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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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)creativecommons.se
CC0 1.0 Legal Code Translation Worksheet – Swedish
Note: adapted from CC0 translation worksheet (https://wiki.creativecommons.org/Legal_Code_Translation_Policy#Supporting_documents).
Translated page: http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/legalcode .
Original Translation Notes about translation challenges Creative Commons (Creative Commons)
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.”
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:
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.”
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.
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.
We’re happy to announce the first set of keynote speakers for the 2015 Creative Commons Global Summit:
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 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 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 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 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.
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:
From the research article… Discussion:
Why young SSA doctors leave or stay (from the research article):
Selected Q&A with lead author “Benjamin” Tankwanchi
(Asked by Sara Kassabian, PLOS Social Media Coordinator)
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 (https://www.reddit.com/r/science/) in preparation for this upcoming AMA. Go to this page on July 28th to participate in the live AMA!
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.
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:
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.
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 ofauthors, 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 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.
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”.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.