Internasjonale nyheter

PLOS Publication Costs Update

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Open Access scientific publishing makes scholarship available globally and relieves scholarly institutions from the overwhelming burden of commercial subscription fees. Because of this proven success, institutions, funders, foundations and government agencies dedicate significant resources to encourage authors to publish in Open Access journals.

For the past six years, PLOS has absorbed increasing publishing costs without raising author fees. At the same time, PLOS invests resources to improve the quality of PLOS ONE output, thoroughly checking for ethics, competing interests and robust science. As a result, readers can be confident that research published in PLOS ONE is scientifically rigorous and reflects thorough peer review. In addition, PLOS invests millions of dollars in research and development to increase the efficiency, transparency and speed of scholarly communication for all its journals. The center of this investment is the platform ApertaTM, a new submission system currently under development that aspires to substantially improve the publishing experience for authors, reviewers, editors and readers.

To support these endeavors, the Article Processing Charge (APC) for PLOS ONE authors will increase to $1,495 as of October 1, 2015 (effective 10:00 AM PDT). This is the first increase in the PLOS ONE APC since 2009.

PLOS ONE promotes a broad global reach designed to amplify the journal and individual article awareness. Currently, PLOS ONE journal articles garner more than 1.9 million article downloads per month.

PLOS remains committed to ensuring that lack of funds not be a barrier to Open Access publication by providing support to authors with financial need. Periodically, PLOS adjusts the criteria for its financial assistance programs to better reflect demand and the global economy and as of October 1, 2015 (effective 10:00 AM PDT) will utilize the HINARI standard for the Global Participation Initiative. The Publication Fee Assistance program remains unchanged.

The post PLOS Publication Costs Update appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.

Momentum for Article-Level Metrics: New Uses

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Reproduced here from the original June 11, 2014 PLOS Newsroom post

The visibility of a research article extends beyond the journal in which it appears, and today includes press coverage, discussion forums, social networks, blog posts, post-publication reference managers and downloads. To best represent the visibility and influence of individual articles, the scientific community is turning toward article-level metrics, which in the broadest sense are metrics that apply at the article level rather than the journal level. The field has rapidly expanded, and in addition to the more academic tracking related to citation and downloads, there is now the ability to track the more social aspects of how articles are used, shared and discussed whether via CiteULike, Facebook or Twitter. Article-level metrics provide granular information on how individual articles are used.

Article-level metrics in practice currently come in two flavors: ALMs and altmetrics. ALMs refer to the suite of metrics, from social to academic, with a focus on academic tracking and altmetrics refers to the suite of metrics, from social to academic, with a focus on social tracking. Authors, publishers, funders and patients turn to one or another, or both, depending on need. PLOS ALMs provide metrics across a suite of sources that includes HTML, XML, and PDF downloads, PubMed Central use, Scopus, Web of Science and CrossRef citations, CituULike and Mendeley reference management services, and Nature Blogs, and social media platforms Twitter and Facebook.

Authors Engage

Researchers use article-level metrics not only for their own interest in tracking an article’s distribution and use but also to showcase the influence of their work in tenure and promotion packages. When scientist Steve Pettifer at the University of Manchester, UK, applied for promotion in 2013 he incorporated article-level metrics, rather than just citations or downloads, into his promotion package to best showcase the influence of his 2008 PLOS Computational Biology review article, one of the most viewed and downloaded reviews to be published in any PLOS journal. Although it’s not possible to know if the metrics helped him get the promotion, “I’m definitely a convert,” he says, according to his interview in Nature. For Emilio Bruna, professor, Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, University of Florida, active use of Impactstory metrics was a positive experience. “I included Impactstory data in my portfolios for promotion to full professor and selection to UF’s Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars,” he says. Both applications were successful.

ALMs are an “intuitive way for non-scientists to understand the relevance and interest of seemingly esoteric research,” says Andrew Farke, expert in dinosaur evolution and Augustyn Family Curator of Paleontology in Claremont, California. For a privately funded researcher “metrics can be helpful to show supporters of our research program the impact that is made by their contributions,” he says. ALMs benefit readers of scientific literature at all levels by helping to guide them to the most important and influential work among the overwhelming amount of scientific literature published today, both in Open Access and subscription journals. Those leveraging ALMs and the inherent post-publication filtering of articles include Graham Steel, Patient Advocate and Open Access proponent. “ALM’s are a valuable tool that we now have,” he says. “I prioritize my reading in part based on ALMs.”

Publishers Respond

PLOS was one of the earliest publishers to offer ALMs on all articles. As authors increasingly want to track the influence of their work and use article-level metrics, additional publishers have responded. Open Access publishers BioMed Central, PeerJ, Copernicus Publications, Frontiers, eLife and the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) all publish metrics with their articles. Journals published with the PKP’s Open Journal System often operate independently, with “few resources and in developing regions,” says Juan Pablo Alperin, Researcher with the PKP and PhD candidate in Education, Stanford University. Article-level metrics not only help authors better track their impact but also “help authors better understand their audiences,” he says.

Article-level metrics are not just for Open Access journals. Subscription-based publishers see the value in them as well. Springer publishes more than 2,200 journals, approximately 325 of them Open Access. The company “is changing from a sole focus on the journal impact factor to providing multiple metrics” to authors and editors, says Martijn Roelandse, Publishing Editor, Neurosciences, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. Springer’s ALMs include CrossRef to measure citations and its own download statistics to track use. The growing list of subscription publishers that provide article-level metrics includes The Rockefeller University Press, Cell Press, Nature Publishing Group and John Wiley & Sons.

Publishers are joining forces, as well, to innovate and leverage their individual ALM experiences. As of June 2014, CrossRef Labs, a project of CrossRef and PLOS, has indexed 748,254 articles with PLOS’ ALM application, available through an open API, for the purpose of improving technical aspects prior to industry-wide scale up of ALM use. PLOS was a pioneer in the development of ALM applications, and as a strong advocate of Open Access encourages others to develop additional tools through the shared API.

Funders and Institutions Determine Value

Joining publishers in the shift away from use of journal-based metrics as a surrogate measure of individual research article quality and impact are funders and institutions. The momentum of this shift is seen in the large increase of signatories to the Declaration of Research Assessment (DORA) statement, originally drafted by publishers and editors of scholarly journals in December 2012. As of June 2014, 18 months since inception, the declaration has 10,668 individual and 467 organizational signatories around the globe, increases of nearly 6,800 and 470 percent, respectively. DORA signatories acknowledge that improvements in research assessment, including article-level metrics, are critical to “increase the momentum toward more sophisticated and meaningful approaches” to evaluate research. Institutional funders of the statement include US-based Howard Hughes Medical Institute, UK-based National Health and Medical Research Council and France-based INSERM.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation believes that traditional metrics such as citation count “do not adequately capture the impact of research,” says Vicki Chandler, Chief Program Officer, Science, of the Moore Foundation. “ALMs are part of a growing set of scholarly output measures that we are paying attention to.” Funders turn to ALMs on a case-by-case basis for a more comprehensive understanding of how their grant funds influence research, promotions, education and policy, to satisfy government requirements to make research outcomes more transparent, and to monitor the broader impact of the grants they distribute. In the UK, The Research Excellence Framework, a system for assessing research quality in UK higher education institutions that has influence over funding decisions, allows scientists to use altmetrics to demonstrate the social impact of their research in their reports. The Wellcome Trust specifically states in its Open Access Policy that “it is the intrinsic merit of the work,” rather than the particular journal the work appears in, that should be considered in funding decisions. ALMs, in part, help establish this intrinsic merit.

Progress in ALM adoption is also taking place at research institutions. The University of Pittsburgh uses the dashboard of ALM aggregator PlumX to display the impact of researchers from a cross-section of departments throughout the university, facilitating total institute and departmental metrics. The university is working to increase use and practical application of ALMs through lunch and learn trainings, with one recent seminar focused on “Using Altmetrics to Demonstrate Scholarly Impact.” Trainings include “toolbox tips” on best practices for library colleagues to use with the broader University of Pittsburgh community. Practices such as this propel use of ALMs forward.

Businesses Invest and Organizations Collaborate

Article-level metrics make good business too. Digital Science, launched by MacMillan Publishers, became an investor in the startup in 2012. The growing list of organizations and companies outside the publishing industry that incorporate ALMs in their business offerings include Mendeley, CrossRef and Impactstory. Since August 2013, Impactstory has more than doubled its user base, says Stacy Konkiel, Director of Marketing & Research. Most recently, commercial publishing firm EBSCO Information Services acquired Plum Analytics in January 2014 for its PlumX database that aggregates altmetrics.

Industry collaborations on article-level metrics, promoted by interest in ALMs, are moving forward to improve technical and practical usability standards. Efforts such as NISO’s Alternative Assessment Metrics Initiative and CrossRef Labs’ pilot with PLOS ALMs indicate that standard organizations are working together to explore, identify, and advance metrics standards and best practices. The annual PLOS ALM conferences, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, are growing in number of attendees, diversity of organizations represented and overall popularity. In 2013, 86 participants attended the PLOS ALM Workshop, up 72 percent from the 50 attendees in 2012, representing the research, publishing, funding and technology industries in Europe, Canada, and the United States. New to the conference in 2013 was Annual Reviews, which each year publishes 46 extensive review volumes focused on disciplines within the Biomedical, Life, Physical, Social Sciences and Economics. As for 2012 and 2013, PLOS will organize the 2014 ALM Workshop planned for December 4-5 2014. A parallel event in London this year is also in the works.

Patient Communities Become Users

Even the patient community wants to understand ALMs and how they might benefit from their use. In 2012 the Health Research Alliance (HRA), a national consortium that now numbers 57 private foundations and public charities that fund biomedical research, sent a representative to the meeting in order to understand ALMs “as a tool to help assess the career progress of funded investigators,” as an “indicator of progress toward a treatment goal” and even for donor cultivation purposes, says Kate Ahlport, Executive Director of HRA. Patient organizations and disease foundations such as Autism Speaks attended the 2013 ALM conference as did the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, PCORI, an organization mandated by President Obama’s Affordable Care Act with a focus on improving healthcare delivery and outcomes.

Harnessing Momentum

The peer-reviewed research paper remains a central research output that informs research assessment. Those currently using article-level metrics have the opportunity to track the impact and use of their work post-publication and also to promote, post-publication, the visibility of their work within the research community and beyond to the larger public. The challenge for ALM developers is to convert passive observers to active users. Efforts underway to increase and improve practical use of ALMs ultimately will increase the benefit to, and use by, those putting in the hard work to generate the manuscripts. These examples show how article-level metrics help paint the evolving picture of a published work over time. The suite of metrics, from social to academic, provides a comprehensive assessment of an article’s influence, both immediate and over time. Those who embrace the use of these metrics have a deeper understanding of the impact and influence of individual scholarly works. As ALM tools improve, greater adoption and practical use are certain to follow.

The post Momentum for Article-Level Metrics: New Uses appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.

Congrats to EFF and the dancing baby -


There are plenty of examples to depict our broken copyright system, but the “dancing baby” case is one of the most notorious. That’s the one where Universal Music used the DMCA to take down a 29-second YouTube video of an adorable baby dancing to “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince. Putting aside the legal questions, it is unclear what motivated Universal Music to go after this home movie where the Prince song was almost indecipherable. It’s impossible to imagine people were using the short video as a substitute for buying Prince albums, and of course, it’s impossible to imagine this sort of enforcement would help the troubled record industry earn goodwill from the public. But sadly, this is (or at least was) the state of copyright.

Most DMCA takedowns result in quiet removals of content, but this one resulted in 8 years of litigation that continues to this day. The mother of the dancing baby, Stephanie Lenz, teamed up with EFF and fought back. They sued Universal Music for violating Section 512(f) of the DMCA by misrepresenting their claim in the takedown notification. The fight continues, but the good news is this week the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion that affirmed some of the key principles at stake in the case.

Specifically, the panel of circuit judges held that copyright holders have to consider fair use before sending a DMCA takedown notification. The court also definitively explained something most of us already knew – fair use is authorized by law. It’s not simply an excuse for infringement or even an affirmative defense. It is outside the scope of copyright.

The decision wasn’t perfect. It went on to state that if copyright holders like Universal fail to consider fair use before sending a takedown, it just creates a question of fact for the jury to decide whether the rights holder had a good faith belief that the claim was valid. The court also made a somewhat confusing reference to copyright holders who use automated systems to determine what content to have taken down, stating that doing so was a reasonable solution but not explaining how that would possibly account for fair use.

Nonetheless, the key takeaway from the case was a win for fair use. It confirmed that exceptions and limitations to copyright are affirmative rights, and it created a mechanism to help deter sham DMCA takedowns. Given how easy it is to have content removed using the DMCA, it is increasingly the tool of choice for anyone looking to have content removed online, whether or not they have a valid copyright claim. This case should help deter at least the most blatant bad actors from misusing the statute in this way.

Perhaps the case also symbolizes a larger shift in how rights holders view reuse of their content. Not every use of copyrighted content is infringing, and not every use is a threat.

U.S. Secretary of Education highlights Schools using OER to #GoOpen -

Williamsfield video by U.S. Department of Education is licensed CC BY

I’m pleased to announce two important updates from the U.S. Department of Education!

#1: Williamsfield Community Unified School District embraces OER

Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Williamsfield Community Unified School District in Illinois to highlight the progress the rural school district has made in shifting to digital and open educational resources (OER) to connect their students to the world. “The walls break down,” Zack Binder, the Pre K-12 Principal said. “You’re no longer in Williamsfield, Illinois. You have the same access to this information that anyone in the world does.”

Over the past two years, the 310-student district decided to adapt and adopt OER (e.g., EngageNY) rather than procuring new commercial textbooks for students, and direct those savings towards new devices for students.

“We worked to start leveraging open education resources in May of 2013. It coincided with a decision to purchase—or not purchase—a math textbook series. We decided to leverage OER and invest the money that was allocated for textbooks into technology and technological infrastructure,” said Williamsfield Superintendent Tim Farquer.

While this move saved money, and allowed the district to buy tablets and laptops for students and teachers, it was mostly about using Creative Commons (CC) licensed educational resources to make the content better – it helped change the classroom by empowering teachers and students to customize learning resources for students.

“The biggest transition for me, from what it was like before to what it is like now, is that kids can do things that they’re interested in, instead of having one prescribed way to do things that comes from a textbook,” said Lori Secrist, a district science teacher.

The newly formed K12 OER Collaborative, an initiative led by a group of 12 U.S. states, has similar goals and is in the process of creating comprehensive, high-quality, OER-supported K–12 mathematics and English language arts that are aligned with state learning standards.

If you’d like to replicate this in your school district, see the CC-USA FAQ on OER in Williamsfield.

#2: U.S. Dept of Ed hires its first full-time OER leader

Secretary Duncan announced today the hiring of the Department’s first full-time OER position to lead a national effort to expand schools’ access to high-quality, openly-licensed learning resources and help districts and states follow the path of Williamsfield. Andrew Marcinek will serve in the Department’s Office of Educational Technology (OET) as the first “Advisor for Open Education.”

“Creating a dedicated open education advisor position at the Department will greatly enhance our ability to support states and districts as they move to using openly licensed learning resources,” said Richard Culatta, Director of the OET. “The use of openly-licensed resources not only allows states and districts to adapt and modify materials to meet student needs, but also frees up funding to support the transition to digital learning.”

The availability of low-cost, high-quality learning resources in U.S. K12 public schools is a priority for President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative.

These exciting moves are part of the growing momentum within the Obama Administration to support OER and open access to publicly funded resources. Last month Creative Commons and 100 other organizations signed a letter calling on the White House to ensure that educational materials created with federal funds are openly licensed and released to the public as OER. Creative Commons looks forward to working closely with the Department’s new Open Education Advisor and will continue working with our partners to advance OER and open licensing policy in the U.S. Government, and around the world with the members of the Open Policy Network and the CC Affiliate Network.

Join the conversation on social media with @creativecommons using hashtags #ReadyforSuccess / #GoOpen / #OER

Related press / blog posts:

2014-2015 PLOS Progress Update Available

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Each year PLOS releases a Progress Update, an annual overview of innovations, activities and journal highlights that provide insight into how the organization is moving scientific communication and discovery forward.

This year topics include:
• Transparent and Continual Assessment Advances Science
• One PLOS Many Communities
• Metrics Enhancements Improve Assessment
• Standards Enable Reproducibility
• Resources Foster Early Career Researchers
• Open Access Advances Science
• Curated Content Accelerates Discovery
• Journal Highlights

Today’s scientific communication landscape is rapidly evolving. Advances in technologies offer opportunities to alter the way people work, communicate and share knowledge, with the global community accessing scientific content and exchanging information and ideas faster and in more diverse places than ever before. In addition, governments and funders are releasing policies that mandate the research they fund be published Open Access, setting the stage for the acceleration of scientific discovery and innovation.

But challenges remain. Scientific communication is far from its ideal and PLOS is striving to establish new standards and expectations for scholarly communication. These include a faster and more efficient publication experience, more transparent peer review, assessment though the lifetime of a work, better recognition of the range of contributions made by collaborators and placing researchers and their communities back at the center of scientific communication.

To learn more about the organization’s efforts on continual assessment, communities and journal highlights, access the 2014-2015 PLOS Progress Update.

The post 2014-2015 PLOS Progress Update Available appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.

CC Global Summit Program Schedule -

We’re happy to present the draft program schedule for the 2015 Creative Commons Global Summit in Seoul. In addition to the keynotes, the program contains a diverse selection of sessions ranging from open business models, 3D printing and design, open education, CC technology, copyright reform advocacy, open access, and community cooperation. The summit includes Creative Commons partners from around the world, and will incorporate sister organizations such as EFF and companies like Shapeways and 500px. The program highlights several Korean organizations and projects in the creative industries and open data sector. Art Centre Nabi, a major art gallery in Korea, is preparing a special exhibition related to CC to celebrate the Global Summit.

We received over 130 session proposals, and our programming committee (comprised of the CC Korea team and other CC affiliates, staff, and board) worked to incorporate as many program ideas as possible considering the time and space constraints. The summit will be held at the National Museum of Korea and adjacent National Hangeul Museum on the 15th and 16th October and at the Content Korea Lab on the 17th. We are grateful to our lead sponsor Private Internet Access and all our sponsors for their meaningful support of this year’s summit.

The program is still subject to change. Also, it’s not too late to register for the summit. Join us for what looks to be a fantastic event.

Announcing the PLOS Early Career Travel Award Recipients

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Experience in presenting research findings and participating in the scientific dialogue are important aspects to the professional development of researchers early in their careers. In support of their growth as effective communicators, PLOS is pleased to announce the recipients of the PLOS Early Career Travel Award.

“I want to personally thank all of the applicants who shared their thoughts and provided insight into issues facing early career researchers,” says Véronique Kiermer, Executive Editor of PLOS. “It’s clear from the number and quality of applications that improving opportunity to engage in the scientific dialogue is an important topic for ECRs. We are gratified that the recipients of this award will be able to share their research with a larger audience.”

The Program was open to ECRs currently enrolled in a graduate program or within five years of receiving a graduate degree whose work was accepted for presentation at a scientific conference. Over the course of two months, PLOS received more than 400 applications, which invited answers to the following questions:

• What is the biggest hindrance to you as an early career researcher in communicating science?
• What should be done to fix this?
• What could you actively do as an early career researcher to address this?

Congratulations to the ten recipients of the PLOS Early Career Travel Award Program:

Alienor Chauvenet
The University of Queensland

Abigail Hatcher
University of the Witwatersrand

Denice Higgins
The University of Adelaide

Rémi Louf
Institut de Physique Théorique, CEA Saclay

Akinola Stephen Oluwole
Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta

Thomas Pfeffer
University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf

Ellen Quillen
Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Carrie Shaffer
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Uttam Babu Shrestha
University of Southern Queensland

Jonathan Tennant
Imperial College London

If you are interested in notifications about the PLOS Early Career Travel Award Program and other updates, please sign up for the PLOS email list.

You may also be interested in…
PLOS journals — find out which PLOS journal is the best fit for your research

The PLOS Blogs Network:

SciComm — an open forum for opinion and discussion on the art and science of science communication
The Student Blog — a forum for the next generation of scientists and science writers to foster skills while connecting with colleagues and PLOS authors

The post Announcing the PLOS Early Career Travel Award Recipients appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.

Our Kickstarter was a huge success, thanks to all of you! -

We are thrilled to announce that 1,687 people backed our Kickstarter campaign, which successfully raised $65,420 – over 130% of our funding goal. We’re told by Kickstarter that Creative Commons is now among the top 5% of publishing projects in the history of the crowdfunding platform. All thanks to you, our supporters!

What’s next?! Email us ( to nominate companies or creators who we should profile in our book and see our work in progress by following the project on Medium.

Thanks for sharing!

CC Global Summit Logo Winner -



Congratulations to Naresh Agrawal, the winner of the Creative Commons Global Summit logo competition. Naresh said, “I found the work of your organization inspiring and thought that it would be great to be a part of your journey.” We received nearly 50 logo submissions. Thanks so much to everyone who entered the contest, and to the hundreds of voters!

The programming committee is hard at work reviewing the proposed sessions for the summit. Registration is open, so sign up to join us in Seoul 14-17 October. Early bird registration ends this Sunday, 23 August.

On repositories from an international perspective

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Last week for two days, Centrum Cyfrowe was happy to host a unique group of representatives of organizations holding or preparing to hold repositories of open educational resources. Our goal was to gather in one place both those with extensive experience in the area and those who could profit from it, and we were joined by guests from Norway, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic and Romania.

How they do it in Norway

A comparison of two large projects from Norway and Belgium was definitely the highlight of the two days. Norwegian Digital Learning Area (NDLA) is an organization that keeps a repository funded with government grants for school digitization, the money transferred annually to local governments. Each of them spends 20% of the subsidy for the platform and the remaining 80% to buy necessary school equipment and traditional learning aids, including textbooks. The NDLA platform is designed for high school teachers and students and contains fully free and open electronic study materials for over 50 subjects. The Norwegian model relies on procuring high quality educational resources on the market (about 60% of the budget is spent on materials created by selected teachers and professional authors of educational resources) and includes buying also the rights to existing commercial works (such as The Hobbit movie). The users themselves can create and share their own resources as well. According to NDLA, 98% of teachers in Norway know about the platform, and over 60% use it (while 50% declare to use it frequently). 

How much does it cost? About EUR 8 million annually, in other words, EUR 40 per student per year grants access to a database with 30 million weekly hits, 100 million page views and 2 million users. Its resources are enough to fill 3 million teaching hours. NDLA has a kind of “competition”, too: educational publishers have set up two big platforms with resources that can nonetheless be used only by those students and teachers who have paid for access. What’s more, Norwegian publishers, although initially skeptical about the initiative to create a platform financed with public money are now more than pleased with the outcome: not only do they scoop large parts of the NDLA budget as contractors, they also use the free materials posted on it to create their own, commercial, paid resources.

What is perhaps most interesting, however, is the fact that around the time when the idea of the platform was taking shape, the Norwegian educational system was at a stage similar to ours: before the repository has been built, Norway had a strong, consolidated market of educational publishers, strong teachers unions, a lot of good textbooks, and its educational policy lacked clearly defined goals. Then came the reform introducing a unified core curriculum, subsidies for textbooks and the programs for school digitization. Sounds familiar? The difference between Norway and Poland is that the Norwegians managed to think long-term about the creation of open resources and were able to inspire and motivate the local authorities to co-finance this strategy (without giving up on supporting the schools’ efforts to build IT infrastructure.)

Meanwhile, we have seen so far several dispersed projects without a long-term plan for content acquisition, nor for maintaining and motivating users to use the repositories. Scholaris, for instance, despite a robust and continuous funding, has for years been unable to work out a coherent model for involving teachers in the creation of materials and has not become even remotely as popular and commonly used as NDLA. Today, all our hopes lie with the “Digital School” which is soon to unveil an e-book platform. The project’s challenge comes from the fact that in its current form it is an advanced technological solution lacking sufficient support from the administration and a plan to maintain, develop and improve the project in the future.

And how about Belgium?

All of this takes time, as clearly shown by the team responsible for the second, phenomenal (Flemish) repository. KlasCement is a publicly funded platform with free open educational materials and 87.5 thousand users of almost 40 thousand shared resources (such as lesson plans, articles, applications, web pages, computer programs, exercises, photographs and videos). The Flemish platform is gamefied, meaning that upon logging in for the first time users gain 1000 points that they can “spend” on browsing the resources. As they run out of points, the system encourages them to contribute – by commenting, adding a resource or contacting other users. This is how points are “earned”. For the last 15 years the repository has been in the care of a team ensuring the quality of submitted materials and developing strategies for user involvement. All resources are assigned standardized metadata and have their quality and legality checked. Everything is submitted under free licensing. KlasCement has also developed a system allowing to include materials from other organizations: as a result, the database grows continuously, regardless of the size of users’ input.

Towards a public repository

Two countries and two models of publicly funded repositories of open educational materials – both of which, although they may differ in detail, place great emphasis on building a community of teachers centered around the use and creation of open resources, on keeping them involved and interested in the platform, on motivating them to share their materials. Especially KlasCement shows its users that the repository belongs to them and is created by them.

A repository of open educational resources is an idea that has also been on our minds for some time now. This is because we firmly believe in the full openness of publicly funded educational resources and their digitization. We also believe that developing Polish education in this direction will improve the quality of educational materials, stimulate the creativity and potential of our teachers, and increase the student engagement in the educational process. The EU has already set these directions and Poland, too, has taken this course once already, through the “Digital School” programme. What we have to do now is avoid getting too comfortable, learn from the experiences of those who were successful and consistently strive to build modern education.

Next round of CC Global Summit keynotes -

Two weeks ago we announced the initial set of speakers for the Creative Commons Global Summit. Today we’re happy to share two additional keynotes for our event: Soh-Yeong Roh and Kilnam Chon. The summit will take place in Seoul, South Korea from 14-17 October. Be sure to register for the summit–early bird registration ends 23 August!

Soh-Yeong Roh by licensed under CC BY.

Soh-Yeong Roh is the founder and Director of Art Center Nabi in South Korea. She founded the center in 2000, transforming a contemporary art museum into a new media arts center. Nabi brings together art, technology, humanities, and industry, to create new art and cultural artifacts. As the main venue for new media art production in Korea, Nabi promotes cross-disciplinary collaboration and understanding among science technology, humanities, and the arts. Ms. Roh is also a board member of Creative Commons Korea.

Kilnam Chon via ICANNWiki licensed under CC BY-SA.

Kilnam Chon helped the development of the Internet in Asia and the rest of the world and is an outspoken advocate for open systems. In 2012, he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Internet Society’s (ISOC) Internet Hall of Fame. Chon developed the first Internet in Asia called SDN in 1982 and has worked on networking systems since the early 1980s. He founded and is a chair of numerous organisations including the Asia Pacific Networking Group (APNG) and Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN). Recently his research and projects have focused on building institutional and cultural infrastructure for ecological and sustainable Internet and cyber commons.

4.0 Bahasa Indonesia translation – and a book! -

Hot on the heels of the announcement a few weeks ago of new Japanese and Māori translations of our 4.0 licences, we have another new Asia-Pacific translation to celebrate – Bahasa Indonesia. Even more exciting, this time the translation team has gone above and beyond to complete a companion project – a Bahasa Indonesia translation of Open Content – A Practical Guide to Using Creative Commons Licences, creating a local how-to guide to go with the new licence translations.

With approximately 42 million native speakers and about 260 million speakers in total, Bahasa Indonesia is one of the world’s most widely spoken languages. The official translation of 4.0 was undertaken by CC Indonesia’s Alifia Qonita Sudharto, with supervision from Project Director Ari Juliano Gema and assistance from the Wikimedia Indonesia team. The translation process began in January and after a fairly quick and non-controversial drafting and consultation period went live on Wednesday.

The translation was relatively easy and uncomplicated compared to other 4.0 translation efforts. This is partly because of experience gained by the team translating the 3.0 licences, but also because more and more Indonesians are becoming familiar with the content and purpose of the licences. This sped up the drafting process, as everyone began on the same page, making language approval much simpler right from the start. This compares to the 3.0 process, when the debate started with whether “law firm” should be translated as “firma hukum” or “kantor hukum” in the preamble and continued throughout the licence. For 4.0, the team was able to focus on substantial matters such as the decision to translate “Similar Rights” as “Hak-hak Serupa”, rather than “Hak Terkait” which literally translates as “Related Rights”.

The team decided to build upon this growing local knowledge by ensuring there was a good guide for those wanting to take up the licences. Rather than writing their own, they chose to translate an existing resource that already had a strong reputation for being clear and thorough. This led them to Open Content, a joint publication of Wikimedia Deutschland, the German Commission for UNESCO and the North Rhine-Westphalian Library Service Centre. To further help to build local knowledge resources, they have also created a Bahasa Indonesia infographic poster which explains the difference between copyright, patents and trademarks for Indonesians.

Wikimedia Indonesia will proudly host an official launch of the new licence translations and the two new publications at their Jakarta office on 15 August.

Congratulations to the translation team for completing not one but two difficult translations, and for coming up with such an amazing initiative to encourage local understanding and uptake of CC. We can’t wait to see the resulting growth in open resources in Indonesia.

Creative Commons CC 0 – nu på svenska!

CC Sverige -

Vi på Creative Commons har med hjälp av Olle Pettersson äntligen ett första utkast till att få licensen CC 0 till svenska, för att det ska bli på riktigt behöver vi dock era inspel. Det är öppet för att kommentera översättningen ända fram till sista augusti. Antingen kommenterar du i dokumentet här, eller så kommenterar du nedan eller skickar ett mejl till mig Kristina(at)

CC0 1.0 Legal Code Translation Worksheet – Swedish


Note: adapted from CC0 translation worksheet (

Translated page: .


Original Translation Notes about translation challenges Creative Commons (Creative Commons)
Note: do not translate parenthetical (Creative Commons) Universal
Note: please coordinate with other jurisdictions in your language on the translation of this term. Universell Official translations of this legal tool are available in other languages.
Note: this is not legal code. CREATIVE COMMONS CORPORATION ÄR INTE EN JURIDISK BYRÅ ELLER ADVOKATFIRMA OCH TILLHANDAHÅLLER INTE JURIDISKA TJÄNSTER ELLER JURIDISK RÅDGIVNING. TILLHANDAHÅLLANDE AV DETTA DOKUMENT SKAPAR INTE ETT KLIENT-/RÅDGIVARFÖRHÅLLANDE. CREATIVE COMMONS TILLGÄNGLIGGÖR DENNA INFORMATION I BEFINTLIGT SKICK. CREATIVE COMMONS LÄMNAR INGA GARANTIER GÄLLANDE ANVÄNDNING AV DETTA DOKUMENT, TILLHÖRANDE INFORMATION ELLER MATERIAL SOM TILLHANDAHÅLLS NEDAN, OCH FRISKRIVER SIG FRÅN ANSVAR FÖR SKADA SOM UPPSTÅR SOM FÖLJD AV ANVÄNDNING AV DETTA DOKUMENT ELLER INFORMATIONEN ELLER VERK SOM TILLHANDAHÅLLS NEDAN. Statement of Purpose Avsiktsförklaring The laws of most jurisdictions throughout the world automatically confer exclusive Copyright and Related Rights (defined below) upon the creator and subsequent owner(s) (each and all, an ”owner”) of an original work of authorship and/or a database (each, a ”Work”). Lagstiftningen i de flesta länder i världen ger automatiskt exklusiv upphovsrätt och Relaterade Rättigheter (definieras nedan) till skaparen och efterföljande ägare (var och en, en ”rättighetshavare”) av ett originellt litterärt eller konstnärligt verk och/eller en databas (”Verk”). Certain owners wish to permanently relinquish those rights to a Work for the purpose of contributing to a commons of creative, cultural and scientific works (”Commons”) that the public can reliably and without fear of later claims of infringement build upon, modify, incorporate in other works, reuse and redistribute as freely as possible in any form whatsoever and for any purposes, including without limitation commercial purposes. These owners may contribute to the Commons to promote the ideal of a free culture and the further production of creative, cultural and scientific works, or to gain reputation or greater distribution for their Work in part through the use and efforts of others. Vissa rättighetshavare vill permanent avstå från dessa rättigheter till ett Verk i syfte att bidra till en ”commons” bestående av konstnärliga, kulturella och vetenskapliga verk (“Commons”) som allmänheten, på ett tillförlitligt sätt och utan att behöva oroa sig för att det senare ska kunna göras gällande som intrång i upphovsrätt, kan bygga vidare på, modifiera, införliva i andra verk, återanvända och sprida vidare med så stor frihet som möjligt i vilken form som helst till vilket syfte som helst, inklusive men inte begränsat till kommersiella syften. Dessa rättighetshavare kan bidra till Commons för att främja idealet av en fri kultur och det fortsatta skapandet av kreativa, kulturella och vetenskapliga verk, eller för att deras Verk ska bli känt eller få större spridning delvis genom andra människors användning och ansträngning. For these and/or other purposes and motivations, and without any expectation of additional consideration or compensation, the person associating CC0 with a Work (the ”Affirmer”), to the extent that he or she is an owner of Copyright and Related Rights in the Work, voluntarily elects to apply CC0 to the Work and publicly distribute the Work under its terms, with knowledge of his or her Copyright and Related Rights in the Work and the meaning and intended legal effect of CC0 on those rights. Med dessa och/eller andra syften och motiv, och utan några krav på ytterligare ersättning eller kompensation, väljer personen som applicerar CC0 på ett Verk (“Upplåtaren”), i den utsträckning som denne har Upphovsrätt och Relaterade Rättigheter till Verket, frivilligt att applicera CC0 på Verket och offentligt distribuera Verket enligt dess villkor, med kunskap om dennes Upphovsrätt och Relaterade Rättigheter till Verket och meningen med CCO och den rättsliga verkan CC0 är avsedd att ha på dessa rättigheter. 1. Copyright and Related Rights. 1. Upphovsrätt och Relaterade Rättigheter. A Work made available under CC0 may be protected by copyright and related or neighboring rights (”Copyright and Related Rights”). Copyright and Related Rights include, but are not limited to, the following: Ett Verk som gjorts tillgängligt enligt CC0 kan vara skyddat under upphovsrätt och relaterade eller närstående rättigheter (“Upphovsrätt och Närstående Rättigheter”). Upphovsrätt och Relaterade Rättigheter innefattar, men är inte begränsat till, följande: i. the right to reproduce, adapt, distribute, perform, display, communicate, and translate a Work; i. rätten att reproducera, bearbeta, distribuera, framföra, visa, kommunicera, och översätta ett Verk; ii. moral rights retained by the original author(s) and/or performer(s); ii. ideella rättigheter som behålls av upphovspersonen/upphovspersonerna och/eller framföraren/framförarna; iii. publicity and privacy rights pertaining to a person’s image or likeness depicted in a Work; iii. rättigheter avseende namn och bild i reklam och personlig integritet som rör en persons bild eller utseende återgivet i ett Verk (publicity and privacy rights); iv. rights protecting against unfair competition in regards to a Work, subject to the limitations in paragraph 4(a), below; iv. rättigheter till skydd mot illojal konkurrens gällande ett Verk, med förbehåll för begränsningarna i punkt 4 (a), nedan; v. rights protecting the extraction, dissemination, use and reuse of data in a Work; v. rättigheter till skydd mot extrahering, spridning, användning och återanvändning av data i ett Verk; vi. database rights (such as those arising under Directive 96/9/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 1996 on the legal protection of databases, and under any national implementation thereof, including any amended or successor version of such directive); and vi. databasrättigheter (såsom de rättigheter som vid sidan av upphovsrätt följer av Europaparlamentets och rådets direktiv 96/9/EU av den 11 mars 1996 om rättsligt skydd för databaser, så som det är implementerat och/eller förändrat eller ersatt); och vii. other similar, equivalent or corresponding rights throughout the world based on applicable law or treaty, and any national implementations thereof. vii. andra liknande, likvärdiga eller motsvarande rättigheter i världen som grundas på tillämplig lag eller fördrag, och alla nationella implementeringar därav. 2. Waiver. 2. Avståendeförklaring. To the greatest extent permitted by, but not in contravention of, applicable law, Affirmer hereby overtly, fully, permanently, irrevocably and unconditionally waives, abandons, and surrenders all of Affirmer’s Copyright and Related Rights and associated claims and causes of action, whether now known or unknown (including existing as well as future claims and causes of action), in the Work (i) in all territories worldwide, (ii) for the maximum duration provided by applicable law or treaty (including future time extensions), (iii) in any current or future medium and for any number of copies, and (iv) for any purpose whatsoever, including without limitation commercial, advertising or promotional purposes (the ”Waiver”). I den utsträckning som det är möjligt enligt, men som inte strider mot, tillämplig lag, avstår, överger och frånsäger sig härmed Upplåtaren publikt, fullständigt, permanent, oåterkallerligen och ovillkorligen all Upplåtarens Upphovsrätt och Relaterade rättigheter och därmed relaterade anspråk och rätt att vidta rättsliga åtgärder, både nu kända och okända (inklusive existerande såväl som framtida anspråk och rätt att vidta rättsliga åtgärder), när det gäller Verket (i) i samtliga områden världen över, (ii) under den maximala skyddstiden enligt tillämplig lag eller fördrag (inklusive framtida utökningar), (iii) i varje nu existerande och framtida medium oavsett antal kopior, och (iv) för vilket syfte som helst, inklusive men inte begränsat till syften av kommersiell, reklam- och marknadsföringsmässig natur (“Avståendeförklaringen”). Affirmer makes the Waiver for the benefit of each member of the public at large and to the detriment of Affirmer’s heirs and successors, fully intending that such Waiver shall not be subject to revocation, rescission, cancellation, termination, or any other legal or equitable action to disrupt the quiet enjoyment of the Work by the public as contemplated by Affirmer’s express Statement of Purpose. Upplåtaren gör Avståendeförklaringen till förmån för varje medlem av allmänheten och till nackdel för Upplåtarens arvingar, med full avsikt att Avståendeförklaringen inte ska bli föremål för återkallande, rescission, uppsägning, hävning, eller annan rättslig åtgärd eller rättvis handling för att förhindra det ostörda nyttjandet av Verket av allmänheten som avsett i Upplåtarens uttryckliga Avsiktsförklaring. 3. Public License Fallback. 3. Publik Licens. Should any part of the Waiver for any reason be judged legally invalid or ineffective under applicable law, then the Waiver shall be preserved to the maximum extent permitted taking into account Affirmer’s express Statement of Purpose. Om någon del av Avståendeförklaringen av någon anledning skulle sakna rättsliga verkan eller inte uppnå önskad effekt enligt tillämplig lag, ska Avståendeförklaringen fortsätta gälla i största möjliga tänkbara mån med beaktande av Upplåtarens uttryckliga Avsiktsförklaring. In addition, to the extent the Waiver is so judged Affirmer hereby grants to each affected person a royalty-free, non transferable, non sublicensable, non exclusive, irrevocable and unconditional license to exercise Affirmer’s Copyright and Related Rights in the Work (i) in all territories worldwide, (ii) for the maximum duration provided by applicable law or treaty (including future time extensions), (iii) in any current or future medium and for any number of copies, and (iv) for any purpose whatsoever, including without limitation commercial, advertising or promotional purposes (the ”License”). Utöver vad som bedöms förenligt med Avståendeförklaringen, upplåter Upplåtaren till varje berörd person en royalty-fri, icke-överlåtbar, icke-exklusiv, oåterkallerlig och ovillkorlig licens att utöva Upplåtarens Upphovsrätt och Relaterade Rättigheter i Verket (i) i samtliga områden i världen, (ii) under den maximala skyddstiden enligt tillämplig lag eller fördrag (inklusive framtida utökningar), (iii) i varje nu existerande och framtida medium oavsett antal kopior, och (iv) för vilket syfte som helst, inklusive men inte begränsat till syften av kommersiell, reklam- och marknadsföringsmässig natur (“Licensen”). The License shall be deemed effective as of the date CC0 was applied by Affirmer to the Work. Should any part of the License for any reason be judged legally invalid or ineffective under applicable law, such partial invalidity or ineffectiveness shall not invalidate the remainder of the License, and in such case Affirmer hereby affirms that he or she will not (i) exercise any of his or her remaining Copyright and Related Rights in the Work or (ii) assert any associated claims and causes of action with respect to the Work, in either case contrary to Affirmer’s express Statement of Purpose. Licensen ska anses gälla från det datum då CC0 applicerades på Verket av Upplåtaren. Skulle någon del av Licensen av någon anledning sakna rättsliga verkan eller inte uppnå önskad effekt enligt tillämplig lag, ska sådan partiell ogiltighet eller ineffektivitet inte ogiltigförklara resterande del av Licensen, och i sådant fall bekräftar härmed Upplåtaren att denne inte kommer att (i) utöva Upphovsrätt och Relaterade Rättigheter som kvarstår i Verket eller (ii) göra därmed relaterade anspråk och omständigheter för talan gällande avseende Verket, i något av fallen som motsätter sig Upplåtarens uttryckliga Avsiktsförklaring. 4. Limitations and Disclaimers. 4. Begränsningar och friskrivningar. a. No trademark or patent rights held by Affirmer are waived, abandoned, surrendered, licensed or otherwise affected by this document. a. Inga varumärkesrättsliga eller patenträttsliga rättigheter som innehas av Upplåtaren avstås, överges, ges upp eller licensieras eller annars påverkas av detta dokument. b. Affirmer offers the Work as-is and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the Work, express, implied, statutory or otherwise, including without limitation warranties of title, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, non infringement, or the absence of latent or other defects, accuracy, or the present or absence of errors, whether or not discoverable, all to the greatest extent permissible under applicable law. b. Upplåtaren erbjuder Verket i “befintligt skick” och gör inga utfästelser eller ger några garantier gällande Verket, uttryckligen, undersförstått, lagstadgat eller annars, inklusive men inte begränsat till garantier gällande äganderätt, marknadsmässig kvalitet, lämplighet för ett särskild ändamål, att det inte föreligger något intrång, eller frånvaro av dolda eller andra fel, tillförlitlighet, eller förekomsten eller frånvaron av fel, oavsett om de kunnat upptäckas, allt detta i den utsträckning det är möjligt enligt tillämplig lag. c. Affirmer disclaims responsibility for clearing rights of other persons that may apply to the Work or any use thereof, including without limitation any person’s Copyright and Related Rights in the Work. Further, Affirmer disclaims responsibility for obtaining any necessary consents, permissions or other rights required for any use of the Work. c. Upplåtaren friskriver sig från ansvar för att klarera rättigheter med andra personer vars rättigheter kan gälla Verket och all typ av användning därav, inklusive men inte begränsat till annans Upphovsrätt och Relaterade Rättigheter till Verket. Vidare, friskriver Upplåtaren sig från ansvar för att inhämta nödvändig samtycke, tillåtelse eller andra rättigheter som krävs för att använda Verket. d. Affirmer understands and acknowledges that Creative Commons is not a party to this document and has no duty or obligation with respect to this CC0 or use of the Work. d. Upplåtaren är införstådd med och bekräftar att Creative Commons inte är part enligt detta dokument och inte har någon skyldighet eller förpliktelse gällande denna CC0 eller användningen av Verket. Additional languages available: Please read the FAQ for more information about official translations.

Note: this is not legal code. Andra språk tillgängliga: Vänligen läs Frågor och Svar för mer information om officiella översättningar. . Back to Commons Deed

Note: this is not legal code. Tillbaka till CC0-handlingen CC HQ: Same comment as above. The Swedish 4.0 translation uses “Tillbaka till den juridiska överssiktssidan.”

Tusen tack!

Obama administration should require sharing of federally funded educational resources under Creative Commons licenses -

White House by Diego Cambiaso, available under the CC BY-SA license.

Today, Creative Commons and a broad coalition of education, library, technology, public interest, and legal organizations are calling upon the White House to take administrative action to ensure that federally funded educational materials are made available as Open Educational Resources (OER) for the public to freely use, share, and improve.

We ask the administration to adopt a strong Executive branch-wide policy requiring that educational, training, and instructional materials created with federal funds be shared under an open license. Some agencies have already implemented an open licensing policy for the outputs of federal grants, including the $2 billion Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program, jointly administered by the Departments of Labor and Education. In order to receive these funds, grantees are required to license to the public all work created with the support of the grant under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC BY) license.

In issuing this public statement, we hope to ensure that the billions of taxpayer dollars invested in the creation of educational materials produce resources that are freely available to the members of the public that paid for them. The administration has both an educational and economic imperative to increase access to learning and workforce development opportunities. Further, it has the opportunity to spur innovation through opening access to a wealth of educational resources that can be improved and built upon.

To ensure that administrative policy advances these goals, the coalition has outlined five core principles for executive action:

  1. Adopt a broad definition of educational materials.
  2. Provide free online access to these educational resources.
  3. Create conditions that enable easy reuse of materials.
  4. Require prompt implementation of the policy.
  5. Mandate regular reporting of progress and results.

The following can be attributed to Cable Green, Director of Global Learning at Creative Commons:

“By embracing Creative Commons licenses for the digital education and training outputs of federal agency grant making, the Obama administration will be demonstrating its commitment to collaboration, innovation, and effective government spending. When we contribute publicly funded educational materials to the public commons, everyone wins. This type of sharing is worth fighting for.”

A copy of the complete letter is available here. You can show your support for open access to publicly funded education materials by signing it too.

Key New Species Discoveries of 2014

Plos -

While there’s no denying the ongoing global extinction of animals, microbes and plants, the discovery of new species provides critical information into the puzzle of earth’s biodiversity and evolutionary history. Each year, thousands of new species are identified: 18,000 in the last year alone.

Fortunately it’s easy to stay current on the latest discoveries since an international committee of taxonomists selects the Top 10 most fascinating and important additions to the world’s diversity. The most remarkable from the last year were recently announced by the State University of New York (SUNY)-ESF International Institute for Species Exploration. These are key additions to life’s variety that enrich our world.

A slice of this story on species discovery, extinction and conservation played out on PLOS ONE, as scientists recognize the journal as a home for their outstanding research. This past year four research groups with discoveries in the Top 10 list chose to publish their findings in the journal.

  • A feathered dinosaur with birdlike features and a varied diet-analysis of existing specimens elucidated a new species of North American dinosaur described by the authors as “amazing in appearance even by dinosaurian standards.”
  • Two forms of mushroom-shaped animals that defy classification-perhaps an entirely new phylum discovered in the waters offshore of Australia so perplexing that the authors said “we don’t even know if they’re upside down.”
  • Unique reproductive practices by a frog that gives birth to live tadpoles-discovered in an area of Indonesia with a high deforestation rate prompting the author to emphasize it’s important to learn about these species “before it’s too late.”
  • A wasp that uses dead ants as a nest protection strategy- possible chemical cues guard against predators attacking wasp larvae, “a stunning strategy,” write the authors.

Each article on its own merit is highly viewed, shared and covered by the global media. Collectively, the articles have more than 200,000 views and 1,000 shares since publication.

Quentin Wheeler, president of SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, calls out the internal fertilization in the frog reported in PLOS ONE as the “biologically most intriguing.” In a short video, he describes the list selection process, why we should care about new species, conservation, biomimicry and more.

The International Institute for Species Exploration at SUNY, on a mission to advance discovery and taxonomy and to inspire the next generation of species explorers, released the list this year to coincide with the birthday of biologist Carolus Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy.

The post Key New Species Discoveries of 2014 appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.

Announcing the first round of Global Summit keynote speakers -

We’re happy to announce the first set of keynote speakers for the 2015 Creative Commons Global Summit:

  • Lila Tretikov, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation
  • Yochai Benkler, author and law professor at Harvard Law School
  • Julia Reda, Member of the European Parliament and rapporteur of the Parliament’s review of the EU Copyright Directive
  • Ryan Merkley, CEO of Creative Commons

The 2015 CC Global Summit will take place in Seoul, South Korea 15-17 October. Every two years, a vibrant international community of experts, academics, and activists engaged in stewarding and expanding CC come together to celebrate the commons, share ideas, and collaborate on projects. We’re excited to host this diverse set of leaders to share and engage with our community of copyright experts and commons advocates in Seoul. We’ll be announcing additional speakers and sessions in the coming weeks.

Summit registration is open. The early-bird registration discount will be available until 23 August, so sign up now!

Lila Tretikov by Lane Hartwell, available under the CC BY-SA license.

Lila Tretikov is the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that operates Wikipedia. Wikipedia is freely available in 290 languages and used by nearly half a billion people around the world every month.

Yochai Benkler by Joi Ito, available under the CC BY license.

Yochai Benkler is the Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School. He studies commons-based peer production, and published his seminal book The Wealth of Networks in 2006.

Julia Reda by Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland, available under the CC BY license.

Julia Reda is a Member of the European Parliament and rapporteur of the Parliament’s current review of the 2001 EU Copyright Directive. Reda’s report outlining potential changes to EU copyright law was approved by the Parliament in July.

Ryan Merkley by Rannie Turingan, available under CC0.

Ryan Merkley is the CEO of Creative Commons, the global nonprofit that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Ryan was Chief Operating Officer of the Mozilla Foundation, the nonprofit parent of the Mozilla Corporation, creator of Firefox.

AMA Preview: The Physician “Brain Drain” from Sub-Saharan Africa to the US: Reasons, Consequences, Potential Solutions

Plos -

A recent PLOS One research article, “Monitoring Sub-Saharan African Physician Migration and Recruitment Post-Adoption of the WHO Code of Practice: Temporal and Geographic Patterns in the United States,” examined how the migration of physicians from sub-Saharan Africa to the United States for work has led to a dire health worker shortage in the region.

While this “brain drain” has been ongoing for decades, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa demonstrated its highly damaging impact, as affected nations struggled to respond to the epidemic with weakened health systems and a limited health workforce.

To discuss context and  scope, as well as potential solutions to this crisis, Authors Akhenaten Benjamin Siankam Tankwanchi and Dr. Sten Vermund will be participating in this week’s ‘PLOS Science Wednesday’ redditscience ‘Ask Me Anything’ (AMA). They will be taking your questions about physician migration, brain drain, and its global health impacts on RedditScience at 1pm ET (10am PT) on Wed, July 29, 2015. You can register on redditscience in preparation for this upcoming AMA (or on the day of), so you’ll be able to add your questions and comments to the live conversation.

From the research article… Introduction:

  • The WHO database [83] indicates that there were a total of 103 physicians in Liberia in 2004, but only 51 physicians in 2008, a 50.5% total physician loss within four years. We do not have the most current counts of physicians available in Liberia because they have not been updated in the WHO database since 2008. But, we do know that the current Ebola epidemic has further depleted Liberia’s meager health workforce. The Ebola Situation Report of March 18, 2015 indicates that 180 out 372 health workers infected in Liberia have died from the Ebola virus disease [86].
  • We sought to monitor the post-WHO CoP [Global Code of Practice; 2010] migration of physicians originating from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the region of greatest need, and recruited into the physician workforce of the US. We chose the US as the country with the largest global stock of IMGs in its workforce [4445]. We captured all SSA immigrant physicians in residency or licensed practice in the US three years post-adoption of the CoP. We then described their growth rates, location patterns, and projected numbers in 2015.
  •  Those monitored included 11,787 active and semi-retired SSA-origin physicians.

From the research article… Discussion:

  • Although comprising only 1.3% of the US physician workforce, SSA migrant physicians found in the December 2013 AMA Masterfile represent a significant loss for the health systems in the SSA region.
  • Compared to SSA countries, populous source countries with a tradition of medical migration like India, Pakistan, and the Philippines have much larger numbers of émigré physicians in doctor-receiving countries like the US, the UK, Canada, or Australia [44]. But, relative to the number of physicians remaining in the source countries, the SSA region as a whole has a much higher migration proportion, losing between 13.9% [44] and 28% [6] of its physicians.”

Why young SSA doctors leave or stay (from the research article):

  • The  primary motivations for young doctors to leave their home countries include: family reunifications (meeting/re-uniting with significant others in the United States); moving to the US to seek treatment for one’s child; better conditions of service and standards of living; cultural trends and ease of international travel; i.e. emigrating because one can.
  • As for reasons to remain in one’s home country the authors identified: place attachment, professional stability and relative comfort (e.g., “It is not all rosy here in Nigeria, but one cannot go on complaining that things are terrible”); risk aversion; and, inability to obtain travel visa.

Selected Q&A with lead author “Benjamin” Tankwanchi

(Asked by Sara Kassabian, PLOS Social Media Coordinator)

Akhenaten Benjamin Siankam Tankwanchi

PLOS: For a previous article, you interviewed fraternal twin brothers from Ghana who are both physicians, but chose to practice medicine in different settings. What were the factors that motivated one brother to stay in Ghana and practice medicine? What were the factors that motivated the other brother to come to the United States? Are some of their motivations to practice medicine at home or in another country generalizable to the broader group of physicians born in sub-Saharan Africa that make these choices?

AT: Yes, I interviewed two fraternal twins who are both Ghanaian-born and trained physicians with over 20 years of experience each. It must be said that these twins were raised together and accomplished almost everything together, including a mutual decision to turn down a highly selective scholarship to pursue engineering training in the UK. They instead sought admission into the medical school of their local university, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana.

They graduated in the early 1990’s and practiced in Accra (Ghana’s capital) until the late 1990’s when one of twins moved to Canada to re-unite with his family (wife and first child). He now lives in an affluent suburb of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area and works as a medical faculty at one of the medical schools in the region.  Interestingly, the other twin has decided to stay and practice in Ghana despite encouragements from his US-based twin brother to follow him to the US. What he explained to me was that he didn’t want to become “second-class citizen” in the United States and had no desire to go through the hassles of US residency admissions. When I asked if, at times, he didn’t have any regrets for his decision to stay in Ghana while his brother is practicing in much better conditions in the US and earning much more money, he observed:

“It’s a dilemma for most doctors when they have to choose to leave. As I speak to you now, there are chances I’ve received calls [voice messages] from many of my colleagues abroad begging me to go and take care of their relatives [here in Ghana]… A lot of people are running into me and wonder why I’m still here, especially when my brother is out there [in the US]. They just can’t understand.”

This story challenges both societal expectations and prominent migration theories. It is not because this Ghanaian physician is unaware of the income differential between his US-based twin brother and him that he decided to practice in Ghana. It is certainly not because he lacked opportunity to emigrate or did not possess a network or migration channel to the US that he decided to stay put in Ghana. In essence, he seemed fully aware of the potential financial benefits of migration, but also of the costs. Having graduated from medical school 20 years ago, and having completed specialization training in internal medicine locally, he saw no benefits of moving to the US. He appeared quite content about his decision to stay in Ghana despite the challenging conditions of service and inadequate remuneration. “There is no place like home,” he told me repeatedly.

While this was the only pair of twins I interviewed, they were not the only twins within my sample. I interviewed two additional twins, and they both reported that their twins have also migrated. Thus, I don’t think that the case study of this pair of fraternal twins is generalizable. However, the main migration and non-migration factors they cited fall within one of the following categories of factors/reasons reported by participating physicians of my sample.

PLOS: Ebola was a major focus of programming at the 68th World Health Assembly in May. How much did the global health community focus on the mass exodus of physicians born in West Africa who move to the United States to practice medicine? Has the discussion about health systems weakened by Ebola led to any substantial action to improve training and retaining health workers in country?

AT: Indeed, Ebola was a dominant topic at the 68th WHA, [although I did not attend] I am unaware of any discussions focusing exclusively on the physician brain drain from West Africa to the United States.

From my reading of WHO Strategic Response Plan to the Ebola outbreak, the priority with regard to workforce has been given to the rebuilding of short-term health workforce via emergency hiring, in-service workforce training, and timely payment of health workers.

Although the United States may be the main destination for migrant skilled health workers from developing countries, it is not the only or even the main destination for many West African migrant physicians. Most countries in West Africa, including Ebola-stricken Guinea, are French-speaking. So, many of their skilled health workers practicing abroad are likely found in France and other French-speaking Western nations like Belgium.

The focus cannot be on the United States alone, although it is the big ‘culprit.’

PLOS: Since the publication of your paper, has the detrimental role of the United States and other physician-receiving countries been acknowledged by global political leadership/WHO?

AT: The detrimental role of the United States and other major doctor-receiving countries has been recognized by WHO well before the publication of my papers. The strongest critique to date of the health workforce brain drain may be found in the seminal World Health Report 2006:

“When large numbers of doctors and nurses leave, the countries that financed their education lose a return on their investment and end up unwillingly providing the wealthy countries to which their health personnel have migrated with a kind of ‘perverse subsidy’. Financial loss is not the most damaging outcome, however. When a country has a fragile health system, the loss of its workforce can bring the whole system close to collapse and the consequences can be measured in lives lost. In these circumstances, the calculus of international migration shifts from brain drain or gain to ‘fatal flows’.”


Do you have more questions about the African brain drain? “Benjamin” Tankwanchi and his colleague, Dr. Sten Vermund, will be taking your questions about physician migration, brain drain, and its global health impacts, on RedditScience July 29th at 1pm ET (10am PT) on redditscience!

Sign up on redditscience ( in preparation for this upcoming AMA. Go to this page on July 28th to participate in the live AMA!





The post AMA Preview: The Physician “Brain Drain” from Sub-Saharan Africa to the US: Reasons, Consequences, Potential Solutions appeared first on The Official PLOS Blog.

Happy 150th, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland! -

Alice’s Abenteuer im Wunderland / Public Domain

This year is the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In celebration, Medium and the Public Domain Review have teamed up to host A Mad Hatter’s Mashup Party, complete with the original text, illustrations, animated GIFs, and silent film adaptations in the public domain and under CC licenses.

This is a great opportunity to creatively engage with the Commons and put Medium’s CC licensing feature to work. A dozen Lewis Carroll experts will also be participating by annotating a special version of the text one chapter a week. 

The party starts today, July 28, and continues for as long as anyone wants to join. We’ll be recommending our favorite pieces on Medium.

It’s time to #MoveFASTR: support public access to publicly-funded research -

Shinkansen Tokyo by Parag.naik, available under the CC BY-SA license.

Tomorrow the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs will markup S. 779, the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (called FASTR for short). The bill–if enacted–would increase access to federally funded research. It was introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives on March 18, 2015.

FASTR requires federal agencies with annual external research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to the research articles stemming from that funding no later than 6 months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal. FASTR would extend the current NIH Public Access Policy to several federal agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, NASA, the National Science Foundation, and others.

We’ve supported policies aligned with the practice of making taxpayer funded research available free online, ideally under an open license that communicates broad downstream use rights, such as CC BY. In addition to making articles free to access and read, FASTR ensures that the research generated from federal tax dollars is made available and useful for new research techniques such as text and data mining. FASTR includes a provision to study the possible impact of requiring open licensing for federally funded research articles. The text calls for agencies to examine:

“whether such research papers should include a royalty-free copyright license that is available to the public and that permits the reuse of those research papers, on the condition that attribution is given to the author or authors of the research and any others designated by the copyright owner;”

FASTR would solidify the February 2013 White House directive aimed to increase access to the results of federally funded scientific research. That memorandum is similar in scope to FASTR, but since it is a directive and not a law, a subsequent administration could rescind that order.

It’s time to #MoveFASTR, and you can help! Check out the SPARC action page for ways to support FASTR. For example, you can:

  1. Call your Members of Congress and express your support for FASTR. You can reach them by calling the US Capitol’s switchboard at 202-224-3121 and asking for your Senators.
  2. Engage your Senators on social media by tweeting at your elected officials about FASTR using the hashtag #MoveFASTR, or post about the bill on Facebook. You can find a list of all the twitter accounts for Congress here.
  3. Write a letter of support for this legislation and send it to your Senators. You can find a draft letter of support here. You can find your Senators’ contact information to submit the letter here.

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

Plos -

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.


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