Creative Commons

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7 Resources for Open Education Materials

Shrinking school budgets and growing interest in open content has created an increased demand for open educational resources. According to the FCC, "The U.S. spends more than $7 billion per year on K-12 textbooks, but too many students are still using books that are 7-10 years old, with outdated material." There is an alternative: openly licensed courseware. But where do you find this content and how can you share your own teaching and learning materials? This month I've rounded up a list of seven open educational resources for K-12 and higher education...

Another Reason For Moving To Open Access: Encouraging Scientific Debates

Glyn Moody | Tech Dirt | September 29, 2014

Techdirt has written often enough about how copyright is used to censor criticism. QuestionCopyright.org has an interesting post that offers a variation on that theme: copyright getting in the way of a scientific debate...

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Biden Announces Major Open Initiatives At Cancer Moonshot Summit

Press Release | The White House | June 28, 2016

Today, the Cancer Moonshot is hosting a summit at Howard University, in Washington, D.C. as part of a national day of action that also includes more than 270 events in communities across the United States.  Vice President Joe Biden will join over 350 researchers, oncologists and other care providers, data and technology experts, patients, families, and patient advocates, among others, will come together at Howard University.  They will be joined by more than 6,000 individuals at events in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam.  This is the first time a group this expansive and diverse will meet under a government charge is to double the rate of progress in our understanding, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care of cancer...

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Big Names Like Google Dominate Open-source Funding

Jon Gold | Network World | January 9, 2015

Network World’s analysis of publicly listed sponsors of 36 prominent open-source non-profits and foundations reveals that the lion’s share of financial support for open-source groups comes from a familiar set of names. We found 673 companies on the donor rolls of our list of organizations – which was drawn heavily, though not entirely, from the Open Source Initiative’s list of affiliates. Google was the biggest supporter of open-source organizations by our count, appearing on the sponsor lists of eight of the 36 groups we analyzed. ...

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Council of the European Union calls for full open access to scientific research by 2020

A few weeks ago we wrote about how the European Union is pushing ahead its support for open access to EU-funded scientific research and data. Today at the meeting of the Competitiveness Council of the European Union, the Council reinforced the commitment to making all scientific articles and data openly accessible and reusable by 2020. In its communication, the Council offered several conclusions on the transition towards an open science system:

European Union Pushing Ahead in Support of Open Science

April saw lots of activity on the open science front in the European Union. On April 19, the European Commission officially announced its plans to create an “Open Science Cloud”. Accompanying this initiative, the Commission stated it will require that scientific data produced by projects under Horizon 2020 (Europe’s €80 billion science funding program) be made openly available by default. Making open data the default will ensure that the scientific community, companies, and the general public can enjoy broad access (and reuse rights) to data generated by European funded scientific projects. 

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Four Things We Can Do Now to Unlock the Cure for Cancer

As a community we are capable of working together to achieve greater things. If we marshal our resources to work together, I believe we can unlock the cure for cancer. This is a rare opportunity. We need to change the models and shift our culture towards collaboration. We can’t just tweak around the edges — patients and their families can’t afford to wait. An alternative system, where all publicly-funded research and data are required to be shared would allow authors to unlock their content and data for re-use with a global audience, and co-operate towards new discoveries and analysis.

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Open Access – Still to Have Its Google Moment

Byron Russell | Publishing Technology | January 15, 2016

As searches are centred on words – and not IP licence type, a problem is immediately created for providers of Open Access content. Ask any Open Access publisher, and they will tell you that one of their biggest challenges – if not the biggest – is discoverability. And here the most popular search engines are only partially helpful...If a researcher is specifically looking for Open Access content, as will increasingly be the case, they can of course go to a directory (Archie again!) such as DOAJ, but that is far from exhaustive and is not even fully searchable – it lists over 10,700 journal records, but only 6,800 are searchable at article level.

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Open Source Software Now Permitted in the U.S. House of Representatives

Press Release | OpenGov Foundation, Sunlight Foundation, Congressional Data Coalition | June 25, 2015

The OpenGov Foundation, the Sunlight Foundation and the Congressional Data Coalition (CDC) today announced that Members, Committees, and staff within the U.S. House of Representatives are now able to use official resources to procure open source software, to fully participate in open source software communities, and to contribute software code developed with taxpayer dollars back to the public under an open source license. Read More »

Open Source to Make Caring for Your Health Feel Wonderful

Juhan Sonin wants to influence the world from protein, to policy, to pixel. And, he believes the only way to do that is with open source principles guiding the way. Juhan is the Creative Director at Involution Studios, a design firm educating and empowering people to feel wonderful by creating, developing, and licensing their work for the public.    "We believe that any taxpayer funded effort should be made available, in its entirety, to be reused, modified, and updated by any citizen or business, hence the open source license. It should be a U.S. standard practice for contracted work." One of their works is hGraph, a visual representation of your health status, designed to help you alter individual factors to improve it... Read More »

Open Textbooks 4 Africa

The first Open Textbook Summit in Africa was hosted in Cape Town on March 11-12 by Open Textbooks for Africa (OT4A). This two-day event bought together 45 local University lecturers, open education practitioners, and open textbooks experts from around the world. OT4A is a pilot project designed to support the adoption and adaption of currently available open textbooks as well as build and design our own textbooks to showcase African knowledge to the world.

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RightsCon Redux: Working Toward A Progressive Copyright Framework For Europe

RightsCon is an annual conference that focuses on awareness-raising, organising, and advocacy on global issues at the intersection of technology and human rights. The event is produced by the international nonprofit organization AccessNow. RightsCon participants include members of digital rights organisations, legal experts, civil society, government, and business representatives. Creative Commons, Mozilla, and the Wikimedia Foundation organized a panel discussion on the work being done to reform the European Union copyright rules...

School Systems Desperate for Standards-Aligned Curricula Find Hope

Open Up Resources is a nonprofit collaborative formed by 13 U.S. states that creates high-quality, standards-aligned open educational resources (OERs) that are openly licensed under CC BY 4.0. Unlike other providers, Open Up Resources provides curriculum-scale OER options; they believe that while many people seem to know where to find supplemental materials, most curriculum directors would not know where to look if they were planning a textbook adoption next year. After an article I wrote about OERs last year, I had the opportunity to interview their community evangelist and Chief Marketing Officer, Karen Vaites. In this interview, Karen elaborates on this...

The Public Domain Still Needs Idealism

Anna Wiener | New Republic | January 15, 2016

In the current startup universe, there’s still a lot of chatter about changing the world, an objective that has become so cliché—and ridiculed—that it’s easy to forget that those voicing this desire genuinely, vehemently believe it. From the outside, the prospect of a world-changing software product is either very exciting or completely delusional, depending on who’s talking...Idealism about technology as a democratizing force currently looks a lot like defense: protecting digital civil liberties, and fighting against further erosion. This is the side that Justin Peters is most committed to documenting in his book The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet, a partial biography of the late activist and Open Access advocate...

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Will The RIO Journal be the Most Open Scientific Publication?

A large amount of scientific research is published in scientific journals, and there has been a lot of debate around offering open access to these articles, along with the underlying data, software, and methods. There is a new journal that launched recently with the goal of going beyond traditional scientific publishing by encompassing all outputs of the research cycle. What does this mean? The RIO Journal (Research Ideas and Outcomes) is launching with the goal of publishing a number of things not currently published, in addition to more conventional outputs on a single collaborative platform. This includes things such as project proposals, data, methods, workflows, software, project reports, and research articles.