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PLOS Computational Biology announce reproducibility pilot

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At PLOS Computational Biology, one of our driving motivations is to provide services and support to our community of authors, editors, reviewers and readers. Transparency and reproducibility in peer review and reporting of results are two key aspects of that mission, and we are very pleased to announce a pilot on the journal that aims to support both of these aspects of publishing.

Our Managing Editor, Gary Beardmore, and Editor in Chief, Jason Papin, have been working with the Center for Reproducible Biomedical Modelling. Through this collaboration we will soon be able to offer expert technical peer review specifically checking that submitted systems biology or physiology-based models run according to the results presented in the manuscript submitted to the journal. The peer review will be delivered in addition to our usual scientific assessment of the manuscript, and for the duration of the pilot it will be optional for authors to take part. The expert peer reviewers will be eligible for inclusion in our collaboration with ORCID to get credit for the review work that they complete. Furthermore, as for all manuscripts published at PLOS Computational Biology, authors will have the option to make the expert review open – alongside the other reports on the manuscript – in our published peer review.

We plan to monitor the pilot and to report back on the results next year. The aim is for the review process to be completed in the usual time frame for manuscripts at the journal, and for authors to feel that it provided them with additional guidance regarding the reporting of their models. Overall, we hope that this pilot will contribute to making it easier for interested readers to reproduce and build on models published in the journal – supporting the science going forward.

Original image by Rita Bhui




Open Education Links from Around the World #10

European Open EDU Policy Project -

  1. Communia Association is tracking the implementation of the new Copyright Directive across Europe and paying special attention to the educational exception. The latest blogpost reviews the Dutch proposal for the implementation.
  2. How open source can support Open Education Resource? Christer Gundersen: Instead of starting from scratch, projects that are developing Open Educational resources(OER) should look for ways to adapt and enhance existing products, resources and approaches. An essential part of the term open innovation in the context of OER will be a community built on reuse and improvement of the existing source code, content and data. Read more on his latest blogpost.
  3. Viki is the biggest Slovak educational portal with both public and proprietary content. Public beta tests started in May. It is not only a repository. Users can easily create interactive lessons, as well as sophisticated educational materials, quizzes, or interactive books.
  4. Despite the rhetoric put forward by the major global MOOCs providers, who still speak of “MOOC revolution” and of “MOOCs transforming access to education”, the feeling is that MOOCs are losing their first O (the one of Open), Fabio Nascimbeni and Valentina Goglio noticed during eMOOC2019 conference in Naples.

Get to know an Academic Editor: Lars Juhl Jensen

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Note: PLOS will be attending the ISMB/ECCB conference in Basel, Switzerland starting July 21. Stop by booth 7 and say hello. Lars Juhl Jensen, an Academic Editor for PLOS Computational Biology, will also be in attendance. Here’s a brief interview with him. 

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?

A: I was trained as a chemist but grew up programming, so bioinformatics was an obvious match for me. I started in the group of Søren Brunak, where I did my training including Ph.D. and then spent six years at EMBL in the group of Peer Bork before starting my own group at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research in 2009.

Q: How many years have you been an editor on PLOS CB?

A: I’ve been associate editor on PLOS CB for 11 years.

Q: Why is PLOS CB important to you and the community

A: PLOS CB plays an important role in bridging the gap between the more algorithm-focused bioinformatics journals and the traditional biological journals, which rarely publish studies that do not have a wet-lab component.

Q: What is your area of study and why is it important?

A: My group has a strong focus on tool development, primarily related to biological networks and biomedical text mining. Network representations of the current biological knowledge and available data, including what is buried in the literature, is increasingly important for interpreting new omics data.

Q: What first drew you into the field?

A: With an interest in molecular biology and many years of programming experience, it was really a no-brainer to go into bioinformatics back when the first fully sequenced genomes became available.

Q: What are you most looking forward to while attending ISMB?

A: The most interesting sessions to me are the NetBio COSI and special session on text mining, which I am involved in organizing. Besides that, the poster sessions are always a highlight for me.

Q: Are there any trends in your field right now?

A: Deep learning is obviously a major trend in text mining. Other than that, the move towards open licenses on databases and tools continues to be strong.

Q: Why do you believe in Open Science?

A: In my experience sharing the tools we make already before publishing them is highly advantageous. If you already have a user base before submitting a manuscript, it only becomes easier to publish your work. Editors can see that it is worthwhile publishing, most bugs will have been sorted out before peer review, and the publication is more likely to get cited as soon as it comes out.

Birds, bees, Beethoven–and other PLOS research making June headlines!

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New research from PLOS ONE shows that flowers near managed hives may be one of the sources of virus transmission from infected honey bees to wild bumblebees. 

Lead author Samantha Alger summarizes:  “The study supports a widely accepted yet largely untested hypothesis: viruses are spilling over from managed honey bees into wild bumble bee species and this is likely occurring through the shared use of flowers,” noting that careful monitoring and treatment of diseased honeybee colonies could help mitigate the damage from these viruses to wild bees. Read more about this work on the Economist, the Independent, and IFLScience.

A recent study from PLOS Biology uses a new device that noninvasively measures blood flow and oxygenation in the brain and blubber of harbor seals to better understand the biology behind mammalian diving. The device showed that harbor seals routinely reduced blood flow to their blubber, thereby slowing oxygen consumption, around 15 seconds before diving into water. This indicates the seals have conscious control over their dive reflex (previously thought to be a purely automatic response). 

Dive deeper into these findings at the New Scientist and the Daily Mail. 

Another recent paper from PLOS Biology describes how birds of a feather flock together–even when it’s more energetically costly to fly as a group. The authors compared the flight characteristics of solo and paired pigeons making a 7km flight, and found that paired individuals had improved homing accuracy (which reduced the flight distance and time); the cost of this accuracy was an increase in speed and wingbeat frequency compared to solo fliers. The fact that pigeons are willing to pay this energetic premium underscores the importance of flocking together.

Lead author Lucy Taylor adds: “The results of this study were completely unexpected. Energy is the currency of life so it’s astonishing that the birds are prepared to pay a substantial energetic cost to fly together.”

 Read more at the New York Daily News and New Atlas, or check out a video at

Finally, a new study from PLOS ONE mathematically characterizes Beethoven’s string quartets for the first time, applying statistical and data science techniques to reveal recurring patterns in the great composer’s music. 

Read more at Forbes, Cosmos Magazine, and The Week–and have a listen to the string quartets inspiring this work, too.  


Sharing, Generosity and Gratitude -

Many friends from the CC and open education communities have noticed my absence from meetings and conferences in the past six months. I’m ready to share why.

I was diagnosed with an auto-immune liver disease in 2005, and with liver cancer in September, 2018. The cancer was caused by the underlying liver disease. Once the cancer was diagnosed, my doctor quickly sent me to the Mayo Clinic. I spent the entire month of December in twice-daily radiation and round-the-clock chemotherapy. Bottom line: I needed a liver transplant to live.

You may have heard about the organ shortage in the United States. There are simply not enough organs available to people who need them. Most countries have similar unfortunate statistics. Want to help? Sign up to be a donor (US link) and talk to your family about your decision.

Because I was not sick enough to receive a cadaver liver, my only option was a living donor transplant. Amazingly, the human liver can regenerate itself if you cut it in two. After learning of my health status, 16 friends and family volunteered to donate part of their liver to me. To say I was overwhelmed by their generosity is an understatement.

It seemed appropriate then, when the Mayo Clinic selected my liver donor, that it would be the person who helped train me in open education – David Wiley (read David’s blog post). I have known David for over a decade. He is a friend and colleague, and he saved my life. 

I am pleased to report David and I successfully completed the liver donor transplant on June 28. Without David’s generosity, I would have been dead from cancer in a year. No words can adequately express how thankful I am. His gift will both allow me to live a full, healthy life, and will enable me to work with all of you to create universal, equitable, inclusive and meaningful learning opportunities for everyone.

David is home recovering and growing his liver back to full size. I will be at the Mayo Clinic through the end of July. After the Mayo surgeons skillfully transplanted ⅔ of David’s liver into me, he and I laughed about organ remixes, if he should receive attribution, and wished we’d have asked for a CC tattoo on my new liver.

I also want to thank:

  • the CC staff, my CEO, and our Board for their complete and ongoing support
  • TJ Bliss and David’s wife Elaine who cared for David post-surgery
  • my partner in life, Lesley, who has been by my side throughout

It continues to be my life’s honor to work for this fine organization and with you good people, and I look forward to doing so for many years to come. 

With gratitude,


The post Sharing, Generosity and Gratitude appeared first on Creative Commons.

Kids in Kenya using Google Assistant -

The last few days I have been working to design new features for the GDL with children in schools in Kibera (Nairobi), the largest urban slum in Africa. It has been a true privilege!

The most important learning this week is that even a child living in a shed, without water and electricity can be an expert on a smart phone. Praise and Faith (10 years old) in this video showed us how they are using voice control to read books with Google assistant!

Summary of the second edition EduCoop

European Open EDU Policy Project -

The EduCoop – Open Education Cooperative is the result of a wide view of openness in education. It grew from a strong belief that openness means cooperation, process, diversity, readiness for change, trust, courage and a willingness to experience something new.

The Cooperative’s focus is on a cooperation model for creating high-quality open educational resources (OER). We want to improve the competences of the project’s participants when it comes to using digital tools in education, and increase their knowledge of copyrights, Creative Commons and free licenses.

During last year’s pilot edition, we have worked with math teachers. This year we have concentrated on key teachers. The decision was made after many discussions with teachers of different subjects. They all stressed that lack of materials for home room is a huge problem, and as a result, those special hours when teachers could concentrate on solving pupils’ important problems are often “wasted” for giving grades or useless chatter.

We invited 14 teachers to participate in the project. They had absolute freedom when it came to the topics they covered or how they worked. There were only two principles: the materials were to be made in groups and become open educational resources. During four meetings and additional remote collaboration they fine-tuned their topic and got to know design methods and technical solutions, all while learning about novelties from the education world.

As a result, participant created four open educational resources. They cover such topics as art therapy, co-creation of school space, verbal and non-verbal communication. All materials will be soon published on our website.

Open Source building blocks for OER -

I am currently working on a project where we are identifying building blocks that could be used to develop Digital Public Goods.

Digital public goods(DPG) are tools that serve to educate us, help us thrive in our professional lives, enrich our cultural experiences, and ultimately do good for the benefit of humankind. Examples of these goods exist all around us in the areas of information, education, healthcare, finance, and more. Many also serve to further the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

To contain the scope of the first “beta version” of DPG building blocks I have started with building blocks for Open Educational Resources(OER).

Open Source is defined as a corner stone of all DPGs, so I started working on a list of Open Source building blocks for OER.

Open Source for OER

Open source is software where the source code is available for anyone to view, use, change, and then share. Making source code publicly available allows others to build on and learn from it, enabling broad collaboration from people around the world. 

Instead of starting from scratch, projects that are developing Open Educational resources(OER) should look for ways to adapt and enhance existing products, resources and approaches. An essential part of the term open innovation in the context of OER will be a community built on reuse and improvement of the existing source code, content and data.

Reuse means assessing what resources are currently available and using them to meet future goals. Improve means modifying existing tools, products and resources to improve their overall quality, applicability and impact. OERs should start by identifying relevant methods, standards, software platforms and technology tools that have already been tried and tested. 

Examples of Open Source – DPG building blocks

There are hundreds of open source projects covering all aspects of DPG development. The most common building blocks of the internet are all open source, and most of them could be defined as DPG building blocks. 

The two first examples in this category represent a more general group of platforms. The other examples aim to show the whole spectrum of software, design elements and components that could be defined as DPG building blocks and OER. 

Open source development frameworks

Node.js, AngularJS and Bootstrap represent some of the most used open source development platforms and toolkits in the world. These are platforms used by thousands of projects, involving a large existing community of developers. 

Open source content management systems(CMS)

A content management system or CMS is a software that facilitates creating, editing, organizing, and publishing content. WordPress is an example of an open source content management system, that allows you to create and publish your content on the web. 

WordPress and other open source content management system could be defined as DPG building blocks. 


The fundamental goal of the Readium project is to produce a set of robust, performant, spec-compliant reading system toolkits that support digital publishing formats (e.g. EPUB, Web Publications etc.) and can be deployed in browsers or built into native apps on iOS, Android or the desktop.


H5P is a free and open-source content collaboration framework based on JavaScript. H5P is an abbreviation for HTML5 Package and aims to make it easy for everyone to create, share and reuse interactive HTML5 content. Interactive videos, interactive presentations, quizzes, interactive timelines and more.

EPUB and the EPUBCheck

EPUBCheck is a tool to validate the conformance of EPUB publications against the EPUB specifications. EPUBCheck can be run as a standalone command-line tool or used as a Java library. EPUBCheck is open source software, maintained by the DAISY Consortium on behalf of the W3C.

Google Lighthouse 

Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. You can run it against any web page, public or requiring authentication. It has audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, and more.

Material Design

Material Design is an open source adaptable system of guidelines, components, and tools that support the best practices of user interface design. The Material design framework and community includes principles, examples, icons and open sources implementations like that support reuse and easy adaptation of

Sector specific applications 

In some cases, application features are specific for one sector, like education. Assessing what source code and resources that are currently available amongst sector-specific projects can be useful for a DPG project developing in the same sector. 

Examples OER projects within the educational sector sharing code on GitHub:

You’ve completed your review – now get credit with ORCID

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For more than five years, PLOS authors have used ORCID to make their professional lives easier. Now reviewers at PLOS can take advantage of the same benefits to track their contributions, claim credit, and build up their research profiles.

Same ORCID, now for reviews

Starting today, reviewers can enter their ORCID iD in the Editorial Manager submission system for all PLOS journals and opt-in to automatically get credit when they complete a review, the same way they would for their published articles. The ORCID reviewer record does not contain details about the specific manuscript and we’ve introduced a delay, so reviewers can track their work even while retaining their anonymity.

Being able to record more types of work is especially important for researchers who are working to build up their scholarly reputation. For those who are getting ready to apply for funding or a new position, credit for reviews helps demonstrate the full breadth of their contributions to the field.

“We thank PLOS for partnering with ORCID to provide their reviewers the opportunity to get credit for their critical contribution to the research ecosystem.”

– Laure Haak, Executive Director of ORCID.


More ways to get credit = more reasons to review

Reviewers’ contributions to the publication process are essential. They are working researchers who give their time and expertise to help authors improve their work and help editors decide when a manuscript is ready to become part of the permanent scientific record. But recognition for reviews often flies under the radar, in part, because tools for tracking these contributions without compromising anonymity may not be available.

Earlier this year we rolled out options for signed and published peer review history. Combined with ORCID, we aim to give reviewers the tools and opportunities to claim credit for their reviews in a way that works for them.


Write great reviews           Get credit          

Peer reviewer center

Signed peer review

Peer review toolbox

Peer review history


How it works

ORCID is a persistent unique identifier that distinguishes you from other researchers with the same name and sticks with you throughout your careers. Even if you change your name, switch institutions, or move to another country, all of the contributions tracked by your ORCID are still identifiable and attributable to you

If you don’t already have an ORCID iD, you can sign up on the ORCID website. Then, follow the instructions on our site to link your iD to your Editorial Manager profile.

Once your ORCID is linked, you can opt-in to automatically alert ORCID anytime you complete a review. For each new review, you’ll get a message with the option to post the citation to your ORCID record. Click “authorize” to start tracking your contributions.


Open Education Links from Around the World #9

European Open EDU Policy Project -

  1. This time we are starting our links review with “Practical Guidelines on Open Education for Academics.” prepared by the EU Science Hub. The study presents practical tips for the implementation of open education practices in the higher education sector.
  2. New paper for Open Education Policy Lab has been released. “Fostering Openness in Education: Considerations for Sustainable Policy-Making”. It reviews a framework to support the co-creation of policies to sustainably foster Open Education.
  3. How open education can address the need for constant developing lifelong learning skills? Read an opinion piece.
  4. And if you would like to contribute to open educational resources, call for chapters for “Instructional Design: An Introduction and Student Guide” has been announced. There is also a possibility to submit an article to a special issue in Smart Learning Environments Journal: “Towards enhancing learning using open educational resources”.

Published Peer Review (community comments)

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In February, we asked researchers about the biggest change they hope to see in Open Science. Nearly 3,000 of you weighed in. Here’s what you had to say…

In May, we introduced published peer review history at PLOS, a modular approach to transparent peer review that invites to you choose the model that works best for you and your particular manuscript. Reviewers decide whether to sign their comments at submission. Accepted authors decide whether to publish peer review history alongside their manuscript. The whole community benefits from a deeper more nuanced view of the peer review process.

What is the community saying about peer review history

“[with] transparency in peer review … the process becomes more fair and clear and, above all, the result of scientific production is more collaborative and effective.”

– Leonardo A. Peyré-Tartaruga, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil


“I think signed peer review will help legitimize the peer review process as a scholarly output instead of a service commitment. It will also encourage researchers to participate in a more thoughtful process and can provide a valuable contribution to the study’s scientific record.”

Carrie Dolan, William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, United States of America

“[open peer review] improves auditability of the article itself and the journal’s processes and thoroughness…It also helps build public trust in the process by removing the mystery of secret academic peer review, as well as showing the robustness of the method in action.”

– Thomas Shafee, La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia

“Peer review is more essential and relevant today as it has ever been.  We are entering an era where there is limitless information with very limited means to understand it value. As a scientific community, we need to engage the public more often.  A part to this is helping them understand the peer review process and how it leads to the discoveries of tomorrow.”

Scott Pegan, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, United States of America

“Transparency in peer review may develop the quality of research and reduce research misconduct. So everyone can see clearly on the how, what, and why behind the editorial decision making. This is about trust, and trust is one of the important things in the scholarly publication.”

– Monika Oktora, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), Groningen, The Netherlands

Sharing community and breaking the fast: CC Jordan’s 2019 Iftar -

Just last month, Muslims all over the world celebrated the holy month of Ramadan, the month of prosperity, sharing and spiritual healing. Since 2010, Arab world–based Creative Commons communities have celebrated Ramadan by organizing “Creative Commons Iftars” (CC Iftar) across the region.

A CC Iftar is a social event, organized by the CC chapter’s community members, where members gather to break the fast, share the table and food, engage in conversations and discuss innovation, technology, and their community’s role as a CC Chapter. The Iftars are built around the basis of CC’s vision of sharing and giving from the community to the community. The Iftar has different goals depending on the chapter’s priorities, but the main objective of the CC Iftar is to share a meal with the CC community, friends and partners.

At the CC Summit 2019, Lisbon, we organized a CC Iftar open to all Summit attendees. , During the Iftar, we dined and shared conversations. CC CEO Ryan Merkley joined us with a small word of gratitude, which made us feel more connected to the organization.

Following in these footsteps, here at CC Jordan, we held our CC Iftar on Thursday 30th.May.2019 (25th.Ramadan.1440). The main goals of the CC Iftar were to meet with the CC Jordan community, friends and partners, recap the latest updates, briefing about the CC Summit 2019 and discuss our future activities.

The community discussed the future activities with huge enthusiasm, members suggested to continue advocacy about Creative Commons and the use of the set of licenses, and the open culture wave around the world. Other members suggested to organize a CC Salon, preferably early September of this year.

Looking forward to our CC Salon? Wait for our updates and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Photos CC Jordan, CC BY 4.0

The post Sharing community and breaking the fast: CC Jordan’s 2019 Iftar appeared first on Creative Commons.

Spreading the Word: PLOS Advances Research Through Media Partnerships

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Last year, PLOS helped more than 2,300 articles receive media coverage in high-profile outlets including The New York Times, the BBC, National Geographic, Scientific American and The Washington Post. How do we do it? For starters, our press team sends out on average one press release per day, garnering the attention of the 1200 journalists on our press list, plus members of the media who haven’t heard of us yet.

But for us to make sure your research gets the recognition it deserves from other researchers, potential funders, and policy makers, our dedicated media team also leverages a robust network of partnerships to connect science and the media.

Science for non-scientists

Though all PLOS research is Open and accessible to everyone, many readers depend on journalists to distill complex scientific concepts for broader consumption. An important link in the transformation of Research Article to NY Times cover story are Science Media Centers (SMCs) which work with journalists to get the public access to the best scientific evidence and expertise.

Through SMCs, journalists can find “sources” or vetted experts in a given field to help add context to the research they’re reporting on. Some SMCs, such as SciLine, also offer fact sheets summarizing popular topics that have been reviewed and verified by experts.

We have been working with SMCs in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Germany for over a year, for example by providing information that helps SMCs spread the word about PLOS work even further. In Europe, we also collaborate with the European Science Media Hub, part of the European Parliament, whose work helps facilitate the transfer of knowledge and training between the European Parliament, the scientific community, and the media.

Our partnership with these organizations is also helping us to shape best practice for communicating research, especially for new scholarly outputs like preprints.

Leveraging your network and your expertise

Perhaps the best place to seek promotion and recognition for your work is your own institution. Already, we work with top-tier institutions such as MIT, Harvard University, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, the National Institutes of Health and more to help them promote the amazing research being done by their affiliated PLOS authors. We’re hoping to expand this program further, but even without formal partnership, we encourage all authors to contact their institution’s press office when their research is accepted for publication – your colleagues’ networks can be a huge asset to your career.

For authors who are keen to be hands-on in disseminating research, we also recommend contacting our partner Science Trends. This free platform allows authors to write their own “self-directed press release” in under 500 words which is then published on Science Trends and on social media to an audience of 500,000 followers. You can find more information on our website.

We’re dedicated to providing the best experience for our authors, pre and post-publication. We’ll continue innovating and promoting your work and we want you to feel empowered to do so as well. Check out our media toolkit for tips on publicizing your work, speaking to the media, and stepping up your social media game. Of course, our media relations team, Beth Baker and Charlotte Bhaskar, are always happy to help – contact them at


Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley named as Harvard Berkman Klein Center affiliate -

We’re happy to announce that Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley has been named as a Harvard Berkman Klein Center affiliate for the 2019-2020 academic year. His research and writing will focus on models for sustainability and growth that support the digital commons, and will explore communities working in the gallery, library, archive, and museum space; those working in, and advocating for, access to knowledge and education; and individual artists and content creators.

The Berkman Klein fellowship program aims to “create a protocol, a culture, a spirit that puts the emphasis on being open, being kind, being good listeners, being engaged, being willing to learn from one another.” The program is made up of a diverse community of members working across an array of university, government, private, and nonprofit institutions. For more information about the program and for the full list of new and returning fellows, affiliates, and faculty associates, visit the center’s website.

Additionally, CC community member Julia Reda, Member of European Parliament with a focus on Digital Rights, will be joining the Berkman Klein Center this year as a fellow. With a joint project at Berkman and the MIT Media Lab, Julia will advance research on how to modernize the academic publishing system to enhance equitable access to knowledge.

Please join us in congratulating Ryan and Julia!

The post Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley named as Harvard Berkman Klein Center affiliate appeared first on Creative Commons.

Open Education Links from Around the World #8

European Open EDU Policy Project -

Today’s set of links opens an article describing artificial intelligence in the service of good, We will also learn how management techniques from the world of business can be used in education and how state subsidies affect the shape of open education. Finally, very good news: On May 28, 2019, UNESCO member state representatives took an important step for open education by adopting the 2019 UNESCO OER Recommendation.

  1. How does artificial intelligence help young people get out of homelessness?
  2. Can agile be successful in education?h
  3. Opportunities and challenges of state-financed Open Educational Resources. The Norwegian model – a way to more inclusion?
  4. UNESCO OER Recommendation has been adopted.

Progress Soars on Official Translations of 4.0 and CC0! -

Creative Commons welcomes progress on official language translations of both 4.0 and CC0 due to our dedicated network of volunteers and a commitment by the European Commission (EC) to ensure the legal code for each is available in all official languages of the European Union. We expect a significant increase in the number of official translations to 36 languages total and the number of users who can read them to more than 3 billion in the next 3-5 months. With the European Commission’s decision to adopt CC BY 4.0 International and CC0 for all content and data it produces comes a firm commitment to collaborate with Creative Commons and its community to complete the remaining official translations of 4.0 and CC0 so that all 24 official languages of the EU are completed.

As of 2019, CC’s community has produced official translations of 4.0 in 23 languages (including English), and as of June 2019 has published CC0 in 13 languages (also including English). These numbers on their own own reflect an impressive and sizeable effort by our community, thanks also in part to travel grants from the Ford Foundation to bring together volunteer translators, and funding by others. As of June 2019, the total number of users able to access and understand the 4.0 licenses and CC0 in their first language totaled approximately 2.25 billion.

The assistance of the EC in developing first drafts of these legal documents is made possible through its impressive translation team. That team is working with CC’s translation processes to ensure drafts are reviewed publicly and that all interested members of the CC community in countries where those languages are officially recognized have the opportunity and are encouraged to contribute to the review and editing of drafts.

Additionally, CC is seeing a number of other complicated and sometimes multi-jurisdictional translations cross the finish line through the hard work of our community. Just last week, the official translation of CC0 into Spanish was completed and published, and shortly we will push live 4.0 translations of Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Czech, Korean and Slovene.

This push doesn’t end with these excellent efforts by our community, however. CC remains committed to ensuring that everyone understands the 4.0 licenses and CC0 in their language of choice, however widespread (or not) the language. So it was with delight that only a few weeks ago, UNESCO adopted its 2019 UNESCO OER Recommendation that, as amended at its recent meeting with the support and input of Creative Commons, recommends member states support the linguistic translation of open licenses, which includes CC BY and CC0. While not yet formally adopted, it is expected to be accepted later this year by the UNESCO General Conference. Once in place, Creative Commons will work to secure funding to expand its translation work for 4.0 and CC0 into languages that may not be as predominantly used as those already translated, but that are equally important to ensuring that users of Open Educational Resources (OER) and CC-licensed works everywhere, especially in remote, rural, migratory and other similarly underserved communities, are able to understand the license terms in their language of choice.

We thank the CC community and the European Commission for its dedication of resources, especially the efforts of Pedro Malaquias. We look forward to ongoing work with our community and funders to make full access to CC licenses and legal tools for everyone a reality.

Please contribute your input on pending translation drafts of 4.0 licenses and CC0, which are available for public comment through June 21, 2019.

Bulgarian (4.0 and CC0)
Croatian (CC0)
Czech (CC0)
Danish (4.0)
Estonian (4.0 and CC0)
Greek (CC0)
Hungarian (4.0 and CC0)
Irish (4.0 and CC0)
Maltese (4.0 and CC0)
Romanian (4.0 and CC0)

The post Progress Soars on Official Translations of 4.0 and CC0! appeared first on Creative Commons.

Welcome the Official Spanish Language Translation of CC0! (¡Les damos la bienvenida a la traducción oficial de CC al idioma castellano!) -

The official Spanish language translation of the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication (CC0) is now available. This means almost 500 million users of CC0 will be able to read and understand the terms of CC0 in their first language.

First started in 2013, this multi-jurisdictional, collaborative translation effort has involved dedicated individuals from more than a half-dozen countries on two continents. The translation represents a significant accomplishment by members of the CC Spanish-speaking community, who worked to unify and bridge differences in terminology and drafting conventions across the many countries where Spanish is recognized as an official language.

More details about the CC0 translation process are available on the Creative Commons wiki, where you can also find information about the Spanish translation process for the 4.0 licenses and their publication last September.

A special thank you to the following individuals who contributed invaluably to this successful multi-year endeavor, and especially Scann and Txopi who assisted with the final reviews and proofing:

Beatriz Busaniche (Argentina)
Carolina Botero (Colombia)
María Paz Canales (Chile)
Alberto Cerda (Chile)
Claudia Cristiani (El Salvador)
Marianne Diaz (Venezuela)
Evelin Heidel (Scann) (Argentina)
Juan Carlos Lara (Chile)
Luisa Guzmán (Colombia)
Ignasi Labastida (Spain)
Claudio Ortiz (El Salvador)
Claudio Ruiz (Chile)
Marko Txopitea (Txopi) (Spain)

¡Felicitaciones a todos!

¡Les damos la bienvenida a la traducción oficial de CC al idioma castellano!

La traducción oficial al castellano de la Dedicación al Dominio Público de Creative Commons (CC0) está ahora disponible. Esto significa que más de 500 millones de usuarios de la CC0 podrán ahora leer y entender los términos de la CC0 en su lengua materna.

Con sus inicios en el 2013, este esfuerzo de traducción multi-jurisdiccional y colaborativa ha involucrado personas dedicadas provenientes de más de una media docena de países en dos continentes. La traducción representa un logro significativo para los miembros de la comunidad hispanoparlante de CC, que trabajaron para unificar y tender un puente en las diferencias en la terminología y en las convenciones de redacción a lo largo de los diferentes países donde el castellano es reconocido como lengua oficial.

Más detalles sobre el proceso de traducción de la CC0 están disponibles en la wiki [en] de Creative Commons, donde también se puede encontrar información sobre el proceso de traducción al castellano para la versión 4.0 de las licencias y su publicación en septiembre pasado.

Gracias especiales a las siguientes personas que contribuyeron de manera invaluable a esta exitosa empresa multianual, y especialmente a Scann y a Txopi que asistieron con las revisiones y pruebas finales:

Beatriz Busaniche (Argentina)
Carolina Botero (Colombia)
María Paz Canales (Chile)
Alberto Cerda (Chile)
Claudia Cristiani (El Salvador)
Marianne Diaz (Venezuela)
Evelin Heidel (Scann) (Argentina)
Juan Carlos Lara (Chile)
Luisa Guzmán (Colombia)
Ignasi Labastida (Spain)
Claudio Ortiz (El Salvador)
Claudio Ruiz (Chile)
Marko Txopitea (Txopi) (Spain)

The post Welcome the Official Spanish Language Translation of CC0! (¡Les damos la bienvenida a la traducción oficial de CC al idioma castellano!) appeared first on Creative Commons.

The origins of avian flight, thermostat battles heating up, and other PLOS research making headlines in May!

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New research from PLOS Computational Biology uses robots, reconstructed model dinosaur feathered forelimbs, and juvenile ostriches to simulate the first potential avian flight stroke in dinosaurs. This study shows that running on the ground naturally stimulates a flapping motion in feathered forelimbs, and suggests that this flap may be the origin of avian flight.

Author Zhao explains: “Our work shows that the motion of flapping feathered wings was developed passively and naturally as the dinosaur ran on the ground…although this flapping motion could not lift the dinosaur into the air at that time, the motion of flapping wings may have developed earlier than gliding.”

See videos of the robots and young ostriches strutting their stuff, and read more on CNN and Gizmodo.


A new study from PLOS ONE found that that in a test room set to temperatures ranging from 16.19 C/61.14 F -32.57 C/90.63 F, female study participants performed best on math and verbal tests at the higher end of the temperature range, while male participants performed most strongly on the same tests at lower temperatures. This is the first experimental research supporting anecdotal and survey responses indicating women tend to prefer warmer room temperatures than men, by showing that temperatures can affect both comfort and performance.

Authors Kajackaite and Chang summarize: “In a large laboratory experiment, over 500 individuals performed a set of cognitive tasks at randomly manipulated indoor temperatures. Consistent with their preferences for temperature, for both math and verbal tasks, women perform better at higher temperatures while men perform better at lower temperatures.”

Check out more of this hot topic as featured on the Guardian, the New York Times, Fox 5 News (with a video featuring author Tom Chang), and the Atlantic.


Along a similar vein(!), new research from PLOS Medicine shows that the medical care received by heart failure patients in the UK may have important gaps around diagnoses, insufficient follow-up after hospitalisation, and improperly-prescribed dosages, among other issues; these problems significantly affected women and older people.  

Read more on the Daily Mail and the Telegraph.


A 2016 mass die-off of puffins and other seabirds in the Bering Sea is reported in a new PLOS ONE study by Timothy Jones of the citizen science program COASST at University of Washington, Lauren Divine from the Aleut Community of St Paul Island Ecosystem Conservation Office, and colleagues. Up to 8,500 puffins and auklets may have died in this event, which appeared to be due to starvation; the authors suggest that climate shifts may have resulted in a lack of prey. Read more about this story on Vice, Discover Magazine, and Scientific American.


Finally, in lighter news, a new study from PLOS ONE showed that wolves behave more prosocially towards their fellow pack mates than do pack dogs during a touchscreen-based task that allowed individual animals to provide food to others–though the study did not look at the behavior of pet dogs.

Author Rachel Dale notes: “This study shows that domestication did not necessarily make dogs more prosocial. Rather, it seems that tolerance and generosity towards group members help to produce high levels of cooperation, as seen in wolves.”

Check out further coverage on PBS News and Motherboard by Vice.


Image captions and credits

  1. Seven-rigid-body system of Caudipteryx. The simplified rigid body system illustrates the mechanism of moving parts, main body, wings, legs, neck and head, and the tail of the Caudipteryx. The masses of all parts are represented by lumped mass points and the muscles at the joints are replaced with springs (As damping coefficient does not significantly affect the natural frequency, we simplified the joints which are composed of tendons, muscles, ligaments and soft tissues as purely elastic springs with no damping). Different effective masses of these seven primary modes of the simplified Caudipteryx show different possibilities to be excited. (Talori et al, 2019,  PLOS Computational Biology)
  2. Video: Observation on the juvenile ostrich. The forced vibrations of the wings of the young ostriches are easily found when they run on the ground. (Talori et al, 2019,  PLOS Computational Biology)
  3. Carcasses of tufted puffins, October 2016. (Aleut Community of St Paul Island Ecosystem Conservation Office)
  4. Touchscreen test (Dale et al., 2019, PLOS ONE)


New Canadian Report Offers Balanced Recommendations for Progressive Copyright Reform -

The Maple Leaf Forever by Dennis Jarvis, CC BY-SA 2.0

Earlier this week the Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) released a report with 36 recommendations on the statutory review of Canadian copyright law. The report caps a year-long study, including a public consultation and committee hearings that included a variety of stakeholders.

The document makes progressive recommendations that support a more balanced copyright regime. Michael Geist provides an overview, including the following key findings that, if pursued, could fortify and expand user rights under the Canadian copyright system:

  • expansion of fair dealing by making the current list of fair dealing purposes illustrative rather than exhaustive (by using more open ended legislative language like “such as”),
  • rejection of new limits on educational fair dealing with further study in three years,
  • retention of existing Internet safe harbour rules,
  • rejection of the FairPlay site blocking proposal with insistence that any blocking include court oversight,
  • expansion of the anti-circumvention rules by permitting circumvention of digital locks for purposes that are lawful (ie. permit circumvention to exercise fair dealing rights),
  • extend the term of copyright only if ratifying the USCMA and include a registration requirement for the additional 20 years,
  • implement a new informational analysis (also known as text and data mining) exception,
  • further study of statutory damages for all copyright collectives along with greater transparency,
  • adoption of an open licence rather than the abolition of crown copyright (i.e., putting the works directly into the public domain).

The INDU report is a breath of fresh air for copyright policy making, especially considering the recent adoption of the backward-looking reform in the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which included the provision that will require nearly all for-profit web platforms to get a license for every user upload or otherwise install content filters and censor content, lest they be held liable for infringement.

Creative Commons and Creative Commons Canada provided input into the consultation on the copyright reform in Canada. In May 2018 we submitted comments to INDU. First, we said the Canadian copyright term should stay where it is; there is no reason to consider any further extension of copyright. Second, we urged the government to protect and strengthen limitations and exceptions to copyright, as these important measures ensure balance in our legal framework. Third, we advocated for Canada to maintain and maintain and improve its existing safe harbour protections with regard to intermediary liability and copyright, noting that a healthy commons requires a healthy ecosystem of platforms and infrastructure for sharing. Finally, we urged the government to continue to support policy efforts to ensure open access to publicly funded resources, including clarifying that we have a right to use and re-use works produced by our government.

Additionally, in October 2018 Creative Commons Canada appeared before the Committee to provide testimony and answer questions on recommended changes to copyright that would promote creativity and expand the commons. In addition to the issues mentioned above, CC Canada touched on other areas for copyright intervention, including permitting creators to reclaim control of copyright in their works 25 years after assignment, protecting fair dealing, especially for education, expanding user rights to kickstart cutting-edge research related to machine learning and artificial intelligence by ensuring that “the right to read is the right to mine, and reforming the Crown Copyright regime to ensure that all Canadians have the right to access and re-use government produced works.

We’re happy to see many of these points included in the recommendations released this week, including the resistance to extend copyright term, the protection and possible expansion of limitations and exceptions like fair dealing, the ability for authors to reclaim their rights, and the recommendation to include a copyright exemption for text and data mining.

On a related note, the Committee was right to put an end to the idea floated last year by Bell and a group of Canadian telecommunications companies to create an “Internet Piracy Review Agency.” Even though the Canadian telecommunications regulator denied this application in October last year, the INDU Committee reinforced the ruling by stating that “it is for the courts to adjudicate whether a given use constitutes copyright infringement and to issue orders in consequence.”

The Canadian report offers a glimmer of hope that copyright policy can be furthered in such a way to promote creativity and innovation, while at the same time protecting crucial user rights. This is contrasted with the final outcome of the European copyright directive, which reflects a disturbing path toward increasing control of the web to benefit only powerful rights holders at the expense of the rights of users and the public interest.

The post New Canadian Report Offers Balanced Recommendations for Progressive Copyright Reform appeared first on Creative Commons.

Looking Good: Tips for creating your PLOS figures graphics

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Enhance your research with tips and tools from the experts on the PLOS Production Team. This post is part of our new Format for Success series where we’ll share advice for generating figures and graphics that make submitting a breeze. Stay tuned for more. 

We know that preparing graphics files can be one of the most challenging parts of submitting your hard work to a publisher, when you would rather be observing in the field, experimenting in the lab, or conversing with the community. Like you, we want your research to shine and be noticed by your peers, adding to the scientific discourse and fostering collaboration in and across disciplines.

To help you create the best images possible and ensure a smooth article production experience, we’ve put together our top tips, distilled to a few major areas, for assessing your graphics files during submission:

  • Consider raster images vs vector imagesRaster images are made of pixels. A pixel is a single point or the smallest single element in a display device. Vector images are mathematical calculations from one point to another that form lines and shapes, which adjust to fit a monitor display and zoom.

Our journal article pages use raster graphics for in-article figure display, the lightbox figure viewer, and carousel thumbnails.  Raster graphics are easier to create, store, and transfer across platforms, but limit resolution to 600 dpi. Alternatively, vector graphics are only available in the article PDF accessed online, but will result in a more detailed image at high zoom.

  • Choose a resolution between 300 and 600 dpi – Effective resolutions below 300 dpi (dots/pixels per inch) often result in a blurry, jagged or pixelated image that is not optimal to publish, and resolutions above 600 dpi frequently must be resized or rescaled. We are required by the PLOS publishing platform, and community indexes like PubMed Central, to ensure content adheres to these resolutions.
  • Combine multi-panel images – Often, it’s useful to exhibit a Part A, Part B, and Part C, all within one figure image. To create a multi-paneled figure from individual images, we suggest using a presentation program like PowerPoint, Word or GIMP to arrange your panels, create labels, and scale or size your figures. Multi-paneled figures need to fit into a single page or be broken apart into separate figures in order to publish clearly and accurately.
  • Flatten image layers – Unflattened images can incorporate alpha channels, which include a transparent layer potentially containing “junk”, “artifacts”. Sometimes, an unflattened image can also render a figure into a complete black or white rectangle, obscuring all your content. We recommend that you flatten your graphics to combine all the layers into a single background layer, so we can ensure the quality of the output equals your intent.
  • Compress file size with LZW compression – Data compression helps to reduce file size and also decreases time required to download and upload content. With compressed files, we can help you reduce the size of your article PDF, improving a researcher’s ability to access your work and send it to colleagues.

Using PACE

To help you assess your figure images, PLOS also offers authors a free, web-based imaging review tool, PACE, that evaluates figures against our platform requirements and fixes the most-common image issues, detailing any changes made, or informs the user what outstanding issues may exist.  PACE compiles two, online review options in the form of typeset page mockups to give users an idea of how the uploaded image would appear in the final article. To use PACE, simply register with your email address:

Similar to undertaking a scientific protocol, PLOS’s production team follows specific rules to ensure that the accepted content is correctly transformed to XML and PDF in order to publish accurately in our journal sites and syndication targets. In short, graphic images must generally conform to the following:

  • File format – TIFF or EPS
  • Dimensions – Width: 789 – 2250 pixels (at 300 dpi). Height maximum: 2625 pixels (at 300 dpi).
  • Resolution – 300 – 600 dpi
  • File size – 10MB or under
  • Figure files naming – Fig1.tif, Fig2.eps, and so on. Match file name to caption label and citation.
  • Caption – Place within the manuscript as simple text, not within the figure file

We’ve posted additional graphics recommendations, as well as instructions for exporting graphics from specialized software, here:

We hope these suggestions make figure preparation even easier so you can spend more time advancing your field and we can publish your work faster than ever.  We encourage you to email us at with further questions.


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