The theme for Open Access Week 2018 was announced earlier this week – Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge. OA Week this year will be October 22nd-28th.
You can find more information about OA Week on their website.
In the past UT Libraries has participated with both online and in-person events. We’ll be participating again this year and will make announcements here over the coming months.
Y’all may have already seen the announcement last week that the Bibsam Consortium in Sweden has decided not to renew their agreement with Elsevier. The Bibsam Consortium negotiates license agreements on behalf of Swedish universities, government agencies, and research institutes. The Swedish government has set a goal of immediate open access by 2026 and the Elsevier deal wasn’t helping them achieve that goal. This follows similar actions in Germany and France. There is definitely lots of movement in Europe towards greater access to research.
A large group of scholars has signed a petition protesting the creation of a new subscription journal from Nature, Nature Machine Intelligence.
They argue that most journals in the field are open access with no charges for readers or authors. The people signing the petition have said they will not submit to, review or edit for the journal. I’m not sure how large the machine learning community is, but the petition has over 2400 signatures (as of May 2nd).
Nature has stated they respect the opinions of the petitioners, but they feel the new subscription journal can co-exist with others by providing an outlet for interdisciplinary work that has undergone rigorous peer review.
Florida State University has announced it’s canceling it’s “big deal” journals package with Elsevier. The dean of university libraries, Julia Zimmerman, released a statement about the cancellation. Instead of the big deal, FSU will subscribe to a sub-set of journals that are most-needed. The Faculty Senate voted unanimously to approve the planned cancellation.
Florida State is the most recent university to announce a decision like this. SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) maintains a list of institutions that have cancelled their big deals.
The UT Libraries is pleased to announce the winners of the first Images of Research competition.
1st place: Isabel K. Dunn, A 78rpm Recording Brings Louis to Tears
2nd place: Athisha Piyapanee, An Unexpected Friend
Please see the press release for more information.
It looks like a national consortium of French academic institutions, Couperin.org, has decided to cancel their subscriptions to Springer Journals. They had been in negotiations with Springer for over a year, but were unable to come to an agreement on price. Couperin.org was advocating for a subscription price reduction due to the volume of APCs being paid by French authors. Springer had put forward a price increase. Access was supposed to be cut off on April 1st, but Springer has decided to keep access on while they continue to move discussions forward. You may remember that a similar event happened with German universities and Elsevier.
An English translation of the announcement is here (you may have to click on the UK flag). You can also find information about this through a short news item from The Scientist.
Open access gets discussed a lot as a potential solution to access issues for scholarly research articles. Copyright and open access are not discussed as frequently for creative scholarship. The UT Libraries will be hosting a panel event and hands-on workshop that aims to tackle that very issue. Please come join us!
Title: Can I Use That?: Remix and Creativity
Date: Tuesday, March 20th, 4-6PM
Where: PCL Learning Lab 1
Description: Why is it important to know the rules of copyright when using images, altering literary text, or photographing art pieces? What can be used and reused? Join us for a lively panel discussion about the creative reuse of artistic and scholarly content. Learn about the fascinating (and sometimes troubling) history of copyright and how it affects artists, writers, and scholars today. We’ll also discuss alternatives, like Creative Commons licensing and the Open Access movement and how they can be used in creative work. After the panel, you can bind your own book using Cita Press’ open access content!
Please join us on Wednesday, Feb. 21st at noon in PCL Learning Lab 4 to hear UT Austin iSchool graduate student, Stephen McLaughlin, speak about Sci-Hub and LibGen. There will be plenty of time for discussion, so bring your questions.
Sci-Hub and LibGen in Perspective
Over the past decade, websites offering free, unauthorized copies of books and academic articles have grown rapidly. How are they maintained and used, and what might they mean for the future of scholarly publishing?
We are offering digital scholarship office hours again this semester. Gilbert Borrego, Allyssa Guzman, Jessica Trelogan and Colleen Lyon will be available to answer any questions you may have about digital scholarship, Texas Data Repository, Texas ScholarWorks, research data services, or scholarly publishing.
Here are the dates –all sessions are in PCL 1.124 (one floor below the entrance level of PCL)
- Wednesday, Jan. 24th, 10:00-12:00
- Wednesday, Feb. 28th, 10:00-12:00
- Wednesday, Mar. 28th, 10:00-12:00
- Wednesday, Apr. 25th, 10:00-12:00
The office hours are open to anyone at UT Austin – we’re thinking of it as an alternative to booking a consultation. No appointment is needed, you can just stop in during the two hour time frame and chat with us. As a bonus, we’ll have sweet treats or snacks for anyone who stops by.
We are of course still available for consultation at any time via email, phone, or in-person. You can continue to ask questions that way if you prefer.
During the spring semester 2017, UT Libraries and the Billie L. Turner Plant Resources Center worked together to digitize the Flora of Forfarshire and make it available to the public through the Texas ScholarWorks repository.
The Flora of Forfarshire is an emblematic botanical work by the Scottish botanist, William Gardiner (1809-1852), a poet and botanist, well known among the botanical establishment in 19th Century Europe. Published in 1848, The Flora of Forfarshire comprises +300 pages of plants, fungi, lichens, and algae growing in Forfar (Angus) county, Scotland. Since the publication of the book was an ambitious project, Gardiner funded its project by recruiting patrons who were rewarded with folios of pressed samples of representative species listed in thebook, accompanied by taxonomic and geographical information. Most of these folios no longer exist, but one of them, along with the main book, are accessioned at the University of Texas Libraries.
The Flora of Forfarshire has historical and scientific value because of Its age, the adverse economic conditions the author had overcome to publish it, the excellent preservation of the pressed plants in the complementary volume and, the botanical information of a region that has changed a lot since the XIX century, among other reasons. In order to make the book and the folio accessible to the public and providing an accurate and updated version of the information contained in the Flora, The Plant Resources Center and UT Libraries worked in a joint project offering the opportunity to Jessica Wigley, a Museum Studies student to have hands-on experience in digitizing, georeferencing, and updating the taxonomic information of each of the records. A total of 135 records were digitized and barcoded, 74 required taxonomic update, and 54 localities had their localities georeferenced. Jessica presented her final results in a poster at the conference Botany 2017 in June 2017 and all the products of the project including downloadable versions of the poster, the books, and a spreadsheet with all the information, were uploaded to the Texas ScholarWorks repository during the fall 2017. The Flora of Forfarshire collection can be accessed and consulted here: https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/47236
Post submitted by Amalia Díaz, Ph.D., Assistant Curator, Plant Resources Center.