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Publishing Initiatives at PLOS: A Look Back and a Look Ahead

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In January 2015, we wrote about exciting developments at PLOS specifically designed to improve the author and community experience.   The changes begun at the end of 2014 included a redesign of our PDF layout into a clean, single column design, reconstructing many of our workflows, implementing continuous publication, and transitioning to a new composition vendor to convert accepted author manuscripts into XML and PDF formats used for online publication.  Now, six months later, we want to provide a status update on those projects and also let you know of still more initiatives planned for 2015-2016.

Single Column PDF Design

At the end of 2014 we introduced a new single column PDF design that enabled a more efficient composition process, while simultaneously improving readability on the variety of devices used by the research community.  From November to January PLOS rolled out the design across all seven of the PLOS journals.  During this time we received excellent feedback from our author and reader community that greatly helped fine tune the formatting rules used to automate the creation of the PDFs; many thanks to our community for the input.

New Workflows, New Vendors

While rolling out the PDF design, we simultaneously changed a number of workflows and vendors behind the scenes, including a successful transition to a new composition vendor, Apex CoVantage.  We firmly believed these actions would improve our quality assurance and typesetting processes, increase overall publishing efficiency across all seven of our journals, decrease time to publication, and ultimately provide a better experience for authors publishing in a PLOS journal.  After six months, we are seeing very clear signs of progress.  But progress did not come easily – or quickly.

Transition Performance

In January we noted that all of these changes – each one time sensitive and critical to improving the publication process – would affect our speed to publication and publication volumes in the short term. They did.  As we started publishing in 2015,  we saw the overall number of published items decrease in January and February (average per month of about 1,400) as compared to our normal monthly publication volume (2014 average per month of about 2,800).  By the end of June, however, we had published a total of 17,044 items, bringing our average per month back up to a bit more more than 2,800.

We predicted readers and authors might notice a slowdown.  They did. We sincerely apologize to those authors who experienced delays during this transition.  We gratefully acknowledge the patience of our community, and particularly our authors, during this period. We learned some important lessons which will help us minimize these kinds of problems in the future as we continue to improve our systems and processes.

Promising Preliminary Results

We also owe thanks to all our vendors for their patience and hard work.  The results we have started to see from this combined effort are quite exciting.  The predicted gains in speed, efficiency, and quality are now being realized. The backlogs that were created as we transitioned early in the year are all gone.  While it’s still early days, our preliminary data show a reduction in the time from acceptance to publication of 40-50% for three of our four community journals as compared to 2014 (April through June comparison).  The fourth journal, PLOS Computational Biology had a major workflow change, wherein we added a step for author proofs.  That initially resulted in some delays, but that timing has now recovered to 2014 levels.  PLOS ONE, because of its volume, has improved more slowly, but we are seeing steady progress.

Initial quality indications are also quite strong.  While it’s still a bit too soon for a full analysis, preliminary data indicate that the number of author requests for corrections coming in post-publication have dropped off by about 50%.

Throughout this time submissions from authors have remained strong across all seven of our journals.

Additional Changes to Come

We promised authors a tool to provide feedback and help with figure preparation, and currently that tool is actively being tested and refined and should be available sometime later this year.  Additional workflow changes are in the works that will help pave the way for author proofs for PLOS Pathogens, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, and PLOS Genetics in the coming months.

In addition, we continue to work on many improvements to our internal workflows and processes that will make them even more efficient. While many of these improvements are not visible to authors, they are helping us achieve a path to publication that’s as smooth and swift as possible.

Looking Farther Ahead

The PLOS mission is to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication. One area of publishing in desperate need of transformation involves the systems used for submission and peer review.  PLOS is currently hard at work designing and building a new manuscript authoring and submission system called ApertaTM. At its core this new PLOS editorial environment brings simplicity to the submission and peer review process by providing advanced task-management technology and a vastly improved user interface, which will enhance the publishing experience for our community of​authors, editors, and reviewers. Stay tuned for more information on Aperta in the coming months.

PLOS remains committed to transparency in the publishing process, and we will continue to provide progress updates on our many exciting developments.  Thanks for your continued support of PLOS journals and the Open Access movement.

The post Publishing Initiatives at PLOS: A Look Back and a Look Ahead appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.

The case of the witch and her cat: crowdfunding free culture

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The guest post below was written by Erik Moeller from Passionate Voices, in support of our campaign “Made with Creative Commons: A book on open business models” which will present in-depth profiles of Creative Commons use.

The dragoncow is chewing on an uprooted tree, its bulging eyes staring vacantly into the distance as the orange cat hanging off its udder extracts a large drop of milk into a wooden bucket held by a young witch balanced precariously on her broomstick. The scene is from David Revoy’s Pepper & Carrot, a much-loved comic strip about a witch and her cat.

Unlike most webcomics, which release new strips a few times per week, there’s typically one episode of Pepper & Carrot every month. Each episode is several pages long, crafted with an attention to detail rarely seen outside more commercial work. Slowly but surely, David is building Pepper’s identity and the world she inhabits. “So much heart in each and every piece you do”, writes one admirer in the comments.

Volunteers translate each episode to a dozen or so languages, on the basis of the source files which can be downloaded freely. David uses a GitHub repository to collaborate with the community and to share assets.

All this is possible because the entire comic strip is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY). Other than CC0, this is the most permissive licensing option Creative Commons offers. Works under these terms can not only be copied, but also remixed and built upon, including for commercial uses. Re-users just have to attribute David Revoy as the author.
David is no stranger to Creative Commons. He was art director for Sintel, a crowdfunded CC-BY licensed 3D animated movie produced by the Blender Foundation. His love for open source goes back even further, as he explained in a recent interview with Passionate Voices: “Even when I was using Windows and proprietary software, I always kept an eye on the Linux distributions. I always kept an eye on GIMP. It was one of my first digital painting tools. And I always really appreciated the whole movement.” Today, David uses Krita, an open source digital painting application which has been supported by two Kickstarter fundraisers.

User Manual by David Revoy, available under the CC-BY license.

David’s work on Pepper & Carrot is funded by a Patreon campaign. As of this writing, for every episode he produces, his supporters donate $1200, which is inching ever closer to the amount David needs to focus fully on creating the webcomic as his “dream job”. As such, he is not concerned about others building on his work as long as they attribute him for it: “I’m really happy if Pepper & Carrot can bring more money for external people.”  David is disappointed when people fail to meet the simple requirement to credit him as the author: “It’s easier to respect something that was given for free, in my opinion.”

Back in May, a Kickstarter campaign launched without David Revoy’s involvement to create a printed version of Pepper & Carrot. The initial version of the campaign suffered from attribution issues: “The author of the Kickstarter, in the description of his crowdfunding page, was acting like he was the creator. He was quoting my name but he was acting like it was my Kickstarter page, and it was really not visible inside the page.“ After David contacted the campaign creator, the attribution issues were fixed, and David tweeted in support of the campaign. In the end, $6,837 were raised towards a print edition which otherwise would not have happened.

Although David recognizes the power of the CC-BY license, there are circumstances where he uses more restrictive licensing. The Yin and Yang of World Hunger, a powerful painting which depicts the disparity between rich and poor, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial No-Derivatives license, because David doesn’t want to see it used for commercial or political purposes without his approval. The license doesn’t preclude him from selectively granting those permissions:  “There are plenty of associations about hunger that use this illustration, and I’m really happy to give them the illustration for free.”

David’s long term vision is to create an animation studio which only produces works under a free license. With his growing base of supporters, his vision is audacious but not outlandish. Today, many creators of webcomics and YouTube channels are funding their work through their fanbase, whether it’s through one-off campaigns or ongoing Patreon-style support. But relatively few use a Creative Commons license, and fewer still the very permissive CC-BY license alongside an open source toolchain.

When confronted with commercial use and unwanted derivatives, creators may be tempted to to default to a license that places limits on re-use, and as David’s story demonstrates, this can be a good answer, especially when dealing with sensitive works. And yet, there’s always the tantalizing question: What if? What if you let go, what if you set your work truly free? What if you push the limits of what’s possible with open source software?

Artists like David are experimenting with permissive licensing options and open source production methods to create a free culture with no strings attached. Fan support through crowdfunding platforms gives them the ability to do so without fearing loss of income.  You can find my full interview with David Revoy (and with other pioneers) on Passionate Voices, and of course you can read Pepper & Carrot online and join David’s community of supporters.

With your help, Creative Commons will be able to showcase many other examples of CC use and re-use. Please consider supporting the Creative Commons campaign, “Made with Creative Commons: A book on open business models”.

Global Summit Call for Participation – Extension

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The deadline for submissions to the CC Global Summit’s Call for Participation is fast approaching. But for those still getting their proposals together, there’s a reprieve – we’ve decided to extend the deadline until Wednesday 22 July.

The extension is in response to a technical glitch we’ve become aware of, which meant that multiple submissions from the same email address may not have registered properly. If you registered more than one submission from your email address, please contact info@creativecommons.org to confirm they were all received.

The issue is now fixed, and we encourage everyone to add as many submissions as they can – the more, the better! We hope the extended deadline will also give the opportunity for people who are still sorting through ideas to submit – you can’t succeed unless you try.

We’re sorry again about glitch, and can’t wait to see the final submissions.

CC’s first-ever Kickstarter campaign — join us!

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CC Summit 2011 Warsaw by Kristina Alexanderson, available on Flickr, licensed CC BY 2.0.

Today we’re launching CC’s first-ever Kickstarter campaign. We’re raising money to write a book about open business models that incorporate CC licensing. We hope you’ll join our Kickstarter campaign and help us empower creators around the globe to pursue businesses built on open content.

This is an ambitious project. Over the course of the year, our plan is to find answers to the question we are so often asked — how can creators make money to sustain what they do when they are letting the world reuse their work for free?

To do this, we will find and profile 24 businesses, creators, and organizations that are successfully using Creative Commons. We will tell their success stories, but we also want to go a step further to reveal strategies that other creators can use for their own endeavors. Ultimately, we will put our findings together in an ebook, and we will publish an interactive tool that people can use to develop and evaluate their own open business models.

Along the way, we’re going to conduct an experiment in working in the open. We’ll be publishing regularly on one of our favorite storytelling platforms – Medium (who also happens to use CC licenses, and is one of the businesses we will profile in the book). We’re thinking of our Medium publication, Made with Creative Commons, as a digital whiteboard. There, we’ll share insights as we go, try out new ideas, and we’ll openly discuss obstacles we face, questions we have, and issues we are mulling. Our hope is that the process of researching, analyzing, and writing the book will be truly collaborative and open.

In fact, this Kickstarter campaign is itself a case study of an open business model. Crowdfunding has become a tried-and-true method to fund creative works in the digital age. In many ways, it’s an ideal open business model because it requires creators to think about building community from the start, rather than letting it be an after-thought. We see this Kickstarter as a great chance to get people interested and involved in our work.

We have set a realistic but ambitious goal to fund the whole project, but like all Kickstarters, if we don’t hit the target, we don’t get any of the funds. It’s all or nothing, so we need your help.

Momentum really matters with crowdfunding. Help us start strong by supporting the CC Kickstarter now and by spreading the word among your networks. Help us show the world how Creative Commons can be good for business — and maybe even start one of your own.

Hjælp Creative Commons med at skabe bog om åbne forretningsmodeller

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Creative Commons vil igang med at skrive en bog om åbne forretningsmodeller baseret på CC-licenserne: Så flere kan lære om hvordan man kan dele, men samtidig skabe en bæredygtig platform for kunstnere og indholdsskabere.

Giv en hjælpende hånd på Kickstarter, så vi kan producere dette inspirerende værktøj! Læs mere her eller i det følgende:

“Open” = the digital commons, collaboration, transparency, community.

Some people want you to believe there is a conflict between Open and Business. We’re out to shatter that illusion. 

Creative Commons (“CC”) is a nonprofit dedicated to Open. CC licenses are free copyright licenses creators apply to their own works, enabling the public to reuse the work under certain conditions. Sometimes CC licensing is core to a business strategy, and sometimes it is simply a way to increase the number of eyeballs on a work. In all cases, CC brings an element of social good to the table. 

We want to show the world the full spectrum of open business models made using Creative Commons. Our goal is to begin to answer what we consider one of the most important questions of the digital age: how do creators make money to sustain what they do when they are letting the world reuse their work? 

We are starting this work by trying out our own open business model here on Kickstarter. We want you to both support us, and help steer this project. Ready? Read on…

The post Hjælp Creative Commons med at skabe bog om åbne forretningsmodeller appeared first on Creative Commons Danmark.

New Translations: CC 4.0 licences now available in te reo Māori and Japanese

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Today CC is proud to launch two new translations of the latest version of the CC licences: Japanese and te reo Māori. These are particularly significant, as they are the first official translations of 4.0 into Asia-Pacific languages. Perhaps even more exciting, te reo Māori, the language of the Indigenous people of New Zealand, is the first indigenous language into which the CC licences have been translated.

Translation is an essential part of our licensing process — our licenses aren’t finished until everyone who wants to share and reuse CC-licensed works has the ability to understand the license in the language they know best. That means all populations, large, medium, and small. These two translations provide great examples of how our affiliates are achieving that goal – the ambitious and eager te reo Māori team, and the Japanese team.

The te reo Māori translation was completed by Ian Cormack, Director of Taumatua Māori Language Services and a licensed Māori Translator, and provided a number of interesting challenges – such as how to translate ‘Sui Generis Database Rights’ (eventually translated as Motika Pātengi Raraunga Momo Takitahi). Karaitiana Taiuru, prominent indigenous philosopher and governance practitioner and a leading figure in the online Māori renaissance of the internet, feels that the translation “is an important step for te reo Māori resources being able to utilise the power and flexibility of Creative Commons…The translated licences will promote taonga and matauranga to be created, shared and published with the legal protection of the Creative Commons licences while recognising iwi, hapū and whānau, as well as whakapapa of the material.”

The Japanese translation will also help significantly with the adoption of CC in that country. Japan still sees ongoing discussion on open data licensing, both at national and local levels, and this Japanese translation will add important choice for those interested in this issue. The process was started on Feb. 2014 and led by Tasuku Mizuno. Other contributors include Mitsuru Maekawa, Maki Higashikubo, Yuuri Nakao, who developed initial draft, as well as Naoki Kanehisa, Yuko Noguchi and Tomoaki Watanabe who joined the review process. Big thanks go to Der Spiegel im Spiegel, Butameron, Mr. Kawanishi, and others who publicly or directly provided CC Japan team valuable inputs.

We are looking forward to seeing what new uses of the licences come from these translations. We also have some more great translations coming up, so watch out for more info.

Help Outernet and Creative Commons build a #LibraryFromSpace

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Hubble Space Telescope and Earth Limb / NASA on The Commons / No known copyright restrictions

If you could send a folder with 50 MB of content to every human on Earth, what would you include? This weekend Creative Commons volunteers and Outernet are hosting a CC Content Edit-a-thon to populate the first Outernet library to be broadcast from space. The edit-a-thon will take place at Mozilla Festival East Africa (MozFestEA) in a weekend-long track that will be kicked off Saturday morning by Outernet and CC volunteers from Uganda and Kenya. During the first hour, Outernet will introduce the initiative and set guidelines, and CC volunteers will provide basic knowledge and training about how and where to find open content. This first hour will be recorded and posted to the Outernet wiki and Outernet’s YouTube channel so that anyone in the world may participate.

Remote participation from anywhere in the world is encouraged! Here’s how you, your friends and colleagues can participate:

  • Tell people about it! Send them to this blog post, or this one by Outernet, or http://editathon.outernet.is and tweet using #LibraryFromSpace.
  • Re-post this on your own blog – this blog post is public domain (CC0).
  • Register (free) to help Outernet anticipate the number of participants.
  • Come to a physical edit-a-thon. In addition to the MozFestEA session in Kampala, Uganda, CC volunteers in Guatemala will host their own satellite edit-a-thon to start building a CC library in Spanish for Latin America. CC volunteers in Nigeria will participate remotely as well.
  • On 18-19 July, head over to the Outernet wiki: https://wiki.outernet.is/wiki/Outernet_Wiki. Video, guidelines, directions, and the links to where you’ll be curating, creating, and editing open content will all be here. There will also be an open chatroom to communicate directly with MozFestEA participants and CC volunteers in Guatemala, Nigeria, and anywhere.

We hope to find and curate the best content for each country that is openly licensed or in the public domain. All new content created as part of this event will be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

In addition, Outernet is working on its CC platform integration to provide options for individuals who want to release their content into the public domain (via CC0) or under CC licenses.

Outernet and CC volunteers are building a library that everyone can enjoy, even without an Internet connection. Be one of the first to put content on its shelves!

More about Outernet

Outernet is Humanity’s Public Library, a free data signal broadcast from space that eludes censorship and is publicly editable. To receive the Outernet signal, a user can build their own receiver or purchase one from Outernet. Once an Outernet receiver is active, a user can browse the content they have received using any Wi-Fi enabled device.

More about MozFestEA

MozFestEA brings together different groups of people to build open innovative solutions and to brainstorm ideas and solutions to the current challenges in East Africa with the help of the web as a platform and web literacy. This years MozFestEA will take place at Victoria University in Kampala, Uganda on 17-19, July 2015.

Reminder: submit your proposals for the 2015 Global Summit in Seoul

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The 2015 Creative Commons Global Summit is taking place in Seoul, South Korea 14-17 October 2015. CC hosts this gathering every two years, bringing together our affiliate network along with partners, activists, and collaborators in the open movement to celebrate and advance the Commons. The last CC Summit took place in Buenos Aires in 2013.

You can submit proposals for talks, workshops, hackathons, panels, presentations, performances, showcases and other activities are welcome. The deadline for proposals is Friday, 17 July.

 

EFF: Fighting for your digital rights for 25 years

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is an absolutely essential organization that defends civil liberties on the Internet. It fights for users by promoting free speech and access to technology, championing privacy, and advocating for progressive solutions to intellectual property challenges in the digital age. EFF tackles these issues with some of the smartest and most committed lawyers, technology experts, and activists on the planet.

EFF is celebrating its 25th anniversary this month.

The work of EFF and Creative Commons overlaps on a variety of issues, including promoting the use of open licenses for publicly funded research and educational materials, protecting the public domain, and ensuring limitations and exceptions to copyright in support of users and the public interest.

For those of you around the San Francisco bay area, check out the EFF anniversary party on July 16. And even if you can’t make it there, consider becoming a member and supporting EFF with a financial contribution. Congratulations to EFF and the incredible accomplishments they’ve achieved over the last 25 years. Here’s to another quarter century!

Will the European Parliament criminalize street photography?

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Tower Bridge view at dawn, by Colin, CC BY-SA


Tower Bridge view at dawn. Modified to censor buildings that require Freedom of Panorama, by Colin, CC BY-SA

Over the last several months, Creative Commons has been following the review of the European Union copyright directive. One issue that has remained contentious is freedom of panorama. Freedom of panorama permits taking and publishing photographs and video of buildings, landmarks, and artworks permanently located in a public public place, without infringing on any copyright that might rest in the underlying work. For example, anyone may take and publish a photograph of the Torre Agbar in Barcelona without having to get permission from the rightsholder of the physical building. While some countries such as Spain, Poland, and the Netherlands enjoy freedom of panorama, others such as Italy, France, and Greece require that a photographer get permission for taking and sharing images of works in public spaces.

German Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda has been tasked with developing a report that will make recommendations for potential legislative changes to EU copyright law. Reda’s report has been discussed widely, and last month the legal affairs committee of the European Parliament voted on amendments to her report, which resulted in a compromise text. On July 9, this report (and any amendments to it) will be voted on in the full EU Parliament.

The outcome of the legal affairs committee vote produced some positive actions for copyright reform in support of users and the public interest. For example, the compromise text introduced exceptions to copyright in the EU for libraries to digitize collections and lend ebooks, and for scientists and others to conduct text and data mining without needing an extra license to do so. The report also called on the European Commission to protect the public domain by clarifying that “once a work is in the public domain, any digitisation of the work which does not constitute a new, transformative work, stays in the public domain.”

Reda’s original proposal contained a provision that would have granted freedom of panorama throughout the EU. But an amendment passed by the legal affairs committee says that anyone who wants to take and share photography or video of public buildings and landmarks can only do so for non-commercial purposes. Reda calls the rule “absurd”:

This would restrict existing rights in many EU member states, introduce new legal uncertainty for many creators and even call the legality of many photos shared on commercial photo sharing platforms like Instagram and Flickr into question. Documentary filmmakers, for example, would have to research the copyright protection status of every building, statue or even graffiti on a public wall depicted in their movie – and seek the permission of each rightholder.

The consequences of adopting copyright rules that limit freedom of panorama to only non-commercial uses could make every vacationing photographer a criminal in the eyes of the law. The change would also be damaging to the commons, especially for a community like Wikipedia, which requires that photos and videos uploaded for use on the site be made available under free licenses that permit commercial use. As the Wikimedia Foundation notes, “the version of freedom of panorama now under consideration is not compatible with Wikimedia’s goal to broadly share knowledge. If this amendment became law, it would be more difficult for users to freely share photos of public spaces. It would be a step backwards in revamping the EU’s copyright rules for the digital age.” If this provision goes into effect, thousands of photos on Wikimedia Commons likely would have to be removed.

But you can help! Sign the Change.org petition to bring bring the freedom of panorama to all member states of the EU. Citizens of the EU can also contact their MEPs to let them know how you would like them to vote. Owen Blacker says there are two things to ask of MEPs:

1) Please support amendment A8–0209/3 by Marietje Schaake, to restore the meaning of the original text which extends liberal freedom of panorama to all EU member states;

2) Should Schaake’s amendment fail, then please vote to remove paragraph 46 from the report altogether.

The public should have the right to use photographs, video footage and other images of works permanently located in public spaces. Let’s support, extend, and protect the freedom of panorama across the European Union.

Colombian student Diego Gomez is going to trial for sharing a research article online

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Last year several organizations highlighted the situation of Colombian graduate student Diego Gomez, who had a criminal complaint filed against him for sharing a research article online. Gomez is a student in conservation and wildlife management, and for the most part has poor access to many of the resources and databases that would help him conduct his research. He shared an academic paper on Scribd so that he and others could access it for their work. If convicted, Diego could face a prison term of 4-8 years. Gomez will appear in court on June 30.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation sums up Diego’s situation well:

He posted the paper online because he was excited that he found it, because he wanted to share that knowledge with others who shared his passion. Copyright should not turn students like Gomez into criminals for reveling in their quest for knowledge nor for helping others to do the same.

As Gomez goes to trial this week, we must ask again: why are we prosecuting students for sharing knowledge? We know that this type of draconian leveraging of copyright law is not uncommon. From suing a student for downloading scholarly journal articles to issuing a takedown of a dancing baby video to pushing through secret international trade agreements that will extend the term of copyright and harm the public and the commons, large rights holders organizations continue to wield copyright law to punish those who attempt to do what comes naturally for them–sharing.

At the same time, with the dedicated work of individuals and organizations advocating for a sensible balance to copyright, there is hope that laws, regulations, and norms can be changed to support users and the public interest. For example, universities are adopting open access policies that preserve and make accessible the research of their faculty. The copyright reform debate in Europe has finally dropped a potentially dangerous provision that would have permitted rights holders to control how linking operates on the web. And WIPO adopted a treaty to increase global access to copyright-protected materials for the blind and visually impaired.

You can read what Diego has to say about his upcoming trial at Fundación Karisma. Fundación Karisma is the Colombian digital rights advocacy organization that is providing legal support to Gomez. And you can take action now to support Diego by signing the global declaration promoting open access to research.


Image by EFF / CC BY.

Research Matters

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Research Matters is a new article series in which active scientists speak directly about why basic research in their field matters. It bridges the gap between academic research and the public by explaining how diverse fundamental research assures real and compelling impact on public health, human knowledge and life.

The editorial and first articles in this series are from PLOS Pathogens Editors-in-Chief Kasturi Haldar and Grant McFadden, scientists whose basic research led them in unexpected directions. They provide vignettes of their respective careers, which they hope will encourage their colleagues to speak out in similar ways.

Grant McFadden with his grandson

In The Curious Road from Basic Pathogen Research to Clinical Translation, Grant McFadden comments, the “take-home message is that the results of true fundamental research still remain virtually impossible to predict, despite what pundits or politicians might have you believe. . . To me, the single most important justification for fundamental research in biology remains this: Mother Nature is mysterious and magnificent but some of her secrets can still be revealed if we only allow curious minds to ask the right questions.”

Kasturi Haldar

In From Cell and Organismal Biology to Drugs, Kasturi Haldar argues that “investment in a broad range of basic research (because it is important to query scientific problems in many ways) enables collective preparedness for new translational challenges that defy political agendas and fearmongering for partisan gain”. She warns that “failure to do this will jeopardize future employment, training, and education at the university, college, and high school levels.”

Both urge that, with the growing din of anti-science sentiments, those who have been lucky enough to pursue fundamental research as a career now more than ever need to speak up. If the next generation of scientists is to lead the way to the transformative discoveries of the future, we all need to articulate more clearly to nonscientists why, in our modern world, basic research matters more than ever.

Follow the series as it evolves.

Image credit: University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment, Flickr

The post Research Matters appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.

Ukrainian translation of : CC 4.0

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Congratulations to Creative Commons Ukraine on the completion of the Ukrainian translation of the CC 4.0 license suite!
After a draft stage and a public consultation phase, involving legal practitioners and IP experts, the licenses are published today, on June 23.

The availability of the license suite in Ukrainian is of great significance for the visibility and use of Creative Commons licenses in the region. More than 30 million people are native speakers of the Ukrainian language, and we are pleased to welcome them to our CC community. We are very grateful to the CC Ukraine affiliate team for achieving this important accomplishment: Andriy Bichuk, Maksym Naumko, Iryna Kuchma and Sergey Tokar.

CC Ukraine would like to acknowledge the additional help that was provided during the public consultation process: Oleksii Ardanov and Iryna Didushko (State Service of Intellectual Property of Ukraine), Mykyta Polatayko (Sayenko Kharenko law firm), Oleksii Stolyarenko (Baker & McKenzie LLP) and Valentyna Trots’ka (Intellectual Property Research Institute of the National Academy of Law Sciences of Ukraine). Their contributions are highly valued and have helped making the Ukrainian CC 4.0 licenses a robust legal tool, broadly supported and universally acknowledged in the language area.

CC continues to work on translating the text of the 4.0 licenses into myriad languages. Our goal is to ensure that everyone around the globe has full access to the CC licenses in their language of choice.

Please join us in our translation efforts!

 

Global Summit Call for Participation and Proposals – Now Open

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The Creative Commons Global Summit takes place every two years bringing together our global affiliate network along with partners, activists, and collaborators in the open movement to celebrate and advance the Commons.

We’re pleased to announce the Call for Participation and Proposals for this year’s Global Summit in Seoul, South Korea, October 15-17 2015, is now open.


Seoul, South Korea by Doug Sun Beams CC BY

Proposals for talks, workshops, hackathons, panels, presentations, performances, showcases and other activities are welcome.

A logo competition for the Global Summit is also underway.
Registration is open and opportunities for scholarships to cover travel and accomodation costs available.

Submit your proposal now and join us in celebrating, working on, and building the future of the Commons.

PLOS Appoints Veronique Kiermer as Executive Editor for PLOS Journals

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PLOS announced today that after an extensive search, Dr. Veronique Kiermer has been appointed Executive Editor. Kiermer will be responsible for the editorial and content direction and vision for PLOS’ journals. Her appointment is effective July 20, 2015.

“The depth and breadth of Veronique’s global publishing experience will be a critically valued asset to our editorial and executive team,” said Elizabeth Marincola, Chief Executive Officer of PLOS. “PLOS is entering a new phase of innovation and we are grateful to have a leader of Veronique’s caliber join our organization at this exciting juncture in our history.”

“I am delighted to be joining PLOS. I have long admired PLOS for its leadership in transforming research communication,” said Kiermer. “The editorial group is well respected in the industry and I look forward to the opportunity to make a central contribution to PLOS’ continued transformation of scientific communication.”

Prior to joining PLOS, Kiermer was Director of Author and Reviewer Services for Nature Publishing Group (NPG), where she oversaw the Nature journals research integrity and editorial policies. She also focused on the author and reviewer experience across the publishing portfolio of NPG. She was the founding Chief Editor of Nature Methods and subsequently took on publishing responsibility for the title and other online products. In 2010, she became Executive Editor, NPG, overseeing editorial policies and editorial quality assurance for Nature and the Nature journals.

Kiermer obtained her PhD in molecular biology from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and performed her postdoctoral work at the University of California, San Francisco. She will be based at PLOS’ San Francisco office.

The post PLOS Appoints Veronique Kiermer as Executive Editor for PLOS Journals appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.

Creative Commons Danmark til Folkemødet 2015

CC Danmark -

Creative Commons Danmark deltager i disse dage i Folkemødet på Bornholm, hvor mere end 25.000 mennesker henover weekenden diskuterer politik, kultur, erhverv og meget andet. Kom og mød os!

Generelt er deling og deleøkonomi et stort tema i mange af de mere end 2.600 foredrag, workshops, paneldiskussioner og andre events som er i Folkemødets imponerende omfangsrige program. Creative Commons Denmark er i programmet til én af dem, nemlig Bibzonen (Statsbibliotekets) session “Sharing Is Caring” lørdag kl. 13. Her vil CC Danmark’s Christian Villum sidde i et panel der skal diskutere kulturarv og kulturformidling for biblioteker og andre såkaldt “GLAM”-institutioner (GLAM er international forkortelse for “galleries, libraries, archives and museums”). I panelet sidder også Berit Anne Larsen fra Statens Museum for Kunst, Jeppe Bjørn fra Lyngby-Taarsbæk Bibliotekerne – og panelet modereres af Michel Steen-Hansen, der er direktør for Danmarks Bibliotekstforening.

Læs mere om arrangementet her – og kig forbi hvis du er på Bornholm i disse dage.

 

 

The post Creative Commons Danmark til Folkemødet 2015 appeared first on Creative Commons Danmark.

Why CC is making a mobile app

Creativecommons.org -

Today we’re pushing the latest beta release of our mobile app, The List powered by Creative Commons. It’s a mobile photography app that invites users to create a list of images they want, or submit photos to help a person or group who created a list. Every image is uploaded to the archive with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) licence, allowing anyone to use the images so long as they give proper credit to the author.

Our initial build was supported with a prototype grant from the Knight Foundation, which gave us the resources we needed to build a proof of concept. We built a team – from Creative Commons, our technical lead Matt Lee and senior counsel, Sarah Pearson – and Alexandra Bain and the team at Toronto agency Playground. We learned a lot in that process, and have shipped regular releases since then. It’s really starting to look great. We are now working to scope a consumer MVP (minimum viable product – the simplest version of the app that still meets all the core user needs) and to raise funds to bring the app to everyday users as well.

As Clive Thompson wrote in Wired, “only you can overthrow the tyranny of stock photos”. The commons is a collective creation, and we see the opportunity to create a dynamic and vibrant pool of available images from people who want to share – and to directly connect photographers and those who want images they can build upon. In the article, Thompson encouraged us to share our images with CC licenses. That will get us part of the way – but we need to be able to ask for what we want, and help users submit what’s needed. And the process needs to be engaging, fun, and rewarding.

When I read Thompson’s article, I was inspired to create The List. We see opportunities to use The List to enhance the content on platforms like Wikipedia, to share images for open journalism, to collaborate to build open textbooks, or to document observations in citizen science. And we know that users will come up with many more ideas of their own.

Why should CC build a mobile app? There are a few answers to that question:

  1. Most importantly, we believe there’s a need for the app, and that it will give value to those who use it, and those who use the images.
  2. Making it easier to contribute to the commons is one of our strategic goals, not only because it creates a better archive of resources to use and re-use, but also because each contribution deepens the investment and value of the commons. It grows the movement.
  3. We see an opportunity to pilot new approaches to CC, including one-click attribution, embedded licensing, content analytics, and more.
  4. The web is going mobile, and CC has to understand how that will impact what we do. Building on the platform is one great way to work through the issues and challenges, while supporting our partner platforms who are asking us for advice on issues they’re facing, like attribution on mobile.

We’re very grateful for the early support we received from Knight, and we’re optimistic that we can raise the funds necessary to develop the app and bring it to a mainstream audience. For now, I encourage you to try the latest build on your Android phone or tablet, give us your feedback ideas and suggestions, or even contribute some code.

New affiliate chapters in Latin America

Creativecommons.org -

We are glad to announce that during the last months the Latin American affiliates have 3 new affiliate chapters in the Creative Commons family. The CC teams of El Salvador, Paraguay and Uruguay signed their MoUs and are now officially in.

In El Salvador the affiliate institution is AccesArte, a NGO that seeks to promote the role of culture in the process of human development. The team is supported also by other NGOs related to culture, technology and education and by several individuals from cultural and technological background, lawyers, librarians and many others that share their interest in the access to knowledge and free culture ideas. The new public leaders are Claudia Cristiani -she works preserving cultural heritage and is the Director at AccesArte- and Evelyn Del Pinal, long time free culture advocate and one of the people responsible for Wiki Loves Monuments in El Salvador.

In Paraguay the CC affiliate institution is TEDIC, a multidisciplinary non-profit organization that brings together lawyers, journalists, political specialists, sociologists, Web developers and graphic designers. The organization aims to promote civic initiatives in education, communications, technology, development and research. CC Paraguay leaders are Maricarmen Sequera, Luis Alonzo Fulchi and Cilia Romero.

The working group of CC Uruguay began working to form the Uruguayan chapter in early 2013. The multidisciplinary team includes artists, educators, librarians, sociologists, cultural managers, programmers and lawyers. The team members have been heavily involved with the communities of authors, with cultural and educational institutions and also with government (Ministeries, Parliament) in order to promote the use of free licenses, copyright reform, open educational resources, the socialization of common cultural heritage and the digitization of public domain. The team is supported by a large group of volunteers and by the Uruguayan Librarians Association (Asociación de Bibliotecólogos del Uruguay), which was established as the affiliate institution in late 2014.

Update on ‘PLOS Science Wednesday’ redditscience AMA series, upcoming featured PLOS authors

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After seven PLOS Science Wednesday “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) sessions on redditscience, we’re pleased to report that this pilot PLOS science communication vehicle has received a robust community response while raising the visibility of PLOS authors and bringing more readers to their research articles.

Participating PLOS authors have uniformly offered feedback on the high caliber of questions and comments posed during their AMAs. They also say they’ve had a great deal of fun doing them, while expressing some amazement at the sheer numbers involved in the conversations. Upon hearing of the 74,000 page views for his May 13 AMA, computer scientist (PLOS Computational Biology author) Jeff Clune sent this message: “Wow… Normally when I give a talk it is to 20-80 people…at a conference perhaps a few hundred. The internet certainly changes the scale of things!”

More good news comes with efforts by the broader PLOS author community to pitch in. Given the impossibility of one author or team answering the 200+ questions typically posed by /r/science members in any given AMA, it’s extremely helpful when other researchers in the same field help out by answering one or more questions during the course of the AMA. Here, for example, is PLOS Computational Biology author Marcel Salathe tweeting his response to an AMA question on the June 3 PLOS Currents AMA dealing with measles and vaccines.

Given this high level of researcher engagement, PLOS sees these author AMAs as enhancements to the journal articles on which they are based. They also function as in-depth archived community discussions on important and timely science topics, which are available in perpetuity on the redditscience subthread for all to read and re-purpose. On PLOS journal sites, each PLOS Science Wednesday AMA transcript is linked to the “Related Content” tabs at the top of their respective PLOS articles. We encourage other health and science communicators to take and reuse this content in whatever ways may assist your purposes.

To date, the PLOS Science Wednesday series on redditscience has received over 500,000 total page views and some 1500 comments/questions! Keep them coming!

Upcoming PLOS r/science AMAs:

Jun 10: Timothy Brown — Color As a Signal for Entraining the Mammalian Circadian Clock (University of Manchester; researcher, intersection between biological rhythms and visual processing). Read the PLOS Biology article.

Jun 17: Manica Balasegaram of the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Access Campaign and Bernard Pécoul of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative — After the G7 Summit, Prospects for a Global Health R&D Fund to fight Ebola, Antibiotic Resistance & Neglected Diseases. Read the PLOS Medicine article.

Also coming up, don’t miss a special PLOS Science Wednesday AMA with climate scientist James Hansen, to coincide with the 2015 Ecological Society of America Conference (Aug 9-14). Dr. Hansen will discuss research conducted since his influential 2013 PLOS ONE article  and general developments in climate change science – this AMA takes place on August 12th, 1 pm ET.

Archived AMAs:

  • Assessing Measles Transmission in the United States Following a Large Outbreak in California – Seth Blumberg (physician/scientist at UCSF) and Jennifer Zipprich (CA state epidemiologist) 6/3/15 AMA archive; PLOS Currents Outbreaks article

 

  • Why Publishing Everything Is More Effective than Selective Publishing of Statistically Significant Results – Jelte M. Wicherts – 5/27/15 AMA archive; PLOS ONE article

 

  • The Extent and Consequences of P-Hacking in Science – Megan Head – 5/20/15 AMA archive PLOS Biology article

 

  • Creating Computational Brain Models for Artificial Intelligence – Jeff Clune, Kai Olav Ellefsen, Jean-Baptiste Mouret – 5/13/15 AMA archive; PLOS Computational Biology article; video summary

 

  • Aquilops, the Smallest, Oldest Horned Dinosaur – Andrew Farke – 5/6/15 AMA archive; PLOS ONE article; author’s introductory PLOS Blogs post and the team story behind this paper

 

  • Open Labware: 3-D Printing Your Own Lab Equipment – Tom Baden and Andre Maia Chagas – 4/29/15 AMA archive; PLOS Biology article

 

  • Open Data Exchange Between Cancer Researchers – Andrew Beck – 4/22/15 AMA archive; PLOS Medicine article

More why and how PLOS Science Wednesday /r/science AMAs:

PLOS Science Wednesday is a weekly science communication series featuring live, direct chats with PLOS authors on redditscience (/r/science), the popular online gathering place for researchers, students and others interested in science which has over 8 million registered members.

The series provides a forum for PLOS authors to communicate their work and interact directly with fellow researchers and the public.

Questions may be posted ahead of and during the AMA and the authors answer on Wed 1–2pm ET. Archives are available for later reading, re-mixing or reuse. Please use the hashtag #PLOSredditAMA when discussing this series on Twitter. You can also download and use the reddit AMA app.

Future AMAs will be posted to this page and announced on Twitter. Featured authors are selected by PLOS editors; PLOS authors or Academic Editors may nominate a PLOS article for this series by emailing plosreddit@plos.org with the article URL, author(s) and a lay summary (50-100 words) of the research.

You may also be interested in…

About:

reddit is one of the web’s oldest and largest open source communities, where registered members post links, comment and rate posted items in a wide variety of subject areas. As of March 2015, reddit received more than 6.6 billion page views and 151 million unique visitors. /r/science is a lively 8 million member “subreddit” within reddit. Each subreddit is independent and moderated by a team of volunteers.

As a nonprofit, Open Access publisher with a mission to lead a transformation in scientific communication, PLOS continuously seeks innovative ways to disseminate research and advance science. Initiatives such as PLOS Science Wednesday on redditscience reflect our commitment to expand the impact of research beyond publication, and enable broader community inclusion for commenting and review.

We encourage you to leave your thoughts on PLOS Science Wednesday AMAs and related issues in the comments below.

 

The post Update on ‘PLOS Science Wednesday’ redditscience AMA series, upcoming featured PLOS authors appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.

Creative Commons France experiments with Ascribe to support copyleft through the Blockchain

Creativecommons.org -

Guestpost by Primavera De Filippi (CC France)

Creative Commons France inaugurated the launch of the new website with a new tool that unlocks the value of the bitcoin blockchain for the benefit of the Free Culture movement. Ascribe enables creators to share their CC-licensed work without worry of loss of attribution.

Over ten years ago, Creative Commons revolutionized online artistic practices via licenses that promote attribution, free reproduction and dissemination of content, rather than focusing on scarcity and exclusivity. Today, hundreds of millions of works are licensed under these licenses.

Ascribe started in 2014 to help creators secure their intellectual property, with the help of the blockchain. It works with any type of licenses, including the Creative Commons licenses. Creators can ascribe CC-licensed works to the blockchain with the following simple process:

  • Go to cc.ascribe.io
  • Upload the work and enter all relevant metadata: title, author and year
  • Choose your CC license; and click “register”
  • The service will register and time-stamp the file on the blockchain — along with the terms and conditions of the selected license— and store it securely on a decentralized datastore. works for documents, images, text, and more – basically any digital file. This is possible because the time-stamping step (“hashing”) is independent of the file format.

    Creators can then benefit from the following advantages:

  • Secure attribution and simple verification: by registering the work on the blockchain, creators can easily communicate (and prove) the paternity of their works, as well as the terms and conditions under which they have been released.
  • Better accessibility: the works registered on the Ascribe platform will be stored in a peer-to-peer network (similar to BitTorrent) in a secure and decentralized manner.
  • Tracking usages:creators will obtain a unique ID for every work registered on the blockchain. The ID is actually an address on the blockchain which allows for people to track all usage of the work on blockchain explorers.
  • Share works easily: a single public url is created for each work, with the public address of the work, a link to download the work, the terms and conditions of the CC license, and all relevant metadata (title, creator, year)
  • Trent McConaghy, co-founder and CTO of Ascribe:

    “We love Creative Commons. The organisation has been a driving force to promote the dissemination of knowledge and content on the internet for over than a decade. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with Creative Commons France, to help new authors and artists discover the new opportunities provided by blockchain technologies. This is just the start of what we hope will be a fruitful long-term relationship, to the benefit of the Free Culture movement worldwide.”

    Image credits: Harm van den Dorpel “OVERDRAWN INHERITANCE”, available under a CC BY-NC-ND license on https://cc.ascribe.io/piece/1JxsjgVpfRcV54DRmAzpnjPQEdQME6qX7b/

    Post uploaded by Gwen Franck, Regional Coordinator Europe.

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