, principled support for open science.

Speaking at the launch of a new global Research Data Alliance, she said that we are entering a new “era of open science”, which will be “good for citizens, good for scientists and good for society”.

She explicitly highlighted the transformative potential of open access, open data, open software and open educational resources – mentioning the EU’s policy requiring open access to all publications and data resulting from EU funded research.

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Open Access increases citation? A brief overview of two reports | Open Science

Open Access increases citation? A brief overview of two reports | Open Science | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Last week I have published a post about visibility and citations in Open Access. The post was referring to the results of two separate reports related to the subject. As the question of visibility and citations in OA journals and books remains valid, being a subject of intense debate in scientific community, the issue is worth exploring.

This time round I would like to mention two interesting researches, which studied the coverage and range of citations in Open Access offering, basing on comparison between OA and non-OA journals.

The research conducted by Michael Norris is quite thorough, on almost 400 pages the author describes the results of his extensive analysis in: “The citation advantage of open access articles”.

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Elizabeth E Charles's curator insight, March 20, 2013 9:14 AM

Open access impact on research dissemination.

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Learning Registry

Learning Registry | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

The Learning Registry is a new approach to capturing, sharing, and analyzing learning resource data to broaden the usefulness of digital content to benefit educators and learners. 

The Learning Registry is an open source technical systemdesigned to facilitate the exchange of data behind the scenes, and an open community of resource creators, publishers, curators, and consumers who are collaborating to broadly share resources, as well as information about how those resources are used by educators in diverse learning environments across the Web.

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G8 Open Data for Agriculture

G8 Open Data for Agriculture | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it
At the 2012 G-8 Summit, G-8 leaders committed to the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, the next phase of a shared commitment to achieving global food security. 


As part of this commitment, they agreed to “share relevant agricultural data available from G-8 countries with African partners and convene an international conference on Open Data for Agriculture, to develop options for the establishment of a global platform to make reliable agricultural and related information available to African farmers, researchers and policymakers, taking into account existing agricultural data systems.”

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The Flawed Economics of Closed Government Data : MapBrief™

The Flawed Economics of Closed Government Data : MapBrief™ | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

How much should citizens pay a county for a digital copy of property records and aerial photos?  Sciotto County, Ohio says $2000.  Actually it hired Woolpert to figure it out for them, and they said $2000.  Which sounds a bit spendy, especially given that cities like Philadelphia andDenver give away the same type of information. For free.  Such a discrepancy in pricing would indicate someone is doing it wrong.  But Sciotto County went to the trouble of arguing their point to the Ohio Supreme Court where six of the seven judges agreed with them.

Others have pointed out the wrongness of the decision. But what if the majority’s conclusion flowed from premises about the relationships between data, software, and distribution formats that simply don’t apply in 2013?  To what degree should a citizen be economically punished for the technical inefficiency of its government?

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A Few More MOOC Thoughts : The Cranky Sociologists

A Few More MOOC Thoughts : The Cranky Sociologists | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

MOOCs are very much still the talk of the academic town. And I am still working my way through a few of them. I actually just completed edX’s Statistics 2.1x – Descriptive Statistics out of BerkeleyX. The course itself, I thought, was very good and very well done. It was a 5-week long course, with strict deadlines, weekly graded assignments, a mid-term and a final. The courseware itself consisted of videos of about 15 minutes (except for the last week where one of the videos was 39 minutes long… Yikes). The main instructor was Berkeley’s Ani Adhikari and she was an excellent teacher. Overall, the again, the videos were well done (mostly powerpoint-style presentations with voice-over, both – video and pdf files – downloadable), the content was perfectly appropriate, the teaching sound, the exams quite rigorous but quite doable if you paid attention to the lectures (and you needed to pay very close attention). This was not a casual course. So, that is for the positive aspect.

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(M)OOC in a Box: Turning WordPress into an Open Course Reader #ocTEL

(M)OOC in a Box: Turning WordPress into an Open Course Reader #ocTEL | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Back in August 2012 having surveyed the technology behind a number of connectivist orientated MOOCs (cMOOCs) and I came to the conclusion that:

It’s apparent from the survey of [c]MOOC technology that course teams are taking a loosely joined set of tools that they are comfortable with to facilitate a shared experience with the learner.

I also asked:

Even with the bespoke nature of [c]MOOCs there are still opportunities to start collectively raiding the parts bin. … Given the wide use of WordPress … are there opportunities for [c]MOOC specific themes or plugins?

At the time I highlighted the prevalence of the FeedWordPress plugin for WordPress, which is used to aggregate content from other sites via RSS feeds. Six months on and reading posts mainly from Alan Levine the WordPress parts bins has well and truly been raided. Alan is at an advantage having been involved with the open online course in Digital Storytelling (DS106) and it’s been incredibly useful to see how his recipe has evolved. At the same time others have been turning to WordPress to support their courses. Of note are E-learning and Digital Cultures on Coursera (#edcmooc) , which challenges the division of connectivist (cMOOC) and instructivist (xMOOC) by using the FeedWordPress recipe; and the Open University/OpenLearn/Martin Weller course in Open education (H817).

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Maps Matter: Street Lights: Local Government Open Data 3

Maps Matter: Street Lights: Local Government Open Data 3 | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Another data set released by my local council contains the locations of all the street lights owned (or operated) by the council. Now I have no intention (or any desire) to import this data into OpenStreetMap. Is it any use in the open data context?

There are two obvious questions that can be asked using street light data:

How well mapped are all public highways (i.e., including footways and cycleways) in the city?Are the highways on OSM accurately mapped?

Street lights are spaced at specific intervals according to the type of highway, it's width and the nature of the light source. This means that their accurate placement is determined by the council beforehand, all location data is to the nearest metre. Since most lights are situated immediately adjacent to the road carriageway they will be a short distance from the road centre line (say under 10 metres).


Via Cátedra Libre Open Gov (CLOG)
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Federal Government Takes Another Step Toward Open Data with New API

Federal Government Takes Another Step Toward Open Data with New API | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

The federal government is making more moves to engage with citizens on the web. Along with the recently announced Civic Hacking Day, they have released a social application programming interface. Better known as an API, this particular application programming interface is meant for developers who want to dig into open government data. The General Services Administration (GSA) provides more information in a recent blog post:

The potential of the API is demonstrated by basic widgets that open up content from social media accounts across government, searchable by agency, topic or language — regardless of the source, and without navigating individual federal websites or social media platforms. For example, content can be mashed up across one agency (i.e. all Twitter activity from all USDA Twitter accounts) or across a particular topic based on keyword tags (i.e. all Twitter content that has been tagged as “business” content).

Via the API, we’re roadmapping the use of customized social data streams, which allows:

anyone to find the information they need and engage directly with agencies based on topics and languageagencies to unlock valuable content and data, and provide it based on user’s interests, not government silosentrepreneurs and small businesses to create new and better services by having easier access to the data
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Open Access and the Privatisation of Knowledge

Open Access and the Privatisation of Knowledge | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

One of the problems with Open Access (both the movement and the practice), one that rings alarm bells in certain sectors, is the fact that the term “open” is inextricably linked to neoliberal paradigms. While “neoliberal” is a broad and, perhaps problematic, term in its expansion to mean everything, and therefore nothing, if we are more specific about the aspects under discussion (as we have come to be, for example, when discussing “postmodernism”), we can more firmly query why OA might be similarly troubling.

Defining neoliberalism as the practice of using the free market as the assignation of all value, I believe it would be a fair characterisation to pinpoint some of its key traits as:

A fixation on quantification and measurement.The belief that all aspects of society are best handled on a for-profit basis through competition.A nominal insistence on transparency, accountability and openness, so that point 1 can best be achieved.

Each of these aspects is worth examining in relation to the rise of open access.

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Don't Let the Dream of Open Access Journals Die

Don't Let the Dream of Open Access Journals Die | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it
Northwestern University pays more than $7.5 million per year for electronic subscription to academic journals. How research advancements can and should be shared widely and freely
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Eight business models for government open data | Government in The LabGovernment in The Lab

Eight business models for government open data | Government in The LabGovernment in The Lab | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Alex Howard has written an excellent article over at the O'Reilly Radar listing eight business models forgovernment open data, a handy list for those in government agencies attempting to justify to senior management or Ministers why releasing government data is important and valuable.

The models listed in Alex's article, Open data economy: Eight business models for open data and insight from Deloitte UK, were identified by Michele Osella, a researcher and business analyst in the Business Model & Policy Innovation Unit at the Istituto Superiore Mario Boella in Italy.

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Big data and the long tail: Use and reuse of little data — OeRC

The Oxford e-Research Centre is pleased to welcome Professor Christine Borgman from UCLA, to present a seminar on Tuesday 12 March 2013, as part of our Hilary 2013 seminar series to which all are welcome.

 

Abstract
Big data gets all the attention but little data are the norm in most fields. Scientists, social scientists, and humanities scholars alike tend to work in small groups and on projects of a year or two in length.  The resulting datasets tend to be small, local, and not easily shared. The talk will characterize the problem of long tail data and identify factors that determine how well data can be transferred between contexts. These include provenance, metadata, documentation, and features of the data and of the research methods. 

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Learn Hadoop & Big Data with Free Courses Online | Big Data University

Learn Hadoop & Big Data with Free Courses Online | Big Data University | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

Learn Big Data technologies like Hadoop, HDFS, Hive, HBase, MapReduce, JAQL, Pig,
Flume, ZooKeeper, Mahout, Streams, and others. Big Data University offers free online courses taught by the leading
experts in the field.

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Announcing the School of Data Journalism 2013 in Perugia | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog

Announcing the School of Data Journalism 2013 in Perugia | Open Knowledge Foundation Blog | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

The European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation are pleased to invite you to Europe’s biggest data journalism event, the School of Data Journalism.

The 2nd edition of the School of Data Journalism is kindly hosted at the International Journalism Festival. Last year’s edition attracted hundreds of journalists and featured a stellar team of panelists and instructors from the New York Times, the Guardian, Deutsche Welle, Duke University, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and ProPublica. This year we return with a leading team of about 20 new and returning panelists and instructors from Reuters, New York Times, Spiegel, Guardian, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Knight-Mozilla OpenNews and others, and a mix of discussions and hands-on sessions focusing on everything from cross-border data-driven investigative journalism, to emergency reporting and using Excel, the Twitter API, data visualisation and maps for journalism.

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Education Data Community | Data.gov

Education Data Community | Data.gov | Open Knowledge | Scoop.it

This web site serves as a central guide for education data resources including high-value data sets, data visualization tools, resources for the classroom, applications created from open data and more. These datasets have been gathered from various agencies to provide detailed information on the state of education on all levels, from cradle to career and beyond. Check back frequently because the site will be updated as more datasets and tools become available.

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